Whenever you’re looking for a new cleaner, you’ll often be looking for a product that is as versatile as possible, and one that is able to deal with your everyday cleaning routine, no matter what it involves. You’ll also consider whether any new purchase will be suitable for the type of floors you want to use it on, and how well it will clean them. Price is another big factor when choosing a new cleaner, and generally speaking the more you’re prepared to spend on a product, the longer it’s going to last you, but today I’m going to be taking a look at a system that is fairly inexpensive, and with mop pads that will last you only for one clean.
The Swiffer Sweeper Dry and Wet Floor Mopping and Cleaning Starter Kit is promoted as an all in one mopping system that can be used for both dry and wet cleaning, and it comes complete with one time use dry sweeping cloths and wet mopping cloths that offer you an all round ability to clean, no matter what type of cleaning routine you have. But what advantages are there to buying this sort of starter kit? What are it’s limitations? And is it worth the money? Read on as I find out.
The Swiffer Sweeper Dry and Wet Floor Mopping and Cleaning Starter Kit
Founded in 1999 by Proctor and Gamble, Swiffer are a well known brand these days, and they are also known for their ‘razor and blades’ business model, where the customer will usually purchase a product, but need to continually purchase replacements to make it operational over the full lifespan of the product. Swiffer supply a number of cleaning products that follow this model, including the Swiffer Sweeper, Swiffer Sweep + Vac and the Swiffer Steamboost Steam Mop, but the Swiffer Sweeper was actually their first product.
Originally the Swiffer Sweeper, was designed as a dry cleaner only, suitable for cleaning fine dirt, hair, lint and dust, but in 2001 the company made wet type disposable cloths available for the product too, and doubled it’s functionality. The wet cloths are designed to be cheap and effective mop pads used for wet cleaning, and they have additional scrubbing strips that are designed to be able to remove tough stains and greasy spots.
- Aluminium Sweeper Floor Mop handle in four sections
- Plastic Sweeper Floor Mop Head
- Plastic Sweeper Floor Mop Handle
- 7 x Disposable unscented dry sweeping cloths.
- 3 x Disposable unscented wet mopping cloths,
When it comes to any cleaning product, the durability and life span of your cleaner depends on how you use it, how well it’s been made and how well it’s been constructed. When it comes to mop poles, there are two main materials that they are generally made from, stainless steel, which is rust proof and strong, but also heavy, and aluminium which will be less able to take a heavy strain, but which is super light.
The Swiffer Dry and Wet Sweeper is a lightweight mop that isn’t designed to be a heavy duty cleaning solution to heavily soiled areas, but it is designed to be convenient to clean with, and easy to use without exerting a lot of effort, and for those reasons it has an aluminium handle. The handle comes in sections, which simply click together, and when fully assembled it measures four feet in length. Although this isn’t the longest mop handle available, and it may require some bending in order to use, it is a very lightweight mop, weighing only 1.5 lbs when fully constructed.
One user of 5 foot 5 inches tall found this product too short, another of 6 feet tall found it to be perfectly fine. As someone who is over six feet tall myself, my mop is around four feet long, and it’s long enough for me to use with one hand without bending over significantly, so this lightweight design should be fairly easy to use unless you are particularly tall or wish to avoid bending completely.
Although this mop has the versatility to clean wet or dry, Swiffer do state that excessive pressure on the mop pole may result in it breaking. A few users experienced this happening, so be aware that you shouldn’t expect this to be a miracle cleaner for seriously vigorous cleaning, but if it’s used for the type of light cleaning it’s intended for, there should be no problem with the pole bending or breaking.
The mop does require assembling when you receive it. The mop head simply connects to the pole with a click, and only one or two reviewers of this product found it difficult to put together. A plastic handle clicks on to the top of the aluminium pole, and you attach mop pads to the head by placing the edges into slots on the top of the head after wrapping them around the base of the mop. The mop pads are designed for just one use, and you get ten refills with the starter kit, seven dry, and three wet. I’ll come to their cleaning ability in a while, but with the dry pads, they may be suitable for a few cleans before wearing out, and when they do, they can just be thrown away.
The mop head swivels around for easy cleaning around furniture and in corners, and although one of two reviewers found it to be a little too loose, most were satisfied that it was sturdy enough to use with ease. The mop pole can be adjusted to a more comfortable cleaning angle to easily and conveniently clean under low furniture, and overall most people found the Swiffer Sweeper to be exactly that, convenient and easy to use. Unlike many other mops, the Swiffer Sweeper can also be easily disassembled after use to make storing it in confined spaces possible.
There are over 1,800 reviews of the Swiffer Sweeper Dry and Wet Starter Pack on Amazon, and 82% of them are positive, with either four or five stars. In the vast majority of positive reviews, users stated that this was an exceptionally effecient cleaner, able to deal with everyday cleaning solutions very quickly and with no fuss. 11% of reviews were generally negative, with only one or two stars, and many of the unsatisfied customers noted that the mop pads would not stay fixed to the mop head.
Many dissatisfied users found that even after slotting the pads into place, they would come loose quickly with little effort, but overall most people did not experience this problem. I was able to find several video reviews of this product online, where the process of fixing the mop pads to the head was clearly demonstrated, and it appeared that the mop could be used fairly enthusiastically without them coming loose, as long as they were firmly pushed into the slots that hold them in place.
Does it Clean Well?
But exactly how effective is the Swiffer Sweeper when it comes to both dry and wet cleaning applications? For the vast majority of users, the wet mopping function was fairly impressive. Several users remarked on how much dirt the pads picked up, and the fact that they picked up so much so quickly.
The wet clean disposable pads that Swiffer supply do contain chemicals. They state that when the users hands are exposed for prolonged periods to the pads, they should be washed afterwards, and some users with sensitive skin may experience irritation. Swiffer advise that their mop pads are not suitable for unfinished, waxed or oiled wooden floors, non-sealed tiles or carpeted floors, as they may be water sensitive, but some users did note that the chemicals contained within the pads also made them unsuitable for these types of delicate floor surfaces. One user did note that pads which are thrown away after one use are not the most environmentally friendly cleaning method, and this is true, but this is a mop designed for convenience, and in most cases it achieved that aim.
Most users with tiled floors using the Swiffer Sweeper for light cleaning in their kitchens were highly impressed with this product, a few noted that the pads became so ingrained with dirt that they were forced to use several refills on only one room. When it came to the dry cleaning application, many users, particularly those with dogs, found that the dry pads collected hair and dust extremely efficiently. With both wet and dry cleaning applications, there were a small minority of users who found this product to be fairly inefficient, and not of much use, but for the majority of users needing a quick and convenient product to use on small spots, or for collecting pet hair, the Swiffer Sweeper was more than equal to the task.
Overall, the Swiffer Sweeper was ideal for many users who wanted to clean up a spill, clean a spot or sweep some pet hair, and it was a far more convenient process than getting their vacuum or heavy duty mop out. But for users who expected this product to be able to deal with ground in dirt, greasy floors and serious cleaning applications, the pads were not really enough to do the job. As a light, efficient cleaner for quick cleaning and light dusting, the Swiffer Sweeper is made for the job, but it is limited in what it can achieve.
Cost & Pricing Information
The full Swiffer Sweeper Dry and Wet Starter Pack, with ten replacement mop pads currently costs $22.99 on Amazon.com. This is a reasonably good price for a mop with enough pads to get you started. Ultimately whether you consider this product to be good value for money depends on whether you consider it’s convenience of use to be an important factor. If you’re looking for a mop capable of heavier cleaning, then it may not be the best value product available for you.
Probably one of the biggest ongoing costs of this product is the price of the refills. A variety of sellers on Amazon.com provide Swiffer brand refills in a variety of pack sizes. A pack of 36 wet pads will cost $11.36, while a pack of 52 dry pads cost $11.99. Extra heavy duty dry pads are available for $15.14 for 40, but if the cost of the refills is a big concern to you, there are other options available.
Some customers bought a variety of cloths, including microfiber cloths, which are machine washable and therefore reusable, and as long as a replacement pad is thin enough to slot into the mop head, it has proven to be an effective and cheaper substitute for Swiffer replacements for many users.
One user found that the thicker type of kitchen tissue was thick enough to clean her floor almost as well as the Swiffer replacement pads, providing a particularly low cost alternative, but it all depends on how heavy your required cleaning application is, and how much strain you’re going to be putting on the pads. Overall, as several different types of pads can be used on the simple mop head, this does increase the versatility of the product, enabling it to be used for a number of cleaning situations that the original pad did not cater for.
Overall, although this is in no way a heavy duty cleaner suitable for any kind of deep cleaning or industrial application, it is an effective, versatile, and above all, convenient and quick alternative to using a mop and bucket cleaning system. If you need something that can clean your floor in minutes without a lot of hassle, this may be exactly what you’re looking for, but if you need something that can deal with a lot of greasy stains, and ground in dirt, then the Swiffer Sweeper will probably be inadequate for your needs.
The ability to use replacement pads other than the Swiffer brand ones made exclusively for this product, such as microfiber pads for example, can increase the cleaning ability and versatility of this product, but the relatively low strength of the mop pole will always limit the level of cleaning it can deal with.
To check out the Swiffer Sweeper Dry and Wet Floor Mopping and Cleaning Starter Kit on Amazon.com with all currently available promotions and discounts, click here.
Swiffer Sweeper Dry and Wet Overall – Is It Worth It?
Lightweight, easy to use and convenient
Durable and long-lasting, as long as it's used with care
Highly effective for animal hairs and light cleaning on a variety of sealed surfaces
Not suitable for heavy cleaning or commercial use
Pads are one use only, and will cost more over time
Overall, the majority of users agreed that this was an easy, convenient and quick alternative to using other mops for relatively small spills, spot cleaning and light household cleaning. It's not going to be the right tool for heavy duty cleaning needs, and it's not designed to be, but it did meet with approval from pet owners and users who needed a light cleaning mop for everyday use.