5 min read

Life with Malamutes

Emma-Leigh Matthews is the vlogger behind the hit Instagram and YouTube channels, Life with Malamutes. The two-person, two-dog, one-cat family have just taken delivery of a new Sofology sofa – and here, Emma-Leigh gives us a glimpse into life behind the camera, as well as her top sofa-cleaning tips for pet owners.

Phil, Niko and Milo are the stars of the Life with Malamutes show – @lifewithmalamutes on Instagram. Phil and Niko are our Alaskan Malamutes – think husky, but much bigger. They’re enormous. Milo is our Maine Coon cat – one of the biggest cat breeds in the world, and has his own Instagram, @lifewithmalamutes.

Not only do they have a worldwide following, but they’re also quite possibly three of the longest-haired pets you could choose.

Those long hairs don’t look great on a new sofa, so Sofology asked me to share my top tips. But first, the sofa.

How we chose our sofa

Our old sofa was tired and worn. And given it was in our main room, it was in the background of most of my pictures on social media. I could always spot the stains or tired, flat cushions.

It was time for an upgrade. I decided to change the layout of the living room to give us more space, and went from a four-seater and loveseat combo to a four- and three-seater mix.

I tried to be sensible on style vs practicality, but the minute I entered the Sofology store I fell in love with a striking cream and black combo. I just couldn’t walk away from it and decided that – in spite of the colour and the pets – I’d keep on top of the cleaning and get the sofa of my dreams.


The reality of having long-haired pets and a new, cream sofa

Fast forward six weeks and the sofa arrived. To get it, I’d made a deal with my husband, promising I’d keep on top of daily cleaning and ensure it was pet free. This is how it went:

Day 1

The sofas arrive and you tell the pets they can’t go on the sofas anymore.

Day 2

The cat starts giving you ‘the eye’ and you are guilt-tripped. You can’t stop yourself and you allow the cat to join you – but not the dogs. Your logic is the cat’s smaller and cleaner, so it’ll be ok.

Day 3

The dogs give you the puppy-dog eyes, you’re snuggled in front of the fire, cosy, watching a film and just can’t say no to them anymore, so you let one hop up – but only when the husband isn’t in sight.

Day 4

The minute you leave the living room, the dogs hop up on to the sofas and claim it as their dog bed. There’s no stopping them now. The husband has witnessed it. The clean dream is over.

Day 5 and beyond

We need to find a way to manage the hairs while keeping our living room looking ‘Instagrammable’.

How we keep our sofas clean of pet hair

Owning our two Malamutes and Maine Coon, we’ve picked up some useful sofa-cleaning tips along the way:

  1. Following in the steps of Mrs Hinch, use a window cleaner squeegee for the firm backs and sides of the sofa to drag all hair and easily lift off.
  2. Always have a lint roller on hand in the living room for quick-cleans when guests arrive unexpectedly.
  3. Vacuum and flip the cushions once a week to keep them fluffed and fresh.
  4. Plump the cushions every day to make sure they look full and cosy.
  5. Before going to bed at night, cover the sofa with a thick blanket, so the pets are free to hop on and off without the worry of hairs. You can then remove this when you’re in the room.

How we keep our living room and sofas fresh and clean

There’s no denying: dogs and cats have their own smell, and not always for the better. Here’s how we keep our noses happy:

  1. For freshness, we use the odour removal spray from Sofology’s fabric care kit – we’d avoid using any kind of fabric conditioner as it can stain the sofa, even when diluted.
  2. A sneaky hack is to use tumble dryer sheets and put them in your cushions or stuff them behind the back of the sofa to keep a longer-lasting scent. They only need replacing every couple of weeks.

If you want to find out more about us, say hello on Instagram @lifewithmalamutes, or watch our videos on Youtube.
We’d love to hear about your cleaning tips!

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Alice Flemming
About Alice Flemming