I have nothing against beer, I just don’t want to wash my floor with it.  And for some reason every time I used my Swiffer Wetjet on my floor (no this isn’t a sponsored post) I could smell beer wafting up from my checkerboard kitchen tiles.  Not such a bad thing but in a kitchen it meant I was constantly craving beer battered fish and chips.


At first I thought my beer loving mother Betty was sneaking in during the night to have one of her famous keggers, but as it turned out it was just the smell of the Swiffer Wetjet cleaning solution.

I love my Wetjet for doing quick cleanings of my floor but I’d been meaning to figure out a way to refill the container because a) I didn’t like the smell and b) my VCT tile floor needs a very specific type of cleaner to keep it looking good.  Also it angers me to no end that they purposely package the solution in a bottle that isn’t refillable so you constantly have to buy new plastic bottles of cleaning solution.

My VCT tile floor needs a neutral PH floor cleaner and I need a lemony smelling floor cleaner.  It just gives a cleaner scent than the Swiffer cleaner which smells like Oktoberfest farts.

My first thought was to try to pry the cap off of the bottle and refill it that way but they’re done a really good job of making that impossible without breaking something.  Either your hand or the bottle.

So I gave up.

It wasn’t that important and I had other more important things to do like take care of my compulsion to cook bratwurst.

Then about a month ago it hit me that I was going about it backwards.  I didn’t need to pry off Swiffer’s opening, I needed to make a new one.

And if you’re wanting to make your Swiffer Wetjet container reusable it’s all you have to do too.

How to refill a Swiffer Wetjet
  1. Find a cork or plastic plug that you can use as a stopper in a hole.
  2. Drill a hole into the top of the Swiffer bottle that’s the size of your plug.
  3. Remove the bits of plastic that fall into the container after drilling.
  4. Fill the Swiffer Wetjet container with your favourite floor cleaner.
  5. Plug the hole with your cork or stopper.
  6. Done!

  1.  Find your plug/cork and drill bit.

2. Drill a hole in the top of the Swiffer container.  It’s easiest to do this with the bottle still in the Swiffer because it holds it still.

3.  Little bits will have fallen into the container.  Remove the Swiffer container and shake it until all the plastic bits fall out.

If you use a cleaner that needs to be mixed with water, write on the bottle how much cleaner you need to add to the filled container.  For me it’s 4 teaspoons of cleaner to 1.4 litres of water (the amount the Swiffer container holds)

4.  Fill the container with your cleaner and water.  You might find it helpful to use a funnel. You might not.  The GREATEST thing about this whole refilling tip is that when you mix your cleaner you can use HOT water to clean your floor.

5.  Plug the hole with your cork or stopper.

5.  Done!

Here’s another Swiffer tip if you don’t know it already.



Instead of buying their disposable cleaning pads, use a microfibre cloth.  It will velcro right on the bottom just like the original Swiffer pads but it does a better job of cleaning and you can just toss them in the washing machine to reuse over and over.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have a really strong urge to make a lemon curd.



  1. a. chandler says:

    i have to laugh at some of the things that i have seen on the internet, not to mention specific categories dealing with the swiffer! i like your solution to drill a hole in the top of the bottle for pouring the solution in to the bottle! however, you can dip the bottle in boiling water for less than a minute and remove the cap with a towel, then cut the grab plastic off the inner cap! you will be able to fill it again and again with no effort at all! my concern is your solution to go into the bottle! if you use water and a soap product, you better hope there is enough preservative in the soap product or bacteria, mold, and viruses can grow in that solution even though it is sealed! if the soap or cleaner is pine sol or lysol or something stable then you are ok! also, i’ve found that too much soap or cleaner creates a layer on the floor with swiffer or any type of mop! i know because i tested 10 plus mops and solutions to go in the mops and swiffer formula even leaves residue because of the Polyethyleneimine, Polypropylene Glycol N-Butyl Ether, and Alkyl Polyglucoside! i make my own liquid solution too! but, i avoid too much soap, surfactant, detergent, cleaner solution in the water and use only distilled water because depending on where you live, you could be adding chloramine to your solution! most people don’t realize the dangers of chemicals—-meaning soaps, detergents, surfactants, etc…
    if you mix chlorine or chloramine with rubbing or ethyl alcohol you create chloraform a knockout drug! when you mix peroxide with vinegar or acetic acid you create peracetic acid which is deadly! anyway i am greatful for your solution despite the fact that drilling in the plastic can cause miniscule particles of plastic that could clog the swiffer in time! i’m not trying to be negative because your knowledge and insight is power to you and others!

  2. Danielle says:

    My roommate and I have been trying different techniques for this all week (including heating the cap and using pliers, literally almost every hack). This is the only one that has worked without frustration and lies. What a life saver. Thanks for helping out two broke college students.

  3. Mark Cave says:

    You can take any curve jaw pliers, vice grips, or channel lock pliers, and twist the cap right off. The plastic is soft and those little tabs will just strip right off. The next time you can do it with your hand, if not one more twist with the pliers will do it.;

  4. Molly Mopper says:

    Oh my goodness, forget the drill and funnel and cork, just make the cap completely removable once and for all with a little heat and a little snip.

  5. Andrea Vaughan says:

    Brilliant, I just did it work like a charm

  6. Susan Schneider says:

    Thank you, Karen, for sharing this problem and money saving idea! I followed your directions and had DH make a hole for me and carved a little on a wine cork to make it fit better. Voila! I don’t have to pay for refills anymore, thanks to you. Much appreciated, you are, Karen!

  7. Cynthia says:

    Well I have a second way to refill your Swiffer bottle. Heat a small pot of water almost to boiling. Hold the cap in the water for several seconds. That will shrink the cap enough to twist off. Of course, it is smart to use a cloth to open. Don’t want to get in trouble if someone grabs hold of a hot top! Have been doing this for a year or so. So nice and saves me $$.

  8. Catherine says:

    I LOVE this! And dang, girl… you are awesome. And by that I mean AWESOME!

  9. Kristin M says:

    OMG! This is by far the best answer this problem I’ve seen. Thank you so much for sharing this! Ive been trying to figure out the the easiest way to refill the swiffer for ages. I clean the floors a LOT. (Hardwoods, a new puppy and a home daycare. Yikes.) The boiling water method did not work!! Can’t wait to do this!

  10. Erin says:

    I don’t even know what’s in the liquid in the Swiffer WetJet. Poison? And now I have 2 kittens with very sensitive tummies and I need greener cleaners, but I also love the convenience of the Swiffer. So I took to modifying… I tried the softening the cap method in boiling water and ended up hurting my hand. Happy to come across this tutorial and happier that my boyfriend had a drill set (I’m not a handy person, so that might not be what its called…). It worked! And as soon as I was done drilling I realized I needed a cork, oops, should have thought about that… I ended up cutting down a liquor cork to fit the hole. Perhaps I’ll get a better cork one day, but it seems to have done the trick. Now I can refill with a safe cleaner for my pets! Thanks for the advice!

  11. Heather Sykora says:

    I bought a Rubbermaid microfiber 18″ wide floor mop T Home Depot 8 years ago. It does not have an attached spray mechanism. ( and therefore nothing to break….) I just use a quality spray bottle and mix Puracy non toxic cleaner and water. Alternately, Sometimes I make one microfiber cloth damp and go over the room with that and follow with a dry one to get off all the stuff.
    The 18 inch size is great for larger areas. And their still going strong after 8 years!!

  12. Allison says:

    This is pure genius! Use your own cleaner, less $ and less waste! I never bought a swimmer due to the waste, and price but I might consider it now. PS you should be bow to get rubber corks for this purpose at a science supple store for a few pennies, or beg a friend that works in a lab. We never use the tiny ones that come in a pack anyway!

  13. nancy says:

    You are a certified Genius!!!! I have a refillable Swiffer-type mop that Bona makes, but it doesn’t “spritz” worth a darn. I only use it between honest-to-goodness moppings. But Swiffer is $$ and I’m always running out. Now I can fill my Swiffer dispenser with the Bona product. (which I buy in bulk at Costco). YAY!

  14. Meg says:

    Nice! I actually found a way to take the white cap off…. I use and adjustable wrench and you need to run it under really hot water to soften the plastic a bit and pry off… so far I haven’t broken anything! My cleaner of choice is murphy’s oil soap.

  15. Renee Ryz says:

    I thought about a steamer. but doesn’t that ruin wood floors? I have wood through my whole house except for the bathroom. I use the Bona wood cleaner, but sometimes it seems sticky after. Not sure what I am doing wrong…

    • Grace says:

      I haven’t had problems with using the steamer on my hardwood floors, but to be honest, I don’t steam them very often as they don’t get sticky or dirty, mostly dusty. I wouldn’t steam them every week, but the water doesn’t soak through the floor.

  16. Carla says:

    I refill mine all the time, but I take my bottle and boil a pan of water and once boiling, I put the top of the bottle and leave in for about 45 seconds. I then take a pair of pliers and unscrew it. Love the idea of the microfiber cloth as well.

  17. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I would kill to have your kitchen floors…ok…maybe not kill…I would consider it for some of that lemon curd though…great ideas here!

    • Tina says:

      LOL!!! I thought you said “lemon crud”. I thought you meant her lemon smelling floor cleaner! It’s late, I’m tired.

  18. Amanda says:

    Totally off topic but I just tried your hamburger recipe and I think I love you… the only thing I changed was – I raise my own pigs so I used ground pork instead of beef, but holy wow I will be making pork burgers this way from here on out. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you…. : )

  19. Barb says:

    I think I’ve said this here before but it’s worth saying again. Go natural! I’ve been weaning myself off most cleaners with much success. It’s good for the budget and good for the environment and it might even help you breathe easier! I use vinegar and/or baking soda for cleaning almost everything (except wood). I’ve hacked my Swiffer and fill with vinegar or homemade lemon or grapefruit vinegar and it cleans like a charm.
    I also use vinegar in place of fabric softeners now and use knobbly dryer balls in the dryer and my clothes come out great. No dryer sheets for the landfill or chemicals down the drain. I happen to like the smell of vinegar but for those who don’t the smell dissipates very quickly. I do still keep a bottle of bleach on hand for the really tough jobs but baking soda and a brush work wonders on most things. Just try these things for one month and see what you think.

    • Laurinda says:

      Lemon vinegar DOES smell delightful 🙂 Instead of bleach (which is harsh on the environment) maybe give hydrogen peroxide a try. It also sanitizes, & can be mixed with baking soda. I put a spray top right on the bottle, because why not 😀

  20. Ella says:

    I gave up on Swiffer when I realized how much I was forced to send to the landfill. Then I switched out all my floors for hardwood (except for the bathrooms) so I switched to the Boma line of microfibre pads and cleaner. It does a great job on hardwood. But now I might…just might haul out the old swiffer for the bathrooms again…. question though Karen…I have NEVER seen a cork that small….did you steal your garden gnomes’ wine??

  21. Susan says:

    I love this!! I’m going to try this the the refill bottle for the Mr. Clean automatic shower cleaner, too.

  22. NinaMargo says:

    Love this! Hate it when a manufacturer makes you buy unrefillable bottles and pads to use. (Don’t even get printer ink cartridges! Karen, did you do a column on that yet?) Can’t wait to try the microfiber cloth when I use up my supply of their cleaning pads.

  23. leisa says:

    So smart!

  24. Janet says:

    It is possible to remove the cap on the Swiffer bottle. Just turn upside down into very hot water for a few seconds. It will twist off. I use a rubber lid gripper to remove. Goes back on easily after refilling, even though it’s cooled by then.

    • Regina says:

      Yes, you can soak the cap end in boiling water to soften it, twist it off, then use a nail clipper to cut off the prongs inside. Makes the cap easily removable and you can fill the bottle with whatever cleaning fluid you wish. I use O’cedar pro-mist Velcro washable pads instead of a microfiber cloth. They fit perfectly and stay in place instead of swishing around like a cloth.

    • Tina B says:

      That’s how I do it. 🙂

      I now have separate “Swiffer” bottles for tile and wood floors.
      It’s so much less expensive than buying an overpriced bottle every time.

  25. Alena says:

    What cleaner do you use? I also have VCT tiles in my kitchen and I really like the wet Swiffer pads that have the citrusy smell (I guess were are both addicted to lemony smell (lemon curd is awesome but lime curd is even better). I can’t say that they don’t do a good job – although, an important factor may be my standard of what is clean which I guess is a lot lower than yours. I have to admit that I broke two Swiffers already as I pushed too hard on them (they do need to make them a bit sturdier).

    • Alena says:

      Never mind,
      When I posted my question the page refreshed and I see you had answered it already higher up. I did not see the answers when I scrolled through.

  26. Diane says:

    I would like to have your recipe for the floor cleaner. I want to smell lemon too.
    Please & thank you Karen.

    • Karen says:

      I don’t make it Diane. I use Zep’s neutral pH floor cleaner which is what I need to use on my VCT tile. But it smells like “clean”. Not beer, lol. ~ karen!

  27. Catt-in-Kentucky says:

    My hubs. Wants to know what floor cleaning solution do you recommend. He mops all the floors and uses the Swifter system but uses their all-surface cleaner on both our tile and hardwood floors.

  28. Lisa says:

    Liebman makes one with a refillable bottle and a washable pad.
    I love it. I use vinegar for my floors.

  29. Sara says:


  30. Sherry in Alaska says:


  31. Catt-in-Kentucky says:

    We use the Swifter system……….your suggestions are brilliant!

  32. Brenda says:

    I was all – hey what are you doing washing floors – you’re supposed to be fixing the garden … then I remembered these are pre-written – smart SMART smart … you guys are lucky – you all have floors big enough to wash … I live in a downtown Toronto condo and my floor is as big as the bottom of a swifter so I just put a sponge on my foot and do mine while I’m talking on the phone. Le sigh!

  33. Ruth says:

    Aha! Brilliance! Life changing!

  34. Christina Contri says:

    After years of dealing with that frustration as well, I bought a Libman Freedom Mop. A bottle you fill yourself and machine washable heads. I contacted Libman after I purchased it to see if they offered replacement bottles (to be able to have different cleaning solutions on hand). They claimed that they were coming, but I have yet to see them. In spite of that, I still love my mop.

  35. Jen says:

    I had the Rubbermaid version. I bought it because it was refillable with your own cleanser. The pump action of the handle broke so quickly. Now I’m using the vileda version. Again, you use your own cleaning solution and a reusable pad. Love it. Also love those hacks for products I already own though! You’re a clever girl, Karen!

  36. Kennedy says:

    I find home cleaners now have too many notes and they always seems to have some smell that just hits me wrong ( everything seems to smell like aftershave). Natural cleaners that use essential oils usually smell great but often lack in actual cleaning abilities.

    Any suggestions? My favourite cleaner of all time was Mrs Meyers Geranium but it’s so difficult to find in Canada now that I just gave up trying to stockpile it.

    Great hack Karen!

    • Heather Tebbutt says:

      Hi Kennedy, Canadian Tire has Mrs Meyers products back again ask the Manager if they can order the Geranium.

    • I have allergies to anything artificially scented and have been making my own for years – might even have got the recipe here, can’t remember. Use a big empty vinegar container, or something that size, put a bottle of rubbing alcohol, 1/2 cup vinegar, 2 tbsp. dish soap and fill with water. Cleans floors beautifully and you can put some in a spray bottle for general cleaning. And it’s freaking cheap!

    • Grace says:

      I use a steamer. Best purchase I’ve ever made. Nothing but water needed and my floors are steamed clean and disinfected. I suppose one could add a few drops of essential oil into the water reservoir for some scent, but I don’t bother.

      • nancy says:

        Oooh I want a steamer really bad. Is it Stanley? You have to tell more about yours.

        • nancy says:

          oh I meant Sargent…

        • Grace says:

          It’s a Smart Living brand. Picked it up at a home show a couple of years ago and it came with a handheld steamer too that does wonders on my gas stove and backsplash.

  37. Nicole says:

    I know that Rubbermaid makes a similar product to the WetJet – has anyone tried it and does it smell as stanky? Is it refillable? And most importantly, does it clean as well as a WetJet?

    • Carla says:

      I have the rubbermaid one. You use your own solution, works great and has a reuseable washable pad.

    • shannon says:

      I had the Rubbermaid one as well. It’s great, and you can get extra bottles (for additional cleaning solutions, such as hardwood floors) and extra pads. I used this for a few years until I broke it; then I replaced it with a very expensive Norwex mop that I have to say I don’t like quite as well (no cleaning solution with Norwex, which is fine some of the time but not all of the time, in my opinion).

    • Tonia says:

      I have the Rubbermaid one and was going to comment on how it comes with a refillable bottle so you can use your own cleaner and has washable pads. I have never had a wetjet so I can’t compare. It cleans well in my opinion. I use Method Almond hardwood floor cleaner. I love the scent. I also use a different Method lemon scented floor cleaner for the laminate floors in the basement. I could just change the bottle and pad, but I bought a second one to keep downstairs instead.

  38. Tina says:

    Everyone raves about the swiffer but I just never feel like my floor is clean. I have multiples of the microfiber string mop heads so I just grab a fresh one, a glue of Mr Clean (I love the smell of that!) and HOT water and in a lick my floor is sparkling! And the mop heads go into a bucket to be laundered.

    Oh, to all of you who offered condolences on the passing of my dog, you guys make life worth living. For 2 days I couldn’t get out of bed but then I’d get notification of a comment and I could pull through another hour. I really appreciate all of you!

    • Sweet Tina. Glad you are feeling better. Onward and upward!
      My floors…..continual battle.
      Thanks Karen 😊

      • Tina says:

        Oh, mine too! I have (now) 2 cats and a dog. I sweep twice a day, vacuum and mop weekly. The problem areas (around the litter box and in the area where feeding dishes are) get mopped daily.

    • Karen says:

      Makes me proud to have such a community Tina. 🙂 ~ karen!

      • Tina says:

        You have a great community but that’s mostly because we have a great friend in you! Not only do you think of things I’d like to try, you give great advice on our questions. I always look forward to your posts.

      • By the by have been missing Grammy comments. Hope she has just been busy and has not fallen ill. 😙

    • Karen says:

      Oh! And I wash my floor with the Wetjet once a week or so, but also get on my hands and knees and wash it by hand every couple of months to get it really clean. ~ karen!

  39. connie says:

    That’s clever! so annoying when you can’t refill them but this is a great solution .And I can’t stand the smell of their solution either. What is that smell, if not beer?

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