Beating the grime and dirt


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Swiffer owes its success to a “razor and blades'' business model. First, they hook you with a low-priced mop, and soon enough, you’re stuck buying pricey refills for the lifespan of the product. But frugal Redditors have found a way to circumvent this tactic, opting to use their own mop cloths and solution to save as much as 90% on refills.

Use Your Own Pads and Cleaner

Swiffer refills vary in price, but most are around 50 cents per pad. While that’s not crazy expensive, you also have to realize that you’re effectively paying for a heavy-duty paper towel soaked in soap. It’s cheaper — not to mention more sustainable — to attach a paper towel, rag, or washcloth to your mop and provide your own floor cleaner (also DIYable).

If that’s a little too improvised for your taste, third-party companies also sell reusable microfiber mop pads for around $4 a piece. Pair that with a high-quality cleaner like Bona, and you’ve got a sustainable setup that’ll save you money.

Refill a Swiffer WetJet

But maybe you just love everything about the Swiffer WetJet and can’t imagine using a spray bottle and an old rag. That’s fine, but you might as well try and refill the bottle. How, you might ask? 

Well, Redditors have discovered several methods on how to refill a Swiffer WetJet, including:

  • Soak the cap in hot water. Once you’ve softened the plastic, the cap should come off easily.

  • Drill a hole in the bottle and cap it with a rubber stopper or wine cork.

  • Cut and remove the cap’s “lock.”

Gallery: 20 Cleaning Products That Are a Complete Waste of Money

Switch to an O-Cedar or a Classic Mop

If you’re a DIY skeptic and don’t feel like taking a drill to your mop, you can simply purchase a more sustainable, budget-friendly alternative. Some Redditors recommended O-Cedar’s $21 ProMist spray mop, which uses reusable microfiber pads and contains a refillable reservoir. In other words, it’s a Swiffer WetJet that doesn’t force you to buy disposable proprietary refills. 

And then there’s the classic option: an old-fashioned cloth mop. Wirecutter crowned this O-Cedar model as “the best wet mop,” which they say costs as little as 7 cents per cleanup. We're also big fans of the viral O-Cedar spin mop.

The Bottom Line

Swiffer has designed the perfect business model to milk its customers for money. You buy one of the company's cheap mops, and then you’re stuck purchasing its overpriced and wasteful refills. That isn’t to say that you should toss your Swiffer. Go ahead and stick with the WetJet; just be sure to furnish your own pads and refills.

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