Thursday, July 7, 2011

Swiffer, you lie!

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That's how I feel, too!

Today, in the space of about 5 minutes, I was a butterfingers and spilled fruit juice two times from two different containers.  Of course, that stuff leaves sticky residue after being wiped up with a paper towel, so I decided to bust out my frenemy Swiffer.
I have always prided myself on being a savvy consumer and someone who can see right through the lies of advertisers.  My mom taught us well; she showed us how to deconstruct the Saturday morning ads for toys, cereals, apparel, etc.  All ads work the same way: they have to make you think that your life is deficient in some way and that their product will fill the gap.
I get their game.  I know how it works.  I've tried to teach my students how to see past the lies the materialistic media sells them 24/7.  But I fell--and fell hard--for one of the cleverest ad lies of them all: Swiffer.
To those of you who don't have to clean, this will all be meaningless, but maybe some of you out there who have to clean non-carpeted areas can relate. My mom and dad cleaned floors by getting down on hands and knees with two buckets (a cleaning solution bucket, and a dirty rinse water bucket) and a rag.  It was not pretty, but it got the job done.  But I don't *like* hands and knees cleaning, because it's icky.  There, I admitted it.  It is gross and I'd like to avoid it...and so would millions of housewives and home cleaners, apparently, because that's why the Swiffer was invented.  Just watch the ads: those perky moms and their HUGE kitchens don't even have to bend down.  They just pop out the Swiffer and go over the floor (which, incidentally, never has any dents or scuffs or encrusted food particles or cat hair tufts or anything that is found on my kitchen floor) and in about two minutes, it's gleaming!  I don't normally watch TV (precisely because I hate ads), so I can't even remember when I saw all of these Swiffer ads.  See them I did, however, and they burned into my consciousness.
This past Spring Break, my grandparents visited, and my Grandma took me on a Target shopping spree. I chose a Swiffer WetJet, which has the distinction of spritzing the ground before it with a cleaning solution, and then catching the mess on its little pads.  It looked really great in the ads, and I fell for it. What a dope!  I've used it a few times since then, with middling success.  First of all, I ALWAYS forget to put the pad on first, and therefore spend a few minutes getting the velcro strips on the bottom of the Swiffer soggy because I've been pushing it around without the pad.  Then I remember the pad and start over again; but the results are less than amazing.  Instead of magically picking up all of the grime and mess, it tends to just sodden it and push it around.  Stray hairs go from being dry and tumbleweed-ish into being wet, smeary swirls on the floor (NOT on the pad as advertised!)  That's not helpful; it's just gross (and makes me contemplate trading in my long-haired cat for a hairless one and giving myself a buzzcut).
What is the final solution?  I always end up having to go back and get down low with a rag and wash it on hands and knees, the very thing that I wanted to avoid.  Oh, you labor-saving devices!  You promise to make life easier and more pleasant. But Swiffer, you lie!

2 comments:

  1. Aww! So sorry that didn't work out! Once a month, we get down on hands and knees and scrub the kitchen floor but otherwise, we use a Swiffer WetJet! It works pretty well for us! (Although, we don't have cats and we sweep up the floor EVERY day but....) Anyway, sorry it didn't work out! I hope you someday find your mopping solution. :)

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  2. Yeah, sweeping it every day would make it work much better, I am sure. It's funny, my grandma wrote me an email and said the same thing: sweep first, then Swiffer. I do actually know that is the way to do it, but today I was so desperate to get the juice off of the floor I ignored the sweeping step. Ah, the joys of cleaning!

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