I don’t enjoy cleaning. In fact, I prefer carpet in the home because my hardwoods and tile show every cat hair and crumb that touches the ground. On top of that, I see streaks of dirt, dried water droplets, and splatters of coffee. Some rooms are better off without carpet: bathrooms and kitchens in particular. This is mostly because we want these areas to be disinfected and germ-free (something of which the bathroom and kitchen see a lot).
I’ve been through many types of mops and cleaning products to clean these aggravating floors. One product I have spent plenty of time with is a Swiffer. But with cats who use litter pans walking on the floors and meat juice dropping to the ground when making meatballs, I need to know that my floors are being disinfected. Under the right conditions, a Swiffer can do that!
First, I need to explain to you why a Swiffer is not always great at disinfecting and what the product is. Then, I want to get to the nuts and bolts on how it can be a proper germ killer.
What Is a Swiffer?
The Swiffer first came on the market in 1999. That means it has been a staple in homes for over 20 years. Since its creation, it has expanded to include dusters and rug cleaners to make home cleaning much easier. The great innovation of the Swiffer brand is the Trap & Lock Technology used to gather and keep dirt in the cloths. The Trap & Lock Technology is created with a special fiber system that attracts dust and hair, trapping it inside the fibers rather than pushing it around. Many other cleaning companies have since adopted this technology for better products, like paper towels.
The original Swiffer cloths are dry and are made of simple materials, like polyester fibers, that create static cling for dirt. These dry rags are not naturally disinfecting. They will pick up debris from the floor, but you’re leaving all germs behind in those sticky messes and pawprints.
Germ Killing Capabilities
If you want to clean the floor properly, Swiffer has more than just dry, static cloths. Swiffer also sells wet mop cloths. While these are not antibacterial, they do help to pick up sticky, dirty messes. Once you’ve cleaned the floor, you’ll see the dirt on the bottom of the pad. Some of these pads include a Magic Eraser strip to help scuff up dried on messes. The pad is not reusable, so once you’ve cleaned, pull the rag off the Swiffer notches and toss it in the trash.
Another option you’ll want to consider for disinfecting is the Swiffer Wetjet. This offshoot from the original Swiffer has a bottle of solution that connects to the stick of the Swiffer and sprays with the touch of a button. The disposable pads are thinner than the original Swiffers but are more absorbent.
There are many kinds of Wetjet solutions available on the market. The good news is that some of these solutions are marketed as antibacterial, which claim to kill 99.9% of germs on your floors. A common option is the Swiffer Wetjet Antibacterial Floor Cleaner (it’s right in the name) with citrus-scented Febreze. Fans of this product boast about the smell that remains behind after mopping. Of course, killing germs is the real benefit.
While the Swiffer is the concept of this article, there are options for mixing and matching products with the Swiffer stick. For instance, Clorox sells wet mopping cloths. Clorox, which is well-known for selling kill-everything bleach, uses the same products in the mopping cloths that they use in all other disinfecting wipes.
You may have heard about shortages during the Covid-19 pandemic since the brand is so well known for killing germs. These cloths can be attached to the base of the Swiffer just like the Swiffer wet wipes. These can then be tossed in the garbage once you’re done cleaning to get all germs and dirt out of your home.
Along this same train of thought, many websites teach you how to make your own antibacterial wipes. The best part of this is that they are eco- and budget-friendly. These are great because you’ll know everything that goes into them. You can also control the scents you choose to use, so long as you do not move away from the basic antibacterial cleaning agents.
So, why are these eco- and budget-friendly? Well, rather than use throwaway paper towels and pads, you’ll use old rags and towels that will be soaked in a homemade solution. Once these rags are dirty, simply toss them in the laundry to clean them and soak them for another cleaning cycle.
Most of these recipes suggest using a mix of rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, and dishwashing liquid. On top of these, many use tea tree oil since it is naturally antibacterial. This provides a clean, minty smell that is distinct to tea tree essential oils. However, you can also include other essential oils, like orange, lemon, grapefruit, jasmine, or evergreen to produce a pleasant smell for your home. With so many options, you’ll love making your own disinfecting pads for your Swiffer.