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
Visigothsvisitors 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.