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. 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?

  2. 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!

  3. Nicole says:

    Essence of yuck? I’m not sure, but I agree with you guys.

  4. 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?

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

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. Ruth says:

    Aha! Brilliance! Life changing!

  10. 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!

  11. Catt-in-Kentucky says:

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

  12. Sherry in Alaska says:


  13. Sara says:


  14. Lisa says:

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

  15. 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.

  16. Carla says:

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

  17. Rose Devlin says:

    Christina: Agreed, love the Libyan Freedom Mop! I think they used to have replacement bottles (I have two bottles), check this link on eBay:

  18. Rose Devlin says:

    Oops, that’s LIBMAN Freedom Mop! Autocorrect slays me

  19. Heather Tebbutt says:

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

  20. Diane says:

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

  21. Karen says:

    It really does smell like beer doesn’t it?!! ~ karen!

  22. Karen says:

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

  23. 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!

  24. 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!

  25. Karen says:

    Thanks Catt! ~ karen

  26. Karen says:

    When I had ceramic I used Mr. Clean, which I loved. Now that I have VCT tiles I use Zep’s neutral pH cleaner made specifically for commercial tiles. ~ karen!

  27. 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!

  28. Suzanne Reith says:

    Love it.

  29. 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).

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. leisa says:

    So smart!

  33. Brenda says:

    so lucky you hav a big floor – I have to yoga pose touch my toes – getting harder as I age but my eyesight’s going too – so it’s working out

  34. 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.

  35. Kennedy says:

    Thanks so much for the heads up Heather. I didn’t know CT had started to restock the Meyers line!

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. Susan says:

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

  39. 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??

  40. martina says:

    Libyan Freedom Mop! I’m dying!!!

  41. 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.

  42. 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 😀

  43. Barb says:

    Thanks a bunch! I’ll give it a try. Always looking for ways to save money and clean smarter!

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. Tina says:

    Yeah, my knees don’t do that anymore. But I found some cool booties on amazon
    and use them to mop. I just put them on and scoot my feet into the important spots. Then toss them in the wash!

  47. Pat C. says:

    Hi, try a craft supply store for small corks. Or even a dollar store, although you might have to buy a package of 6 or 8 small bottles for the corks.

  48. 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…. : )

  49. brenda says:

    OMG I think I might need a pair (or two) one set for the kitchen and one set for the bathroom

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