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Swiffer Alternatives: Microfiber Cloth vs Swiffer Duster

Swiffer Alternatives: Microfiber Cloth vs Swiffer Duster

I love a good TV commercial.

You know, the ones that pull on your heartstrings. Like the Clydesdales that save the Labrador puppy from the wolf.

Or the disabled vet who is now able to clean his home because a HUGE box of Swiffer products was mysteriously left on his doorstep.

I don’t drink Budweiser, but I did try the Swiffer dusters and here are my discoveries:

  • Swiffer's dust-trapping claims may just be marketing hype
  • The importance of considering your financial and environmental impact of your cleaning choices
  • The shocking price difference between microfiber dusters and swiffers in the long run

In the cleaning industry, people are constantly searching for that one duster that lives up to its marketing buzz. I understand some of you have been disappointed by Swiffer dusters and are seeking a practical cleaning choice that offers performance and value.

Together we'll compare my cleaning experience using Swiffer duster vs microfiber.

If you're here searching for a Swiffer alternative, I can confidently tell you microfiber dusters are the best. Continue reading and we'll recommend a few we know you'll love.

Most Versatile Ideal for Small Items All-in-One Cleaning Kit

Chenille Microfiber High Duster

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Microfiber Mini Duster

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

High Reach Microfiber Kit

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Chenille Microfiber High Duster Microfiber Mini Duster High Reach Microfiber Cleaning Kit

Best for:

  • Cleaning hard to reach places like behind the dresser in your bedroom
  • Gently dusting ceiling fans in your living room due to the flexible design of the handle
  • High reach areas like top shelves in your kitchen when paired with extension handles

Best for:

  • Delicately cleaning the priceless antiques in your curio cabinet
  • Dusting keyboards and computer screens in your home office
  • Keeping the dashboard and interior of your family car dust free

Best for:

Microfiber Is A Dust Magnet 🧲

That's because microfiber is positively charged and clings to negatively charged dust.

How Effective is Cleaning With The Swiffer Duster?

Do Swiffers actually clean? Swiffer is great at marketing but their dust collecting prowess and ease of use leaves something to be desired.

Their main claim is that their dusters trap and lock twice as much dust as a feather duster. Feather dusters do not trap and lock dust.

Like and old fashioned feather duster, I found that the Swiffer duster was actually just moving dust around, not trapping it.

Yes, the top of my book shelf was less dusty after using it, but the edge of the shelf had a line of dust that had just been pushed there. It didn’t appear that much got trapped within the duster itself. It was just resettling the dust elsewhere.

Next, I used the duster extender to get the blades of a ceiling fan. The dust and dirt was removed from the fan blades and much of it was relocated to the floor under the fan and the top of my head. Maybe I was using it incorrectly or the disposable pad (more on that later), was already too dirty.

I decided to switch out the used duster head with a new one, which wasn’t as simple as it would seem.

Removing it took some time and as I was trying to get it off of the handle, the minimal dust I just “captured” was not having any trouble escaping back to the freedom of my living room.

I was sure it would be easier with more practice. Trying to find the correct sleeves for the duster prongs was a bit of a challenge too. And then, you have to spend the time to fluff out the fibers on the pad—annoying.

Microfiber Mini Duster

"Love these little wonders for my Levelor-type blinds. No dust blowing around. I love them and no need to buy disposable duster pads; I'll save these dirty ones until I have a load full of microfiber stuff only and wash them all at once." - Rose Auer, Verified Buyer

Are Swiffer Dusters Worth the Time & Money?

The amount of time it took to switch out and fluff up the pad gave me some time to think.

The Swiffer duster kit, extender and a box of 16 refills cost just under $24. I had gone through 2 refills in my living/dining room alone. If I were to dust only this area once a week, my supplies would last for 2 months.

Refills cost about $11.50.

If I kept this up, I would spend $115 more this year, just in refills; just for the living room, and $139 just to dust.

And, aside from the plastic dust handles, all of those dusters would wind up in the landfill.

Let's look at some advantages of swiffer dusters:

  • Disposable pads that can be used to clean contaminated surfaces once
  • Has a duster extender that reaches high surfaces such as a ceiling fan
  • Convenient for sweeping and relocating dust from floors

Here are a few cons of using swiffer dusters:

  • It doesn't absorb dust, simply relocates it
  • It has a complicated duster head changing process
  • Refills are expensive
  • Disposable pads contribute to landfill waste

Microfiber Dusters As A Swiffer Alternative

Finding a Swiffer alternative isn’t difficult. There are plenty of high-quality microfiber products for cleaning professionals. I already know that I can throw microfiber in the washing machine and reuse it because I use the cloths as dish towels and to dry my car after a car wash.

Chenille Microfiber High Duster

Picks up a ton of dust. The bendable design makes it ideal for using in hard to reach areas like ceiling fans, baseboard, top shelves, etc. When attached to our extension handles, it has a 92" reach. Machine Washable.

"I will never buy another Swiffer. This microfiber duster keeps the dust from spreading around and holds onto it. I am also going to save a lot of money not having to purchase any more swiffer dusters." - Linda Seiple, Verified Buyer

Chenille Microfiber High Duster Cover

I bought the Mini Duster and the Chenille High Duster. The mini duster is about the size of a regular Swiffer.

It actually did attract and capture dust. No more lines of dust on the edges of the shelves and I wasn’t just sweeping it onto the floor either. It stayed on the duster.

The same thing happened with the Chenille High Duster. The foam core handle was super flexible and there weren’t any dust bunnies in my hair when I was finished with the fan and hanging light fixtures. The Swiffer/microfiber comparison showed microfiber dusters to be the best Swiffer alternatives.

Microfiber Mini Duster

This 10" duster is perfect to use on delicate items found around the house. It will flex and bend to the item you're dusting with very little pressure so there's virtually no risk of damage. Machine Washable.

"These are so much better than Swiffer Dusters. I really like that they are reusable." - Amy Taylor, Verified Buyer

With the microfiber as an alternative to swiffer dusters, I didn’t have to stop midway through to switch the duster covers.

To recap, a microfiber duster has the following benefits:

  • Attracts and locks dust particles: The tiny hair-like fibers carry a strong positive charge that attracts and holds onto the negatively charged dirt particles.
  • Washable hundreds of times: Made from a blend of polyseter and polyamide (nylon) which are extremely durable and can withstand over 300 wash cycles.
  • Environment-friendly: The fact that microfiber is reusable means theat less of them end up in landfills everyday, contributing to a more sustainable environment.
  • Saves you money: Though the initial cost of microfiber may seem high, it's reusability hundreds of times without fraying saves you from constantly purchasing cloths.

Once I was finished cleaning, the sleeves were easy to pull off and toss into the laundry and I would be able to re-wash them hundreds of times, according to my brother, who is strangely passionate about microfiber.

Cleaning microfiber isn't complicated at all. Here are the steps to follow to clean your microfiber cloths using a washing machine:

  • Load the washing machine ¾ full with microfiber cloth and other non-linting fabrics
  • Add a small amount of detergent, just enough to remove the dirt and not dry out the fibers
  • Set the washing machine to Normal Wash with warm water.
  • After washing, transfer to the dryer and add dryer balls to remove stuck hair and fur.
  • Air dry to maintain the maximum microfiber lifespan, Dry in the sun only when sanitizing.

You can also wash microfiber cloth manually using warm water and a small amount of detergent. Scrub with a soft bristled brush if extremely dirty, then rinse thoroughly, wring, and line dry.

Just bear in mind there are several guidelines to follow in order to maintain the integrity of microfiber:

DO's:

  • Use mild detergents without softeners or brighteners: Fabric softeners block the pores, preventing proper absorbtion of dirt, while optical brighteners fade the cloth.
  • Air dry or dry at low heat: High heat slightly shrinks the microfibers, lowering their cleaning ability, so it's best to avoid it.
  • Use dryer balls to remove hairs and lint: Microfiber picks up hair and fur well, and consequently holds on to them. Plastic dryer balls help knock them off.

DON'Ts:

  • Don't soak in bleach: Microfiber is very sensitive to bleaches. It damages the fibers, which split and start shedding, leaving lint on surfaces.
  • Dont keep dirty microfiber in airtight containers: They're a breeding ground for germs and the odor remains even after washing it.
  • Don't wash microfiber with natural fabrics: Natural fibres such as cotton and wool shed fibres easily. If you mix microfiber with these other fabrics, it will attract lint then deposit it on surfaces while cleaning.

How Much Is A Microfiber Duster?

The retail for the mini duster, Chenille High Duster, and one extra cover for each is $30.37.

That’s all.

More than $100 less than keeping me in Swiffer refills for a year. And, if I truly dusted, then laundered once a week, that $30 investment would stretch out at least over two years, probably closer to four before I had to replace them.

Now, let's do a recap comparison of Swiffer dusters and microfiber dusters in the table below.

Aspect Swiffer Dusters Microfiber Dusters
Cleaning Power Claims to trap and lock dust. Not as effective as claimed, it just relocates dust to other surfaces High quality microfibers that attract negatively charged dust particles. Proven to capture and hold dust effectively
Advantages
  • Disposable pads for one-time use
  • Has a duster extender for reaching high surfaces.
  • Convenient for sweeping and relocating dust from floors.
  • Reusable Swiffer alternatives
  • Can be machine-washed hundreds of times
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Cost-effective in the long run.
Disadvantages
  • Disposable pads contribute to landfill waste
  • Expensive refills
  • Doesn't absorb dust, but rather relocates it
  • Complex duster head changing process.
  • Initial cost may be higher, but saves money over time
  • Not as widely advertised as Swiffer
Price Swiffer duster kit, extender, and 16 refills cost just under $24. Refills cost about $11.50. Retail for the microfiber dusters and one extra cover for each is $30.37.

Overall, the microfiber dusters are far superior as Swiffer alternatives – financially, environmentally, and for better cleaning and hey, keeping my head dust-free too.

Chenille Microfiber High Duster Cover

While it’s true that Microfiber Wholesale doesn’t have wonderfully produced TV spots to elicit genuine emotion from me, they do have products that work better and will save a nice chunk of change year over year. I suppose it’s best to leave the commercials to Swiffer and the cleaning to microfiber.

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