Toxicologists from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) respond to the Swiffer WetJet rumor.

Cavalier King Charles with mop

It goes without saying that if you have pets, you will have messes to clean up. Spot mopping and comprehensive deep cleaning will become part of your routine whether you live with a cat or a dog. When faced with tiny spots or difficult cleaning duties caused by their dogs, many people choose the convenience of a Swiffer WetJet. Are the chemicals in Swiffer WetJets, on the other hand, safe to use around pets? Let's have a look.

Is Swiffer WetJet Unsafe Around Pets?

In the early 2000s, an email circulated claiming that Swiffer WetJet was harmful to dogs. The chemicals identified in the Swiffer WetJet were thought to be the cause of the deaths of a dog and two cats. However, ASPCA veterinary toxicologists investigated the claim and concluded that the components were safe to use around dogs when used according to label guidelines and did not induce liver damage at the product's quantities.

The majority of the Swiffer WetJet cleaning solution is made up of water, according to the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) from Proctor & Gamble. Between one and four percent of the solution is made up of propylene glycol n-butyl ether and alcohol, with the rest made up of minor chemicals and preservatives.

The addition of propylene glycol, which is used with and de-icing solutions, gave rise to the urban legend that Swiffer WetJet solution was killing pets. While ethylene glycol has been proved to be harmful to pets, propylene glycol has been designated by the FDA as a food additive that is "generally regarded as safe," and is suggested as a safe alternative to ethylene glycol antifreeze products for usage around dogs.

Also, the chemical in Swiffer WetJet solution is propylene glycol n-butyl ether, which is available in a variety of cleaning products. If it was genuinely deadly, we should have heard of many more pet deaths because it is such a prevalent chemical.

Warning

If pets consume the product's pads, it might be dangerous to them. Additionally, your pet might drink a considerable amount of cleaning fluid, perhaps causing toxicity difficulties.

Simply said, Swiffer WetJet is safe to use around dogs if you follow the instructions on the packaging. If eaten, the product's pads might cause gastrointestinal obstruction, and a large amount of the cleaning solution could be harmful, although most pets should be clever enough not to drink it.

It's safe to use a Swiffer WetJet on your floors, and you can even let your pet walk on them before they're completely dry. To be extra safe, put your pet in a separate room until your floors are completely dry, and keep the cleaning solution and pads out of reach of your pet.

What Chemicals to Avoid to Keep Your Pet Safe

Pets are curious creatures who are prone to sniffing out things that should be left alone. Chemicals used to eliminate filth, mold, mildew, rust, weeds, and pests are common in most homes, but these items can harm your pet. When stocking your cabinet with household cleansers, make sure it's securely locked away from curious pets and their prying paws, as the following substances might hurt your pet:

  • Bleach
  • Drain cleaner
  • Detergent
  • Nail polish remover
  • Paint thinner
  • Pesticides
  • Herbicides
  • Rodenticides

When in doubt about the toxicity status of a particular product, read the label thoroughly or contact the manufacturing company for advice. 

Symptoms of Toxicity Poisoning in Your Pet

If your pet manages to get into your cleaning product cabinet or comes into contact with a chemical, you may notice symptoms of poisoning such as vomiting, diarrhea, and trembling.

Signs of Toxicity Poisoning in Pets

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive salivation, such as drooling or foaming
  • Tremors or seizures
  • Blisters on the mouth or skin
  • Pawing at the face
  • Licking excessively
  • Swelling of the face or limb
  • Elevated or decreased body temperature
  • Bleeding without clotting

If you suspect your pet has gotten into a chemical, contact your veterinarian right once. If an incident occurs after their business hours, call your local emergency veterinary hospital or the ASPCA’s poison control center at (888) 426-4435.

How to Clean Your Floors in a Pet-Friendly Way

Cleaning your floor with natural materials reduces the danger of toxicity for your pet. We've done the effort for you and found the safest floor cleaning solutions to avoid toxicity in your pet. Here's a list of non-toxic floor cleaners that are pet-safe:

  • Enzyme Solution Naturally It’s Clean: This floor cleaner uses plant-based enzymes to tackle sticky messes without leaving a tacky residue behind.
  • Puracy Natural Multi-Purpose Cleaner: This plant-based cleaner is guaranteed to safely clean any hard surface without streaking, perfect for those nose prints on your glass or paw prints on your floor.
  • Nature’s Miracle Stain & Odor Remover: Perfect for , this cleaner harnesses the power of bacteria-eating enzymes to eliminate pet odors and stains.
  • Baking soda: While straight baking soda can cause stomach upset, a mixture of baking soda and water or vinegar creates a powerful scrubbing agent that’s non-toxic.
  • Vinegar: Vinyl and linoleum floors benefit from this shine-leaving cleaner. Simply mix one cup of distilled white vinegar to one gallon of water and tackle your floor’s toughest messes. Be sure to rinse well afterward, though.

When cleaning your floors and you’re unsure about the toxicity level of your product, be sure to rinse your floor well afterward, keep your pet off your floor until it’s fully dry, and block access to your cleaning products. Many all-natural cleaning solutions don't require rinsing after use, so read the label to be sure.

CITATION

"Debunking Internet Rumors: Is Swiffer WetJet Safe for Pets? ASPCA.", "Material Safety Data Sheet. Proctor & Gamble.", "Public Health Statement Propylene glycol. US Department of Health and Human Services.", "Bertero, Alessia. Fossati, Paola. Caloni, Francesca. Indoor poisoning of companion animals by chemicals. Science of The Total Environment. vol 733, 2020. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139366", "Arsenic Poisoning in Dogs. VCA Animal Hospitals." ;

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