Hack Your Swiffer

I’m pretty sure the Swiffer revolutionized floor cleaning. At least it did for me. And notice how it’s become a part of household vernacular; “I have to swiffer while the kids are napping” or “the mess was so big swiffering alone wasn’t enough.” I don’t mind sweeping, but I hated everything that came with mopping. That said spell check does not consider Swiffer to be a word. Yes, I know Swiffers have been around forever, but I still love mine as much now as when they first appeared on the market. Now what I’m not always crazy about is buying refills and replacement pads. When we switched to a paperless household figuring out what to do with the Swiffer involved some back and forth. I found myself on my hands and knees spot cleaning more and more often because I wanted to save my pads for truly needed times. Oh sure my little boxes lasted longer, but the lazy part of me wasn’t so convinced I was doing the right thing.

 It was then brought to my attention that you can get reusable pads for your swiffer. (Insert V8 moment here) Duh!? It makes perfect sense, but the thought hadn’t crossed my mind. You can easily sew some up using microfiber. But this week I knit some using left over cotton yarn from previous projects. Nothing like a little stash busting to make mama smile. I used this pattern here. Next time I’ll use smaller needles than the 8’s I cast on with. I had to cut my repeats short, but for cleaning gunk off the floor who’s going to say anything? And if they do then they can swiffer themselves.

So proud of my little Swiffer pad I remembered that not everyone knows that you can “jail break” your Swiffer Wet Jet and save yourself more money by not having to purchase the spray refills. Genius?! you say? Well, I also did not come up with the idea, but I think more people need to know about this. It makes me happy because I only clean with baking soda and vinegar and it’s nice to be able to use my own solution and not the chemicals. Eldest child had a freak out recently because toddler child sprayed him with the Windex bottle. “It tastes soooo gross!!! blech blech ack!!” Reminding him it was merely vinegar and water only slightly relieved his duress, “it still tastes yucky.” This may be true, but you’ll live.

But I digress. Hacking your Swiffer takes a little brute force and a pair of pliers. The little cap is very well secured, so you need pliers with teeth for gripping and a wide mouth. Locking pliers or tongue and grove pliers work well. But once unscrewed you can fill that puppy up with your homemade solution and repeat as necessary. It’s worth noting that the little holes made from your last usage should be realigned to the location they were before. The smooshy plastic sort of reseals on itself, but using the same holes over and over extends the amount of time you can reuse the bottle. Should you need a new one I’m sure you can find a friend or two willing to pass their empty ones on to you, until you tell them why you want them and then they too are hacking their Swiffers.

You may be asking yourself what I put in my Swiffer. I could share my top secret formula, but then I’d have to kill ya. I don’t have a true recipe. I fill it about 3/4 of the way with warm water add a couple glugs of vinegar and some citrus or tea tree oil and maybe a little essential oils if I want some fragrance and just call it good. Floors look clean, house smells good, and I’m not complaining.

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