Review: Swiffer WetJet on Wood Floors Review

There has been a lot of press on the health and safety of the Swiffer. The active ingredients in this water-based cleaning solution are propylene glycol n-propyl ether or propylene glycol n-butyl ether and isopropyl alcohol (1-4%). The Swiffer cleaning solution is supposed to have about 90% water. Many people will argue that 4% isn’t that much. What is the 6 to 9% difference? What else are they putting in the cleaning solution that they are not telling us? The active ingredients are known to be only slightly toxic to animals. This is unclear too.

However, there is a common mistake that people make when talking about the ingredients in the cleaning product. Often people mix up the active ingredients in the Swiffer cleaning solution with ethylene glycol. Ethylene glycol is harmful. It is the active ingredient in anti-freeze. It is also known to cause renal failure (kidney failure) in dogs. The chemical in the Swiffer WetJet is one molecule away from the toxic stuff they use in antifreeze. Because this dog died suddenly, many people tried to pin its death on the Swiffer WetJet. The problem is that most people don’t review the ingredients properly and don’t know that propylene glycol n-propyl ether or propylene glycol n-butyl ether and isopropyl alcohol are fairly safe.

Despite this common ingredient mix-up, the sudden death of a perfectly healthy dog may be rightfully pinned on the Swiffer product. Dogs walk on the floor and the lick their paws after. Also, if food spills on the floor, they often run to lick it up. Dogs are always in direct contact with the floor. It seems possible that if the dog had no health problems previously and experienced a sudden death, it could be related to a household cleaning product.

Because of the incident with this dog, the Swiffer WetJet carries a negative stigma. Even though many people call it a hoax, it does seem suspicious. The molecule chain is slightly different than ethylene glycol. Yet, this person’s German shepherd was the first to die followed by the two cats. There was never any necropsies done to see how the cats died but it seems that it was liver failure. Because the cause of the cats’ deaths was never certain, a lawsuit was never filed. Had a lawsuit been filed, we would know everything there is to know about the safety of the Swiffer WetJet. Obviously, there could be other factors that caused sudden liver failure in all three pets but it is always important to be cautious.

The cleaning solution has no ingredient list anywhere on the packaging. This seems pretty suspicious too. Sadly, North American standards for labeling are far behind the times. Manufacturers don’t need to list much for their products to reach store shelves. In Europe, labeling products is much clearer. Maybe there is a reason why the Swiffer WetJet never made it to the European market!

Considering that the Swiffer WetJet was not designed for wood floors, it shouldn’t be used for wood floors. There are other products on the market that are safe for wood floors that clean in a similar way. The Bona Mop by Bona Kemi is similar to the Swiffer but it has been designed for use on wood floors. Hopefully, now you know the dangers of using a Swiffer WetJet mop on your wood floors and will think twice next time you are going to do a cleaning.