Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Sh-What?

I got a birthday present!

I really like it and just have to share it with the blog world....

First, a small rant.

I have been amazed at the effectiveness of marketing. Tell women that cleaning their floors is too hard unless they use______ product, and they hop out and buy the gadget mop. Never mind that the refill for the thing will cost them a fortune.

Here is an example.

The Swiffer Wet Jet. To buy this mop, it costs $24.99 at

It comes with
  • 1 Power Mop
  • 2 Disposable Cleaning Pads
  • 1 Bottle of Multi-Purpose Cleaning Solution (16.9 fl oz) Note: This is a smaller amount than the refill size.
  • 1 Scrubbing Strip
The two AA batteries required are not included.

When you run out of cleaning pads, which will be pretty quick if you have a floor of any size, you will have to replace them. A box of 24 cleaning pads costs $12.79 from, again,

They claim that the cleaning pads cleans 2 large rooms or 323 sq ft. After using one, I would have to ask, how do they come up with this figure? The rooms I cleaned were not that dirty, and yet, to really get them clean, I used almost a whole box of cleaning pads. (It was a large living room and moderate sized kitchen...)

The other refill you have to purchase for this mop is the cleaning solution. It is $6.49 for 33.8 fl oz at

So, total cost for this mop system is

  • $24.99 for starter kit
  • $12.79 for cleaning pad refills, which go in a hurry
  • $6.49 for cleaning solution
  • $44.27
Now, just say you had to buy a box of pads, oh, every month or so. Just say you ended up buying 10 boxes over the course of the year.

10 X $12.79 = $127.90

And just say you only had to buy 10 cleaning solution refills in the year.

10 X $6.49 = $64.90

So, not including the AA batteries that you will have to furnish and replace, or the scrubbing pad if it needs replaced, your total cost for the year for the awesome Swiffer Wet Jet will be only
  • $44.27 Start up
  • $127.90 Cleaning Pads
  • $64.90 Cleaning Solution
  • $237.07 Total Cost for the year.
The next year your cost would go down since you wouldn't have to buy the mop again. So in the second year you owned your Wet Jet, you would only pay $192.80 to keep your floors clean.

Added together, the cost of operating the Swiffer Wet Jet for a mere 2 years would be an astronomical $429.87.

That, my friends, is some expensive mop water.

So, back to my birthday present.

After looking at several options, I asked David for a Sh-Mop for my birthday.

What is a Sh-Mop?

Here is the product info from the Clean Team website:

The Sh-Mop sh-cleans your sh-floors in record time.
Escape the tedium of mopping! The Sh-Mop isn't another TV wonder gadget. It's a professionally designed tool with terry cloth Sh-Wipes that cleans in a fraction of the time required for standard string or sponge mops. Our customers love it and our cleaning teams won't live without it. You'll be hooked too. The Sh Mop starts with a sturdy, extra-big, 8" x 15" plastic base called, what else, a Sh-Base. Unlike ordinary mops, the Sh-Base has a very low profile and pivots in any direction to allow you to quickly and easily clean into corners, along tough angles, and underneath tight spots. It's covered with a replaceable 8" x 15" white scrub pad. Then, a thick, 100% cotton terry cloth cover (called a Sh-Wipe, of course) slips over this frame. The scrubbing and absorbing properties of reusable cotton Sh-Wipes make short work of dirty floors. When one Sh-Wipe gets soiled, just pop it off and pop on a fresh one.
  • New 22" of molded foam on handle provides unparalleled user comfort.
  • Ideal for virtually any hard floor: vinyl, urethane-finished wood, tile, marble.
  • Use it on walls, windows, ceilings, cabinets.
  • Rugged design lasts and lasts.
  • Large surface area quickly covers more territory than conventional mops.
  • Cleans without streaking.
  • Sh-Wipes can be machine washed and sanitized after every use. It's like having a new, sparkling clean mop every time you clean.
  • No need for a bucket.
The cost of this:

The Sh-Mop
(Including base, extension Versapole, and 3 Sh-Wipes) $26.95

Or you can get the kit that includes cleaner:

The Sh-Mop Kit

(The above plus a bottle of our popular, gentle, neutral floor Cleaner- Sh-Clean. Regularly $36.90 Save $7.95.) $28.95

Replacement Sh-Wipes (3 pack)

So, the total cost for this system is:

  • $28.95 for Sh-Mop Kit
  • $12.95 optional, replacement Sh-Wipes
  • $41.90 Total Start up cost
This figure is assuming you buy extra Sh-Wipes. Most people wouldn't need more than the 3 that come with the Sh-Mop.

In the first year, there should really be no need to buy more Sh-Wipes, unless you need more on hand. So, your total cost for the year would be $41.90, not including the cost of ammonia, vinegar, or whatever you choose to mop with.

In your second year of ownership, you might choose to replace some wipes, and may need to replace the scrubber pad. Your cost could be:

  • $12.95 Replacement wipes
  • $5.95 Replacement Scrubber Pad and 4 clips
  • $18.90 Total Estimated Cost for Second Year (This is assuming that you would even need to replace the wipes or the pad...)
The estimated cost for 2 years of ownership of the Sh-Mop would be a whopping $60.80.

Swiffer Wet Jet cost of operation for 2 years $429.87
Sh-Mop cost of operation for 2 years $60.80

Oh, and just in case it seems like my figures are off, just say you use half as much "stuff" for the Wet Jet.

That is still a little over $200 for 2 years.....

Yep, marketing has done a good job.

And, thank you, David and kids, for my birthday present. What do you think we could use that extra $350+ for?
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