Sustainability made simple

4 Swiffer Alternatives That Are Eco-Friendly

swiffer alternatives
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Skitterphoto

The Swiffer WetJet is very convenient, but it uses wasteful single-use cleaning cloths and relies on a chemical filled cleaning solution. Read more to find out about more sustainable Swiffer alternatives.

The Swiffer WetJet became popular because it’s lightweight and easier to use than conventional mops. It is also convenient to store and very affordable. However, Swiffers and similar products rely on single-use cleaning pads which are not only wasteful, but take a toll on the environment over time. The cloths are made of polyester fabric, which is not biodegradable, and the cleaning solution used in the WetJet contains concerning chemical ingredients. Many cleaning solutions use fragrance chemicals which carry phthalates and asthmagens. These chemicals can lead to sinus problems, asthma attacks, headaches, loss of coordination, respiratory problems and ear, nose and throat irritation.

The ingredients used are not only bad for your health, but they are not at all necessary to clean your home. All you really need is some liquid Castile soap, vinegar and water. Thankfully, there are several sustainable Swiffer alternatives which are just as easy and convenient to use.

1. Swiffer Alternative: Spray Mop

Using a spray mop as a swiffer alternative will help keep floors clean.
Using a spray mop as a swiffer alternative will help keep floors clean.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / midascode)

Spray mops are very similar to Swiffers, and can be used on most types of flooring including hardwood and laminate. They are convenient to use as you don’t need a bucket or to constantly wring out your mop. What makes it a great Swiffer alternative is that you can control the ingredients used in your cleaning solution since they come with with refillable water bottles. You can fill it up with a homemade, non-toxic cleaning solution and clean your home with confidence.

In addition, you can cut down on waste by using machine washable mop pads so you can reuse them. The Libman Freedom Kit Spray Mop (available on Amazon**) is an example of a Swiffer alternative spray mop that allows you to choose your own cleaning solution. The downside of these is that the mop pads are microfiber, which is not ideal for the environment, as they release microplastics into the waterways if made of synthetic fibres. You need to learn how to clean a microfiber cloth properly to limit your impact. 

2. Reusable Pads for Your Swiffer Mop

You can use reusable cleaning pads on floor and wall tiling as well.
You can use reusable cleaning pads on floor and wall tiling as well.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / jessebridgewater)

If you already have a Swiffer and don’t want to buy a new mop, you may want to consider getting Swiffer compatible reusable cleaning pads. This will allow you to cut down on waste by avoiding the single-use cleaning cloths. The reusable pads don’t need to change anything about the way you use your Swiffer. They can be used wet or dry, and on almost all types of flooring. The only difference is that when you’re done cleaning, you toss them in the laundry instead of the trash. There are many different types of reusable cloths available, however terrycloth or cotton options are best from an environmental standpoint. If you don’t want to make your own, check out product listings on Etsy to help support local businesses like CitrusDesigns, SagedHome, or DesignsJus4U2. Another alternative is Juniperseed Mercantile, a small Colorado run business dedicated to creating sustainable alternatives to disposable cleaning and cosmetics products. 

In order to successfully use reusable pads as a Swiffer alternative, you’ll have to make your own cleaning solution and spray it on the floor as you mop, since Swiffer products are made to only be compatible with their own brand. 

3. Steam Mop: A Swiffer Alternative That Uses Water

Steam mops can even be used on sofas and carpets.
Steam mops can even be used on sofas and carpets.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / BUMIPUTRA)

Steam mops are great because they require nothing but water and a bit of electricity. They disinfect your floor by using extremely hot steam which kills germs and bacteria, and cleans away dirt. This makes steam mops easy and convenient to use. You don’t even need to make your own cleaning solution – simply fill up the water tank, and attach the reusable cleaning pad. 

Steam mops are perhaps even more convenient than Swiffers because they work on furniture and carpet, in addition to various types of hard flooring. They do require a bit of upfront investment, however they pay off in the long run as they are long lasting, and have reusable cleaning pads. Bissell is a well known brand for steam mops, and their Powerfresh Slim Steam mop (available on Amazon**) makes a great Swiffer alternative. 

4. Using Old Textiles as a Swiffer Substitute

Check around your house for an old kitchen towel which can be used as a Swiffer WetJet alternative.
Check around your house for an old kitchen towel which can be used as a Swiffer WetJet alternative.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / monicore)

The easiest, most sustainable Swiffer alternative is to use old textiles you have at home as the mop pad. Simply wrap the towel around your Swiffer head, fasten with a rubber band or hair tie, and proceed to use your Swiffer as usual. When you’re done, toss the towel into the laundry basket. If you don’t have an old towel or rag, you can even look in your closet for old clothes

Just like the reusable cloths, this helps cut down on waste. You can use a regular towel wet or dry, and clean your home easily without getting down on your hands and knees. Using an all natural cotton towel is also preferable to microfiber cloths. Plus, you can store a homemade cleaning solution in a reusable container, and soak the towels in it before using – just like the convenience of a Swiffer WetJet. 

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