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Comparison DIY& Official Pads; Great Sweeper but DO NOT buy at $80!!
on December 28, 2016
This sweeper is a terrific help around the house. I still sweep every 10 days or so, but that's cut down quite a bit. I used to have cat hair tumbleweeds between sweepings, but this little machine stopped that. It is an excellent value at approximately $24, but now that it's only available by 3rd party sellers at about $80, I'm not sure I would advise buying it.
For those wondering about the relative quality of the refill pads as opposed to DIY re-useable pads, I compared 5 pads: official refills, the pads that came with it, swifter sweeper pads, homemade shammy pads and homemade microfiber pads. I did not sweep or use the sweeper for 2 days before each test (hence all the black cat hair).
Official replacement pads: These are just the right thickness and have a texture that traps pet hair and debris (it catches much more pet hair than shows up in the photo). These are simple. Order them. They arrive. Use. For that they are in a tie for number one of the 5 pads I tried. But, if you use this device often, they can get kind of pricey. Also, on these, as with all the other pads, don't turn them over to re-use. That will just get debris in the Velcro that holds the pads on and it's plain gross.
DIY Microfiber pads: I bought a 2-pack of microfiber cleaning cloths (rags) for $1 at Dollar Tree and cut them to the appropriate size and shape. These pick up almost as well as the official refill pads, so they're in a tie for first place. They can be washed and used repeatedly, but if you generally sweep up a lot of pet hair or debris, you'll want to wash them separately, so they don't transfer their catchings to your other laundry. The main con with these is that they can be difficult to get on the machine just right. If they wrinkle or bunch up, they can stop the unit from moving. I also feel that I'll always need to keep some "real" pads in case I don't have any of these washed. Also, note that I don't think a thicker microfiber kitchen towel would work. The thickness would make it difficult for the machine to move effectively.
Swiffer pads: These are as effective as the official refill pads. Even store brands were good, so these can be cost effective if you are a patient person who will punish themself to save a quarter. Every time you use these, you have to use 2 and must cut them every single time in order for the wheels to be exposed. So, these are third on my list for the annoyance.
The pads that come with it: 3 thin, flimsy pads come with this machine. Do not judge what the refill pads will be like based on these (see photos). They work ok, but are 4th on my list. Besides, you can't get any more.
Shammy: I bought a bit thicker, stiffer Shammy at Dollar Tree. It held promise, but not much else. It flunked entirely. The machine also moved more slowly and laboriously with the thickness.
I hoped this answered some questions. Thanks!