Save on the cost of Swiffer pads

Save on the cost of Swiffer pads

There’s no need to drag out your full-sized upright or canister vacuum for every little cleanup job. Our labs are just finishing up tests of two sweeper/vacs, the Dyson Hard DC56 ($ 330) and the Swiffer Sweeper/Vac ($ 40), which combine a wet or dry sweeping cloth with a light-duty cordless vacuum. But once you’ve used even the standard Swiffer Sweeper, one thing hits you—the cost of replacement pads, which run 30 to 60 cents each. Some consumers have found creative ways to save on the cost of the Swiffer pads.

As our sibling website the Consumerist reports, there are plenty of other items you can use instead of the actual Swiffer pads, including pads you can knit or sew together, microfiber cloth, paper towels, old socks, cloth diapers, worn washcloths, and old clothes—in other words, any washable fabric. Someone even passed along the suggestion to try washing Swiffer pads.

But some flooring woes need more TLC than a dry or wet cloth can provide. Here’s how to clean common stains and messes.

White ring marks on wood. Blot with an absorbent cloth, wipe with a damp cloth to help dissolve the stain, and dry with a soft cloth. If the stain remains, apply a little nongel toothpaste, or liquid or cream car polish, rubbing with the grain. Wipe with a dry cloth and polish, if needed.

Gum and wax. On wood, cover the stain with a sealed ice pack to make it brittle enough to break off in pieces. Do the same on plastic laminate, vinyl, or linoleum, but be especially careful when scraping it off (try a plastic scraper or credit card). Finish the job on any flooring by wiping the area clean with a damp cloth to remove any residue.

Oil, paint, marker, lipstick, ink, and tar. On vinyl, use a clean cloth dampened with warm water and detergent; on wood and plastic laminates, use some nail-polish remover.
Avoid using abrasive cleaners, steel wool, and heavy scouring on any flooring.

In the coming weeks we’ll be reporting on the results of our face-off between the Dyson Hard DC56 and the Swiffer Sweeper/Vac. In the meantime, check out the full results of our tests of upright, canister, small, and robotic vacuums.

—Ed Perratore

Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers or sponsors on this website. Copyright © 2007-2013 Consumers Union of U.S.

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