Thursday, October 6, 2011

'Frugalizing' the Swiffer, Part 1: How to Refill the Wet Jet

I hate mopping. At least, I used to.

There's always been two options when it came to mopping for me: using a soapy, wet rag (done with the classic push-it-around-with-your-foot method) or with a drippy (and, might I add, gross) sponge mop. So, yeah, it didn't get done as often as maybe it should. Problem is, I'm married to a guy who's a little obsessive about having really clean floors. Sigh.

Now add into the mix a six-month-old baby. He's not crawling yet, but it's not too far off. With that comes extra vacuuming and, you guessed it, more vigilant floor mopping. Double sigh.

A few weeks ago, we were shopping at the local Walmart and we passed a display of Swiffer Wet Jet starter kits. My husband, the aforementioned clean floor fanatic, grabbed one of them. "This would be so much better than what we've got!" (Enter the gross sponge mop.) My instant reaction to it, although I could see how much better it really would be, was, "No way. It seems great now, but then you have to buy the special cleaning pads and their cleaner, which is full of chemicals..." 

Yeah, we got it anyway. As expected, it made cleaning the floors so much easier. Yet part of me, the part that swore off paper towels and that uses vinegar to clean just about everything, still wasn't a fan. That is, until I did some research and found that there are a bunch of Swiffer Wet Jet hacks out there, using all types of methods to make this handy dandy mop more budget-friendly. 

I looked through a few of the ideas, watched a video or two, and I am happy to report that I have found the easiest ways to, as my husband put it, "frugalize" the Swiffer.

Today's post is about refilling the Wet Jet bottle...

Before I even looked anything up, I tried to unscrew the lid so I could refill it. No way. That lid is sealed on tight. Some of the methods I came across involved making holes in the plastic lids, using tiny funnels to fill it, and so on. I get not wanting to pay $8 for cleaning solution, but it seemed like a pain. Then I found this super-easy method:

Fill a small saucepan with enough water to submerge the cap of the bottle and bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, dip the cap into the water (as pictured above) and hold it there for 90 seconds. Heating the cap makes the plastic soft enough that a good, hard twist gets it off. I'd suggest doing this with a dishtowel since the cap will be kind of hot.

Once you get the cap off, you'll see that all along the edge are some little notches/prongs (aka, the things that keep you from getting the lid off in the first place).  You can clip the prongs off easily with a nail clipper. Once the prongs are off, the lids screws on and off without any trouble at all. Refill the bottle with your usual cleaner of choice (hooray for vinegar!). 

Coming soon: Part 2 -- Making Your Own Swiffer Cloth Pads. Seriously easy.

Note: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. 
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