Swiffer Magic for Children

I've never had a Swiffer mop before; I like sponge mops, and I've always thought the disposable nature of the pads used on the bottom of the Swiffer wasteful. However, my four year old has been begging to mop the floor. Don't laugh! It's true!

She loves to help around the house, and often vacuums, dusts, and cleans windows with me. There were several things that concerned me about her mopping, however. I always put my cleanser in the kitchen sink, but she can't reach the kitchen sink. I considered getting a bucket for her, but know her well enough to realize she'd spill cleaning fluid everywhere. I also wasn't super-keen on her dealing with a bucket or sink of disinfecting cleaner; she tends to put her hands in her mouth and eyes a lot. Finally, I knew the mop was too tall for her. I considered cutting down a handle for her, then padding it with cotton and covering it with duct tape or something, but I really wasn't satisfied this was a good answer. Enter the Swiffer with wet pads. It's super-lightweight and the handle actually comes in several parts that easily snap together. This made it simple to adjust just to my daughter's height. Since I, the parent, can place already-damp, thick, textured paper on the bottom (in place of a sponge), there was no worry about liquids spilling or about her touching cleansers. It seemed a great solution. So I spent about $9 on the mop itself, plus about half that for 12 pre-moistened pads you throw away after each mopping. (Please note, we are not using the Swiffer Wet Jet, which squirts liquid onto the floor. We are using the traditional Swiffer with wet refills.) When my daughter saw her mop, at first she was disappointed. She said, "Oh. It's a toy." I explained that no, it was a real mop for grown ups - it was just a little different from the one mommy usually uses. This cheered her. Then I showed her how to use it, and off she went! I could hardly get her to stop mopping, and she kept checking the disposible pad and saying, "Look at all the dirt I'm cleaning up!" She asked to mop about five more times that day. (I replied, "No, once a day is enough. You can do it again tomorrow.") I have to admit the pads are expensive. I make them last longer by rinsing them with water from time to time, during the same mopping. This doesn't seem to reduce it's cleaning abilities (which are surprisingly good). Yet while I still wouldn't use a Swiffer for myself, I consider it a good investment for the children in my life - at least until they can handle an ordinary mop.

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