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Swiffer Wet Jet Pet Rumor
image Teresa wrote in to ask about the truth of that email rumor going around alleging that the Swiffer Wet Jet cleaning fluid contains antifreeze and can be fatal to pets (you can read the full text of that email rumor here). Swiffer itself addresses this rumor on its corporate website, so it can be pretty easily debunked. It's totally false. But since I'm on the subject of Swiffers, I've got to note something about them that I find incredibly annoying... how you can only use Swiffer brand cleaning fluid with the Wet Jet. And, of course, the Swiffer brand fluid ain't cheap. Out of frustration, I ended up carving a hole in the top of the Swiffer brand bottle and pouring generic cleaning fluid into it, but that didn't work well at all since the fluid kept splashing up out of the bottle whenever I moved it too vigorously. So yes, Swiffer may be innocent of killing pets, but in my books they're still guilty of selling overpriced cleaning fluid. Yeah, I could stop using the Wet Jet entirely, but I don't want to do that because I like how the Wet Jet works. I just don't like being forced to buy only Swiffer brand fluid to use in it. (Sorry about the rant).
Categories: AnimalsEmail Hoaxes
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 10, 2004
buy one of those circular caps for automotive repairs or a rubber sink stopper and put in it
Posted by bsitler  in  PA  on  Mon May 10, 2004  at  03:32 PM
I agree with you on the price of the cleaning fluid and I'm not too keen on the smell of it either. If the rubber sink stopper doesn't work try covering the hole with duct tape.
Posted by Beverley  on  Tue May 11, 2004  at  06:09 PM
I should think there's a chance a generic company will start making jugs of cleaning fluid that do connect to Swiffer Wet-Jets. (Hint to all entrepreneurs out there.) Other than that, the suggestion to cover the hole with duct-tape sounds like a good one.
Posted by Mia  in  Victoria, BC, Canada  on  Tue May 11, 2004  at  11:49 PM
Ljuba, my 1.5 years old Rottweiler died on January 1st, 2004 due to liver and kidneys failure. She was a healthy and happy girl. A few days before Christmas, she was acting funny. You could see in her face that she was not herself. On Christmas, I gave her a nice large bone. She didn't taste it upon receipt and even till she died. On December 30, she was not eating anymore and getting weaker. I brought her to the Vet for a checkup. She could hardly walk; too weak. Problem getting blood sample, she was placed under IV for overnight. She vomitted all of the liquid received; no urine. Finally later that afternoon, December 31, she urinated. On January 1, 9o'clock, the vet called to say that she had past away during the night. I am not sure if it has something to do with this presumably rumor but I can assure you that my girl was healthy until the washing of floor was more intensed because of the visiting family during the Christmas time.

Our girl will always be in our memories!!!

Guylaine Demers
Posted by Guylaine Demers  in  St-Hilaire, New Brunswick Canada  on  Fri May 14, 2004  at  12:38 PM
I read on a frugal living website that someone replaced the liquid in the original bottle using a turkey baster inserted into the bottom hole. Might be more trouble than you'd like to go through, but it's worth a try.
Posted by Lina Correa  in  Miami  on  Sat May 15, 2004  at  05:50 PM
Ok I agree about the price of the swiffer cleaner stuff...In fact I will not use it it also makes my floor stickie...You can unscrew the cap by using pliers I have done this on several occasions and use a very economical home made cleaning produsct.
Posted by Amy  on  Mon May 17, 2004  at  04:23 PM
Forget the commercial cleaning products. Empty your swifer container and refill with distilled white vinegar. Scent goes away fairly quickly and does not leave your floor sticky. If you make a hole in the top find a short wide wood screw to plug it with. Otherwise you can use a hypodermic basting tool (for injecting flavorings into meat) and fill through the hole that the swiffer unit produces. I am afraid that I don't trust a corporate web site to tell me the truth. According to my sources the chemical in question is a molecule or two away from being antifreeze.
Posted by J. Morgan  in  Plymouth NC  on  Tue Jun 15, 2004  at  06:18 AM
I think the Swiffer fluid is designed to attract dirt. I mean, when you use it, it does clean up, but have you noticed the residue it leaves behind seems to attract more dirt than just the plain floor? Why wouldn't Swiffer make their product sticky... I mean, then you need to clean more, buy more refills...
Posted by Marci  in  Montana  on  Thu Jun 17, 2004  at  07:41 PM
My mom and dad live in WV and HAD 3 house dogs and they all were fine. She used the Swiffer to mop the floor after they came in from outside and it was wet out they would track mud in so mom would Swiffer it up. Well, the first dog started to not act right so dad took her to the vets. And $500.00 later they found out her liver and kidneys failed. That was on April 15, 04. She was put to sleep there was nothing that could be done for her. Mom stopped usen the Swiffer when she found out about what was being said about it. Then the second dog stopped eating and when he would eat it all came back up even water. Well, they took him to the vets last night (June 28, 04) and guess what liver and kidneys failed. The second dog put to sleep. The vet at no charge to us is going to do major tests to see what they can find out. So now they are down to one dog. And she has to go to the vets today to see if they find any signs of any thing wrong with her and if they do what they can do to see if they can save her. So if Swiffer has nothing to do with this please some one tell me why two of the 3 HOUSE kept dogs are dead.
Posted by Tina  in  Fayetteville, NC  on  Tue Jun 29, 2004  at  09:46 AM
Tina, it's probably something they're eating outside. My parents had a small dog that was getting sick and eventually started going into convulsions. Turned out it had been chewing on a section of the wood fence out in the yard that had been treated with weather-proofing chemicals, and this was what was causing it to get sick.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Tue Jun 29, 2004  at  10:43 AM
If they had done some thing outside different in the past few months I would think that could be it, but they have not done any thing new in years. They go out side into a fenced area and they live in the boon dox so I don't think anyone feed them any thing. But thanks for the reply.
Posted by Tina  in  NC  on  Tue Jun 29, 2004  at  12:19 PM
NO NEED FOR ALL THAT DRILLING AND TRYING TO COVER UP THE HOLES!!!
Just soak the top of the empty swiffer bottle in very hot water(soften the plastic a little) and unscrew the white top (use a wrench if you need to), fill it with whatever you want and screw the top back on(with your hand, no wrench) - next time just unscrew it to refill it.
Posted by Nancy  on  Mon Jul 26, 2004  at  11:32 PM
I have a chihuhua. I just used a Swiffer Wetjet last week. My dog is about to be 3 and has never had problems. Then today we were watching TV together and she couldn't move...then she tried to walk and was running in to walls. She finally got over it, but it scared me to death. I am beginning to wonder if it had any thing due to the Swiffer. I did not buy one for a very long time thinking it didn't really work and for my dogs sake. Then I had heard the rumors weren't true. I went ahead a used one. Now, I wish I hadn't.
Posted by Angel  in  SC  on  Mon Sep 13, 2004  at  03:48 PM
The manufacturer gives instructions to open the case on the Swiffer to change the batteries. The case on my Swiffer doesn't open. It's a single piece, and seems to have a socket to plug in a charger, and there are metal contacts attached to wires (they can be seen through the translucent case) to the battery. The manufacturer gives no information on a charger, if there is one. Am I expected to just toss this one and buy a new one when the battery runs out?
Posted by Erica  on  Mon Oct 18, 2004  at  12:37 AM
first i had the clorox wet mop. easily can refill it with your own cleaning solution. when it broke (too quickly for my liking) i switched to swiffer. nice product but I HATE that they force me to use only THEIR products. i will never buy swiffer again NOR any other convenience products from this company again because of this. they think they got over on me? won't let them screwed me again
Posted by pat  in  burlington wisconsin  on  Fri Nov 05, 2004  at  11:45 AM
Hello Out there i have a friend that just lost 3 maltese puppies from this swiffer mop an the cat had to be put down,Please send me anyinformation to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if there are any law suites against this company for killing our beloved pets Thank you an God Bless rosellia
Posted by rosellia a\s rose  in  pa  on  Tue Apr 05, 2005  at  07:02 AM
From the ASPCA site:

May 6, 2004 -- Veterinary toxicologists at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center have reviewed the claim described in a widely distributed email alleging a relationship between the use of Swiffer Wet Jet and liver failure in a dog. The email alleges that exposure to the ingredients in Swiffer Wet Jet caused a dog's death.

The Swiffer Wet Jet system contains water (90-100%), propylene glycol n-propyl ether or propylene glycol n-butyl ether and isopropyl alcohol (1-4%). These ingredients are safe to use around pets when used according to label directions and would not cause liver damage at product concentrations. Propylene glycol n-butyl/propyl ether differs significantly from ethylene glycol, the potentially toxic ingredient present in most antifreeze products. Ethylene glycol is frequently implicated in causing renal failure in dogs following antifreeze ingestion. Propylene glycol n-propyl ether and propylene glycol n-butyl ether are very safe ingredients at levels used in cleaning products and do not cause kidney or liver failure.

It's false.
Posted by Boo  in  The Land of the Haggii...  on  Tue Apr 05, 2005  at  07:11 AM
About a year ago, I bought the colorox mop (easy to use) and my cat started having signs of illness. Two days later he died. I could not prove it was the mop(suppected something else) and kept using the mop without using the chemicals. My new cat is fine because I stopped using the chemicals and added regular cleaner to the mop instead of the colorox chemical. Recently, my mop broke and I had to buy a new one and used the chemicals again. My cat has been sick for two days and THANK GOD he seems ok today. Please do not use this product if you have animals inside because it is extemely toxic for them. It was terrible to loose an animal but I am THANKFUL I know now what caused it and want the public to be aware of this. (b)(/b)(quote)
Posted by Mikki  on  Tue Jun 28, 2005  at  09:31 PM
Ok for all of those out there that want to know. I havent bought one replacement bottle of swiffer since i got it a year ago. I found an easy way to remove the top without cutting holes or using a baster. Ready its easy go and grab a wrench or some vice grips, squeeze the top alittle and turn. presto it's removable and refillable.
Posted by Kevin  in  Syracuse, NY  on  Mon Oct 10, 2005  at  11:24 AM
Veterinary toxicologists at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center have reviewed the claim described in a widely distributed email alleging a relationship between the use of Swiffer Wet Jet and liver failure in a dog. The email alleges that exposure to the ingredients in Swiffer Wet Jet caused a dog's death.

The Swiffer Wet Jet system contains water (90-100%), propylene glycol n-propyl ether or propylene glycol n-butyl ether and isopropyl alcohol (1-4%). These ingredients are safe to use around pets when used according to label directions and would not cause liver damage at product concentrations. Propylene glycol n-butyl/propyl ether differs significantly from ethylene glycol, the potentially toxic ingredient present in most antifreeze products. Ethylene glycol is frequently implicated in causing renal failure in dogs following antifreeze ingestion. Propylene glycol n-propyl ether and propylene glycol n-butyl ether are very safe ingredients at levels used in cleaning products and do not cause kidney or liver failure.
so there!!! naysayers
Posted by bsitler  in  PA  on  Mon Oct 10, 2005  at  04:14 PM
I have been cutting a hole, actually a square flap, in the swiffer bottle for quite a while now. But let me give a fantastic use for the swiffer wet jet: While housebreaking a puppy, I refill the swiffer bottle with the Pet enzyme solution you are supposed to clean up accidents with to hide the urine smell. It made clean up so much easier than using paper towels. I would just blot with paper towels and spray the solution all over the area and mop. The sprayer is also great when you have to apply to carpet, although you can't use the mop.
Posted by AMK  on  Fri Nov 11, 2005  at  08:17 AM
I am having a problem. I need to get the battery part open so I can change the batteries. Does anybody know how to do that? I have been trying to open the damn thing for a month. I saw that there was a little screw in there so I went and bought a tiny screwdriver to open it.. but turns out thats not how you open it. Anybody have any clue?????? I am getting so frustrated.
Posted by Alicia  in  Vancouver,B.C.,Canada  on  Thu Dec 15, 2005  at  06:20 PM
If you can't figure out how to change the batteries on your Swiffer, it's because you have lost the battery compartment althgether.

Check the floor of your cleaning closet where the swiffer lives when it's not in use.
Posted by Todd  in  Jersey  on  Sat Feb 25, 2006  at  10:42 AM
July 16, 2007
Last week our new puppy (11 week lab) started vomiting repeatedly and stopped drinking water! We took her to the vet who ran tons of tests and kept her on an IV overnight. They couldn't figure out what was wrong. We scoured the house looking for anything she may have eaten of gotten into. There was nothing. No one could figure out what happened.

I just heard about this link between Swiffer wet mops and puppy sickness, and I feel that this is most likely what happened to our pup. I used the Swiffer wet mop right before she got sick! and she was constantly licking the cabinet we store the Swifers wet pads in, she was very attracted to the taste.

Luckily she is now doing fine. I strongly feel that there should be a warning on this product, I never would have used them if I had know about this issue before. This was all so preventable if we had know.
Everyone Please Beware you don't want to go through what we went through, and subjecting a small puppy to a myriad of tests and so much discomfort is just horrible-!!
Posted by RKL  in  New York  on  Sun Jul 16, 2006  at  03:56 PM
Anyone who is claiming the wet-jet is unsafe because it is
Posted by Ashley  in  Ohio  on  Fri Aug 04, 2006  at  03:26 PM
Thank you Todd for posting how to replace the batteries. The battery compartment was right there on the floor where you said it would be. You are a credit to the internet!
Posted by Sharon  in  Sacramento  on  Wed Oct 04, 2006  at  03:05 AM
Thank you Todd from Jersey (Feb 06). We just went through "the battery doesn't work, how do you change them" There was the compartment, right on the floor.
Thanks. MCL from Hilton Head Island
Posted by Marcia  on  Sat Nov 04, 2006  at  11:05 AM
Thank you TODD - I've spent 3-days trying to figure out the battery, and presto, right on the floor where you said to look. I did a little dance for you!!
Posted by Jill  in  Farmington NY  on  Sat Nov 25, 2006  at  11:16 AM
Todd is the man! We have been trying to replace batteries that were not there since they were on the floor in the laundry room. We thought we were just two senile senior citizens (well, maybe we are), THANKS TODD
Posted by Pam  on  Sun Dec 31, 2006  at  05:11 PM
Todd, you need to work for the R&D department at Clorox. They obviously need to redesign this portion of the swiffer. How about a screw secured compartment with a battery logo on front, idiots. My wife had the swiffer in the closet and had been complaining that the swiffer isn't working any more. But I found the part in this midst of other items in the closet. You win the Handy Man of the year award, even if we are only in January.
Posted by Dr. Park  in  Columbia, SC  on  Sat Jan 13, 2007  at  12:49 PM
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