Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Swiffer Complexity

It's a broom.  Or at least it started out that way.  It works good enough on hard floors, which we have in the kitchen and bathroom.  It's a useful alternative to brooms and mops if you are an apartment dweller.  I decided today was the day we should have one for our place.  The last time I bought a Swiffer, there was only one option.  It's a bit more involved now.

For starters, there are competitors.  When in doubt, go with the original.  In this case they probably all perform about the same, but I say stick with Swiffer because it's been around the longest, so the odds of finding pads for it will be higher than with the competitors.

I went to the store that irritates me to no end during lunch today.  The store is always packed with people who meander through the store slowly and have one or two carts with them.  Aisles are narrow and finding anything is impossible.  It's not a store designed to get you in and out quickly, that's for sure.

All that aside, I had a list.  This was a 20 minute stop, tops.  I found everything else on the list and headed for where I thought the Swiffers would be.  Found them.  Now to pick one.

Wal Mart offered me three Swiffer choices and one decoy Swiffer (more on that at the end).  On the expensive/heavy end, there was the Swiffer WetJet which looks like a regular Swiffer with a slot for you to put a bottle of Swiffer WetJet juice in it so it can squirt that in the path of your disposable Swiffer pad and pretend to be a mop.  Not only did this version take the bottle of Swiffer WetJet and a box of Swiffer pads, but you also needed batteries to power the actual wet _jet_.  Also, it was $35.  A bit high for something considered disposable.

Move up a shelf and I see the the Swiffer Vac.  It plugs in to the wall and recharges itself, but it still uses the Swiffer pads.  It's a vacuum and a broom.  But it can't deal with wet floors.  It was about $25 and I thought it was pretty stupid, so I passed on that.

Now, I like the idea of the Swiffer that can clean wet or dry and even pretend to take the place of a mop because mopping sucks.  But $35 and all the parts for the Swiffer WetJet, come on.  Move up another shelf and I find a Swiffer that looks like the one I bought back when they came out.  It's $12.  Awesome!  But can it do wet and dry floors?

Apparently, yes.  It can take wet pads or dry pads, so you get the sweeper and mopper effect in one $12 item.  Of course, you have to buy the pads, but whatever.  My question is why would you get the Swiffer WetJet?  It's just more expensive, bigger, and takes more disposable parts to operate.  I'm not convinced that any of them clean really well, they just do about an 80% to 90% job and that's good enough for me.  Will mine fall apart and tell me I should get the WetJet?  I hope not.

What about the decoy Swiffer?  They now have a Swiffer Duster, which is in similar packaging with the big Swiffer logo on it, but it's just a duster with a disposable head.  Lame.

We have a Swiffer now and other lazy-people cleaning products.  Aside from the Swiffer, we now have a Mr. Clean Bathroom Cleaning Wand.  I was hoping for the Mr. Clean robot or autowash or something where I can just close the door and it does everything, but we're not quite there yet.  Roomba, I'm counting on you.


david said...

I have a Swiffer Wet Jet. They're really not all that great. I don't think bottle of wet jet junk is anything more than scented water first of all, so you can get the same effect by going over the floor with a spray bottle before swiffering. Also, swiffers don't really work very well wet. Maybe I'm just a horrible slob and try to pick up too much gunk with a swiffer, but I've found that a wet swiffer pad doesn't have very good gunk picking up power like a dry one. It just makes all the dust and dirt wet and pushes it around.

Camille said...


I bought it because it was the most expensive Swiffer out there and I have lots and lots of money. I actually have seven.

Sushi said...

I use a broom plus a regular Swiffer. Broom works well to get big stuff up, like dry cat food the cats like to scatter around. Then I use the dry Swiffer cloths. Those things work fantastic on cat hair. Finally, I use the wet Swiffer cloths to mop. It sounds like a giant pain, but it really only takes about 5-10 minutes. Of course, I don't have a lot of hard floors in the apt, and the Roomba takes care of the rest.

If we get a house in the future that has loads of hard floors, I'm totally getting a Scooba.