Good Question: Greener Swiffer?

Good Question: Greener Swiffer?

Jonathan B.
Aug 9, 2007

Just this morning, AT:Green Home reader Shanalee wrote in:

I have 2 cats and a dog. I Swiffer probably 3 or 4 times a week... that's a LOT of Swiffer refills! Any green alternatives?

Dear Shanalee,
By our calculations, you are spending about $1 per week, or $52 per year, on Swiffer refills, which means that over the next 5 years, you'll spend upwards of $250 on something you'll throw away.
Your email hinted that you are aware that Swiffer refills are not biodegradable, so it's not just a matter of money.
Here are 3 ideas for you, in increasing order of cost:

Option 1: An old-fashioned dust mop, like this one from Bona. (We've blogged Bona before over at AT:Chicago, with links to places to purchase aside from Amazon.) Because you clean so often, you should buy a bunch—on our laundry cycle it would take 8—and just toss them in the washing machine. Total cost: about $63.

Option 2: Add to dust mop: The Furminator. PT Barnum-style website aside, our extremely neat friends with pets swear by this pet shedding brush. Cost: around $50 for the large, plus a couple dust mops; it eliminates almost all of the shedding, but you'll still find a few stray pet hairs.

Option 3: If you're lazy (or is it realistic?) like us, grooming your pet every couple days just doesn't happen, which makes this last option the most appealing to us. At $300 and up, the new Roomba for Pets is certainly the most expensive option, and you'll still need to empty the dust bin, but the idea of a fur-free house with almost no work is really appealing to us.

AT:Green Home readers with pets: what's your advice? Has anyone tried the Roomba for Pets? Previous Roombas had a reputation for choking on pet hair...

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