Mary Hunt

Mary Hunt

If you own a Swiffer WetJet Spray Mop, chances are you absolutely love it.

But let me guess: You’re not wild about how expensive it is to buy the refills — the cleaning solution and disposable cleaning pads. Read on for everything you need to know about Swiffer WetJet refills!

Even more annoying, to the WetJet manufacturer, “refill” means throwing out the empty dispenser bottle entirely and having to purchase the refill liquid in a new bottle.

And just try to pry the lid off an empty bottle to refill it yourself. That thing is impossible to get off without destroying it, and yes, I speak from experience. And those refill bottles can be as much as $7.50 each. And the disposable pads? At least 50 cents each — and that’s on a good (sale) day.

Well, you can forget all that bad news because I’ve learned how to get that bottle open, making it totally reusable (and ensuring it won’t leak), and I’ve learned how to save money making my own Swiffer solution and reusable cleaning pads, too.

How to open the Swiffer Wetjet bottle

First, let’s get that empty WetJet solution bottle open in order to refill and recycle it.

Set a pan of water on the stove, and bring it to a boil. Leave the pan on the stove, but turn off the burner.

Carefully hold your empty Swiffer WetJet bottle upside down, and dunk it into the water until the whole cap and just a little bit of the bottle are submerged.

Hold it there for up to 90 seconds.

Using a hot pad holder, grip and twist the lid, and it will come right off.

The hot water softens the tiny plastic nubs that hold that lid on for dear life, just enough to let you twist it off without damage.

(Don’t try to cut those nubs off to make it easier next time; that will make it leak like a sieve!)

Using a funnel, pour your homemade refill solution (below) into the bottle, and reapply the lid. You’re good to go.

Wood and laminate refill solution

1 part alcohol (isopropyl, denatured, plain vodka, gin)

4 parts distilled water

Few drops Blue Dawn

Examples: 1/4 cup alcohol, 1 cup distilled water, 2 drops Blue Dawn OR 1 cup alcohol, 4 cups distilled water, 8 drops Blue Dawn. See how that works?

Pour all ingredients into a bucket or other container. Mix thoroughly, and using a funnel, pour the mixture into the recycled Swiffer WetJet container.

Alcohol, a common disinfectant, is a fantastic cleaning product. Try rubbing alcohol (either 70% or 91% will work), denatured alcohol, gin or plain vodka.

The great thing about alcohol as a cleaning agent is that, like water, it has a nearly neutral pH — neither acidic nor alkaline. And it helps to dry the floor quickly. This makes it the perfect ingredient in your homemade cleaner to not only clean but also protect and preserve beautifully finished wood and laminate floors.

Tile and vinyl refill solution

4 cups hot water

1 cup lemon juice

3 cups white vinegar

1 teaspoon Blue Dawn dishwashing liquid

Pour all ingredients into a bucket or other large container. Mix thoroughly, and using a funnel, pour the mixture into the recycled Swiffer WetJet container.

Swiffer Wetjet pads

You can easily make your own reusable WetJet pads.

Just cut a microfiber cloth or bath towel into rectangles. Use the Swiffer mop head as a guide to gauge the correct size. Give it about 1=1/2 inches of overlap on the long sides so you can tuck the ends of the cloth into the Swiffer mop cloth holder.

Another idea is to use a fuzzy sock. Stretch it over the mop head as if it were a big foot. Works like a charm.

After using the cloth (or sock), just throw it in the washing machine with your other cleaning rags.

Mary Hunt writes this column for Creators Syndicate. She is the founder of www.EverydayCheapskate.com, a lifestyle blog, and the author of “Debt-Proof Living. Submit comments or tips or address questions on her website. She will answer questions of general interest via this column, but letters cannot be answered individually.

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