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


buy one of those circular caps for automotive repairs or a rubber sink stopper and put in it
Posted by bsitler  on  Mon May 10, 2004  at  01:32 PM
I agree with you on the price of the cleaning fluid and I'm not too keen on the smell of it either. If the rubber sink stopper doesn't work try covering the hole with duct tape.
Posted by Beverley  on  Tue May 11, 2004  at  04:09 PM
I should think there's a chance a generic company will start making jugs of cleaning fluid that do connect to Swiffer Wet-Jets. (Hint to all entrepreneurs out there.) Other than that, the suggestion to cover the hole with duct-tape sounds like a good one.
Posted by Mia  on  Tue May 11, 2004  at  09:49 PM
Ljuba, my 1.5 years old Rottweiler died on January 1st, 2004 due to liver and kidneys failure. She was a healthy and happy girl. A few days before Christmas, she was acting funny. You could see in her face that she was not herself. On Christmas, I gave her a nice large bone. She didn't taste it upon receipt and even till she died. On December 30, she was not eating anymore and getting weaker. I brought her to the Vet for a checkup. She could hardly walk; too weak. Problem getting blood sample, she was placed under IV for overnight. She vomitted all of the liquid received; no urine. Finally later that afternoon, December 31, she urinated. On January 1, 9o'clock, the vet called to say that she had past away during the night. I am not sure if it has something to do with this presumably rumor but I can assure you that my girl was healthy until the washing of floor was more intensed because of the visiting family during the Christmas time.

Our girl will always be in our memories!!!

Guylaine Demers
Posted by Guylaine Demers  on  Fri May 14, 2004  at  10:38 AM
I read on a frugal living website that someone replaced the liquid in the original bottle using a turkey baster inserted into the bottom hole. Might be more trouble than you'd like to go through, but it's worth a try.
Posted by Lina Correa  on  Sat May 15, 2004  at  03:50 PM
Ok I agree about the price of the swiffer cleaner stuff...In fact I will not use it it also makes my floor stickie...You can unscrew the cap by using pliers I have done this on several occasions and use a very economical home made cleaning produsct.
Posted by Amy  on  Mon May 17, 2004  at  02:23 PM
Forget the commercial cleaning products. Empty your swifer container and refill with distilled white vinegar. Scent goes away fairly quickly and does not leave your floor sticky. If you make a hole in the top find a short wide wood screw to plug it with. Otherwise you can use a hypodermic basting tool (for injecting flavorings into meat) and fill through the hole that the swiffer unit produces. I am afraid that I don't trust a corporate web site to tell me the truth. According to my sources the chemical in question is a molecule or two away from being antifreeze.
Posted by J. Morgan  on  Tue Jun 15, 2004  at  04:18 AM
I think the Swiffer fluid is designed to attract dirt. I mean, when you use it, it does clean up, but have you noticed the residue it leaves behind seems to attract more dirt than just the plain floor? Why wouldn't Swiffer make their product sticky... I mean, then you need to clean more, buy more refills...
Posted by Marci  on  Thu Jun 17, 2004  at  05:41 PM
My mom and dad live in WV and HAD 3 house dogs and they all were fine. She used the Swiffer to mop the floor after they came in from outside and it was wet out they would track mud in so mom would Swiffer it up. Well, the first dog started to not act right so dad took her to the vets. And $500.00 later they found out her liver and kidneys failed. That was on April 15, 04. She was put to sleep there was nothing that could be done for her. Mom stopped usen the Swiffer when she found out about what was being said about it. Then the second dog stopped eating and when he would eat it all came back up even water. Well, they took him to the vets last night (June 28, 04) and guess what liver and kidneys failed. The second dog put to sleep. The vet at no charge to us is going to do major tests to see what they can find out. So now they are down to one dog. And she has to go to the vets today to see if they find any signs of any thing wrong with her and if they do what they can do to see if they can save her. So if Swiffer has nothing to do with this please some one tell me why two of the 3 HOUSE kept dogs are dead.
Posted by Tina  on  Tue Jun 29, 2004  at  07:46 AM
Tina, it's probably something they're eating outside. My parents had a small dog that was getting sick and eventually started going into convulsions. Turned out it had been chewing on a section of the wood fence out in the yard that had been treated with weather-proofing chemicals, and this was what was causing it to get sick.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Tue Jun 29, 2004  at  08:43 AM
If they had done some thing outside different in the past few months I would think that could be it, but they have not done any thing new in years. They go out side into a fenced area and they live in the boon dox so I don't think anyone feed them any thing. But thanks for the reply.
Posted by Tina  on  Tue Jun 29, 2004  at  10:19 AM
Just soak the top of the empty swiffer bottle in very hot water(soften the plastic a little) and unscrew the white top (use a wrench if you need to), fill it with whatever you want and screw the top back on(with your hand, no wrench) - next time just unscrew it to refill it.
Posted by Nancy  on  Mon Jul 26, 2004  at  09:32 PM
I have a chihuhua. I just used a Swiffer Wetjet last week. My dog is about to be 3 and has never had problems. Then today we were watching TV together and she couldn't move...then she tried to walk and was running in to walls. She finally got over it, but it scared me to death. I am beginning to wonder if it had any thing due to the Swiffer. I did not buy one for a very long time thinking it didn't really work and for my dogs sake. Then I had heard the rumors weren't true. I went ahead a used one. Now, I wish I hadn't.
Posted by Angel  on  Mon Sep 13, 2004  at  01:48 PM
The manufacturer gives instructions to open the case on the Swiffer to change the batteries. The case on my Swiffer doesn't open. It's a single piece, and seems to have a socket to plug in a charger, and there are metal contacts attached to wires (they can be seen through the translucent case) to the battery. The manufacturer gives no information on a charger, if there is one. Am I expected to just toss this one and buy a new one when the battery runs out?
Posted by Erica  on  Sun Oct 17, 2004  at  10:37 PM
first i had the clorox wet mop. easily can refill it with your own cleaning solution. when it broke (too quickly for my liking) i switched to swiffer. nice product but I HATE that they force me to use only THEIR products. i will never buy swiffer again NOR any other convenience products from this company again because of this. they think they got over on me? won't let them screwed me again
Posted by pat  on  Fri Nov 05, 2004  at  09:45 AM
Hello Out there i have a friend that just lost 3 maltese puppies from this swiffer mop an the cat had to be put down,Please send me anyinformation to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if there are any law suites against this company for killing our beloved pets Thank you an God Bless rosellia
Posted by rosellia a\s rose  on  Tue Apr 05, 2005  at  05:02 AM
From the ASPCA site:

May 6, 2004 -- Veterinary toxicologists at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center have reviewed the claim described in a widely distributed email alleging a relationship between the use of Swiffer Wet Jet and liver failure in a dog. The email alleges that exposure to the ingredients in Swiffer Wet Jet caused a dog's death.

The Swiffer Wet Jet system contains water (90-100%), propylene glycol n-propyl ether or propylene glycol n-butyl ether and isopropyl alcohol (1-4%). These ingredients are safe to use around pets when used according to label directions and would not cause liver damage at product concentrations. Propylene glycol n-butyl/propyl ether differs significantly from ethylene glycol, the potentially toxic ingredient present in most antifreeze products. Ethylene glycol is frequently implicated in causing renal failure in dogs following antifreeze ingestion. Propylene glycol n-propyl ether and propylene glycol n-butyl ether are very safe ingredients at levels used in cleaning products and do not cause kidney or liver failure.

It's false.
Posted by Boo  on  Tue Apr 05, 2005  at  05:11 AM
About a year ago, I bought the colorox mop (easy to use) and my cat started having signs of illness. Two days later he died. I could not prove it was the mop(suppected something else) and kept using the mop without using the chemicals. My new cat is fine because I stopped using the chemicals and added regular cleaner to the mop instead of the colorox chemical. Recently, my mop broke and I had to buy a new one and used the chemicals again. My cat has been sick for two days and THANK GOD he seems ok today. Please do not use this product if you have animals inside because it is extemely toxic for them. It was terrible to loose an animal but I am THANKFUL I know now what caused it and want the public to be aware of this. (b)(/b)(quote)
Posted by Mikki  on  Tue Jun 28, 2005  at  07:31 PM
Ok for all of those out there that want to know. I havent bought one replacement bottle of swiffer since i got it a year ago. I found an easy way to remove the top without cutting holes or using a baster. Ready its easy go and grab a wrench or some vice grips, squeeze the top alittle and turn. presto it's removable and refillable.
Posted by Kevin  on  Mon Oct 10, 2005  at  09:24 AM
Veterinary toxicologists at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center have reviewed the claim described in a widely distributed email alleging a relationship between the use of Swiffer Wet Jet and liver failure in a dog. The email alleges that exposure to the ingredients in Swiffer Wet Jet caused a dog's death.

The Swiffer Wet Jet system contains water (90-100%), propylene glycol n-propyl ether or propylene glycol n-butyl ether and isopropyl alcohol (1-4%). These ingredients are safe to use around pets when used according to label directions and would not cause liver damage at product concentrations. Propylene glycol n-butyl/propyl ether differs significantly from ethylene glycol, the potentially toxic ingredient present in most antifreeze products. Ethylene glycol is frequently implicated in causing renal failure in dogs following antifreeze ingestion. Propylene glycol n-propyl ether and propylene glycol n-butyl ether are very safe ingredients at levels used in cleaning products and do not cause kidney or liver failure.
so there!!! naysayers
Posted by bsitler  on  Mon Oct 10, 2005  at  02:14 PM
I have been cutting a hole, actually a square flap, in the swiffer bottle for quite a while now. But let me give a fantastic use for the swiffer wet jet: While housebreaking a puppy, I refill the swiffer bottle with the Pet enzyme solution you are supposed to clean up accidents with to hide the urine smell. It made clean up so much easier than using paper towels. I would just blot with paper towels and spray the solution all over the area and mop. The sprayer is also great when you have to apply to carpet, although you can't use the mop.
Posted by AMK  on  Fri Nov 11, 2005  at  06:17 AM
I am having a problem. I need to get the battery part open so I can change the batteries. Does anybody know how to do that? I have been trying to open the damn thing for a month. I saw that there was a little screw in there so I went and bought a tiny screwdriver to open it.. but turns out thats not how you open it. Anybody have any clue?????? I am getting so frustrated.
Posted by Alicia  on  Thu Dec 15, 2005  at  04:20 PM
If you can't figure out how to change the batteries on your Swiffer, it's because you have lost the battery compartment althgether.

Check the floor of your cleaning closet where the swiffer lives when it's not in use.
Posted by Todd  on  Sat Feb 25, 2006  at  08:42 AM
July 16, 2007
Last week our new puppy (11 week lab) started vomiting repeatedly and stopped drinking water! We took her to the vet who ran tons of tests and kept her on an IV overnight. They couldn't figure out what was wrong. We scoured the house looking for anything she may have eaten of gotten into. There was nothing. No one could figure out what happened.

I just heard about this link between Swiffer wet mops and puppy sickness, and I feel that this is most likely what happened to our pup. I used the Swiffer wet mop right before she got sick! and she was constantly licking the cabinet we store the Swifers wet pads in, she was very attracted to the taste.

Luckily she is now doing fine. I strongly feel that there should be a warning on this product, I never would have used them if I had know about this issue before. This was all so preventable if we had know.
Everyone Please Beware you don't want to go through what we went through, and subjecting a small puppy to a myriad of tests and so much discomfort is just horrible-!!
Posted by RKL  on  Sun Jul 16, 2006  at  01:56 PM
Anyone who is claiming the wet-jet is unsafe because it is
Posted by Ashley  on  Fri Aug 04, 2006  at  01:26 PM
Thank you Todd for posting how to replace the batteries. The battery compartment was right there on the floor where you said it would be. You are a credit to the internet!
Posted by Sharon  on  Wed Oct 04, 2006  at  01:05 AM
Thank you Todd from Jersey (Feb 06). We just went through "the battery doesn't work, how do you change them" There was the compartment, right on the floor.
Thanks. MCL from Hilton Head Island
Posted by Marcia  on  Sat Nov 04, 2006  at  09:05 AM
Thank you TODD - I've spent 3-days trying to figure out the battery, and presto, right on the floor where you said to look. I did a little dance for you!!
Posted by Jill  on  Sat Nov 25, 2006  at  09:16 AM
Todd is the man! We have been trying to replace batteries that were not there since they were on the floor in the laundry room. We thought we were just two senile senior citizens (well, maybe we are), THANKS TODD
Posted by Pam  on  Sun Dec 31, 2006  at  03:11 PM
Todd, you need to work for the R&D department at Clorox. They obviously need to redesign this portion of the swiffer. How about a screw secured compartment with a battery logo on front, idiots. My wife had the swiffer in the closet and had been complaining that the swiffer isn't working any more. But I found the part in this midst of other items in the closet. You win the Handy Man of the year award, even if we are only in January.
Posted by Dr. Park  on  Sat Jan 13, 2007  at  10:49 AM
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  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  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  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  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  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! 😊
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  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  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  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  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  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  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  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  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
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