A quick review of the Swiffer cleaning system


The problem? I am lazy.

The circumstances? A downstairs with a laminated wooden floor.

Usually I use either a broom combined with a dustpan to clean the floor, or a vacuum cleaner.

At a time when I spent a lot of time working for the man, leaving me little time to clean, I was curious if buying a Swiffer would save me work.

Let me tell you the punchline first: Swiffer is additional cleaning technology. Use it if you want to increase your workload (for an even cleaner floor), or for a quick sweep of an already fairly clean floor.

So Swiffer is a system that looks like a broom, except that you stick stick a paper towel instead of a brush at the end. Wikipedia says that Swiffer uses the “razor-and-blades business model”, i.e. you pay little for the hardware and lots and lots and lots for the paper towels (pads).

The good news is, Swiffer works. It actually gets a lot of dust off the floor, much more than my broom or vacuum cleaner will. (I am sure the vacuum cleaner works very well, but vacuum cleaners spit out fine dust at about the same rate that they take it in.)

I have tried using generic paper towels instead of the official, expensive product, and those work too, just not as well. If you look at the Swiffer ‘pads’ as they are called, you will notice that they are thicker and more heavily textured than regular paper towels, which explains the difference in effectiveness. The official pads have more surface for dust to cling too.

I am sure there are third party developers who have worked around this.

The other good news is that Swiffering goes fairly fast.

The thing is, Swiffer does little for bigger objects such as tiny stones, nail clippings, hair and so on. In fact, sharp objects get dragged along the floor making a worrisome noise that seems to suggest you’ll end up with scratches.

You can also use wet pads for your kitchen or bathroom floor. They are not nearly as effective as using an old fashioned scrubber, but the pads are heavily perfumed, making your house at least smell clean.

In the end Swiffer replaced neither my broom nor my vacuum cleaner. I still use the system now and again though, typically when Visigoths visitors are at the door and I need a quick sweep.

Since the Swiffer system does seem to work well at the level of fine dust, I could probably recommend it to regular homemakers who wish to take their cleaning to a next level. For that reason alone it gets three stars.

My rating: 3.0 stars

The harvest 2012

I just loooooove Queen’s Day. Don’t ask me to self-analyse why, there are probably some deep-hidden anxieties that show themselves through me rooting through other people’s garbage, and I just don’t want to know. (In my defense: Parson’s Pleasure.)

Larger version behind this link

Shown in this photo is the stuff I bought. Bought is the wrong word. Acquired.

To the left are 8 books I hope to be able to use for Project Gutenberg. To the right are 9 books for myself. I note in passing—I only saw this just now myself—that it’s all mind candy this time. Another one for the shrinks.

Then there are 4 comic books. No, I’ve never read Viz, but it featured large in the computer mags I read as a young geek. Colour me curious.

Finally 4 egg cups (I keep breaking the earthenware ones, the ones shown here are nice and metal), and a shiny metal saucer that I bought mostly to use as a sort of reflector thingie for macro and close-up photography.

I had hoped to find some photo gear this year, but struck out. I had not planned on taking home many books, as a lot of the books I bought last year remain unread till this day. But such are the weird contortions of fate that I actually got more books this year than last.

When I said that ‘bought’ was the wrong word, I meant that almost half of this stuff was found dumpster diving. In fact, we only dumpster-dove a small part of the route we walked earlier this April 30, as we were fairly tired. I am pretty sure that if I limit next year to dumpster diving, I’ll still be a very happy camper.

Hank, my uncle the criminal

Oom Henk

A quick review.

Synopsis: Koen is a law student who, for a reason I missed, pretends Henk de Koning (Hank King), a notorious criminal, is his uncle. Henk forces Koen to start working in an old people’s home to try and get the secret of 12 million euro ransom money out of former, but now demented kidnapper Sjon de Nooyer.

– This is a black comedy, but also a farce.
– The violence is generally of the cartoon type – you never actually see people die, and corpes are often hidden in empty barrels.
– The plot is what it should be. The scripting could have been a lot tighter though – a tear was shed when realising what Tarantino or even Richie could have done with the premise.
– Two thirds in the plot starts to slow to the point that you’ll contemplate switching channels, but the end makes up for it.
– The acting was fine – I was especially impressed with Tobias Nierop who hit some fine notes; the bad notes being forgiven easily for his tenderish age.

You should watch this:
– If you are stuck in a hotel room and there is nothing else on.

You should not watch this:
– If you still have an unseen Game of Thrones episode on your hard disk.

Even shorter review: nice movie, only marred by the fact that the writers did not sit on the script for a year or so.

My rating: 3.0 stars

Dutch trailer with English subs: http://www.imdb.com/video/wab/vi52863769/