It feels like there are more Swiffer products every year. I get it. They are convenient and do a good job of cleaning the surfaces they are made to clean.
However, they are not the most environmentally friendly products.
With that in mind, I went searching for eco-friendly products that could directly replace your Swiffer stuff and eco-friendly Swiffer alternatives that you can use instead of Swiffer products.
Eco-Friendly Swiffer Replacements
Maybe you’ve already purchased the main Swiffer product where you attach a cloth or put it in their cleaning solution.
These replacements can help you not continue to buy Swiffer disposable items and chemicals, and save you some money.
Zero Waste Swiffer WetJet Pads
I hate mopping or cleaning floors and the Swiffer Wet Jet was an amazing shift from traditional mopping. It did not, however, go well with my frugal nature to keep buying Swiffer pads for every mopping.
The two main options available specifically to replace the Swiffer mop pads are:
If you want to go the most eco-friendly you cannot go wrong with cotton. The pads come in a variety of styles but most have an easy way to strap the pad on using velcro.
These cotton mop pads are only $10 for a pair and are easy to put on the Wet Jet head. The Walmart brand is the same price for 24 disposable mop pads.
For my family, reusable microfiber cloths have been the way to go. A microfiber pad lasts for a long time and my kids can use them without any problems because of how they slip onto the head.
We opted for this 5-pack of reusable microfiber mop pads just to make sure we always have one available when there is a spill in the kitchen (even when there are three in the washing machine).
They were only $16, meaning they pay for themselves in one and a half 24-packs of the Walmart brand disposable Wet Jet pads.
Swiffer Sweeper Replacement Pads
The Swiffer Sweeper is another reason we opted for the microfiber replacement pads, they can work in both wet and dry conditions.
By purchasing the 5-pack of microfiber pads we always have one clean for any sweeping situation.
The cleaning solution is a big problem with Swiffer products because the plastic bottles are made in such a way as to prevent refilling them. On top of that, chemicals aren’t the most eco-friendly option.
This means we have two problems to solve. How do we get the bottles opened or replaced and what do we put in them once we have access?
Opening the Bottle
I have seen a bunch of people try to get the cap off a Wet Jet bottle but it seems to have as much chance of failure as success (and a possibility of injury, yikes!).
Instead of trying open their caps, it’s easier to make an opening on the other side of the bottle. Find a large drill bit and drill a nice hole in the wide part of the bottle.
I then found a set of rubber stoppers and tried a few until I got one that made a nice seal. Now that we have a bottle we can refill, let’s talk about the cleaning solution.
Eco-Friendly Replacement Swiffer Cleaner
With kids and pets in the house, my wife hates using chemicals in the house so we’ve switched to almost exclusively eco-friendly cleaners.
I wasn’t willing to give up the convenience of a Swiffer for mopping so we scoured the internet for options that could go in the bottle and wouldn’t clog the mop head.
Here we insert the mandatory disclaimer that what you use on your floors is up to your discretion and SavingFreak.com takes no responsibility for any damage (happy now lawyers?!).
There are hundreds of opinions on this. The two I found most interesting are:
Laminate and Hardwood Floors
- 1 part alcohol (plain vodka probably works but I recommend isopropyl)
- 4 parts distilled water
- A couple of drops of Dawn dish soap (the kind they use to clean animals after oil spills)
Make sure to mix these all together before putting them in the bottle.
Works like a charm and cuts through oily grime.
If you are worried about this mixture hurting your hardwood or laminate floors, you can always test a little bit in a corner or behind a piece of furniture.
Vinyl and Tile Floors
- 4 parts hot water
- 3 parts white vinegar
- 1 part lemon juice
- 1/4 part dish liquid
Mix them all together and funnel them into your Swiffer bottle.
You can always opt to use a spray bottle and just bend down and spray the floor ahead of you but that makes more work not less. Not the ideal solution in my mind.
I am a big fan of the Swiffer dusters because it allows my young children to participate in cleaning the house and they love to help.
As of this writing, to get a generic brand of Swiffer Duster refills will cost you right at $7. You can get a machine-washable two-pack of microfiber duster replacements for $15.
That means that the reusable duster will pay for itself in only two purchases of regular refills and you won’t be chucking them into the garbage.
Eco-Friendly Swiffer Alternatives
If you think Swiffer looks great but are worried about your footprint and wallet, these Swiffer alternatives are a great way to get things clean, save money, and be more environmentally friendly.
If you like the Swiffer WetJet but want to avoid all the long-term costs and wasteful disposable pads, several types of mops that are great alternatives.
The WetJet is so popular other manufacturers were bound to get in on the market. The WetJet kit will cost you about $25 and the mop pads cost $11 for 24.
If you are looking for a name brand you trust, then take a look at the Rubbermaid Reveal spray mop. The one we found is $48 and includes:
- 1- mop
- 2 – refillable bottles
- 3 – reusable mop pads
There are off-brand options. This non-branded spray mop is $23 and includes:
- 1- mop
- 1 – refillable bottle
- 3 – washable mop pads
- 1 – scraper
With either option, you will be able to cover the cost of the WetJet in less than three refills, save a bunch on the pads and cleaner in the long run, and have a much more environmentally friendly device.
I didn’t even know what a Cuban mop was until I started to research the best Swiffer alternatives.
It’s a pretty simple idea. Two pieces of wood form a “T” shape. The smaller one works as the mop head and you wrap a cloth around it to work as the mop cloth.
Either way, you save a lot of money long term with reusable clothes and if the mop ever breaks it is completely biodegradable, making it the only 100% plastic-free mop option.
Steam mops are a great alternative and they don’t require any cleaning agents because they work off steam.
The prices on steam mops start at $50 and go up as high as you want to. You will still want to invest in some reusable mop heads
My favorite is this PureSteam mop because it can also detach and be used to steam clothing, furniture, and windows.
While a traditional mop and bucket has stood the test of time for hundreds of years, there have been advancements.
This easy ring mop and bucket has a microfiber head that detaches from the mop handle can be tossed in the washing machine after each use.
Swiffer dusters are a great way to keep the kids from getting dust everywhere and not need the dust sprays that are not good for inside your home.
There are now a ton of microfiber dusters that come in all shapes and sizes and in almost every one of them the cloth part detaches to be put in the wash.
You can always opt for the old-fashioned feather duster. It worked for hundreds of years with very fes complaints.
Swiffer doesn’t have a broom, but their dust mops are very popular. Instead of going the Swiffer route check out the microfiber dust mops that are available.
Once again there is a huge variety so you can find a broom that fits your family’s needs.
Why is Swiffer Bad for the Environment
Swiffer is bad for the environment because it is made with plastic and synthetic materials that are not biodegradable. The single-use pads that are used to clean with Swiffer are also made with these materials, so when they are disposed of, they will sit in landfills for years without decomposing.
In addition, the chemicals in Swiffer’s cleaning solutions are also harmful to the environment. These chemicals can pollute the air and water, and they can also be toxic to wildlife.
Overall, Swiffer is not a very environmentally friendly product. If you are looking for a more sustainable option, many green cleaning products on the market are made with natural ingredients and are biodegradable.
Final Thoughts on Eco-Friendly Swiffer Alternatives
I would say I am not the crunchiest of people when it comes to being eco-friendly, but saving money while having a smaller environmental impact is a win-win in my book.
Which of these options is the best alternative will greatly depend on your family and whether or not you own a few of the Swiffer products.
After spending time figuring out different Swiffer hacks that could save me money in the short term, I ultimately decided that getting the reusable pads and switching out my Swiffer products over time was the best thing for my family.
My wife made the switch to natural cleaning products for us and made me dump most of my multi-purpose cleaners (I may or may not have hid a few). She hates anything that could leave chemical residue in our house.
If you have another way to keep the convenience but create less waste than a Swiffer, leave your best eco-friendly Swiffer alternatives in the comments.