Saturday, February 23, 2008

Swiffer gets a makeover!

I don't know about you, but I *heart* my Swiffer Wet Jet.

I've loved it since the day I purchased that thing. We've been through a lot- 7 moves, 1 hubby, 2 kiddos, farm life (equals lots of poop), among many other things.

But, my Swiffer has been there with me through it all. I still own the same one. I think I'm going to name him 'Biff'.

'Biff the Swiff'. I like that. It has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

I think an inanimate object deserves a name after it has been with you that long.

My interest in Swiffer all started when my dis-interest in mop water and buckets increased. I hate mop water. I don't know what to do with it. It grosses me out. And I get so grossed out the darker and darker the water becomes, that I end up making 3 batches of mop water just to finish mopping my house. And the idea of mopping something to get it clean when the water is clearly not clean is a contradiction of ideals.

Since I mop my kitchen 3 times a day, I wanted my system for mopping to be easy and toxin free. I'm not joking about mopping that much. This is the price I pay having an 11 month old who loves food and lives in her high chair. You saw the spaghetti pictures. It isn't pretty.

In comes 'Biff'.

I've been happy with 'Biff' up until now. I recently had a Swiffer epiphany after making a trip to Wal-mart just to buy the Swiffer goods. This is the only time I even go there nowadays.

The refill pads cost roughly $5 to $6 for a box of 12. The cleaning solution costs roughly $3 to $4. I know that the pads aren't the most environmentally friendly things because they aren't a reusable source and the solution isn't as non-toxic as I would like for it to be having a bouncing baby crawling around everywhere. Over time, this really adds up especially if you use yours as much as I do.

I decided to take this epiphany and give 'Biff' a makeover.

I bought some of those Gerber cloth diaper packages. I got mine at Wal-mart. They cost around $11 for a 12 pack. And the beauty of it all, is I get to use these and then throw them in the wash together at the end of the week. They will, of course, be washed in a small load all by themselves and in extremely hot water.

Here is what I did:

I cut up the cloth diapers. I cut off the sides of the diaper to where the thick part in the middle was the only thing left.


The thick part sticks to the bottom of the Swiffer just fine for me. And I like that it has great absorption and I can flip it over and use the other side also (a feature not offered in Swifferland).

****Tip: Instead of throwing away the side of the diaper, I will use these as my dryer sheet that I talked about in the detergent review. Just dab a few drops of essential oil to them, and you have instant dryer sheets.****

Dryer Sheets

Another thing I did was have my incredibly strong hubby twist the top off of the Swiffer cleaning solution so that I can make my own. Don't throw the bottle away! Re-use it.

You have to have a strong human being do this for you. I have the arm strength of a small mouse, so it is NOT possible for me to get dreaded white cap off the top. I've got all kinds of mad over this in the past. I know my limits.

If you can't get yours off or find someone to do it for you, we can hook a sista up and you can borrow my man's arms to help you. He is a pro!

Also, once the cap is removed initially, it can be removed from that point forward easily without the assistance of a human with super human strength.

Here is the cleaning solution I use. It smells incredible and has antibacterial qualities in it as well.

Floor Cleaning Solution

Fill the bottle 3/4 full of warm water. Add 3 tablespoons of Peppermint scented Dr. Bronner's. Add 10 drops of Sweet Orange Essential Oil. Add 4 tablespoons of white vinegar. Shake it around a little. Attach it to your Swiffer and enjoy!

****Tip: Go out and get some Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap. It is Concentrated Liquid Castille Soap that can be used for making all sorts of products to clean your home with. I detailed my car the other day using this stuff diluted in a small spray bottle. It is great and smells wonderful. I use the Peppermint scent a lot when I'm cleaning. And Jason and I use the Almond scent to bathe. It smells YUMMY! The writing on the bottle is a bit wacky. I don't even know what half of it even means really. I think they might have been inhaling hemp when they were coming up with label ideas for the bottles. I was able to find it at Kroger in College Station in the organic section. I think the big bottles are roughly $8 to $9. Which is pretty good considering you can dilute this stuff and it will last a while.****

You could also experiment with Murphy's oil soap for those of you out their who have wood floors. I happen to LOVE Murphy's as well and use this often when cleaning. It is also a safe non-toxic cleaner and smells wonderful!


I love my new and improved 'Biff' even more. I loved it before, but now that it is cost effective and I can make my own floor cleaner, it's perfect! I love that IT has a name now.

What are some things in your home that you have revamped in order to make them more cost effective and environmentally friendly? I'd love to hear what you have done. I KNOW we have some creative readers out there.


Connie said...

O.k. why is it that in *College Statin, TX and Brenham, TX* you can find all of these things such as Arm and Hammer washing soda....Castile soap....and other ingredients needed to make all of these super cool non-toxic cleaners, and I, who live in the big Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex can't? I want so much to not have to go to the expensive la-tee-da specialty store but our regular grocery stores just don't have it...I've searched and searched.

After reading your entry's I think I am going to break down and go to one of those stores where women shop in their stilettos and wear wedding rings that look like rock candy. I have a friend who is into all of this stuff too so we are going to make a day out of it and make a few things together.

Thanks for love love the new and improved Biff. I too appreciate the strength of my man. Just the other day I realized just how nice it is to have his nice strong biceps around with I need them.

QuiltedSimple said...

I'll have to try this - I have my swiffer in a closet - just couldn't bring myself to spend the money on the cleaning stuff and pads for it (so I've been on my hands and knees scrubbing my floor for 2 hours a pop - can't stand mopping either). What a great idea. I have a Bissell floor scrubber, but it's a lot to drag out for our laundry room where all the mud/poop gets contained to. Thanks for the idea. When are we going to see more cute pictures of the girls?


shauna maness said...

seriously lyns... i wait for your blogs everday and am always AMAZED. you need to start your book now... all your ideas in one place would be a TREASURE for any woman to have!!
go to
start today.

love you... and again, inspired.

Sarah Shalley said...

i think you are soooooo cool. sometimes i think you're crazy, but in an i love you and think you're fabulous kind of way. i know no one else in the world like you. i know no one else as groovy as you. i'm going to borrow all this make-your-own advice and send it to all the other cool women i now. thank you for being one of the neatest, godliest friends i know. shauna nailed INSPIRE! and that's a gift i can never thank you enough for. love you.

Aldape family said...

I love the new invention! "Biff to swiff" does have a nice ring to it! You are becoming so domesticated....homemade bread, homemade detergent and dryer sheets, ..whats next? I love all of these fab ideas, keep them coming!

Jessica said...

I dropped your name the other day! I have 2 work friends that live in Brenham so I passed a long the link to your blog. One of these lovely ladies has 2 girls. They live on a Ranch. The company I work for is over a boys ranch in Brenham called Miracle Farm. Both of these ladies work and live there.
I promised them that I would figure out a way to connect you, so if I drive through Brenham I would love to introduce.

Sorry this comment had nothing to do with the Swiffer (although I did read and enjoy the post) :)

Miss you, Lyns.

texasmcvays said...

Okay, that is why I stopped using my swiffer wsa the cost was not reasonable for our current budget. Thank you for reintroducing a concrete floors best friend!

sugarcreekfarm said...

Cool idea, I'll give this a try. My swiffer wet jet has been languishing. Of course since I got new flooring in my kitchen in a dark color, I don't feel the need to clean it as often ;)

Maass Family said...

I tried this a while back and was so dissapointed that I couldn't get that stinkin' white cap off the top. I'll definately call in my man for this:) So glad I don't have to ration out how often I can use my swiffer now.

I live on a ranch as well so I feel your pain with the floors. We have no carpet in our whole house so everything is visable and you can feel it on your feet...I HATE that!

Walking through the pasture, having a boy who lives outdoors with the dogs, loves to bike through mud, working in the garden, etc. then coming in brings it all in with you & it's always at the front door.

Thanks for sharing...I'll be making this as soon as that bottle is empty.


Andrea Manor said...

I have a Clorox Ready Mop that I love, and I have been using my own concoction in it for awhile, too. But I LOVE the cloth diaper idea. I have using a tiny bit of Dr. Bronner's Peppermint soap and hot water. Just somthing to watch for, I haven't been emptying out the water after I'm done, I just save it and use it next time, but I think that isn't good b/c I think the soap has kind of clogged up the line a little, so you might wan to be sure not to leave your concoction in it and to flush out your line with clean water at the end. Just a thought.

Connie said...

I think I'm going to get one of these....does it clog up easily? I remember (7 years ago) when I had one of the very first one that came out and it got clogged very easily and then would only dribble out instead of spray even if I cleaned the nozzle.

How are the cloth diapers working out in replacing the disposable pads?

I was also thinking I could just get the swiffer sweeper and use a hand held spray bottle with cleaning solution. I thought the diapers might stay better on that since you can poke it through the holes instead of velcro.

So many decisions!

elaineisthebest said...

I'm a little late on commenting on this, but an easy way of taking off the white cap (if someone strong isn't around!) is pouring a bit of boiling water from your kettle over the cap. This will instantly soften the cap, allowing you to screw it off easily. Once the cap has cooled (it'll only take a few seconds), it will be back to the way it was. You just need to do this every time you need to take the cap off.

ChoctawWilliams said...

Hey Lynsey!

I just broke down and bought another swiffer (our first one broke/bent b/c I mopped so much when we had hope group!) but I've only used it once b/c I think its so awful to throw away that many cleaning pads!!!!! So I've been checking into investing into a microfiber mop that I can throw in the washer. BUT I love the diaper idea!!!!! Its perfect, I have a box of cloth diapers from when Jalyns skin was so bad as an infant and randomly I use them for cleaning up while painting or something but I will be having diaper cutting party tonight!!!!!!!!
Thank you for the great idea!

ktyktz said...

My problem is...My neighbour gave me the mop. I am on a strict budget and I saved to go out and buy what I needed for this mop. My batteries work. I put the solution jug in the spot like it says and it does not spray. How do I clean the nozzle? and if warm water does not work...what am I doing wrong? It says to NOT remove the cap. But how does the solution get through? Please someone help I feel soo dumb. But after spending money on the solution and pads....I want my mop to work.

Anonymous said...

You are great.

I live in Franklin and cannot find any store in Bryan or College Station that will admit to carrying Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Soap.

When did you last buy it and at specifically which Kroger Store?

Thank you so much, Molly

Deidra Schaefer said...

I love the Biff name for your swiffer. It sounds cute! Looks like your floor cleaner has served your family for a very long time. I think it’s time for you to purchase another one. I think you should opt for a more advanced machine to clean your floor. It’s good to have an alternative cleaning machine, just in case Biff stops to work.