Saturday, February 23, 2008
Swiffer gets a makeover!Category: Cleaning Tips
Author: 5 Chicks and a Farmer
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.
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.****
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.