I was using something a bit more eco-friendly like the Method oMop. I had one and liked it, but it cracked…note I tend to be a bit overzealous when it comes to cleaning my floors. I bought a similar model from Mr. Clean and it served my needs perfectly until we moved into an old farmhouse with white, textured, vintagish laminate tiles in the kitchen. In order to keep these floors clean, I was mopping easily 3 times daily. Needless to say, I fell behind. Washing the absorbent pad became not so eco-friendly when i had to do it everyday. That’s a lot of extra water! So, short of it is, I bought a Swiffer Wet Jet. Its been fantastic! I can clean my floors in half the time. The starter kit was only $19.99 at Target and it came with a small bottle of cleaning solution and 2 absorbent, disposable pads. This set up got me through exactly 2 days of full house mopping (we have wood laminate in the rest of the house). I knew the starter kit wouldn’t last long and the prices of the refills can be a bit daunting. The pads run just over a buck a piece, and the solution runs about $3.00 a bottle. So at a half bottle and one pad a day we are talking $2.50 per use (in my house anyways). I picked up a knock off pinesol. It is anti-bacterial which is fantastic for toddlers, and while it lacks the fresh open window scent of the name brand cleaner, it is not bad smelling or overwhelming in the strength i need it. It was $2.00 for a large bottle, of which I only need 2 tablespoons to refill the swiffer bottle*. Let’s just say, i won’t need to buy it again for 6 months or so, now we are talking pennies per use, much better. There is, of course, the trick to refilling the specially designed swiffer bottle. Have you every tried one of those snap and click toddler sippy cups? They are deathly difficult to get open, which is the appeal, I suppose. I fought with one of them for a full day before another mom tipped me off. Run hot water over closed lid a minute or two. It changes the sizes and snap, it opens. Same was true for the swiffer bottle. I did have to use rubber gloves to twist it open, but my arms are not my strong suit, so it could just be me. So there you have it, I just brought my daily usage cost roughly in half! I’m still thinking there’s got to be a way to make my own reusable swiffer pads cheaply. I’ll let you know if I make any progress.
*be wary of products that have to have a special cleaner. Especially with floor cleaners, the concentrate makes big difference in how well it works. If it is two strong, it will be ever so slightly sticky and make frequent re-usage necessary. It is not a bad idea to try diluting your own at home to find a good balance for your floor vs. traffic.