The majority of mops on the market don’t require four AA batteries to operate effectively, but then most mops are not the Swiffer WetJet. Today we will be taking a look at this battery-powered mop, which is made by the most well-known company to make mops requiring disposable mop heads. Join me on this journey, won’t you?
The WetJet Mop by Swiffer
Procter and Gamble first introduced the Swiffer brand way back in 1999. The first product they launched was the Swiffer Sweeper, which infatuated the trend of the disposable mop and sweeper heads. The WetJet came out in 2002 in the United States. It had a trial run in Belgium and Canada before it was put in place in the American market.
It was marketed on QVC, a shopping channel that appears on cable tv, in the beginning. As is often illustrated in their commercials, Swiffer aims to distinguish themselves from conventional or “old-fashioned” cleaning products. One thing their suite of products all have in common is that they market a starter kit, which includes the reusable “body” of the mop or broom, and enough of the disposable supplies to start your new cleaning routine.
The initial kit for the Swiffer WetJet comes with a few items to get you started:
- 1 power floor spray mop
- 2 original mopping pad refills
- 3 extra power pad refills
- 4 batteries
- 1 500ML bottle of cleaning solution
Once you finish up with the supplies that they include, you can purchase a number of refills depending on your needs. The WetJet-specific pads are available in regular or Extra Power. The regular mopping pads, shown below, are of decent quality. They will hold up against vigorous cleaning without falling apart, but some customers have reported that they have trouble sticking to the mop itself. There are also cheaper alternatives available at the dollar store, but they might not be as well made.
The next thing that they include is the Extra Power mop pad refills. Extra Power seems to refer to a scrubbing strip centered in the middle of the pads have the power of a Magic Eraser – at least according to Swiffer. Check out the picture below to see how it differs from the original mop pads. The company recommends that the Extra Power pads be used with the WetJet cleaning solution for maximum efficiency.
Arguably the most important part of the Swiffer WetJet kit is the cleaning liquid itself. It comes in an unopenable container, which is an annoyance but brilliant on their part. This ensures that you as the customer will need to keep purchasing replacement bottles from them instead of filling it with your cleanser of choice. There are 3 different Multi-purpose Cleaner Solutions offered in different scents, including Febreeze Lavender & Vanilla and Gain Original. The original bottle that comes in the starter kit is not refillable, which is of course not great for the environment.
When you are making an investment in a new cleaning product with disposable elements, you want to make sure that the primary product will hold up to repeated cleanings. This ensures that you are getting your money’s worth from the contraption itself while continuing to purchase the other elements – in this case, the mop pads and the cleaning liquid. So does the WetJet hold up? Let’s take a look.
Once you open up the box, you are responsible for putting the mop together. The lightweight aluminum pole comes in two sections that need to be put together before being attached to the metal piece on the base of the mophead.
There is another plastic piece for the top handle that is bent at a strange angle. This makes for a weak spot after a year or so of use. Many customers have complained that the mop breaks just under the handle, which makes it impossible to use its main attraction – the jets. While using stainless steel may have fixed this issue, it would have made the mop impossibly heavy in conjunction with the jug of cleaning liquid. One possible issue is that the handle won’t fit right into the metal part, and it will twist in your hands as you attempt to control the mop.
Next, the Swiffer WetJet needs a four-pack of batteries just to operate the jets. The box of initial supplies does come with the batteries. It is an expense that can easily add up. I would recommend using rechargeable batteries so there’s at least one less expense you’ll have to keep shelling out money to use this mop.
One thing that gets mentioned many times in user reviews is the fact that the jet functions do not work as they should. As this is the main purpose for purchasing this particular mop, that’s not the best thing to happen. Customers describe the button itself, which is located on the handle, jamming and becoming nonfunctional. Sometimes the sprayers themselves at the bottom of the mop become jammed. A frequent difficulty is that one side will work fine, while the other one just gives out a minimal amount of spray. One particularly awful problem was having the metal parts inside the mop rust and corrode until it became completely unusable.
Does it Clean Well?
One of the first things that Swiffer mentions on its website for the WetJet is that it is safe to use on wood. It is important to note that they specify all finished hardwood floors. It is important to not use the liquid function of this mop on unfinished wood floors as it could cause severe damage. The same thing goes for wood flooring that is waxed or oiled instead of having a solid finish.
This type of mop would also be good for tile or linoleum floors, or even stone or marble. The company recommends either sweeping before use or using a dry pad to go over the floor before using the WetJets. The dry run would handle getting rid of larger particles such as pet hair, dirt, and dust. The rest is supposed to be picked up by the WetJet and it’s absorbent mop pads. While you would think that this would make your floors nice and shiny, many people have complained that the cleaning fluid leaves a filmy residue behind. This kind of defeats the entire purpose of the mop. When addressing the complaints, Swiffer told customers to spray a section of the floor and let it sit for a little bit before mopping it up. While this might be a good suggestion, it would greatly increase the time spent cleaning.
Besides the residue issue, sometimes the mop pads don’t stick to the velcro. You can keep the pad there with pressure, or the company advises soaking the pad in the cleaning fluid before attempting to place it at the bottom of the mop. Both styles of the mop pad have a scrubby element to help deal with more difficult messes. While this might be fine on vinyl or linoleum floor, several customers have reported that it produced scratches or scuff marks on their wood flooring. Finding an alternative pad without the scrubbing strip on it might help fix this problem.
Cost & Pricing Information
When the Swiffer WetJet mop entered the market in 2001, they began sold it on QVC for over $70 for the starter kit. Since then, the price has decreased dramatically. Amazon is currently offering the mop itself and enough supplies to get you started for around $22. Somewhat surprisingly, the next bundle of supplies that you purchase for the mop will cost just as much when you need to fe. A 24 pack of the regular Swiffer WetJet mop pad refills is $11.97 on Amazon, and a two pack of the cleaning solution refills costs $10.44. A cheaper alternative for the supplies may be available elsewhere.
Swiffer WetJet Overall – Is It Worth It?
Can be used on most surfaces
Decent quality for the price
Company offers a money-back guarantee
Supplies can be expensive
Cleaning fluid can leave streaks on floor
Disposable supplies are bad for the environment
The Swiffer WetJet is a decent choice for cleaning floors with tile or linoleum floors, but be careful with the hardwood. The disposable mop pads and refills of the cleaning fluid bottles make the ongoing supplies needed to operate the mop as intended both expensive and bad for the environment.