Pages

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Go Green in 2008 ~ Safer Swiffer

It is my opinion that the Swiffer Wet Jet is one of the best modern cleaning inventions. Like the commercial says, no more dirty mops, or making a mess to clean another. Not sure about the "5 Signs of Clean" bit, but I guess every product needs a jingle. Actually, pre-Swiffer, I had already ditched the mop and was cleaning the floor with a sponge on my hands and knees. True, nothing beats that kind of clean, but I'm happy with easy, and "clean enough." Except...

How to handle the guilt of throwing all those pads away??

There are a few tutorials out there for making reusable Swiffer pads, including this knit version, and a sewn version. Love this idea as well. A crafted version of a reusable Swiffer pad was definitely on my to-do list, but so are 130 other things.

One day I decided to try and use a microfiber cloth like this



on the Swiffer. I cut it with pinking shears to reduce fraying in the wash, and cut the cloths a half inch bigger than the Swiffer head all around so the cloth doesn't get caught under the head during use. The grip adheres well, and though there is a little more resistance than using the *official* pads, it is not too inconvenient.



After use, just throw the cloth in the wash! Looking online, I am not the only one who has thought of this - so much for my eureka moment. My next challenge is to bypass the stupid glued on cap and try to put my own cleaning solution in the *official* Swiffer bottle (EDIT: Oh - you come in from the other end! Thanks for the link, hunnybunny!) Fortunately, this urban legend is untrue, but it would be nice to use a natural cleaner.

15 comments:

Carrie said...

Sigh.. I'm having a personal Swiffer dilemma myself! Love the knitted covers you found. Unfortunatley my swiffer is broken and I can't decide whether to buy a new swiffer or find another alternative? Currently it's the hands and knees scrubbing! Or, usually, nothing at all!

Leigh said...

I cannot believe I am saying this but...those Swiffer covers are adorable! Thanks for the info!

Shanna said...

i've made a knitted version (http://www.innerchildcrochet.com/patterns/mop_cover.html) using some white cotton yarn i had...it glides easily over my tiled floors but doesn't pick up all the little bits. i've heard that a wool yarn does a good job using the regular dry swiffer but i know it won't hold up in the wash. maybe i could felt a sweater then cut it to size...hmm. anyway, i wouldn't recommend using white yarn! my white cloth is now permanently gray. i also have used an old washcloth (just last night actually) and it worked really well.

telfair said...

That's a great idea...I already switched to washable fleece for the dry swiffer (you can get miscellaneous ends of it super cheap in the leftovers bin at the fabric store) and it's staticky enough that it picks up dust & pet hair perfectly.

I'm with Shanna -- I typically use an old washcloth for the wet mopping with the Swiffer. It doesn't glide as well, but it is reusable!

Sarah and Jack said...

I saw directions on the internet for refilling those things a long time ago. (I think it was on the tightwad gazette.) They said to drill a small hole in the part that is facing you while the cleaner is nozzle down in the hole, use a funnel to refill it, then duct tape over the hole.

Since I am currently out of the darn pads, I think I am going to try that microfiber cloth idea. I hate how freaking expensive the supplies for that swiffer are. (I have to use it nearly every day because Jack is still a tremendously messy eater.)

Sarah and Jack said...

P.S. The link to the sewn version is invalid?

Carrie S. said...

This is a great idea - thanks for sharing! And, thanks for the links yesterday - I've been wanting to opt-out for ages now and finally sat down and did it! Can't wait for it to take effect, I had a mailbox FULL of garbage yesterday! Happy New Year! XO

hunnybunny said...

Here'some hacks for refilling when your cleaner is empty.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Hack-your-Swiffer-Sweeper.-Weep-Swiffer-CEO-%2c-Weep/
Hope that helps. Good Luck with going more green this year.

Sarabeth said...

Hi Jen,
I am loving your January posts. Thank you!!
The junk mail one was fabulous and though I am not one to forward things by email to family/friends I broke my rule to spread that info. Here is a dilemma I'd love your thoughts on: for some time I've contemplated more electronic bill paying to reduce the paper bills and also the fuel involved in mailing bills and checks every month. But, although I do some shopping online with a credit card, I have avoided internet banking or having my checking account linked online--I don't like the idea of being so tied to technology in so many transactions (like, can't pay bills when internet goes down/power is out) as well as having that banking info so widely distributed. But is the environmental benefit worth a little Luddite angst??
Thanks for your thoughts,
sarabeth

Junie Moon said...

I just learned about the ability to make my own washable covers. Such a great idea!

Since I make my own natural cleaning products, I use the Clorox ReadyMop product which is similar to the Swiffer but allows me to refill the bottle with my own solution since it has a screw-on lid with the tube in it.

Natasha said...

I used to use the swifer when I had a bigger kitchen (we moved:() And as Sara said you can put a hole in the bottom of the bottle and use a funnel- that is what I did. I bought a small cork to plug the hole. It worked great.

Amy said...

I use these:
http://tinyurl.com/ysaesz

They aren't intended for the Swiffer, but they fit perfectly and they have an adjustment notch that you can gather it tighter around the head to hug it. It works for us and I save a lot of money.

These can get dingy looking, but they perform well and last me a couple of years without needing to be replaced.

I LOVE your blog!

Anonymous said...

I use maxipads with wings as the cheaper alternative to Swiffer wet jet pads. They are basically the same size, material used in the wet jet pads, and they even have sticky tape already on one side of the pad, just like the wet jet pads. Remove backing to expose sticky side of pad, and place on mop like you were using the regular wet jet pads. costs half as much as the wet jet pads, and is also disposable. Just be sure the wing doesn't block the jet stream.

Susan said...

I discovered today that an ideal and cheap replacement for the pads is two small (4" X 6") scrub pads- the thin green scrub pads that are like scotch brite. I bought mine from a dollar store in a bundle or maybe 20 or so for VERY little. They stick perfectly to the bottom of the wet jet and are just a little longer than the mop is wide. They can be taken off, rinsed in the sink, and put back on (or washed in the washing machine). They really take off dried on gunk on the floor.

I found instructions on line for removing the cap from the solution bottle-just stick the top of the bottle and cap in very hot water (I boiled water in the microwave) for about 30 seconds and then twist the cap off. The hot water softens the ridges that keep the lid from twisting off easily. Refill the bottle and put back on.

Jillian said...

I use microfiber cloths that I cut and sew so that they fit on the end. I also found this place that makes replacement batteries for the swiffer vacuum so you don't have to throw them away after they can't hold a charge. Mine has been going for two years now. Here is the link:

www.sweeperbattery.com