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Mopping Up

I want to take a break from the "high drama" of our lives to blow off some steam in a totally mundane area of my life.  After all, the necessary chores and daily rounds go on even when everything else goes straight to hell.  That is why I need to spend a few minutes complaining about the Swiffer Wet Jet mop.

Remember that last March, we had laminate floors installed in our two condominiums.  They have been really nice to have and they look great -- when they look great.  Of course, keeping them looking great takes some work.  They have to be pretty regularly swept and mopped, and that dark wood tone is not nearly as forgiving as carpeting was.  Every single bit of dust and cat fur shows.  Even yuckier, as we have come into the full blast of winter, we've learned that, here in the Midwest where people use salt to melt the ice on the streets and sidewalks, it doesn't take long to begin to see white, ghostly looking footprints and dried up puddles all over the place.  Not attractive. 

When we first had the floors done, the installers told us that they always recommend the Swiffer Wet Jet to clean them.  They raved about the Swiffer and told us it was the "BEST THING EVER" to keep our floors looking shiny and wonderful.  So, we went off and invested in two wet jets; one for each side -- and all the other junk that goes with them.  We have, in the intervening months, purchased box after box of Swiffer pads and Swiffer cleaning solution, and we have dutifully mopped and mopped and mopped.  The verdict?  The Swiffer Wet Jet -- SUCKS!  It mostly just spreads stuff around.  It really doesn't clean.  The cleaning solution is expensive.  To get our whole place clean takes at least two and often three pads, and the floor always ends up looking streaky and cloudy.  The mop goes through batteries -- yet another expense.  The spray button is in the exact spot on the handle where I tend to put my hand to push the mop, and I have never yet figured out how to hit the sprayer button to dispense cleaning solution ONLY when I want to do so.  Too, I have been completely unable to understand how to make the sprayer put solution where I want it to go -- which is NOT on my walls or furniture.  Grrrrr!

I give it up.  Maybe I am just too old fashioned -- or perhaps just too old, but as of today, I have retired my Swiffer and resurrected my bucket and sponge mop.  I will go back to doing my floors the way my mother and grandmother did them -- with a mop (occasionally doing it up right with a good, serious scrubbing on my hands and knees).  I'll determine the contents of my cleaning solution, thank you very much.  I've washed enough floors to know when it takes water; when it needs some soap; when a vinegar rinse will suffice; and when I need to get serious and add a bit of Pine Sol.  No more Swiffer for me.  Getting my floors clean is not rocket science.  It is a simple thing and I am going back to simple.



  1. Thank you, you have helped with a decision we have been mulling over. I'm sticking with carpet. I love the look of hardwood floors - at least as they appear in a magazine. But I don't like to clean and don't do it all that often. With 2 cats and a long hair, 100 pound dog I can just picture what ours would look like. I think I'll keep the pets and just change the carpet every few years.


  2. (In case I haven't already mentioned it) I use a wide Swiffer Sweeper (not those itty bitty ones) microfiber cloths (got them in bulk for cheap) with a spray bottle of water and a dab of floor cleaner. It works well, dries quickly, and the spray bottles last a long time.

  3. Anonymous7:32 PM

    Can I recommend the Eureka Envirosteam (or similar steam cleaner)? Fantastic for wood floors, plus it just uses hot steam, so no solution needed. There are pads that come with it, but I've used a bar towel clipped on to the end and it works great and is reusable.
    As a side note - I just realized this is my first comment, but I've been reading your family's blog for a couple of years. As it turns out, what really motivates me isn't BDSM, but cleaning. Hm.

  4. I also have laminate floors...and three dogs. I have a wet jet, but I only used it for spot cleaning. For everything else, I used my mop. For Christmas my son bought me a Shark Steam Mop. I didn't tell him, but I didn't think it would work well. I love it! The pads come off and can be laundered. It plugs into the batteries. It cleans with steam and I was surprised to see that it powers through everything. The yuckiest spots get a little extra boost of steam and they come right up.

    They are a little pricey, but he got mine on black Friday and it was pretty cheap. If you find one on sale it is worth it.

  5. Impish18:14 PM

    I like a microfiber mop. You can buy extra pads (only wash them with other microfiber cloths), and wash with whatever you want...even water works well a lot of the time with them.
    Yes, the mundane is a relief sometimes, isn't it?

  6. Simple. Absolutely. That's the best. I can't get Rose even to use a vacuum cleaner, she sweeps with a brush locally made from rice stalks and a bamboo handle about 24 inches long, you bend down and rest the other hand on your back. Can you picture it? Most everyone uses them here.
    Our floors are nothing fancy, concrete skimmed with red cement 20 years ago and never improved since. We have dogs and cats in the house but we leave our footwear at the door (easy cos mostly we wear flip-flops or bare feet outside.) When one of the dogs vomits or urinates on the floor, a bowl of water and cloth do the clean-up job effectively.

    By the way very glad to hear news of Tom in your last post Sue.


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