Don’t Buy It: The Ubiquitous Swiffer

1 11 2009

Not too long ago I needed some floor wax. I went to Target to look for some, a heavy feeling in my heart. Indeed, my premonition was correct: Target did not sell floor wax. I couldn’t, in fact, find anywhere that sold floor wax, so I didn’t wax my landlord’s floor when I moved away. In wandering through the floor-cleaning aisles, though, I was surprised to see how little was actually there. The floor-cleaning aisle is basically a giant monument to Swiffers.

Swiffers are absolutely mysterious to me: they’re full of mysterious chemicals, they are disposable and very difficult to reuse, and, most mysterious of all: people love them.

My experience with both the Swiffer duster and the Swiffer wet jet is that neither will clean a floor that’s actually dirty, although they work OK if you clean every day. (Who does that?) They’re cheap and flimsy — they don’t stand up to hard use. I don’t understand what they can do that a rag and a bucket of hot water with vinegar and soda — or a well-designed broom — can’t do just as well.

On the other hand, there are times — like when I am mopping my whole filthy basement, where my husband makes sawdust and my geriatric cat makes piss-spots across an area of concrete the size of my whole house — when I refuse to get down on my hands and knees with a rag. In such times you need a mop.

Today a made one, using materials entirely on hand, that puts a Swiffer wetjet to shame. I used this instructable.

Here’s the result:

IMG_1825

Homemade Mop

I think it’s a fine mop; I will let you know how it works out over the long haul.


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2 responses

20 11 2009
R. May

I. Hate. Swiffers.

I dont’ understand them. I think they do a horrid job cleaning. Those stupid pads are expensive and don’t absorb a lot. Forget it if something is stick on the floor.

I prefer a plain old mop and buscket of water. Every now and again I get on my hands and kness in the hight traffic areas, like the kitchen, and scrub with a brush.

20 11 2009
R. May

On and for future reference – you can always find floor wax at any hardware store, from the biggies to the mom and pops.

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