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9 Surprising Ways You Can Use a Swiffer

Want to get the most out of this multi-use product? These unexpected Swiffer uses will have every nook and cranny of your home looking clean.

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Unexpected uses for your Swiffer

We all know how to clean hardwood floors, how to clean a bathroom and how to clean a kitchen using the fan-favorite Swiffer. But it turns out that to maximize its cleaning potential, you should go beyond the floors. Unexpected Swiffer uses include prepping walls for paint, cleaning the top of your fridge and even wiping down your plants. Swiffers can clean anything that attracts dust particles, which means they’re great for getting rid of dust around the house. And depending on your choice of dry or wet cloths, they can even remove grease and grime.

Swiffers are designed to trap dust and allergens, says Apurv Sibal, product expert and host of the Product Life Podcast. “Swiffer dry cloths use electrostatic fibers that attract and hold onto dust, dirt and hair, while the wet cloths contain cleaning agents that break down and dissolve dirt and grime, leaving surfaces clean and shiny.” That’s right—your Swiffer isn’t just for your floor anymore.

Why are Swiffers so good for cleaning?

A combination of a sweeper and a mop, the Swiffer comes with dry disposable cloths for trapping dust, hair, dirt and allergens (similar to what you see with microfiber cloths) or wet disposable cloths, complete with scrubbing strips to pick up grease, grime and leave behind a brilliant shine.

And while it is a great multipurpose cleaning product, beware that there are household things you should never clean with a Swiffer. According to Sibal, wet-cloth Swiffers should not be used on delicate or porous surfaces, like marble, unfinished wood, carpets or upholstery, nor on electronics or anything that could be damaged by moisture. Looking for some surprising Swiffer uses? Add these to your cleaning schedule and make your life a little easier. While you’re at it, check out the new Swiffer PowerMop, too.

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Step ladder near bookshelves at home
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Gather dust from hard-to-reach spots

Dust and allergens will gather in hard-to-reach places, such as the top of the fridge, bookshelves, light fixtures and more, all of which are perfect spots to use a dry-cloth Swiffer. “You can turn the Swiffer’s swivel head to get into nooks and crannies much easier,” says Raquel Kehler, interior design creator at Room Crush. To clean the top of your fridge, start by prepping and securing a stepladder. Hold the Swiffer parallel to the fridge, bend the Swiffer head down to face it and move the Swiffer from the back of the fridge to the front. Repeat and replace the cloth as needed.

Pro tip: Although not always one of those things houseguests notice, the top of the fridge is a large surface that still requires a deep clean, so make sure you have multiple Swiffer duster cloths, as they’ll likely get dirty quickly.

A simple interior cornice between wall and ceiling.
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Remove cobwebs from wall corners

Because a Swiffer is lightweight, it’s easily raised to the ceiling’s corners. “Use the dry Swiffer cloth to remove any surface dust or cobwebs [on the wall],” says Kehler. You can also use the Swiffer for stringy cobwebs on hard-to-reach blinds as well. “Then use the wet cloth to clean up any scuff marks, grease and dirt.” And while you don’t want to use a cleaning product that’s too harsh, as it can damage the paint on your walls, generally the Swiffer wet cloth is safe. “Always check that anything you use is suitable for painted surfaces,” advises Kehler.

Pro tip: For stubborn grime left in the corners, use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (as long as your walls aren’t painted with a glossy finish, one of the surfaces on which Magic Erasers should never be used).

French door refrigerator in new kitchen
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Tidy up stainless steel appliances

There are many expert-approved ways to clean stainless steel appliances. And surprisingly, a Swiffer is one of them and perfect for large-surface stainless steel areas, such as ovens or refrigerators. Take a damp microfiber cloth and gently buff where you see fingerprints, says Kehler. Attach a clean dry cloth to the Swiffer and spray a small amount of stainless steel cleaner on it. Move the Swiffer in a steady motion, starting at the top and moving down in columns.

Pro tip: Don’t apply too much stainless steel cleaner, says Kehler, as this can make the steel look greasy and create streaks.

Colorful Ceiling Fan
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Wipe ceiling fans clean

We’ve got a spring cleaning tip for you: Fixtures in your home can actually encourage allergies if not cleaned properly, and ceiling fans are one of them. They are great at keeping spaces cool, but dust and household allergens can build up on top of the ceiling fan blades, and once you flip the on-switch, they’re distributed throughout the room. Dry-cloth Swiffers are best for cleaning ceiling fan tops. First, turn off your fan. For the sides of the blades facing the ceiling, place your Swiffer duster at the center of the fan and work your way outward to the end of the fan blades. Use the wet cloth to clean each fan blade that faces the floor.

Pro tip: If ceiling fans are on your list of ways to use a Swiffer, one mistake to avoid, says Sibal, is using too much pressure. The Swiffer, although it is lightweight, can damage or bend the blades, making them unable to spin and disperse air effectively.

close-up of white lamp on bedside table inside a white walled room.
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Clean lamp shades

Here’s one of those unexpected Swiffer uses: tidying your lamp shades. Because lamp shades are one of those things you shouldn’t clean with water, you’ll want to pick a dry-cloth Swiffer for this task. The dry cloths are designed to use static cling to pick up tiny pieces of dust and dirt, all of which can unfortunately find their way onto lamp shades, especially those located in high-traffic spots like the living room. As a general rule, never clean any lighting fixtures unless the power is off or the fixture is unplugged. Once you’ve confirmed that, wipe down the lampshade with the Swiffer dry cloth.

Pro tip: Consider your lamp shade’s material. You can use a wet cloth for a glass lamp shade to leave a nice shine. Fabric lamp shades need dry Swiffer cloths to avoid damage.

Beach House Window
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Remove grime from window shutters

While there are much more thorough ways to clean windows, Swiffers offer a quick and easy option to tidy outdoor window shutters. Cleaning and decluttering expert Nicola Rodriguez prefers to use the Swiffer with dry disposable cloths because “the wet cloths can leave behind a residue” incompatible with painted shutters. Gently place the end of the Swiffer between each shutter slat and move the Swiffer from side to side. Do this for each slat until finished.

Pro tip: “Make sure you have the shutters fully open so that the Swiffer does not get caught or potentially break the shutter,” Rodriguez says. And while it might be tempting to quickly brush the Swiffer over the whole shutter, Rodriguez says to take the time to clean each slat for optimum results.

Flushing toilet bowl landscape
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Shine porcelain toilets

Learning how to properly clean and sanitize a toilet doesn’t take much. Disinfectants and some of the best-reviewed cleaning products will do the trick. And one of the Swiffer uses we love is to get to those hard-to-reach areas, like behind the toilet. “Cleaning behind [the toilet] is a nightmare if you have awkward plumbing,” says Rodriguez. But you can use a wet-cloth Swiffer to make the flooring behind your toilet and your toilet’s sides spotless. Wipe the sides with the bendable head to get each curve and corner.

Pro tip: Select the wet Swiffer for the best gleam and sparkle. “These cloths absorb and trap dirt, so it doesn’t smear everywhere while you’re using the Swiffer,” says Kehler.

Interior shot of backseat of new car
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Refresh your car’s interior

Swiffer dry cloths can work wonders gliding across all the curves found inside a car’s interior. Swiffers should be used for regular maintenance rather than heavy-duty interior car cleaning, like cleaning built-up grime and mud, says Kehler. Thus, the Swiffer dry cloth is perfect for refreshing a car’s cup holders, dashboard, air vents and other crannies. Use the cloth to get into all these spots.

Pro tip: Remember that cleaning the dust from your car’s interior isn’t just for looks, it’s also to help you maintain your vehicle’s value and protect your investment.

dog alone at home
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Trap pet hair

We love our pets, but they can be messy. We expect accidents and have learned about the best pet stain removers, how to get rid of a dog smell in the house, how to clean dog pee on carpets and how to groom a dog at home. But shedding pet hair is just inevitable. Kehler suggests using Swiffer’s Heavy Duty Dry cloths, which tend to be a bit more powerful because they have fluffy fibers great for trapping itinerant hairs.

Pro tip: If you have a household of shedding pets, try Swiffer’s Heavy Duty Pet cloths, a dry cloth that’s even better at trapping pet hair and even removes odor.


Michelle Mastro
Michelle Mastro is a lifestyle, travel and culture writer covering home, cleaning and more for Reader’s Digest and other publications. When she’s not writing, you can find her exploring U.S. national and state parks, reading and catching up on her movies-to-watch list.