Taming the Snow Mess with Deterrence and Swiffers

by Sandra Foyt on January 12, 2011

in Uncategorized

My husband thinks that it’s OK to walk into the house with snow encrusted boots. “They’ll melt,” he says, not realizing that he’s leaving a trail of dusty footprints. At least he can be trained to take off his boots at the entrance. The dog – not so much.

I was waging a losing war against snow mess, but the tides are turning with a few new weapons in my arsenal.

Battle Lines

Soon after Christmas, things looked grim. It was hard enough to keep the house clean with just my family, but we were expecting visitors, including four very young children. They were set to arrive right after a blizzard, and they planned to stay for a week, a week that would also see the arrival of even more visitors at a New Year’s Eve party.

A perfect storm for snow mess seemed inevitable.

Nothing if not an optimist, I stocked up for the invasion at my favorite store, Target (pronounced “targay.”)



Prevention being the first line of defense, I picked up several inexpensive runners and area rugs to place at every entrance. Even when they forget to take off dripping footwear (or can’t,) shoes and paws are wiped down somewhat by the runners. With a couple of boot trays to catch the drips when they do shed the shoes, we’re able to minimize a lot of the snow and dirt that makes its way into the house.


The Best Defense Is a Good Offense

I’m not going to lie, keeping the house clean while housing an army was not easy. But, a couple of new-to-me products helped keep the mess manageable. Both of my sisters had been praising Swiffer products, but I had ignored them. I vaguely recalled using a Swiffer wiper-thingie many years back that left a residue which I later found to be harmful to dogs, so I avoided that aisle. However, upon their fervent advice, I gave Swiffer products another shot, and I can honestly say that I’m a convert.

I LOVE my Swiffer Sweeper! It’s a cordless vac with a dry cloth that actually picks up the dog hair that isn’t captured by the vacuum. It’s easy to use, and does a great job of picking up dust and dirt on the hardwood floors. The only drawback is that it runs on a rechargeable battery that dies much too fast.

The Swiffer Duster is awfully cute, and very handy. An adorable puffy yellow head, actually a disposable microfiber cloth, is attached to a long arm that can be set straight or at a right angle. It’s perfect for dusting counters, chandeliers, and all the other surfaces that are soon covered by ash residue from our woodstove.

Finally, the piece de resistance, is the Swiffer WetJet. I can’t tell you how many fights have been won, and lost, over my family’s deep aversion to cleaning the wood floors. I insist on cleaning the floors by hand with a microfiber cloth, but my husband absolutely refuses to even consider this option. The result is that the floor goes a long time between cleanings.

With the Swiffer WetJet, and it’s disposable cloth cover, it’s easy to run the “mop” anytime. And, the wood floor solution does a pretty good job of cleaning the floors. It’s still not perfect; I prefer a hand-driven microfiber dipped in a vinegar-water solution. But, it’s so easy to use that it helps us get by between deep cleaning stints.

Winning the Struggle of Sisyphus

There is no winning the war against snow mess; at least, not until mud season bring a new kind of mess. All I can hope for is to reduce the stress and effort to keep our home comfortable. In that, I think, victory is mine…for now.

DisclosureI received no compensation of any kind for this post, and I purchased all of these products myself. So there!

| Sandra Foyt is a storyteller, photographer, and road trip junkie. A veteran of six cross-country road trips, she drove Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, the fossil freeway, the extraterrestrial highway, and even “the loneliest road in America.” Find her on GetawayMavens.com, an award-winning destination guide to extraordinary travel in and from Northeast USA, on her portfolio site at SandraFoyt.com, and in freelance gigs on Family Travel 411, Minitime, Huffington Post, and Matador Network. Email: sandrafoyt@albanykid.com, Twitter @SandraFoyt.

Beth @ TheAngelForever January 12, 2011 at 8:46 pm

When we moved into our house with wood floors, we embraced Swiffer products. Also love the Dusters for keeping television sets and other electronics dusted. Hmmm….have to check out the wood floor solution to see if it is safe to use on our floors (very intrigued with that). Dust bunnies and dirt be gone 🙂
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Sandra Foyt January 13, 2011 at 9:14 am

The Swiffer wood floor solution is OK, but I’m also intrigued by another wet vac similar to the Swiffer that allows you to use your own solution. I’d rather use just vinegar and water to clean the wood floors. They’re both found near each other in Target.
Sandra Foyt recently posted..Snow Ice CreamMy Profile

Margo January 18, 2011 at 10:16 pm

My friend Kate sells re-usable swiffer covers/pads on ebay, etsy, and locally at her store in Rensselaer. They are good for the environment!
Check out her store at: http://www.tuffbaggs.com/ and also:

Sandra Foyt January 19, 2011 at 10:02 am

Great idea! Thanks for the link, I’m going to check out the boutique pronto.

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