Sunday, July 22, 2012

jailbreaking the Swiffer

I think that the Swiffer WetJet is one of the greatest inventions ever for lazy people who also like to have clean floors. I love mine, and used it all the time...until it ran out of the cleaning liquid. Then I had a problem; not because I was too cheap to buy the refill bottle (though, in truth, i kinda am), but because I was born a blonde and my brain is still operating on that level. My problem: I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to get the cleaner bottle out of the Swiffer. I pulled on that thing, twisted, turned, kicked, smacked, cursed and accosted, and then finally gave up and just bought another bottle of non-Swiffer, non-mind-numbingly complicated floor cleaner.

Damn you, tricky Swiffer. You know I'm bad at puzzles.

(I found out AFTER I got it home that I had to pour the new stuff into a bucket and add water to it before using it. The only issue with that is that I don't own a bucket. I live in an apartment, I don't tote enough things around to justify wasting valuable storage space with an old five gallon bucket of some car washing liquid that I've stolen from Padre. My smart girl solution for this -using the word "smart" with complete and total sarcasm: Pour a little puddle of cleaner on the floor, pour a little puddle of water on top of the cleaner, stir around with the Swiffer, and voila, need for a bucket eliminated. Until you bust your butt on the kitchen floor because it's slicker than snot from the incorrect proportions of soap to water, creating basically just a horizontal slip and slide. Clearly, this "solution" wasn't working. So I came up with a better one: Just quit mopping the floor.)

That solution was working pretty well for me, but then the wonderful world of Pinterest offered me another option, and Sunday afternoon I found myself super bored and searching for anything to do to avoid working out or working on the thesis, so  thought why not. 

The Pinterest link seemed simple enough: In three steps, I could stick it to the Swiffer man, and refill my WetJet with what every I so chose. (Did I mention that I was really, really bored? I'm really not that passionate about my cleaning products. Other than Orange Clorox wipes. Those things are amazingggg.)

1. The first step was to hold the lid of the bottle in boiling water for a minute and a half. That sounded perfectly safe- give the most accident prone human not only a pot of boiling water to hover over for a few minutes, but have her hold a tightly sealed bottle of chemicals and stuff in said water. But, dedicated to the project, and kind of excited about the prospect of creating a small bomb as long as it didn't burn me or my home, I held the bottle in the water for the allotted time.

Just boiling some tightly sealed bottles, no big deal.
Lid- Removed. Success.

2. Surprisingly enough, I survived the boiling process. And it actually worked! The lid that wouldn't even turn at all before came off after I used my super strong Insanity arms. Ok, it actually came off really easily, but whatev. The second step in the process was to use fingernail clippers to trim off the little ridges that those jerks at Swiffer put there so that you can't fill your bottle of cleaner with whatever the hell you choose.

Ok, I do admit that halfway during this process, I was on the verge of giving up and just going to buy a bottle of Swiffer cleaner and taking the victory of finding the button that removes the bottle and going on my way. But, I persevered and finished, mostly since I had already started this blog and taken pictures already and all that crap.

Devil ridges, pre-removal.
3. All that was left to do then refill was the bottle with whatever I wanted. Which presented me with another challenge. The cheapo cleaner said to mix 1/4 cup in a gallon of water. What the hell, Craig, now I have to do math? I quit doing math during the week after I finished the one class my high quality UK education required me to take, so I sure as heck do not do math on Sundays. Lucky for me, Google does math erryday. So I eventually figured it out. Or close enough. I mean, it's floor cleaner, not a cake.  
Yeah, that looks about right.
Then all I had to do was put the bottle back in and Swiffer sweep to my little hearts content. Which, btw, lasted about a minute before the fun ran out. Which in no way should be surprising, as I am the one who was bored enough to boil a Swiffer bottle to begin with.  

And then I mopped myself out of the kitchen and reach of my computer AND water. A real issue.

Overall, it was probably worth the trouble to be able to buy one container of cleaner concentrate that cost less than the Swiffer bottle and keep refilling it up. Oh, Pinterest. You are amazing.

Jailbreaking the Swiffer playlist:
In the Meantime- Spacehog
Back from Cali- Slash/Miles Kennedy
Hang on to This- Days of the New
Lean into the Fall- Mona
Communicator- Bush
Call Me Maybe-  Carly Rae Jepsen (Don't judge me, you know you love it too)
Something in the Way- Nirvana

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