post off: do you still use a broom?

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Random thought I had the other day: I can’t remember the last time I used a broom. No, it’s not that our floors are dirty, but since the magic of Swiffers have entered our lives — not to mention our fabulous Miele vacuum cleaner, we don’t need to sweep anymore. If something spills — like coffee grounds or broken glass — we run for the vacuum. Sure, we keep a handbroom and dustpan handy, but don’t use them often. So what do you think: Are brooms dead? Or do you still sweep your floors? — Angela M.

From our partners
nicole marie

Of course I still use a broom! All those swiffer-y products just seem so wasteful to me — when you’re done swiffer-sweeping or -mopping, there’s always something to throw away besides what you’ve just picked up off the floor. I can’t even stand to watch all the commercials for these new “clean and toss” products, because they make me cringe thinking of how much landfill and sewer space will be taken up by them. For me it will always be the good old broom, dustpan, and mop.

Ellen

I feel like I use everything. With two dogs and the fact that my bf never takes off his shoes, I have to sweep (with broom!), then swiffer (it’s better at picking up hair, period). Then the reverse when it comes to mopping — swiffer wet, then regular mop and sometimes even getting down on my hands and knees and spraying the floor, tile by tile, with cleaner and scrubbing or wiping up with up with a towel. I honestly don’t think I’m crazy — our floors just get that dirty. Ugh!!

I sweep for the same reason as Nicole Marie. I still think it’s funny how many products are specifically designed just to be thrown away.

I sweep then mop, I tried swiffers a few times but didn’t like them. The static on them meant I couldn’t sweep the cat hairs into a pile like I can with my brush, and I ended up pulling them off with my fingers which was yucky. Also the kind I had had a very flat surface, so I could feel things scraping underneath the swiffer and I was convinced I was damaging my floor.
My Mum thinks I’m mad for sweeping when I have a hoover, but as good as the hoover is on carpets it never gets the dust as well as the brush on the wood floors.

I have a swiffer but I prefer to sweep. I have a house with lots and lots of wood floors with a dog who sheds year round. I would have to change the pad room by room, while with a broom I just have to keep making the pile bigger. My husband rejected the wet swiffer because he likes to mop better and he feels he gets more results.

Swiffers suck! When I had all wood floors, I used a terry cloth mop. Casabella and Real Simple make them. They have big heads with terry cloth covers that fit on them. You can wash and reuse the covers for years and years. They’re great. Now I have a mix of Pergo, slate, and Flor so the terry cloth mop doesn’t work so well. I just pull out the vacuum.

Stephanie

I still use a broom. Mostly because I must be a super slob because those Swiffer things never seem to get my floors clean enough. That and I think there is something nice about doing things the same way as my grandma would have done them. With the rest of our lives being so advanced I think its nice to embrace some simple things.

becky

I’m happy to see all the anti-swiffer sentiment! I sweep (occasionally) and use the vaccum. But I really want a Roomba.

Cath

We’ve cut down on our vacuuming, it uses so much energy. So of course, we don’t use disposable products, either.

I got one of those washable microfiber brooms, like a huge reusable swiffer, really, in the hope that it would cut down on sweeping. I end up sweeping all the time anyway, but the microfiber cloth is great for dusting the hardwood.

Ellobie

I sweep with a broom (an old Libman that has a swivel head that will swivel just right for me – I’m a leftie), then swiffer. Way too much dog hair in my house to swiffer alone…

pella

i sweep with a broom. mostly because the swiffer pads just get gross and the thought of touching them gives me the willies. we have no carpeting, so the only thing i vacuum is the living room rug. our little shark is perfect for that. small and light weight, so i don’t have to manhandle a big ol’ hulking thing out of the closet and through our crowded dining room. also real handy for a quick spot cleaning on the couch or dusting way up high where my short little arms can’t reach.

Petra

Swiffers can’t catch big dirt pieces very well, so I use the broom before anything else, Then, I follow up with a Swiffer. Ellen and I must be cleaning soulmates because I too, sweep (with broom) first, then dry Swiffer (it catches ton of hair that the broom just won’t), then get on my hands and knees and clean the kitchen floor tile-by-tile. I have real kitchen floor tiles– which are beautiful, but that trap dirt in the crevices between tiles that a Swiffer will never reach. Therefore, when I’m on my hands and knees I must use a plain old scrub brush to clean there too. With the hardwood floors, I use the same sequence but step 3 is wet Swiffer instead of getting on my hands and knees. All of these modern products are wonderful, but I think they work best hand-in-hand with good old fashioned tools such as brooms and scrub brushes.

Fred B

We have all wooden/tile floors and I use a broom. However, I am using a vacuum more and more on these flat surfaces (probably cause I am lazy) but I still feel the need to broom. On the wood stairs, a broom is the easiest and best tool.

There are other uses for a broom other than sweeping up too. For example, outside I use a broom all the time for working stonedust/dirt into the cracks in our brick walkway.

Laurie

Broom here too. I have a swiffer and am a mad vaccuumer (just panicked about the power so I may need a cat-hair-from-furniture alternative, anyone?) I just get more satisfaction out of a quick sweep with a broom, like I can attack that stray crumb individually.

Broom first, for major dirt, followed by the Swiffer for pet hair.

Jennifer

I don’t even own a swiffer. I still sweep the floors in the house and porch. Vacuuming happens too, but I much prefer to sweep.

swiffer – smifter …. pick up the broom…. :-)

kelly

Swiffer products are just so wasteful- I mean, is a broom really that hard compared to a swiffer? No. I will buy a nice broom for you swiffer people and save probably a landfill worth of swiffer pads.
http://www.greenhome.com/info/news/125.shtml

i love brooms!
i love a swiffer for mopping

Petra

The broom is also indispensable in my household for fanning the smoke alarm when it goes off. (I clean my oven not quite as often as my floors, therefore it creates smoke sometimes when I cook-oops!) …wish I had a self-cleaning oven!

I still use Swiffers, but Nicole Marie has a point about the environmental impact (everyone else, too). The reason I use Swiffers, particularly the Wet Jet in place of mopping, is that I have back problems and I can’t really tote a bucket of water to mop with. The Wet Jet has turned an impossible chore that I tended to neglect into one that is fast, easy, and (!) painless. I guess the compromise is the kind of mop that has a washable microfiber slipcover, like a few people have mentioned. I find that I tend to use Swiffer cloths more for dusting than for the floor, but you can get washable microfiber for that, too.

Living with two cats (oh, how cats love to vomit!) and a dog means that you can’t usually get away with JUST a Swiffer, wet or dry. The vacuum is generally the best tool for picking up dust and pet hair. Once in a while, we *have* to sweep and we *have* to mop with a real mop, or the corners and edges stay dirty. I think we tend to sweep before we use the Wet Jet, and “really mop” every few months.

I also use a foam rubber sponge that’s sold for pet hair removal and works like magic on furniture. It’s sort of the Swiffer of dog-hair on sofas, but I still need to go back and vacuum the crevices and edges every so often. It’s also reusable and lasts for years; can be washed when it starts looking too manky. Way better than sticky-tape rollers.

Erica

A little late, but Laurie — rub a latex or rubber glove over your furniture/curtains/anything with pet hair on it, and voila, it rolls up into little balls you can easily throw out.

Also, I sweep just about every day with a good ol’ broom. Since I share 500 sq. ft. of hardwood floors with two cats, I can’t afford not to.

Laura

Does my swiffer not work or something? When I swiffer it only picks up hair and dust, but not dirt or (obviously) bigger items like bits of trash and paper. I don’t see how anyone with hard floors could get away with just swiffering! I will occasionally use a swiffer to get all the leftover dust after I sweep, though ever since I discovered microfiber cloths I just use one of those instead on the end of my swiffer.

i have a dog (who loves to shed) and a boyfriend who REFUSES to take off his shoes and all hard wood floors. i use my swiffer religiously because it picks up dirt, pet hair, and dust better than anything else. for a bigger mess i will totally use a broom, but most often i use a dry swiffer, then a wet swiffer over everything afterwords. i then use my vacuum over everything and that usually does the job. very rarely do i use an old fashioned broom (i use a hand broom way more frequently).

Cara

I have a broom, a vacuum and a Swiffer Wet-Jet, and I use all three. The broom is for big things (broken glass, for example), the vacuum is for the tiny particles (kitty litter, thanks to my overzealous meowmaker) and the Wet-Jet is the final stage. But I’ll be honest, I find myself using the good ol’ broom the most. It’s easier to just grab it and use it rather than dealing with plugging in the vacuum, cleaning the dustbin, etc.

I use several types and sizes of brooms for our wood floors, shop, and camper. I make my own and sell them, too. Brooms made of broomcorn outlast and outwork any other sweeper I’ve met. I use leather for my whisk broom handles, which I find more comfortable than holding metal binding. I also cover my dustpan handles with leather for the same warm touch. For the study, I like my large whisk broom with antler handle. Each of my floor brooms are unique, and the handles made of a variety of woods. The best part is that I don’t have to hide them in the closet; so, they are always near at hand when I need one.

Rebecca

Someone needs to make a reusable swiffer pad. I can’t stand how wasteful those things are. I refuse to use them. Instead I sweep, and if necessary pick up the last little bit with a damp towel. There is way to much waste in this world to use a swiffer.

Maureen

I use a broom for getting cobwebs off my textured ceiling. For floors, I vacuum, then I use a Swiffer wet jet, but I don’t use the disposable pads. I throw down an old terrycloth hand or kitchen towel (once they are too old to look nice in the kitchen or bath I use them for cleaning) and use the Swiffer wet jet to push the towel around. It stays in place because of the velcro on the wet jet that’s meant to hold the replacement pads, and it does a better job of scrubbing the floor, picking up everything.

Lynn Daniels

I have two dogs and two children so I always have a dirty floor. I use a broom for sweeping but I LOVE my swiffer wet jet and use it all the time. I had put it away for a while (out of disgust for how fast I was going through the mop pads — not just because of the environment, but my pocketbook at well) but there are now places to buy washable mop heads for it (saw some on ebay) or I even found a pattern and made my own — really simple. They even sent me directions for convertering my cleaning bottle to a refillable one so I can add my own cleaning solution. Now I don’t have to feel so guilty! :)

I got the pattern at http://www.makethemyourself.com/mop.html.

Jane

There already are reusable/washable pads for the swiffers and any other “disposable” type mop like these. Run a seplace on ebay for “washable & swiffer” There is also a person who CROCHETS washable covers for them as well. I myself just took a 16″ square microfiber cloth I bought in a 10 pack at costco, cut it down to fit into the swiffer holders (I got 2 “pads” from 1 cloth). Works good, dry, but is awesome wet. I havn’t even bothered to open the disposable pads that came with it.

shelterrific » Blog Archive » swiffer debate continues: somewhat green?

[…] few months ago, we sparked a lively discussion by asking Do You Still Use a Broom? Yes, said most of you, though the topic soon turned towards Swiffers. Many loved them while others […]

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