Before Swiffer came along, we had brooms and mops. Those wet and dry pads changed the game, and now, most people wouldn’t even think of keeping a mop bucket on hand. We may have shinier floors now that spot-cleaning is a breeze, but we likely have less money in our pockets, along with more waste. For cost purposes, we’ll focus on the wet pads, and then give a wet/dry alternative option.
Product: Swiffer Sweeper Wet Refill, 24-count (to use with Swiffer Sweeper)
Standard Price: $7.06
Use: Snap the pads into your Swiffer Sweeper, clean your floor, allow to dry, and then toss the cleaning pad.
Annual Cost: Between all-over and spot cleans, you’d likely go through at least four pads a week, or $61.20 each year.
Alternative: Microfiber cloths! You can use them dry for dust, and add a little water and your favorite floor cleaner to replace the wet ones. Not only will you get a much better clean, but you can also toss them in the washing machine when you’re done. Cut them to the same size as a Swiffer pad and you can just snap them in the same way.
If you have pets, then you likely have a lint roller or 12 in your house. Good on furniture, pillows, and bedding, the adhesive sheets collect pet hair in a flash. If you have more than one pet (or a particularly hairy one), you could go through multiple sheets per day, which can add up over time.
Product: Evercare Lint Pic-Up Adhesive Refill, 60-layer (to use with Evercare Lint Roller)
Standard Price: $2.24
Use: Pick up lint, dust, and pet hair with the sticky sheets, then tear off and toss.
Annual Cost: If you use two sheets per day, which is conservative for pet owners, you’ll spend roughly $27.25 over the course of a year.
Alternative: Rubber dish gloves. Seriously. Just put on a glove, run your palm over the fabric you want to clean, and ta da! No more dust or hair.
Who wants to clean a toilet? No one. That’s why disposable toilet brushes are so popular. Just clean and toss. No brush to clean. No mess. It takes about one minute to clean one toilet. Easy peasy. But it’s neither a sustainable choice nor a cheap one.
Product: Clorox Disinfecting Toilet Wand Refills, 20-count (to use with Clorox Toilet Wand)
Standard Price: $8.48
Use: Snap handle into cleaning head, scrub toilet bowl, then toss cleaning head.
Annual cost: If you use two cleaning heads per week, you’ll spend about $44.10 over a 2-month period.
Alternative: The good old-fashioned toilet bowl brush. Just get an attractive cover for it and clean it regularly. Real Simple’s method for toilet brush cleaning is easy.
Alternatives Can Cut $250 From Your Annual Budget
The annual costs for these disposable cleaning products may not seem significant, but if you used every item on this list, you’d be spending almost $250 each year. And we didn’t even add paper towels into that figure.
Any products you can DIY or find reusable replacements for, the better for your wallet and the planet. (Although, we do think the cost for disposable toilet brushes might be worth it, but that may be just us.)