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Swiffer PowerMop Review: Pros and Cons After Months of Testing

In this review, I break down the pros and cons of the Swiffer PowerMop.

After testing it against other top-rated mops for several months, I reveal the good, bad, and everything in between.

You’ll learn about its design, ease of use, cleaning performance, cost over time, and more.



Swiffer PowerMop Review: Key Takeaways

Throughout the full review, I share up-close photos, test results, and more context behind the pros and cons of the Swiffer PowerMop. But if you’re in a hurry, here are the key takeaways.

Swiffer PowerMop
Swiffer PowerMop

What’s Included

The Swiffer PowerMop kit comes with the mop, one bottle of cleaning solution, two reusable microfiber mop pads, and 2 AA batteries.

How It Works

First, assemble the mop by connecting the three-part handle, attach the solution compartment and mop pad, and insert the two AA batteries. Use the button on the handle to disperse the solution. Replace dirty mop pads after each use.

Pros

Convenience and Ease of Use: The Swiffer PowerMop eliminates the need for a bucket of water thanks to its built-in spray nozzle that dispenses cleaning solution directly onto floors. Unlike traditional mops that need to be cleaned, the disposable mop pads go right in the trash.

Maneuverability: Weighing just 4.5 pounds, the Swiffer PowerMop is lightweight and easy to maneuver. The mop head swivels 360 degrees, making it easy to clean around and under furniture.

Effectiveness: The PowerMop does an excellent job cleaning thanks to its thick scrubbing pads, wide mop head, and fast-drying cleaning formula.

Cons

Long-Term Expense: Since the mop pads are disposable and cannot be reused, the cost of replacement pads adds up over time.

Strong Odor: The PowerMop cleaning solution has a highly potent odor from chemicals and artificial fragrances in the formula.

Poor Mop Pad Adhesion: The mop pads can detach easily from the mop head on uneven floors with cracks and grout lines.

Leaves Debris Behind: The pads do not absorb larger pieces of debris like dirt, hair, and crumbs well. You need to vacuum or sweep before using the mop.

Requires Batteries: The spray function runs on AA batteries that can die unexpectedly mid-cleaning. There is no battery life indicator, so you need to keep extra batteries on hand.

Is the Swiffer PowerMop Worth Buying?

The Swiffer PowerMop is a convenient tool for minor spills and sticky messes. And it’s a major upgrade from the Swiffer WetJet (read my comparison). But it’s still not absorbent enough for major spills and filthy floors, and the ongoing cost of the disposable pads adds up. If you’re looking for a spray mop to keep near your kitchen for nightly touch-up cleaning and maintenance, the Swiffer PowerMop is worth buying.

It’s available on Amazon, where you can view the current price and read dozens of reviews.

What Is Included

The Swiffer PowerMop kit comes with everything you need to get started cleaning your floors.

Swiffer PowerMop in the box
Swiffer PowerMop in the box

Inside the box, you’ll find the PowerMop itself, one 25.3-ounce bottle of cleaning solution, two reusable microfiber mop pads, and 2 AA batteries to power the mop.

Swiffer PowerMop unassembled
Swiffer PowerMop unassembled

Unlike some competitor spray mops like Bona, Swiffer’s pads are disposable and cannot be washed and reused. The cleaning solution bottle also cannot be refilled. When the pads get dirty (Swiffer recommends replacing them after each use) or you run out of solution, you’ll need to purchase replacements.

There are two versions of the PowerMop.

The standard model works on all finished floor types, while the PowerMop Wood has a few differences optimized for wood floors. It comes with a citrus-scented quick-drying formula, more gentle scrubbing pads, and LED lights to illuminate dirt and debris.

Both models are safe on sealed and finished floors but should not be used on unfinished wood, waxed floors, non-sealed tile, or carpets.

How It Works

The Swiffer PowerMop is designed to be quick and easy to set up before cleaning your floors.

To assemble it (video instructions):

  • Align the notches on the upper and middle sections of the three-part handle and push them together until they snap into place. You may need to push the interior wire into the handle to get the pieces to fit smoothly.
  • Connect the middle section of the handle to the lower section that holds the mop head and solution compartment.
  • Slide off the battery cover and insert the included 2 AA batteries, then slide the cover back on.
  • Press the solution bottle down into its holder on the mop head with the “PowerMop” label facing forward. It will click when properly connected.
  • Attach a mop pad to the mop head, with the scrubbing strip side facing the floor.

Once assembled, using the PowerMop is simple:

  • Press the button on the handle to spray the cleaning solution onto the floor area you want to clean.
  • Push the mop head forward and pull back to scrub the floor clean.
  • When finished mopping, remove and discard the used mop pad.

Swiffer PowerMop Pros

The three most notable advantages of the Swiffer PowerMop are its convenience, maneuverability, and effectiveness. Let’s talk about these, so you know what to expect.

Convenience and Ease of Use

One of the biggest selling points of the Swiffer PowerMop is how quick and convenient it makes mopping floors.

Unlike a traditional mop that requires you to fill a bucket of water, change the dirty water, and rinse and clean the dirty mop head, the PowerMop has two built-in spray nozzles to dispense cleaning solution onto the floor. This eliminates the time, energy, and mess that comes with continuously dipping a mop into a bucket.

Swiffer PowerMop labeled
Swiffer PowerMop labeled
Swiffer PowerMop spray nozzle
Swiffer PowerMop spray nozzle

When you’re done cleaning, you simply remove the dirty pad and throw it away rather than having to rinse and wring out a mop head. Attaching a new pad takes seconds, thanks to the Velcro fastening system.

The PowerMop allows you to finish mopping in minutes rather than the lengthy process of bucket mopping. It’s the ideal mopping system for parents of young, messy kids or anyone who doesn’t have the time to fill up a bucket and mop regularly.

P&G scientist Maria Striemer said in the PowerMop press release, “This will have people kicking the bucket and mopping smarter, not harder!” And, based on my testing, she was right.

If convenience and ease of use are top priorities, the Swiffer PowerMop delivers.

Maneuverability

The Swiffer PowerMop weighs just 4.5 pounds. It’s lightweight and easy to push and pull across floors. Compared to competitors like the 5.2-pound Bona spray mop, the PowerMop’s lighter body makes cleaning less tiring on your arms and wrists.

Since the cleaning solution is stored in the front rather than the back (like the Swiffer WetJet), you can lay the PowerMop flat without the mop head lifting off the floor. This design allows you to slide it under furniture and reach low-clearance areas that would be difficult with a traditional mop.

Swiffer PowerMop laying flat on the floor
Swiffer PowerMop laying flat on the floor

Additionally, the PowerMop head swivels a full 360 degrees, giving you the freedom to make tight turns around furniture legs or pivot in any direction.

Swiffer PowerMop pivoting head
Swiffer PowerMop pivoting head

For cleaning vertical surfaces like baseboards, the mop head can also lock into place to maintain contact with the wall or trim.

Swiffer PowerMop mop head locked in place
Swiffer PowerMop mop head locked in place

Effectiveness

I’ve been using the Swiffer PowerMop almost daily for several months, and there’s no denying its effectiveness.

Although the pads aren’t as absorbent as a large string mop, they are significantly thicker and more absorbent than most spray mops with disposable pads, including the Swiffer WetJet. And the fast-drying formula protects wood floors by not leaving them overly wet.

Swiffer WetJet and PowerMop mop pads
Swiffer WetJet pad (top) and PowerMop pad (bottom)

The 300+ scrubbing strips on PowerMop pads mimic the scrubbing power of a traditional string mop head. They can reach into tiny crevices and corners to lift dried-on grime.

Swiffer PowerMop scrubbing strips
Swiffer PowerMop scrubbing strips

Compared to the Swiffer WetJet’s flat mop pads, the PowerMop’s scrubbing strips are more effective at removing stubborn dirt and messes. I’ve used it to clean up spills like syrup, milk, and pet accidents, and it does an excellent job every time.

Comparing the thickness of Swiffer WetJet and PowerMop mop pads
Comparing the thickness of Swiffer WetJet (left) and PowerMop (right) mop pads

Since the pads are 15.25 inches wide, you can cover large areas in just a few passes.

Measuring the Swiffer PowerMop mop pad
Measuring the Swiffer PowerMop mop pad

Based on my testing, the PowerMop disperses cleaning solution about 22 inches away but only about 7 inches wide. For comparison, the Swiffer WetJet sprays the solution 19 inches away and about the same width.

Swiffer PowerMop spray range
Swiffer PowerMop spray range

The Bona spray mop sprays solution 24 inches away and 30 inches wide.

Bona Spray Mop Cleaner Coverage
Bona Spray Mop Cleaner Coverage

Although Bona provides better coverage with each spray, the Swiffer PowerMop allows you to target smaller messes without spraying areas that don’t need cleaning. 

Lastly, the handle has a textured grip halfway down that lets you comfortably apply pressure while scrubbing. This extra leverage makes it easier to clean stubborn messes.

Swiffer PowerMop handle grip to apply more pressure
Swiffer PowerMop handle grip to apply more pressure

Swiffer PowerMop Cons

While the Swiffer PowerMop excels in many areas, it does have some drawbacks to consider before purchasing. Here’s what you need to know.

Long-Term Expense

While the initial Swiffer PowerMop starter kit is affordable, the ongoing cost of replacement pads can add up over time.

The starter kit only includes two pads, and since those pads only last a cleaning or two, you’ll need to buy a replacement pack almost immediately.

Although prices vary by retailer, PowerMop pads tend to be more expensive than pads for the Swiffer WetJet or Sweeper. The price per pad varies based on the size of the pack. Generally, the more pads in a pack, the lower the cost per pad.

To give you an idea of the ongoing cost, view the current prices of replacement pads on Amazon.

Strong Odor

Another downside of the Swiffer PowerMop is the cleaning solution’s potent odor. The formula contains numerous fragrances and chemicals that create a strong smell.

Ingredients like alcohol, phenoxyisopropanol, and artificial fragrances give the solution a harsh scent. While not unpleasant, the powerful fragrances can be overpowering in small spaces. And since you can’t use other solution bottles or refill the PowerMop bottle with other cleaners, you’re stuck with Swiffer’s fragrances.

I highly recommend opening windows when using the PowerMop. The pungent odors can linger for hours.

I’m surprised that Procter & Gamble hasn’t developed fragrance-free cleaning solutions like Bona and Seventh Generation.

Poor Mop Pad Adhesion

Another issue I’ve encountered several times while using the PowerMop is that the mop pads are prone to detaching from the mop head, especially on uneven or rough surfaces.

Bottom of Swiffer PowerMop mop head
Bottom of Swiffer PowerMop mop head

Unfortunately, the tiny Velcro hooks don’t provide a strong adhesion between the pads and the mop head.

Tiny Velcro hooks on the bottom of the Swiffer PowerMop mop head
Tiny Velcro hooks on the bottom of the Swiffer PowerMop mop head

This weak connection makes it easy to remove the pad when you’re done cleaning but also allows the pads to detach when mopping over cracks, grout lines, or rough textures.

The scrubbing strips tend to catch on furniture edges or gaps between floorboards, causing the pad to rip free from the mop head unexpectedly.

The PowerMop is best suited only for very smooth and even floors without cracks or grooves.

Leaves Debris Behind

Another limitation of the Swiffer PowerMop is that it leaves larger debris, dirt, and hair behind after mopping. The pads excel at absorbing liquid messes and residue but don’t pick up solids well.

Before using the PowerMop, you need to sweep or vacuum floors first to remove any loose dirt, crumbs, or hair. Otherwise, these particles will likely be left behind in the mop’s wake.

Although this is a limitation with all mops, more absorbent string mops do a better job picking up dirt, sand, and other grainy debris.

Requires Batteries

The Swiffer PowerMop runs on 2 AA batteries to power its spray function. While the starter kit includes batteries, it’s an inconvenient ongoing cost.

Two AA batteries required to operate the Swiffer PowerMop
Two AA batteries required to operate the Swiffer PowerMop

Also, there is no battery level indicator on the mop, so the batteries are likely to run out mid-cleaning when you least expect it.

Bottom Line: Is the Swiffer PowerMop Worth Buying?

So, should you buy the Swiffer PowerMop? Here’s my take.

If you’re looking for a lightweight, convenient mop for quickly wiping messes from your floors, this is one of the best options. It has a wide mop head, thick pads with scrubbing strips, pivoting head, and it only needs about an inch of space to fit under furniture.

It’s a significant upgrade from the Swiffer WetJet despite the mop kits costing roughly the same (PowerMop pads are more expensive).

If you value convenience and ease of use, it’s a great buy. I’ve been using it almost daily since buying it, which speaks volumes about its effectiveness.

That said, it has limitations. The pads aren’t absorbent enough to mop an entire gallon of spilled milk, and mops with washable, reusable pads are more economical for weekly deep cleaning.

Bottom line — the Swiffer PowerMop is worth buying if you value convenience, but the cost of replacement pads adds up if you use it frequently.

Ready to buy? It’s available on Amazon, where you can view the current price and read dozens of reviews.

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He began his career in marketing, managing campaigns for dozens of Fortune 500 brands. In 2018, Andrew founded Prudent Reviews and has since reviewed 600+ products. When he’s not testing the latest cookware, kitchen knives, and appliances, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew via emailLinkedIn, or the Prudent Reviews YouTube channel.

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