Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Jetting with the Swifter

The other day, I went to visit a friend who recently acquired a brain injury and like me is not eligible for any services because we have the misfortune not to qualify for medicaid or consequently for the brain injury medicaid waiver program or house-cleaning help. Anyone who has ever struggled with damage to their frontal lobe knows that organization, multi-tasking, and motivation all are various shades of difficult to impossible. It is no surprise really that the ability to do housework in any meaningful way resides within executive functions.

Friend is overwhelmed by housework and so I volunteered to mop a bit. She handed me a purple plastic thing called a Swifter Wet Jet (tm). This contraption is a step up in complexity from the Swifter mop (tm) which is a green plastic thing that I have used for several years now and loved. The Swifter mop (tm) is admittedly not designed for rugged cleaning. This Swifter Wet Jet (tm) thingy is.

The overall purpleness pleases me as a purplephiliac. And the stick itself was study. The place where one attaches a sticky pad is wider than the plain green mop. There is also a strip attached to the side which I found to be rather useless. I prefer the strips to be part of the sticky pad myself. At any rate, with button pushing the Swifter Wet Jet (tm) emits a stream of special Swifter Wet Jet (tm) liquid dirt-busting cleaner. I was quickly done with friend's floors. And there was none of the "omgz I have to drag this heavy pail of sudsy water around" feeling. So I went out and bought one.

I got my shiny purple package home. After a difficult assembly, I discovered to my horror that (1). the Swifter Wet Jet (tm) requires four AA batteries and (2). according to the owner's manual one is not supposed to use it on unfinished hardwood floors. From the owner's manual I also gleamed that there is a model that charges; that horrible things will happen if one were to use strips, cleaning solutions, and sticky pads other than those manufactured by Swifter (tm); that there are several versions of the approved cleaning solution; and that one should never attempt to disassemble the purpluscious thing I was holding.

With batteries grudgingly installed and visions of purple plastic pieces scattered about, I set out to conquer my beat-up linoleum floor and my unfinished beat up wood floors. The stream of liquid set off by pushing the white button is adequate and the sticky pad showed evidence that the mop was indeed working to pick up dirt, dustbunnies, and dog hair. Clean-up afterwards involved simply tossing the recyclable sticky pad into the trash. Nothing horrible happened to my unfinished beat-up wood flooring.

On the minus side of things, the pad could be sturdier. It tended to fall apart with the vigor of my application. The mop does not manuever easily in anything other than straight lines. The white strip on the side can only be ordered via the website to the best of my knowledge and it is useless where it has been placed. And of course the demands that one uses only the strips, cleaning solution (and the purple plastic bottles are not supposed to be refilled), and the sticky pads put out by the company put me off. What put me off most was having to install batteries into a mop. Surely there must exist a valve connection thingy that would open to emit fluid without the need for batteries or electric recharging.

sapphoq reviews says: The Swifter Wet Jet (tm) is probably satisfactory to those who are more typical customers. It also has its uses for those of us who are not able to slug around buckets of soapy water. However, it will not replace same. Overall a C+ is awarded.

Swifter Wet Jet (tm)