Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Swiffer Showdown

Swiffer Covers

It seems I'm getting a little cheaper crunchier as I age grow wiser, resulting in higher propensity to do well by the environment. I've seen these knitted Swiffer covers (sorry, can't bring myself to call them cosies - they're cleaning supplies, people) around for a while, and my time in Nyquilia provided the perfect opportunity to pop these off the queue.

I was bored I'm a total dork In the interest of science, I knitted up two different versions to see which one would perform better. And so my friends, I give you...the Swiffer Showdown!

In this corner, we have.... the Zoom!
Zoom bottom
Pattern: Free from kiddo knits
Yarn: Lily Sugar'n'Cream in Playtime
Needle: Addi Turbo size 7, 16"

Knitted from one short side to the other, it's essentially a stepped k2/p4 rib.
Zoom back
Yeah, I'll hug your bottom, baby.

This was used to Swiffer two bedrooms, the dining room, and the fireplace hearth. Results were as follows:
  • Picks up dust very well.
  • Glides smoothly across the floor. (An important feature when you dance like a geek to your iPod while cleaning. Not that I do that.)
  • The relatively flat stitch pattern works well with the Swiffer Vac, allowing it to sit where it should and not interfere with functionality.
  • The edges tend to curl a bit, which actually helps it hug the bottom (hehehe, hug the bottom) very nicely.
Zoom test

And, on an unrelated note, I apparently need to dust my floors more often.

In the other corner, we have...the Ballband Swiffer Cover!
Ballband Swiffer bottom

Pattern: Free from strange yarns;;skull charms
Yarn: Lily Sugar'n'Cream in Playtime and Yellow
Needle: Addi Turbo size 7, 16"

Knitted from one long side to the other, it's essentially the Mason-Dixon Ballband Dishcloth in Swiffer cover form.
Ballband Swiffer back
Flippy is as flippy does.

This was used to Swiffer the living room and sitting room. Results were as follows:
  • Picks up dust well.
  • Is a bit draggy and doesn't glide as smoothly across the floor. (See above notation re: geek dancing.)
  • The bulky stitch pattern forced the Swiffer Vac to sit higher than it should, resulting in less effective suckage.
  • The edges cave rather than curl, giving them a flippy quality that doesn't hug the bottom (hehehe, hug the bottom) at all. Some tugging was required to get it to cover adequately.
Ballband Swiffer test
Euw. Again.

And, on an unrelated note, I apparently need to dust my floors more often in these rooms, too.

Now you would think the Ballband stitch pattern, with all those little recesses, would be more effective in trapping dust and debris, right? *BUZZ* Wrong! As you can see, dust and debris tends to sits on the raised surfaces instead, bypassing the recesses altogether and giving this version less surface area for cleaning. Which you know, kinda defeats the purpose.

I know what you're thinking. "But weez, what if the tested rooms had varying and unequal levels of shoddy housekeeping dust?"

Silly readers. You think I'd overlook that possibility? In order to fully ascertain which knitted Swiffer cover was truly most effective, expert procrastination another level of testing was required. And so, the Swiffer mop was called in to follow up the test dusting and gauge how much debris was left behind.

The Zoom follow-up mop showed some remaining crapage.
Zoom follup

But the Ballband follow-up mop showed a leeeetle bit more. Pay particular attention to the the right side and bottom of the pad, where enough dirt appears to resemble living organisms and scare the crap out of a person. Not saying that it did, you understand, just you know, that it *cough* could.
Ballband follup
Yuck again.

Both covers knit up quickly and easily. Both covers also have excellent stashbusting qualities and better-than-expected cleaning capabilities. However, the Zoom outperformed the Ballband in all areas, making it the clear and more effective winner. And prettier. Heee.

It has been revealed that one should attempt to shake as much dust and debris off test subjects prior to washing. Should one neglect to do so, and cavalierly throw said test subjects in washer with a full load of other items, said dust and debris will distribute and cling to all said items in said load like a cheap date, requiring a second wash cycle and thereby counteracting the ecofriendly, cost-saving ability of said test subjects and causing said scientist to curse paint off said laundry room.


Blogger Jennifer said...

I absolutely love it!!! This is something I would do....run an experiment!

I am glad to see that you can make one that will effectively work with the Swiffer Vac. That has been one of the deterents in making one...or seven.

OT: I am glad you liked my hat! My friend also made one and I am trying to get her to post pics one her very neglected blog.

3:13 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Thank you, oh Mad Scientist Weez, for conducting such a thorough experiment! I'd been giving some serious thought to knitting up one of these things lately, especially since putting one's house on the market really forces one to clean (even in those places no one sees). Now I know which one to knit! Oh, and how not to launder it -- ewww!

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post! I loved the humor, and I just may be making a Zoom.

5:44 PM  
Blogger Bezzie said...

Ha ha, your appendix made me nearly burst mine in laughter!

6:19 PM  
Blogger LizKnits said...

Love the side by side comparison!! And loved more ... another use for kitchen cotton!

8:09 PM  
Blogger The Kelly Green Rogue said...

I've been meaning to knit one of the ballband ones for ages, now thanks your amazing tests I know to use the other one! Thanks Weez! ;)

8:31 PM  
Blogger Corinne said...

I love your post today. It was exactly what I needed and I just may make a zoom today!! God knows I have enough yarn for it!

10:34 AM  
Blogger Batty said...

Have I ever mentioned you're brilliant? If not, I just have to mention it today. Great going! That idea is pure genius, not to mention environmentally friendly (as opposed to all those Swiffer things you have to throw out after every use).

6:39 PM  
Blogger chemgrrl said...

Oh, you've gone all science-y! I'm so proud. Hey, do those Swiffer things work pretty well? I can't imagine how much dirt and dust would come up off of my floors. *shudder*

5:52 AM  
Blogger Sourire11 said...

Great post!!! I've been meaning to knit one of these covers for awhile, too - more eco friendly and so much cheaper!

8:04 AM  
Blogger The A.D.D. Knitter said...

Maybe you need to think of a new career, saying something at an industrial products testing lab? Your report is brilliant!

2:18 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for that! Glad I didn't waste my time making a ballband one! ;)

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it!! Damn my carpeted floors .. but I wonder if the mop verison would work too!

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is wonderful! What a cute test!!

3:12 PM  
Blogger Miss Knotty said...

thanks so much for sharing your research with us - I had one question - Do you suppose that a zoom knitted with a microfiber blend yarn would behave as effectively? Given the recent microfiber cleaning rag craze, I was thinking of knitting up one in a spare ball of Lion Microfiber (don't recall the exact yarn name) that I have lying around. Thoughts?

8:56 PM  
Blogger weezalana said...

miss knotty - your profile doesn't have a blog or email address listed, so I hope you come back and check this! :)

In theory, microfiber yarn would work great at picking up dust! But I wonder if it might be a little "grabby" on the floor? I did a quick check on Rav and read that it (if it's Microspun) pills like mad, too, so it could end up leaving behind more lint and fibers than it picks up. Buy hey, if you've got a spare one lying around, it would make a great experiment! Give it a try! :)

7:02 PM  
Blogger Faith Wallis said...

I can not seem to get to the Knit Playground blog to get the pattern you linked to. Could you provide another link or pattern location?

These look so nice and I have a lonely little Swiffer that would like something to do...

12:49 PM  
Blogger weezalana said...

Hi Faith! I hope you come back and check the comments - you didn't leave an email address and there wasn't one in your profile. I also checked Rav, but your membership doesn't appear to be very active there!

It looks like she's since moved her blog to the following: http://www.kiddoknits.com/. You'll find the Zoom pattern in the sidebar on the right hand side. Hope that helps! :)

5:22 PM  
Blogger Faith Wallis said...

Thank you...I found it and saved it.

I appreciate your help! :)

6:51 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

I realize this post is over a year old but i just came across your showdown from Tipnut. I have been wondering which swiffer cover would do the best job, so thanks! this is great (and funny too, so that's a bonus).

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Tanya said...

You are sooo funny. While reading your evaluation, my boys kept saying, "What's so funny?! Mom, why are you laughing?"

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you have a lot of nerve stealing my floors and putting them in your house! lolololol! hahahaha!

8:48 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

Four years later...

Thank you for doing this experiment and posting the results. I have been wanting to knit a swiffer cover but there are so many different patterns available now that I didn't know where to start! The Zoom pattern definitely fits my level of knitting expertise, so I'm happy to see how well it works. :) (And even though kiddoknits appears to be no longer there, I should be able to make up this pattern just from your description.)

Thank you again. :)
(And apologies if you see this twice. Blogger failed to tell me whether it posted successfully so I'm sending it again.)

2:26 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

So fun! Good job!

8:52 AM  
Blogger ennadoolf said...

great post! I've linked to you here:

7:22 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home