Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Magic Swiffer Trick

Love the convenience of your Swiffer (or similar mop) but hate all the waste and expense?  I have a few tips for you!

I own a Swiffer WetJet (purchased cheaply with coupons a few years ago!) and I love how easy it is to grab and clean up my floors quickly, but I have a confession to make.  My WetJet came in a kit with two cloths and one bottle of solution, and after those supplies were gone, the Swiffer sat unused in my closet for about a year.  Manufacturers put out great coupons for the starter kit, knowing they will get your money on the refills.  I could not bring my thrifty self to spend so much money on those single use cloths that end up in the landfill.

One day during my crochet phase, I came across a pattern for a reusable cotton sleeve to fit the bottom of the mop, and I quickly got to work making a few, which I still use to this day!  The pattern I found was ribbed, so it works even better than the cloths at scrubbing sticky or dried stuff off the floor.  It fits the bottom of the mop like a sock, so you just slip it on and go to town.  It is relatively thick so it can be turned inside out and used again before washing.  When you're done, just toss in the wash and soon you're good to use it again.  I will link to the pattern that I used for my "Swiffer Socks" at the end of this post so everyone else can make one too!  If you search the web, you will find many patterns for both knit and crochet, just be sure to use cotton, I find it more durable, and the nasties can be more easily washed out. And I know mine looks dirty, but I promise it's clean, it has just seen a lot of use!

Now, not to say that I'm a fantastic crochet-er, because I am far from it, but there was a time I couldn't crochet a stitch, so I also have an easy solution that works almost as well as the crocheted cloths.  When my cloths are dirty, I take an old wash rag (anything works!),  fold it to the size of the mop head, and hold it on there with a few rubber bands.  Sometimes the rag flops around a bit, but it's cheap, effective, and reusable, so I can't complain too much.

I'm sure many of you have already discovered the hack for the cloths, but how about the solution?  Once I had my Swiffer slipcovers made up, I started using my mop again (yay!), but soon ran out of the cleaning solution.  For a while, I just sprayed the floor with my homemade cleaner and that worked fine, until I started searching for a way to reuse the bottle that came with the mop.  I came up with many results showing how to melt or drill a hole in the bottle to refill, but then you're left with a hole in the bottle for cleaner to leak out of, which didn't appeal to me considering I have two boys that like to "help" me clean.  Then, I came across this tip, and I have been using my modified bottle ever since! 

Here's how to modify your own WetJet cleaning solution bottle:

You will need
1 empty solution bottle
pan of simmering water
pot holder or towel
scissors or nail clippers
some sort of cleaner to refill the bottle with (I suggest a homemade cleaner suitable for your specific flooring type)

1) Turn the empty bottle upside down and put the cap into the simmering water for 1-2 minutes

2) Take the bottle out of the water and use a towel to twist off the cap, this might take a little force. (Please don't forget the towel, the lid is really hot!)

3) Inside the cap you will find little plastic ridges that grip the bottle making it hard to twist off the cap.  By simmering the cap, you have softened the plastic making it easy to twist off.  You can reheat the lid every time the bottle is empty, or clip those suckers off!  I used a pair of nail clippers, but small sharp scissors would work too.

4) Now just refill the bottle with your cleaner of choice, recap, and get to mopping!

Crochet Swiffer Sock Pattern

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