I bought into the hype. I had five kids living at home, two of whom were under five and two of whom were teenagers who didn't do much more than eat, sleep, and grumble when they had to do a chore. My only goal in life, at that time, was to be able to do those things around the house that needed to be done quickly and easily. So, I bought into the hype around the Swiffer, and I coveted one. I was pretty well convinced that it would make my floor cleaning chore so much easier and more efficient, and I'm one of those people who needs a clean floor - some people like neat counters, I like clean floors.
My wish was granted, and I was gifted a Swiffer Wet Jet. It takes six AA batteries, some cleaning solution (custom sized to fit the little dispenser ... and not refillable), and little pads that velcro to the bottom of the handle.
I was so excited. I had my Wet Jet, and I was cleaning my floors and life was good.
Until, one day, I realized that my, formerly white, floor was starting to look a little gray. No matter how much cleaning solution I sprayed and how many times I used the Swiffer, the gray was there. I knew it hadn't been there before, and I realized that the Wet Jet wasn't really cleaning the floor. Actually, it was just spreading the dirt around. Instead of getting the dirt off the floor (like a regular mop), it was just distributing it more evenly on the floor, and the dirty "water" (the solution) was drying to the floor and leaving a dull gray appearance.
I didn't like that.
But worse, I started to look, very closely, at the product and what it was costing me, and I realized that I was pretty well being taken to the cleaners ... although my floors were no longer very clean.
And to use the solution, I needed to have batteries. Don't forget the batteries to power the motor that squirted the solution onto the floor.
Between the pads, the solution, and the batteries, I was spending a whole lot of money for dirty floors.
I stopped buying the solution and putting batteries into the swiffer, and I started just getting the pre-wettened pads that were made for the other kind of swiffer (the one without the sprayer). It worked okay, although my floors weren't any cleaner, and I found that I needed to get down on my hands and knees and actually scrub the floor every couple of weeks, using the Siwiffer just for cleaning up the inevitable daily spills from a family of five with young children and a dog.
And then, one day, I thought, "Why?" Why was I spending $4 every two weeks to purchase pre-wettened swiffer pads when a wet rag would do just as well?
In fact, it actually works better than the Swiffer pads, and it's considerably less expensive. I was using up to five pads every time I cleaned the floor, and with the wet rags, I can actually rinse them out when they get too soiled instead of throwing them away.
As long as the handle stays attached to the head, I'll never have to replace my mop. My swiffer "pads" are an old cut-up terry cloth towel ... it used to be white ;). If I want to get fancy, I sprinkle some essential oil, like Tea Tree or Geranium, on the cloth each time I rinse it.
I keep telling myself that I'm going to sew up some better looking swiffer pads, and I have actually seen something like it for sale online, but mostly, I figure why bother. It works just fine, as is, and as with a lot of other things in our culture, there's really no need to get fancy, because fancy may look better, but it doesn't, necessarily, work better. Besides, there are a lot of other things I could (or should) be sewing that aren't so frivolous - and as long as the towel square does the job of cleaning my floors well enough, there's little incentive to spend the energy ... that could be spent doing something really cool ... like harvesting the blue oyster mushrooms and cooking "all-local" beef stroganoff to spoon over homemade egg noodles....
... or bottling the lavendar/chaga kombucha (which is delicious and tastes like a Margarita - so far, it's my favorite).