Monday, September 28, 2009

Swiffer Review

The executive summary is that I ended up with a Swiffer when my partner went to Publix looking for a sponge refill to my old fashioned mop.   After using it I found it to be unsuitable and am using up supplies as fast as I can manage since in this case, the Old School Method is the best.   In other words...

Why Swiffer Sucks... and the Curmudgeonly Rant Begins:

1) The Pads have a Scent.   Whoever decided in their focus groups to perfume this thing should be locked in a room with that scent and made to smell it for the rest of their lives.   There's a distinct floral scent to the premoistened towelettes that you attach to the Swiffer head.   Go about your work and the stuff dries and soaks into the grout and whatever is left on the floor.    After a while you notice that the scent has changed to something smelling like dusty flowers.   Open the windows please?

2) The pads are good only for small areas.   I live in a smallish house.  1200 Square feet and all of that are tile or terrazzo floors.   If I used a sponge mop it wouldn't be a problem, I'd have a bucket and rinse the thing out and I'd be able to re-soap the floor and get everything... Spic and Span.  Or Pine Sol.  Or even Windex.   Swiffers run out of their moistened towelette "goodness" after doing about 3/4 of my kitchen.    By then they're too dry to finish the floor and are beginning to make mud out of the dirt they've moved around in a distant parody of "Cleaning".   So you get out another premoistened towelette or do what I do and spray down a mix of 8 parts water and 1 part Pine Sol and get the job done.

3) You can't reuse the pads.  Single use only.   They are designed to be thrown away after one use so they're not very resilient and you can't really use them to Scrub the floors, merely "lick the floors" as Mom used to say.   Mom would hate these things.  Don't make Mom angry, go visit O'Cedar and make Mom happy.   Or the teenager who is press-ganged into doing the cleaning.

4) You can't clean pads while mopping.  So you have a medium kitchen, you are trying to get the job done and keep your hands dry like Swiffer promises?   You decided to just spray down a mix of cleaners and use the original pad you started with?   By the time you get to the other end of your 15 by 6 kitchen, your pads are now looking very grimy.  Take them to the sink and try to clean them.  You may get away with that but now your hands are wet.   O'Cedar wins again!

5) They more expensive.  Buy the mop head at roughly the same price of an old style mop.   Get a box of Swiffer Refills at roughly the price of a sponge mop head.  So you just bought a box of premoistened paper towel like things containing like 12 or 24 of them.   I don't know about you, but I've had the same mop since I moved in this house 3 years ago, and only used up one mop head.   If I mop my floors weekly, we're talking around 150 cleanings.   See what I mean?   UGH!  I hate Planned Obsolescence!

6) They are bad for the environment.   More packaging that should be recycled, more obsolete premoistened towelettes that should partially degrade in a landfill in 500 years since there is a plastic scrubby strip on the things I have here.   Give me a cellulose sponge any day.   Ok, I know they're not truly cellulose but they'll degrade about as much as those stupid scrubby strips.

7) Flimsy equipment.  I'll admit I'm rough on things.   I'm 6'4" and 220 pounds.  I throw my back into scrubbing the floor.   I don't want stuff in crevasses and corners.   So when I lean on that flimsy aluminium pole that is held together with toothpicks, er, plastic bits, I am concerned when I see the entire thing flex.   Low bid design or Chinese Construction?

8) You must use original swiffer pads for best results.  I have tried to get around this a couple ways.   The local store brand leaves a film.   The original dampening fluid in the premoistened towelettes may stink but it does go away and evaporate into the atmosphere... leaving a dusty flowery smell.   *SNEEZE*  I even tried using regular paper towels the one time I got caught without backup supplies and that was just a joke.   Think about mopping 600 square feet of Florida Tile with Paper Towels.   Can we say "Comedy of errors" children?

When I finally use up supplies I think I'm going to happily back my car over this comically bad piece of Marketing Genius.   Then I'll drive to Publix and get a refill for my old standby O'Cedar Mop.

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