Those innovative folks at Proctor & Gamble have been making the original Swiffer dust cloths for a few years now. I recognized them as a good thing immediately but they do have their limitations, designed, as they are, to work primarily with the mop for dry mopping floors.
Recommend this product?
When I saw the first ads for the new Swiffer Dusters I was intrigued. They actually appear to work on TV. However, as we all know, that is no guarantee they will work at home. Who among us has not been suckered in by some miracle product demonstrated on an infomercial only to be sorely disappointed by reality? Its ok, we all make mistakes, even Dragons. I, myself, was once conned into buying Epilstop, possibly the most expensive depilatory know to woman. And one that does not work any differently or better than Nair or Neet!
But I digress. The topic is Swiffer Dusters, and a very fine duster they are!
WE HAVE FOUND THE ENEMY AND IT IS DUST!
Dust is, alas, ubiquitous in our world. No matter how tightly the windows are closed it still creeps in and leaves its dull film on everything. It is especially annoying if you are of an acquisitive bent and your home is full of accessories. Dragons do tend to acquire impressive hoards and most of what this Dragon has acquired is not enhanced by a coating of dust.
Consequently, I am always looking for something that will make the dust vanish, not just suspend it in the air column so that it can settle back down as soon as I turn away. Most dust rags, feather dusters, pelt dusters, and so called magic dusters simply set the dust in motion, removing very little.
Dust cloths that come with a static charge seem to work fairly well. You can tell the dust clings to them because they get dirty and need to be washed or replaced frequently. The original Swiffer cloths fall into this category and work very well. However, when it comes to really intricate bit and bobs and getting under the electronics and behind the books, they dont perform as well.
OUR BEST ALLY IN THE WAR ON DUST
No so with the nifty little Swiffer Dusters! They have a short handle that is flat and a business end that is endlessly puffy and adsorbs and holds all dry dust particles that touch it.
Swiffer Dusters come in a bright yellow box that contains five dusters and a handle. The handle consists of two pieces of lightweight blue plastic that, when assembled, measure just under 11 inches long. To use, one jams the two ends together until they click into place. The result should look like a two-pronged spatula if you did it right. The Swiffer Duster cloth goes on the prongs, which fit snugly into two narrow pockets on the duster cloth.
Dont bother trying to use the duster cloth without the handle; it simply wont give satisfactory results.
After slipping the Swiffer Duster onto the handle, give the whole thing several hard shakes and the cloth will fluff out, ready to adsorb dust particles (this is where the handle will fall apart if it is defective or you did not snap it together correctly). The duster material is very soft and can be pushed under TV sets, computers, into tiny crevices on porcelain, behind books, etc., etc. Just about anywhere dust accumulates, this little dandy will roust it out and glom onto it with a death grip.
It is especially nice for dusting oil paintings and their frames because the Swiffer Duster material does not shred and leave tiny bits of itself behind. It is also very gentle and, so far, I have not broken anything fragile while going after the dust.
THIS DRAGONS EXPERIENCE - A SMALL QUIBBLE
I managed to find a box of Swiffer Dusters that contained a defective handle. Although it made a distinct click when I pushed the two pieces together, it fell apart when shaken and during dusting. I tried repeatedly to get the parts to bond and finally resorted to duct tape. A call to the Proctor & Gamble consumer info line (800-214-8734) resulted in the promise of a coupon for a new box of Swiffer Dusters and, a few days later, an invitation to serve on a Proctor & Gamble consumer panel to test new products. They also requested that I return the defective handle and assured my compliance by sending me a postage-paid envelope and another free box of Swiffer Dusters.
TO GET THE BEST RESULTS
Swiffer Dusters do not benefit from the use of any additional cleaning products. Leave the Endust or Pledge in the cupboard, they will only ruin the Swiffer Duster and make you mad. This product is designed to be used DRY so dont get it wet either intentionally or by accident.
Do not use on hot surfaces. No, I dont know how hot is hot. All the box says, in English, French, and Spanish, is to only use on cooled surfaces. Perhaps heat removes the electrostatic charge that attracts and holds the dust particles or perhaps the fibers melt above a certain temperature.
The box notes suggest that you keep Swiffer Dusters out of the reach of children and pets. Our cats have not shown any interest in the Swiffer Duster to date. However, I can see where it might cause them gastric distress if ingested. There is no reason to believe that Swiffer Dusters contain toxic substances; there is no poison control information on the box as there would be if the things were actually poisonous. Feather dusters are not good for animals or children either, not because they are toxic but because the ribs of the feathers can perforate internal organs. Swiffer Dusters would be more likely to lodge in the throat and cause choking, but you get the idea. Proctor & Gamble has been to court too many times to be taking anymore chances and who can blame them.
A FRUGAL DRAGONS TIP FOR MAXIMUM DUST ADSORPTION
My only gripe with Swiffer Dusters is their high cost, close to a $1.00 each, if you dont have a coupon. If your home is a dust magnet, this can really add up so getting as much dust as possible into each cloth is essential.
As you are dusting you will begin to notice that the leading end of the Swiffer Duster is becoming soiled while the part near your hand is still relatively clean. When you think the dirty part is as full of dust as it can get, simply pull the Swiffer Duster off the handle and reverse it. Now you can continue dusting until both ends are filthy. Proctor & Gamble would prefer that you discard the cloth before both ends are used up, so they dont suggest this trick on the box. They dont suggest turning over the Swiffer cloth on your mop either, but that works great too.
A WORD ABOUT REFILLS
Currently the Swiffer Duster is only sold in a box of five with a handle. There are no refill packages available. When I spoke with the Proctor & Gamble representative, she indicated that they will probably introduce one eventually. Frankly, I dont see how this will result in much of a savings for consumers and told her so. The handle is cheap and not particularly durable. I would just as soon get a new one with each new box of Swiffer Duster. It is not like the Swiffer Mop, which retails for about $14.00 and is not disposable or the Swiffer Wetjet at $24.95.
A WORD ABOUT COUPONS
You can get a coupon worth one dollar off the purchase price of a box of Swiffer Duster by calling 877-780-6301. An electronic voice will ask for your phone number and then tell you your address (they are using a reverse directory to detect fraud). You will be told that you can only have one coupon per household and they will know if you call back again and try to use your dedicated computer or fax line.
There is also a Swiffer web site and they are once again offering a $5.00 coupon off the Wetjet mop. Visit www.swiffer.com and check this out.
© 2003 Pamela Matlack Klein
Read all comments (16)