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Rubbermaid Reveal vs Swiffer Wet Jet Mop Review

Updated on November 3, 2011

Rubbermaid Reveal and Swiffer WetJet mops

Always in search of simple and inexpensive tools that make my life easier, I have been a user of Swiffer WetJet mop for many years. It has saved me time mopping my kitchen floor, and had none of the smell and lingering dirtiness of the sponge mop it has replaced.

Frugal, green and ecological family that we are, I always felt a ping of regret when I threw the used-up Swiffer pad refill into the trash, or a used Swiffer WetJet cleaning solution container into a recycling bin. I have found some tutorials on the internet on how to rig the solution container to be refillable, but they seemed like too much bother or danger (hot boiling water! oven mitts!) for a busy working mom like myself.

When I saw the new Rubbermaid Reveal wet mop at a local Wegmans a few months ago, it looked like a mop that has eliminated the drawbacks of Swiffer WetJet, and had no faults of its own. I have shelled out $25 for the mop, reasoning that it pay for itself in no time, saving me that amount in Swiffer WetJet refills.

Did Rubbermaid Reveal mop live up to its expectations? Read on this review to find out.

How do these mops work

and the major difference between Rubbermaid Reveal and Swiffer WetJet

The major convenience of a one-piece wet mop like Swiffer WetJet or Rubbermaid Reveal is that they eliminate the mop bucket. The mop itself has an attached cleaning solution container, sprays the solution in front of its path with a simple press of a button or a lever, and leaves the floor clean and almost dry after one pass.

This clever innovation makes mopping faster, easier, cleaner and more inviting. Instead of hunting in your closet for a bucket, rinsing the bucket, filling it with water and solution, putting on cleaning gloves, wetting the mop, mopping, rinsing, mopping, rinsing, refilling the bucket with clean water, mopping again, rinsing the mop, cleaning the mop, pouring out the dirty water from the bucket, rinsing and putting away the bucket, washing your hands, the whole experience is transformed. Now mopping is almost as simple as wiping the counters, and you don't even have to bend once! It goes like this: take out the mop, spray, mop, repeat, throw out or replace the pad, put away the mop. If you are careful you don't even have to wash your hands, much less put on cleaning gloves!


Photographic Print">A Stereotypical Cleaner Leaning on Her Mop

Photographic Print

Click here for information or to buy at AllPosters.com

The major difference between Swiffer WetJet and Rubbermaid Reveal mops is that the Swiffer mop uses disposable mopping pads and solution containers, and the Rubbermaid mop uses reusable mopping pad and a refillable solution container. Another important difference is that the solution spray mechanism in the Rubbermaid Reveal mop is mechanical, and the mechanism in the Swiffer WetJet is electrical - it uses batteries.

Rubbermaid Reveal mop and Swiffer WetJet mop on Amazon

Rubbermaid Reveal vs. Swiffer WetJet - the experience

There are many pages of product reviews and descriptions found on the internet that list all the technical specifications you ever want to know about for these mops. I am not going to talk about height, width, weight, color and other boring details of how these mops are made and how they look.

The important qualities of Rubbermaid Reveal and Swiffer WetJet are those that influence how they work, that make me notice a difference in such a mundane and dreaded task as mopping my kitchen floor.

When I first got a Swiffer WetJet starting kit, I was impressed. It was easy to assemble, and after putting in the batteries and figuring out which way the solution bottle goes in, I started mopping. My mop model also included a velcro on top left edge of the mop head, that I could attach a velcro-like scrubber strip to, for scrubbing stubborn floor stains. It was inconvenient to use and it got detached and lost very fast, but I didn't miss it.

The mop worked. It left my floor visibly clean.

The spray solution had a pleasant smell, the mopping pad was attached securely and with some elbow grease consisting of forceful back-and-fourth rubbing, could get rid of every dried-up spill and stain on my laminate floor. After I was done, the white mop pad was black on the outside, and when I removed it, I could see black stains seeped in from the inside (the side attached to the mop). Tossing the blackened pad into the trash that first time was very satisfying - such a good job I did cleaning my floor! The feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment seeing the formerly white pad turn black never went away, but with time it was joined by the feeling of regret about my consumption of boxes and boxes of those pad refills every year.

When I purchased Rubbermaid Reveal, I tried it out right away. First, there was no box and no assemblage - it came assembled. There were no instruction booklets either, the refill instructions were on the sticker on top of the cleaning solution container, and were more like a tip than instruction manual ("wet bottle tip prior to first use").

I quickly filled the bottle with a homemade water and vinegar cleaning solution, and started mopping. Attaching the cleaning solution container correctly was a no-brainer - there is a cylindrical groove on the container where it fits with the handle. With my Swiffer WetJet, I have to stop and think every time I change the cleaning solution refill, because all sides of the bottle are flat and the "right" side is marked by small text or a sticker.

Compared to Swiffer WetJet, mopping with Rubbermaid Reveal felt luxurious. This was mostly due to the plushness of the pad, and much larger (about 50% wider) mop head. The whole mop also felt more substantial - it has a thicker handle, less parts and less screws.

Another pleasant surprise was that Rubbermaid Reveal was silent - Swiffer WetJet makes a buzzing sound every time you press the spray button. Rubbermaid Reveal has a mechanical spray system, and a lever much like a spray bottle lever, but even nicer, that controls the spraying action. This can make a difference for me, if I ever decide to mop when my kids are sleeping in close proximity. Actually the only time I have to mop is when my children are sleeping, so silent mop operation is a definite plus for me.

When I started vigorously scrubbing a food stain on the floor with Rubbermaid Reveal mop, its major drawback revealed itself - the mop head detached from the mop handle! The mop head snaps onto the mop head with a plastic attachment. Yes, the mop uses less screws, feels more solid and less clanky than Swiffer WetJet, but putting a screw through that connection would not hurt. I didn't break the mop, it was easy to snap the mop head back on, but my bend-free mopping rhythm was interrupted. I have three little kids who each eat three meals plus snacks in the kitchen and every time spill or drop something on the floor, and I don't mop every day, so admittedly my floors are filthier than most. Every time I use Rubbermaid Reveal in my kitchen, the mop head snaps off at least once. Still, this design flaw didn't prevent me from reaching for Rubbermaid Reveal every time I mop my kitchen. I am also out of mopping pad refills for my Swiffer WetJet, so that helps too.

Another significant difference between these two mops is that Rubbermaid Reveal sprays a wide band of spray, leaving a spray mark as wide as the mop head in the path of the mop. Swiffer WetJet sprays a narrow patch in front, much narrower than its mop head. This leads to more rubbing action when mopping with Swiffer WetJet, ultimately wasting more time and movement.

After all is done and the tired Cinderella wants to go to bed, comes the finishing part. With Swiffer WetJet, I just peel off the cleaning pad, and throw it in trash, replace it with a fresh one if I feel like it, or put a new box of refill pads on my shopping list. With Rubbermaid Reveal mop, I have been handwashing the microfiber mopping pad. It has been easy and it has washed surprisingly well - I just put a bit of dishwashing soap on it, and rub under warm running water in my kitchen sink. Every time I was able to restore the pad to its original red color. I haven't tried machine washing it, because I have made do with just one pad, and always leave it clean at the end of the day.

Wet floor cleaning poll

How do you mop your floor?

See results

Rubbermaid Reveal vs. Swiffer WetJet - the price

The initial price of Rubbermaid Reveal and Swiffer WetJet is comparable - you can buy Rubbermaid Reveal for about $25, with a microfiber cleaning pad and refillable solution bottle attached but no solution in the bottle; and you can buy a Swiffer WetJet starter kit for about the same price. Swiffer WetJet starter kit contains everything you need to start mopping, except the batteries for the spraying mechanism.

Usage cost is another matter. Even being such a busy and lazy housekeeper as I am, I mop my kitchen floor at least once a week.

With Swiffer WetJet, I use one or two mop pads every time I clean my kitchen floor. I can buy a package of twelve pads in my local supermarket for about $7, and a cleaning solution refill for about $5. If I have to change the solution refill about once every two months, and go through two pads weekly, the yearly cost of operating Swiffer WetJet comes out to the equivalent of 8 packages of pad refills and 6 bottles of cleaning solution refills, or $86. This is not counting the cost of the batteries, even though I did have batteries die on me at critical times, like right before holiday guests are scheduled to arrive and no extra batteries are in the house.

Operating Rubbermaid Reveal is not free either. Not counting the cost of laundering or hand-washing the microfiber mop pad, there is cost of cleaning solution. Even if you use a simple homemade cleaning solution (like I do) of 50% water, 50% white vinegar, and a drop of dish soap, these supplies will cost you. I mostly had to buy large containers of white vinegar. One gallon of white vinegar costs about $5 at my local grocer.

Rubbermaid Reveal mopping solution bottle holds about 20 oz of liquid, about half of the size of Swiffer WetJet solution refill.

I need to refill it about once a month, using 10 oz of white vinegar. In one year, I use 120 oz of vinegar, or a bit less than a gallon. Yearly cost of operating the Rubbermaid Reveal mop for me is a whopping $5.

And for me personally, the price of knowing I contribute no cardboard mop pad boxes, no used mop pads, no used plastic refill containers and no batteries to the landfill because I want to mop my floor, is not something I can put a dollar value on.

Homemade cleaning solution recipes for floor mopping

I use a simple vinegar cleaning solution in the refill bottle of my Rubbermaid Reveal mop.

I fill it up with about half of white distilled vinegar, fill it to the top with hot tap water, and add a dash of liquid dish soap. It works well and leaves my kitchen floor smelling vinegary for just a few minutes - the smell goes away fast. Best of all, it is safe for children. Of course drinking vinegar in large amounts is not very safe, but it is a food vinegar and I feel much better leaving this mop in a place my youngest kids might be able to access, namely the floor of my cleaning closet. It makes it much easier for me to access, and makes me much more likely to use it more often and keep that floor sparkling clean for my crawling baby.

I have to admit that I overdo it on vinegar. About half a cup or even less for the whole bottle will probably do as well.

Filling the bottle with just the hot tap water with or without soap will also work.

A drop of essential oil in the cleaning solution will make the floor smell better.

If you are mopping real hardwood floor, do not use vinegar.

Here are good tips on what kind of cleaning agents are best for different floor surfaces:

Natural Floor Cleaning Tips

The verdict: Rubbermaid Reveal vs. Swiffer WetJet

Even though I prefer my Rubbermaid Reveal mop, I haven't gotten rid of and haven't freecycled my Swiffer WetJet. You can see both of them pictured in the introduction.

The bottom line is, both Rubbermaid Reveal and Swiffer Wet Jet mops work well and leave my kitchen floor equally clean.

I find that for me, the benefits of ecologically friendly design, the opportunity to save money and to mix my own safe and chemical-free cleaning solution, outweigh the cons of using Rubbermaid Reveal mop. I also like its larger mop head. The drawbacks are the insecure attachment of the mop head, and the need to wash the microfiber mop pad. Filling the solution bottle is not an inconvenience for me at all, it can be as easy as holding it under the tap for a few seconds.

For somebody else, the convenience of disposable cleaning pads and not mixing or buying your own cleaning solution might be weightier advantages. And for my four year old son, the buzzing sound of the spray button on Swiffer WetJet is the hands down reason for keeping it. So i am keeping it, for my four-year-old, and for that desperate moment when I run out of water and vinegar just before guests arrive...

Reader Feedback

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    • profile image

      Hana 2 years ago

      Thanks for the detailed review. I was going to get a swiffer but i read reviews from several people which said the handle breaks easily. After readin your post, i decided to buy the rubbermaid reveal instead.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Good lens. I appreciate the info on making my own cleaning solution I've been using Swiffers for years (my hub loves them) , bu this "upgrade " they came out with is bogus. I think ours may have even come damaged (the hub purchased at WallyWorld), though he had used it a few times first so don't know if "curious little hands" had a part in that. Damage aside, the new model's bottle is IMPOSSIBLE to release. And I'm sick of the expense of those pads. I'm post-menopausal and don't want anything around that reminds me of my past!! :-D So I have just orderede the Reveal and hope it lives up to my expectations. My One Drawback: I have lots of extra Swiffer solution left over. Can I use it in the Reveal?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: The little blue thing on the solution bottle is not part of the mop assembly and is just part of the packaging throw it out and the bottle will just "snap" into place

    • uneasywriter lm profile image

      uneasywriter lm 4 years ago

      I prefer the old "rag mop" over the swiffer. I have tried Swiffer and it just don't feel as clean to me.. Just my humble opinion.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I can't get it to work there are no instructions, the bootle falls off the straying does not work

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'll stay with the swiffer. I can do double-duty with the mop head because my kitchen floor is quite small. Only problem is any of those pads tend to slip and slide.

    • jadehorseshoe profile image

      jadehorseshoe 5 years ago

      My Swiffer works great. Nice Lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I'm sorry. I did not mention that I've replaced the 'cleaning' mop once... added a 'rinsing' mop a few years ago that still looks like new and have never replaced the 'waxing' sponge mop. (I didn't buy those; my wife had them and two more that I put in the cellar and barn when I assumed the cleaning chores.)

      I cannot explain why the sponge mops do not smell - all I do is rinse them with hot water when I am done. (The first thing I did to keep our kitchen clean was throw out those stinky kitchen sponges; we use only non-scratch 'Scotch-Brite' tcleaning pads, or our hands.)

      Plain water is a wonderful solvent and can be used to clean most materials. It doesn't work on grease but a drop of dish detergent fixes that; and you don't need a special 'dispenser' to put a drip of detergent on the floor.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      My wife bought a Swifter and the provided solution stripped the wax off our shiny forty year linoleum floor. I screwed the lid off the little solution bottle by hand (my hands are soft but very strong) and refilled it with water. But the whole concept is a total waste of money, resources: plastic, batteries, solvent (see the ingredients) and space for the mop, replacement pads and solution bottles. (I also found a broken mop my wife didn't even tell me about; who has room for all that?)

      Since I retired 16 years ago I've wet mopped our kitchen floor weekly, waxed it every other month and stripped the wax annually. I don't use a bucket at all; just wet the sponge mop, pour a bit of water on the floor and mop it, rinsing the mop frequently when I am going to wax the floor. After the mop is clean I drop a worn out terry cloth on the floor, set the mop on it and 'dry' the floor with that.

      My wife probably bought the Swifter because of our grandaughter's frequent visits. I had her give the floor one more Swifter cleaning so I could renewed the wax; then I went over it with a clean sponge mop. When I rinsed the sponge mop dirty water came out. Huh? The thing doesn't get the floor as clean as a wet mopping. And unless you rinse and 'dry' it you are leaving chemicals on the floor. Bleech!

    • iWriteaLot profile image

      iWriteaLot 6 years ago

      Great idea for a lens. I haven't used either product but I do like the regular Swiffer.

    • AnnaWise LM profile image
      Author

      AnnaWise LM 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Susi, than kyou for your comment. Yes, I noted that washable pad can be a drawback - personally, I don't mind scrubbing it by hand in my kitchen sink. I feel bad about throw-away pads, and messing with pliers is more pain for me than washing a pad. So for everyone, there can be different preference.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I would not put that dirty Rubbermaid pad in my wash. Mine did not clean easily under the spigot. I spent as much time cleaning the pad as I would have cleaning the floors on hands and knees plus dry hands from the soap. Swiffer throw aways are easier for me. DYK that you can remove the cap on the bottle with a pliers and put your own cleaner in it?

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thanks for the review! I've read that Rubbermaid has made some changes to the Reveal to eliminate the head problem... on their website many ppl have said they called & received a replacement unit free of charge... worth a shot!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great article and review. It answered all the questions I had to the point, and it definitely helped me decide. Thank you!

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 6 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Good Review. I have used the Swiffer Wet Jet for small areas or to clean-up a small spill. :)

    • AnnaWise LM profile image
      Author

      AnnaWise LM 6 years ago

      @tssfacts: Thank you!

    • profile image

      tssfacts 6 years ago

      Great article and review. I personally don't like the swiffer wet jet mop. But I did learn some new things about this product. Blessed by a SquidAngel. You are featured on Home and Garden SquidAngel.