Non-Toxic, Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Swiffers
Sep 2, 2021Danielle RamosHome
Or convert the Swiffer you already have into a non-toxic, planet-friendly option
Who hasn’t had a Swiffer before? The promise of an easy-to-use and affordable sweeping, mopping and dusting solution is hard to say no to! While Swiffer products are quite convenient and user friendly, have you ever thought about how much trash those single-use pads generate and what toxic chemicals might be used in their cleaning solutions? Well we’re here to give you the low down. If you already have a Swiffer, we have some tips on how to use your Swiffer in a more environmentally conscious way with non-toxic ingredients. And if you don’t have one, but want some just as convenient recommendations on mopping and dusting we have you covered too.
Why Swiffers Are not Environmentally Friendly or Toxic Free
Ever take a big whiff when you bust open your new package of refillable Swiffer wet pads? Well, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but those flowery and attractive smells contain
fragrances and other harmful ingredients, which often carry phthalates, asthmagens (1) and other chemicals of concern. When these fragrance chemicals vaporize into your household, they can trigger asthma attacks, and aggravate sinus conditions; they can disrupt hormones, cause headaches, eyes, nose and throat irritation, and produce neurotoxic symptoms, like loss of coordination, and forgetfulness (2).
Other ingredients in Swiffer products have also been found to aid in developing resistance to antibiotics over time (3). This means that germs like bacteria and fungi start building the capacity to defeat the drugs that are designed to kill them. When this happens, this can require extended hospital stays, more follow-up visits to the doctor, and other costly and toxic treatment alternatives (4). It’s not just humans that are impacted either, these products are also very toxic to aquatic animals (5,6). Makes us think twice about using them all around the house!
Not only is it a good idea to steer clear of these chemicals, but can we talk about the trash? Easy disposal of these toxic, non-biodegradable products, like the refill pads, has resulted in an exorbitant amount of unnecessary waste and has nearly destroyed our environment (7). Refillable Swiffer pads are made from polyester which is derived from fossil fuels (8), and are contributing to the degradation of our ecosystems and wildlife (9). These persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are harmful toxins that will continue to corrode our environment for centuries, as they occupy landfills and slowly leak toxins into soil and water over time (9). What a mess!
The good news is that there are simple alternative methods you can start using that are more protective of our health more environmentally friendly. Plus, since you don’t have to purchase refill pads, they are great for your budget too. There are even easy hacks to turn the Swiffer product you already have into a non-toxic option.
How to Make Your Swiffer Non-Toxic and Environmentally Friendly
Get a reusable washable microfiber pad and ditch the single-use ones. Microfibers are extremely effective at capturing germs and small particles (10). These microfiber mop pads work for both the Swiffer sweepers and WetJet. Here are some we like:
Swiffer Sweeper Compatible Reusable Pads
Swiffer Wet Jet Compatible Reusable Pads
Just throw these reusable option into the washer after you’re done using it and it’s ready to be used the next time you need it. And if you want a completely free way to do this, you can even try using an old fuzzy sock and wrap that around the bottom of your WetJet and voila, you’re all ready to start moppin’.
If you have an old washcloth you can also place that into the corners of the holes of your traditional Swiffer to secure the cloth. You’ll want to make sure to dip the cloth into your cleaning solution before you attach it to the mop and/or you can add the cleaning solution to a spray bottle to spray the surface as well.
DIY Your Own Safe and Effective Cleaning Solution
If you’ve got the Swiffer WetJet, make sure the refill bottle is thoroughly cleaned out with soap and water, then go ahead and add your preferred non-toxic cleaning solution. Here are our recommended
non-toxic floor cleaners that are available in stores. But you can also create your own safe and effective floor cleaner with a couple of ingredients you may already have! Here are three options:
- Add ½ tsp of liquid soap to each gallon of water
- Add ½ cup vinegar to every gallon of water
- Add 1 tsp Branch Basics concentrate to every 1 cup of water
When the floors are really dirty use the liquid soap solution to really mop up that grime and dirt. If things have been more chill around the house, use the vinegar solution. We’ve heard that using the vinegar on hardwood floors is not a problem, but you should check what type of finish your floors have, and do a test sample somewhere out of sight just to be sure.
Convenient, Non-toxic, and Budget Friendly Swiffer Alternatives
If you don’t own a Swiffer, bless your heart. Here are our favorite Swiffer alternatives for getting your floor clean.
Spray mops are super convenient and easy to use on all types of floors, including hardwood and laminate flooring. Plus, no need for any buckets or wringing! Just add your washable/reusable microfiber mop pad and pre-made non-toxic floor cleaning solution to the dispenser and you are ready to have at it! When you’re done, throw the reusable mop pad in the laundry machine.
Another green alternative you can use is a steam mop. Steam mops work by heating up the water to really high temperatures inside its chamber and dispensing it as steam, which is then dispersed through a cloth or pad. The steam helps to loosen up the dirt and grime from your floors, and the high temps help to kill germs and bacteria on hard surfaces. No harmful chemicals needed!
Steam mops are typically safe to use on vinyl, ceramic, and porcelain tile floors, but you may want to double check with your flooring brand to make sure using steam won’t void your floor’s warranty. You should also never use steam mops on any unsealed, peeling or unfinished floors, and although manufacturers claim it is safe to do so, use caution with any wood or laminate flooring.
How about a mop that just simply does the work for you? There are now electric mops that are similar to a commercial orbiter floor machine, but made for residential homes. The reusable and washable rotating mop pads clean your floor for you and all you have to do is guide them along the floors. You control the amount of cleaning solution by spraying as you go. To make this a healthy option, ditch the cleaning product that comes with it and use your own pre-made non-toxic floor cleaning product (either DIY or store bought).
Microfiber Mop + Spray Bottle
Our last favorite mop is just a microfiber mop that is very similar to Swiffer, but that has a reusable microfiber mop pad. This mop can swivel in all directions and has an extendable sturdy handle. It can easily clean under furniture and clean baseboards. Pair this mop with a spray bottle that contains your favorite DIY or store bought non-toxic floor cleaner and you’re good to go!
Tags: Clean | Cleaner | Cleaning | Diy | Floors | Mop | Mopping | Swiffer
Some eco-friendly Swiffer alternative mopping options are a Cuban mop, wood and cotton mop, a DIY mop, a steam mop, and a similar mop to a Swiffer but one that is eco-friendly, like the Turbo MicroFiber mop. All these are more sustainable and, in some cases, even cheaper.What can I use instead of a Swiffer? ›
- Spray Mops. Spray mops are super convenient and easy to use on all types of floors, including hardwood and laminate flooring. ...
- Steam Mops. Another green alternative you can use is a steam mop. ...
- Spinning Mop. ...
- Microfiber Mop + Spray Bottle.
Many household items can be harmful to your pets. But Swiffer Sweeper, Swiffer WetJet,Swiffer Duster Heavy Duty,Sweeper Dry refills and the rest of the Swiffer product family are safe for use in households with pets.Do Swiffer dusters have chemicals on them? ›
Swiffer Cloths and Dusters are practically non-toxic.How do you make a Swiffer sustainable? ›
The easiest way to make your own reusable Swiffer pads is by simply using an old washcloth and pushing the fabric into the 4 Swiffer holes to secure. That's it. Avoid using microfiber washcloths or towels since these release microplastics into the waterways when washed.What material is Swiffer made from? ›
Swiffer dry cloths are made of polyester and polypropylene and work well to pick up dust and grime from most surfaces, but so does an old-fashioned wool dust mop. The natural lanolin in wool attracts and holds dust.How do you clean a floor without a Swiffer? ›
To clean, simply mix a quarter cup of mild or pH-neutral soap with water in a bucket. Then grab a microfiber mop that makes quick work of the chore, like Libman Wonder Mop. It's easy to wring out, making it ideal for hardwood floors that work best with a barely damp (not soaking) mop.What cleans floors better than a Swiffer? ›
Overall, microfiber mops have more pros than Swiffer mops. Microfiber mops can be used as a two-in-one to both sweep and mop at the same time. However, a Swiffer mop can typically only clean after the sweeping has already been done.What's the best way to mop a floor? ›
Mop around the edges first, then move to the middle of the floor, using overlapping, figure-eight strokes. When one side of the mop gets dirty, turn the mop over to the clean side. When both sides are dirty, wash the mop in the bucket; otherwise, you'll be spreading dirt around instead of removing it.Is the Swiffer WetJet solution toxic? ›
The product's pads could cause a gastrointestinal blockage if eaten, and a large amount of the cleaning solution could lead to toxicity, but most pets should be smart enough to avoid guzzling the solution. It is safe to use a Swiffer WetJet on your floors and even allow your pet to walk on them before they are dry.
While a Swiffer is a great tool for everyday cleaning (especially if you vacuum first), don't use it if there's a lot of dirt or other debris on your floors. These bigger messes might be a better job for the Swiffer WetJet, or a regular mop or vacuum.Is Swiffer bad for floors? ›
As per the wooden floor repairing experts of a renowned hardwood floor company in Los Angeles, the Swiffer is absolutely safe for prefinished hardwood floors when used with either wet or dry refill cloths.Do Swiffers actually disinfect? ›
Swiffer WetJet Antibacterial solution Kills 99.9% of Bacteria*. This fast-drying, specially made solution dissolves dirt and tough, sticky messes and comes in a fresh citrus scent. This area allows consumers like you to express their own opinions and comments.Do Swiffers actually clean? ›
Of course, Striemer suggests Swiffer dusters but that's because they really do work. They're specifically designed to trap and lock up three times the dust compared to traditional feather dusters.Do Swiffers actually pick up dust? ›
Feather dusters largely stir dust into the air, but Swiffer Duster Heavy Duty excel at picking up and trapping dust and allergens* around the house. The thousands of dirt-locking fibers on Dusters ensure that dust isn't stirred around; it's picked up and locked in for truly exceptional dust capture and removal.How can I make my cleaner eco friendly? ›
For mild cleaning, mix 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 4 to 8 cups hot water in a spray bottle. You can substitute 2 teaspoons of borax for the baking soda. Add a few drops of essential oil to any mixture to give it a fresh scent.What makes for an eco friendly cleaning products? ›
- No phosphates.
- No chlorine.
- No artificial fragrances.
- No artificial colors.
- Biodegradable or recyclable packaging.
- Organically grown ingredients using sustainable farming practices.
Swiffer is partnering with TerraCycle to help reduce waste. TerraCycle accepts all used Swiffer pads, including Sweeper, WetJet, and Duster. Once collected, the Swiffer pads are cleaned and separated by material type. The materials are recycled into raw formats that manufacturers use to make new products.What is the liquid in Swiffer wet mopping cloths? ›
The cleaner in the pads is propylene glycol n-propyl ether. (References 1) The chemical, also known as PnP, is a clear liquid that smells of ether. It mixes completely in water and is primarily used in degreasing and cleaning.Does Swiffer test on animals? ›
Unfortunately, Swiffer allows its products and ingredients to be tested on animals when the law requires it. For those reasons, Swiffer is NOT cruelty-free.
Instead of reusing a mop, you use an old kitchen towel (any small towel will work). Get the towel wet in the sink or a tub of soapy water for a big mess, wring out the excess liquid, and lay it flat on the floor.What is the most hygienic way to clean floors? ›
Vacuum, dust or wipe with a lightly dampened mop – never use soap-based detergents, as they can leave a dull film on the floor, and avoid over-wetting. Don't use wax polish either, as this will make the floor slippery. To remove marks and stains, use a dilute solution of water and vinegar.What can I use on the floor instead of floor cleaner? ›
- Water + Vinegar. The classic household hero, white vinegar, strikes again. ...
- Water + Vinegar + Vegetable Oil. ...
- Water + Vinegar + Dish Soap + Rubbing Alcohol. ...
- Water + Vinegar + Washing Soda. ...
- Water + Vinegar + Olive Oil. ...
- Water + Vinegar + Baking Soda.
Vinyl flooring is probably the easiest to clean out of all the options listed here and also one of the easiest to maintain. Also known as Cushion Floor, vinyl flooring is available at a good price and can take plenty of wear over the years, which is why many will come with a 15 year warrantee.Can I use Dawn dish soap to mop my floors? ›
Mop up dirty vinyl, linoleum, or tile floors.
You can mop these types of floors with a simple solution of one to two tablespoons of Dawn and a gallon of warm water. Your floor will look good in no time!
In addition, dry mopping in some form or another (more on that below) should always be done before wet mopping. If you wet mop before cleaning up loose dirt, you'll end up with a trail of wet sludge following every sweep of your mop.What happens if you don't mop the floor? ›
When debris builds up on the floor over time, they accumulate and can cause tiny scratches in your floor, which might become permanent and eventually become an ugly blemish.Does dry Swiffer leave residue? ›
Use swiffer dry cloth refills on floors and hard-to-reach places above the floor. These swiffer pad refills leave no residue and are safe for wood floors, ceramic and vinyl tile, electronics, and other hard surfaces.Does Swiffer WetJet fluid have bleach? ›
Safe on wood & all finished floors (Do not use on unfinished, oiled, or waxed wooden boards, non-sealed tiles, or carpeted floors because they may be water sensitive). Contains no phosphate, chlorine bleach or ammonia. Sanitizing Cleaner: Pre-mixed, dirt-dissolving, cleaning solution.How often should you Swiffer the house? ›
Sweep often — at least once a week. By sticking to this routine, you can clean your floors before dirt has time to collect on the surface.
For sweeping up dust, pet hair, and other debris, use a dry cloth. Swiffer makes two kinds of dry cloths: Dry Sweeping Cloths and Heavy-Duty Dry Sweeping Cloths.How do you clean hardwood floors naturally? ›
You can use a commercial wood-cleaning product, like Bona or Murphy Oil Soap. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions. You can also make your own cleaner by mixing one part vinegar to 10 parts warm water. Add a few drops of liquid Castile soap.Is mopping wood floors bad? ›
Wet mopping can cause your wood floors to swell
A guiding principle to remember is that water and wood do not mix. Wood flooring can react like a sponge when around water– and get too much liquid it will swell.
Laminate flooring often has a static electricity problem. It helps to use an electrostatic-free cleaner (like Swiffer Dry Cloth refills). Be gentle with dry mops on laminate because too much pressure will cause surface debris to etch the wear layer.Can I use Clorox wipes on my Swiffer? ›
Clorox® Disinfecting Wet Mopping Cloths fit Swiffer® Sweeper and other mopping tools. Plus, they're ultra-textured to help you take on the dirtiest job by trapping 4x more particles, dirt and hair. Chores just got a whole lot easier.Can Swiffer clean mold? ›
If you live in a damp climate, chances are mildew is hiding somewhere in your house. Rather than getting out the ladder and washing high surfaces by hand, reach for your Swiffer: Just dampen the dry pad with a bleach-and-water solution to get the job done right.Is Fabuloso a disinfectant cleaner? ›
Fabuloso® Antibacterial in Lavender Scent is an all-purpose cleaner that cuts through grease, and kills 99.9% of bacteria*. It transforms your home with a fresh, lasting lavender scent, and deodorizes and sanitizes as it cleans†.How often should you mop your floor? ›
But as a rule of thumb, you should mop your floors at least once a week—especially in areas that are more likely to get stains from drips and spills, like the kitchen and bathroom. “Of course, you need to vacuum or sweep the floor before mopping,” explains Leiva.What should I use to clean my kitchen floor? ›
The best way to clean your kitchen floors is with castile soap, an olive-oil-based cleaner that can remove stubborn stains and, when added to warm water, serves as an especially effective cleaner for hardwood and tile floors.What is the best way to dust furniture? ›
Navas recommends you wipe a damp microfiber cloth over the affected surface to collect the stray particles. For a more thorough job, to cover more surface area, or to get to harder-to-reach areas, you can use the dusting tool or hose attachment on your vacuum.
Are Swiffer Products Safe For The Environment? Swiffer products are made from non-biodegradable plastic that utilizes fossil fuels in the manufacturing process. Moreover, the cleaning solution used in their pads are somewhat toxic to the environment. However, some are recyclable.What can I use instead of Swiffer for dusting? ›
Dish towels and cloths
One of the easiest alternatives to Swiffer pads is to just sub in a cloth or dish towel you already have hanging around the house. Like microfibre cloths, dish towels usually also fit into the grippers on the Swiffer Sweeper and can be a good substitute for a mop pad.
The Maids, Merry Maids, MaidPro, and countless other cleaning services agree that microfiber cloths are a must-have for any cleaning arsenal. The small fibers are more effective at grabbing dust and dirt than other cloths, plus they're cleaner than sponges and more sustainable than paper towels.Are Swiffer wet mopping cloths recyclable? ›
Simply download a free shipping label to ship your Swiffer refills to TerraCycle, and we'll recycle it.Is Swiffer Wet Jet recyclable? ›
Swiffer is partnering with TerraCycle to reduce waste. TerraCycle accepts all used Swiffer refills, including Sweeper, WetJet, and Duster. Once collected, the Swiffer pads are cleaned and separated by material type. The materials are recycled into raw formats that manufacturers use to make new products.Is mopping better than Swiffer? ›
Overall, microfiber mops have more pros than Swiffer mops. Microfiber mops can be used as a two-in-one to both sweep and mop at the same time. However, a Swiffer mop can typically only clean after the sweeping has already been done.Do Swiffer dry cloths leave residue? ›
Use swiffer dry cloth refills on floors and hard-to-reach places above the floor. These swiffer pad refills leave no residue and are safe for wood floors, ceramic and vinyl tile, electronics, and other hard surfaces. 32 cloths per pack.Do you use both sides of Swiffer wet pads? ›
FLIP IT UP AND REVERSE IT:
Once you make that first hairy pass on your floors, you can remove the sweeper cloth, shake the loose stuff off and use the other side. Both sides of the Swiffer Sweeper cloth work to attract dust and hair, so why not use both? This trick works on the Swiffer Wet refill pads, too.
Basic DIY Swiffer Solution
Squeeze three drops of a mild dish soap into the bottle and fill it half way with white vinegar. Add distilled water until the bottle is full. Set the cap back over the Swiffer cleaning bottle and shake to combine the ingredients.
These swiffer wetjet pads are washable and reusable, so convenient by machine washable as a routine maintain.
Jugs—From milk jugs to laundry detergent, jugs are good to go for household recycling. Caps and lids, but not squirt tops or pumps, can be put in as well. Make sure they're empty and rinsed. Food trays—Single-serving microwave food trays are a fine addition to your household recycling collection.Can you recycle plastic toilet cleaner bottles? ›
Most of us recycle shampoo and conditioner bottles, but don't forget to recycle items such as: Bathroom cleaners - rinse and replace the trigger spray. Bleach bottles - empty and replace the lid.Do wet Swiffers expire? ›
A: No, they don't expire.