Swiffer Wet Jet Pet Rumor

image Teresa wrote in to ask about the truth of that email rumor going around alleging that the Swiffer Wet Jet cleaning fluid contains antifreeze and can be fatal to pets (you can read the full text of that email rumor here). Swiffer itself addresses this rumor on its corporate website, so it can be pretty easily debunked. It's totally false. But since I'm on the subject of Swiffers, I've got to note something about them that I find incredibly annoying... how you can only use Swiffer brand cleaning fluid with the Wet Jet. And, of course, the Swiffer brand fluid ain't cheap. Out of frustration, I ended up carving a hole in the top of the Swiffer brand bottle and pouring generic cleaning fluid into it, but that didn't work well at all since the fluid kept splashing up out of the bottle whenever I moved it too vigorously. So yes, Swiffer may be innocent of killing pets, but in my books they're still guilty of selling overpriced cleaning fluid. Yeah, I could stop using the Wet Jet entirely, but I don't want to do that because I like how the Wet Jet works. I just don't like being forced to buy only Swiffer brand fluid to use in it. (Sorry about the rant).

Animals Email Hoaxes

Posted on Mon May 10, 2004


Okay you guys - finally bought more fluid for the Swiffer. Spent an hour trying to figure out how to change batteries. Read your remarks!!

Oh yeah battery pack was in closet on floor - jeeze. Started mopping. Too bad I forgot to buy more pads.

I will have to wait until the next trip to store again....
Posted by Cathy  in  Ohio  on  Tue Feb 13, 2007  at  04:13 PM
I wish people would have paid attention in science class. It's over 90% water. Do you think that the BIG old GOVERNMENT would allow something with anti-freeze be allowed to be exposed to kids and pets?
Posted by Roger Nelson  in  Oklahoma  on  Sat Feb 24, 2007  at  06:37 PM
Ha,ha,ha! Too funny! I'm sitting hear frustrated that loosening all the screws on my swiffer, did not produce a battery compartment...and low and behold...I fell victim to the same phenomenon: My closet floor sucked the battery pack right off my swiffer...it was right there just like the others! Kudos, Todd!
Posted by JSV  in  Ypsilanti, MI  on  Wed Mar 07, 2007  at  09:48 AM
I used the Swiffer only once before deciding it might be too toxic to use with cats in the house. The cleaner had a wax-like consistency (thickness) and was sticky. The fragrance was overwhelming. I did not want to chance poisoning my cats, so stopped using the mop with the Swiffer Cleaner. To use the pads (two or three boxes) I bought, I used more-natural cleaners ("earth friendly"), spraying it from a spray bottle, onto the floor, and then "swiffering".

My concern was not only with the Swiffer Cleaner itself, but also with chemical reactions that might occur between it and pet shampoos, flea powders, carpet shampoo -- any other chemicals that I might use in the home. Besides combinations of chemicals becoming lethal, it might be possible that the build-up of chemicals in a pet's body would, at some point, become too much for the pet to pass off or recover from. (Swiffer's thick and sticky nature would make it more difficult to pass through the body quickly (thus doing serious harm), seems to me.)

My Swiffer is in the garage -- and the only thing stopping me from selling it at a garage sale is that I don't want to contribute to someone else going down that "wrong path" -- using it with pets or small children in the house.
Posted by Clar  in  Florida  on  Sat Mar 10, 2007  at  12:18 AM
I've just amazed my grandparents by giving them Todd's advice (more Swiffer owners whose battery compartment was sitting in the floor of the closet while they searched for a key to open the mystery compartment). They wanted me to extend their thanks to Todd!!
Posted by Lori  in  New Jersey  on  Tue Mar 13, 2007  at  07:50 PM
thank you!!! Found my battery compartment on the floor like everyone else!! At least I am not alone in this! smile
Posted by caroline  on  Sun Mar 18, 2007  at  09:41 AM
Can anyone tell me if the Chlorox Readymop cleaning fluid has been linked to the pet sickness problems like Swiffer has? Just got a new puppy and she started to foam at the mouth soon after I used it. I do not want to jump to conclusions because the vet says she will be okay. Thank you.
Posted by Amy  in  Mexico Beach, FL  on  Wed Mar 21, 2007  at  03:07 PM
I also was disappointed in the Clorox mop because it was so flimsy and loved the Wet Jet mop. However, when I saw what the cleaning fluid did to my floors, I was angry. Why would any company produce a product that left floors sticky and streaked? I wouldn't even mind paying exorbitant prices for the cleaner if it worked! Thank you for the suggestion to remove the cap with vice grips. I did that and replaced the fluid with my the Clorox cleaner. Now I have the best of both worlds.
Posted by Janice Spiech  in  Juneau, AK  on  Fri Mar 23, 2007  at  11:14 AM
Ah! I have a 6lb chihuahua that has never ever been ill....3 days ago I used a generic swiffer wet type product....my dog is acting very strange now...$308 at the emergency vet clinic, they could find nothing in his bloodwork or x-rays to explain why he is in so much pain, dehydrated, not eating.....I'm beside myself with worry and now GUILT. Will this pass, or have I killed my baby?!?!?!
Robyn in Wichita
Posted by Robyn Garrison  in  Wichita, KS  on  Thu Mar 29, 2007  at  02:09 PM
My boyfriend has a 6 yr. old Japanese Akeda, and it has been having skin problems since they have moved(about a year). The house has wood floors, and never having wood floors prior, the swiffer was a new product to the dog. she likes to lay funny on her stomach with her legs spread, and the exposed(let furry)parts of her underside is what has been affected most.... they have spent alot of time taking her to the vets, and only getting suggestions of fleas, hotspots, allergies, so on, and nothing has takien it away.
I took the concern to a homeopath/naturealist practitioner. Describing the scaly skin that had blackened from what used to be pink. She thought first of parasites, but knew that discolouration has smething to do with the liver disfunctioning.
I just asked her what she used for cleaning the floor, and she uses swiffer wetjet. remebering the so called 'romour' e-mail. I decided to search, and as i am hearing the same thing from articles calling it a hoax... i am not convinced... to me, saying that there is not enough to harm it... is like saying one peanut is not enough to harm someone with peanut allergies. Everyone, and everythings bodies react differently to whatever we expose them to. If there are this many people able to link the introductino of the swiffer wetjet, and there pets health, especcially the re-occuring liver failure claims, there has to be some truth in it.

And in responce to someones commment about 'do you thing the govn't would allow it, if it had those things'... yes... why is there msg in our foods, why is there an allowable puss percentage in milk, why do we use aspertame as a sweetener?
Posted by Tanya  in  Ontario  on  Thu Mar 29, 2007  at  10:03 PM
Todd has made a lot of people happy - myself included. I can't believe the whole compartment was missing and I didn't even notice LOL!!!!!! Exactly where you said it would be too - you are a genius

Thanks Todd!!!!
Posted by Kathleen  in  Southern California  on  Sun Apr 15, 2007  at  06:59 PM
i bought 2 swiffer wet jet's in less than a year your product is not strong enough and it cost to much to go threw every 5 to 6 months. it sucks. what will you do to enforce the handle and get my customer satisfaction. joanne lemire
Posted by joanne lemire  on  Wed Apr 25, 2007  at  09:47 AM
Nothing, because this is the Museum of Hoaxes, which isn't affiliated with Swiffer in any way.
Posted by Boo  in  The Land of the Haggii...  on  Wed Apr 25, 2007  at  08:41 PM
Hi Everyone,

Think god for this web site. If it haden't been for this site I would never have located by battery compartment in the bottom of my closet. Glad to know I'm not the only idiot out there.

Posted by Lou Wall  on  Sat Jul 21, 2007  at  10:58 AM
After using Swiffer Floor cleaning sheets, have discovered our 4 year old (indoor) cat, after numerous vet tests, has a problem with his liver and they diagnose "some kind of poison" was ingested. He is not eating and is wasting away despite antibiotics from the vet. Illness came on about 36-48 hours after floor cleaning, wjhich, of course, cats walk across wet floors. At first, he was just lethargic the next day, then sitting hunched but not vomiting...now although his disposition seems better and not such a howl cry, he is not eating or drinking and for a cat that wwas extremely vivacious, he is very docile and seems to be just "waiting" this out. We also have a 4 month old CHILD so I was PARTICULARLY appreciative to receive the email! I don't believe it is a "hoax" although the company would like to promote such in order to continue to sell their poisonous-should-be-banned product. Will be reviewing all cleaning products and reverting back to vinegar/water.
Posted by Nancy  on  Wed Jul 25, 2007  at  09:04 AM
I am not familiar with this site, but I googled "swiffer battery replacement" and it directed me here. I thought the response from Todd was sarcastic.....if you were dumb enough to not be able to change the batteries, it must just not be there. But I kept reading all the positive responses, and finally went to the laundry room where swiffer lives....lo and behold, there it was. I really didn't think anything was missing! My dd and I had worked for days trying to figure out how to take the thing apart and replace the batteries! I had just forced the tab off, and broke it when I resorted to the internet. Fortunately I am able to tape the thing back together.
Poor design.
Posted by Tricia  in  nc  on  Sat Jul 28, 2007  at  05:06 PM
HAIL TO TOD!!!!!!!!!!!! Right on the closet floor like you said!!! Thank you Tod! I'm glad I'm not the only one that had this problem!!
Posted by Peg  on  Sat Aug 04, 2007  at  10:44 AM
What does the battery compartment look like?
Posted by sara  in  little rock  on  Sat Aug 04, 2007  at  11:28 AM
I just purcahsed this wet mopstarter kit. With this came this almost toxic smelling cleaner. All I did was take it out of the plastic bag. Immediately it mad my throat uncomfortable. I love the idea of the wet vac. I think though the cleaner is a chemical poison. I hahe fibromyalgia. The effects of these cleaning products can flair it up. I have used natural cleaning products for years that clean very well. Why on earth would they use something that smells like chemicals. Lots of them. Did someone say that you could use vice grips to remove the cap? Can you then replace it with your own cleaner? I love the concept not that cleaner. I have never smelled something that just smells dangerous.
Posted by Mona  on  Sun Sep 02, 2007  at  03:56 PM
Someone also said that the cleaner is sticky and streaks. I have a natural hardwood floor that I have just used water on. I think I will take this back for a full refund. Does this company think that comsumers are satified with this leathal cleaning fluid that doesn't even work.
Posted by Mona  on  Sun Sep 02, 2007  at  04:01 PM
I recently used Swiffer Wet Jet on my wood floors for the first time. Within 2 days, my cat started foaming at the mouth, and got very aggresive once. She has never done this before. It seemed like she had rabbis, but she is an indoor cat and I'm positive has had no contact with another animal. The only other thing I could think of was the cleaner. I googled and found this forum. I hope no damage has been done, and she will return to health as I stop using this. Say what you want about this rumor being a hoax, but I know what I see right in front of me.
Posted by Dan  in  Boston  on  Tue Jan 01, 2008  at  06:52 AM
Posted by Dan in Boston on Tue Jan 01, 2008 at 05:52 AM

TO: Dan

Go to Wal-Mart and get Milk Thistle it will be with the other Vitimans. It will repair any liver damage that was done. You can read my post from back on 04 when we lost two dogs that were house dogs and we live in the country.
Posted by Tina  in  Fayetteville, NC  on  Tue Jan 01, 2008  at  10:10 AM
Thank you Tina. This all happened within the last day and a half. Since I posted my comment, this afternoon my cat experienced a very severe seizure for 30-60 seconds. Very scary. She seems much better tonight, but I did see some foamy drool after she ate a bit of cat food tonight. I'll go right out and get that that Milk Thistle.
Thanks again,
Posted by Dan  in  Boston  on  Tue Jan 01, 2008  at  07:23 PM
Hello again. Just a quick update on my cat. Her name is Shmitty by the way (I know, a goofy name for a female cat, but she doesn't seem to mind). I just came home from work, and she seems normal again. The can of Fancy Feast I left for her in the morning was all eaten, and I haven't discovered any signs of foamy drool yet. Although now she does just sit there and stare at my Grateful Dead collection, and I still can't find my brownies.
Tina, I did pick up some Milk Thistle and just mixed it in with her evening meal. Let's hope it does the trick. Thank you again for the tip. Will keep you posted.
Posted by Dan  in  Boston  on  Wed Jan 02, 2008  at  05:17 PM
I googled wondering how to change the batteries in my wetjet because I couldn't figure it out after turning the wetjet upside down and trying to open compartments I probably shouldn't have. When I read that I should go look on the floor where the wetjet lives, I did and guess what? There was the battery compartment! Thanks Todd! YOU'RE A GENIUS! I'm back in business now!
Posted by Mary  in  Lees Summit Mo  on  Sun Jan 06, 2008  at  05:11 PM
My dog, too, is experiencing high liver enzymes for the 2nd time in a year. We've spent over $1000 to try and keep him alive. He's lost 13 pounds (of 55). I am giving my Wet Jet to someone without pets. If there is a lawsuit, I'd like to know. Say what you will, but my dog is like one of my children and we watch him and feed him right, and he's in the house and only out for short times in our fenced yard, so I don't know what else it could be.
Posted by Marie  in  FL  on  Tue Jan 15, 2008  at  07:02 AM
Hello. Another update on my cat, Shmitty.
Since my last post, she has had 4 very violent seizures/convulsions. The Milk Thistle didn't have time to do any good, and I could only mix less than a third of a capsule into her food at a time, or she wouldn't eat it.
I took her to the vet, who seems to think the Swiffer and her condition are unrelated. Yeah, and the same for everyone else's pet who just happened to get sick and some even die right after their owners used this product.
The vet gave me a prescription of phenebarbatol. I'm supposed to give it to her orally from the dispenser, but that's nearly impossible, so I mix it in with her food. Since starting it, she went 3-4 days with no problems, but then on 3 occasions, she began to lift her head, and open and shut her mouth, like she was gagging, then she would again get the foamy drool, but this time, it would not progress into the seizure/convulsion. So I upped the dose another half ml, and she has had no episodes for 3 days now.
I'll report back if anything changes, or just to update once in a while if all goes well.
Posted by Dan  in  Boston  on  Tue Jan 15, 2008  at  02:39 PM
Dan, I wish you all the luck that every thing turns out good... I know how it is to be told it was not Swiffer. But we lost two dogs with no other reason bit did save one.

Marie, try to give Milk Thistle to your dog..It helped the third dog. We saved her
Posted by Tina  in  FAYETTEVILLE NC  on  Tue Jan 15, 2008  at  02:46 PM
How much milk thistle would you give him?
Posted by Marie  in  FL  on  Tue Jan 15, 2008  at  06:26 PM

So far, my pets have not been affected at all, from the Swifer Wet Jet. They are 10 and 11 yrs old. Shitzu, and Lasa Apsa. However, I myself, have been sick from really bad Chest congestion, that anitbotics, and other pills, have not been helping. Also having some hard times breathing. It has been here, since right after I got the Swifer Wet Jet, around xmas 07. This could very well be my problem, I will be taking off the lid, and seeing if I can refill it with my own solution, and see if I improve.
thanks. Please email me, if you have any suggestions for me.
Posted by Bonnie  in  Florida  on  Fri Jan 25, 2008  at  11:03 AM
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