Asked on Mar 31, 2017

Why is my floor sticky after using my Swiffer?

Cori Widen
by Cori Widen

Sometimes after I use my Swiffer (with the brand name wet wipes) - the floor feels a bit sticky after I wash it - looks very clean, just feels a bit sticky. It doesn't always, though - what am I doing wrong? Thanks!

Best solution for sticky floors!

Get your floors cleaner using these dry Swiffer pads and using water mixed with this white vinegar that Amazon reviewers swear by!

  17 answers
  • Diana Erickson Diana Erickson on Mar 31, 2017

    My floor did that also, I had to rinse the floor with plain water. Some floors seem to react weirdly to chemicals.

    • See 1 previous
    • Bonnie Wood Bonnie Wood on Feb 25, 2019

      I don't own a regular mop I just the swiffer disposable wet mopping cloths and our feet stick. I mop kitchen and bathroom floors twice so I guess I'll have to use my electric steamer mop. Too much work. ugh!

  • A A on Mar 31, 2017

    I stopped using the Swiffer Wet Jet solution because it leaves a residue on the floor. I always felt that my floor wasn't really clean because of the tackiness of that residue. You can remove the cap from a Swiffer bottle and use any other cleaner or just a vinegar/water mix (it's also A LOT cheaper). There are several websites and YouTube videos that will show you how to remove the cap.

    • MarianneK MarianneK on Sep 19, 2021

      How do you get the lid off the swiffer liquid bottle? I even tried large channel lock pliers and it didn’t work

  • Wendy Tuch Wendy Tuch on Apr 01, 2017

    Same problem here! I'm using Swiffer on bathroom and office floors only. When it runs out of cleaner, use water & vineger. I discovered it took at least 2 times to get the gooey feeling from the floor.


  • Cori Widen Cori Widen on Apr 02, 2017

    Ok, sounds like I'm not alone! I think that I'm going to try water and vingear...

    • See 1 previous
    • Cori Widen Cori Widen on Apr 03, 2017

      I have some lavender essential oil - so you think that will work?

  • Kati Heintzman Kati Heintzman on Apr 03, 2017

    I use the dry swiffer pads and a spray bottle with water and cleaning solution in it. I spray as I go and it allows the solution to soak in on the heavy dirt areas. I use less than a quarter cup to a bottle and the bottle lasts for weeks. I do a real mop job as my conscious dictates.

  • Jessica Jimenez Jessica Jimenez on Feb 08, 2019

    I use the regular Swiffer with the dry pads and their wood floor cleaner with it. I didn’t notice right away, but the cleaner was leaving a residue on the floor and my floor would actually be much more shinier and cleaner lookier if it were actually dirty! I didn’t notice the residue until I used the Swiffer one day to clean a spill on the floor versus an entire floor. Anyways, I decided to try the Swiffer Wet Jet Gain scent cleaner to see if maybe it was just the wood cleaner that was the problem. Nope! The Gain scented one does the same! Kati, I really like your idea! I think I will take what Swiffer cleaner I have left and dilute it in a spray bottle! Just a shame that we can’t use our Swiffer like we should! Thanks for sharing!

  • Barbara Murray Barbara Murray on May 01, 2019

    I have dull streak on my tile floor after using my Swiffer when using their wet pads. Same is true with another mop that has washable pads. Using floor cleaner diluted with water. WHY. What can I do. Looks awful.

  • Pamela Mann Schramke Pamela Mann Schramke on Oct 13, 2019

    I had this issue as well. I switched to a steam mop and haven't had sticky floors since! YAY! Typically, the floors get sticky because there is too much cleaner left on them. The Wet Jets really load on the cleaner when we spray. Vinegar and water (or even water alone) can definitely help clear it up, but it may take a couple of cleanings before it comes completely up. The thicker the layer of cleaner build up, the more time and effort it is to get it back up.

    I now ONLY use my steam mop or manually clean the floors with a normal mop (on occasion) with vinegar and water and I've never had a sticky residue again. Of course, you can fill the Swiffer bottles with vinegar and water or any other cleaner you prefer, or you can just use a spray bottle and manually spray the floors. Vinegar is an excellent disinfectant when allowed to sit and work, plus it cuts through grease and film. That's perfect for cleaning up after the chemicals Swiffer uses.

  • Debbie Anderson Debbie Anderson on Oct 17, 2019

    I've been using the Swiffer cleaner, opening the bottle and adding it to my refillable O'Cedar spray mop and washable mopping pads. The porcelain tile looked and smelled clean. Then we got a new puppy and when I was spot cleaning after her with a Clorox wet wipe I noticed I was getting dirt off the floor. Not just puppy pee, but brown stains where I'd pressed on the Clorox wipe with my fingers. I'm glad to find these posts. I'm going to use a solution of vinegar and water with the disposable Swiffer pads until I get the buildup residue off the tile.

  • Lori Lori on Jun 13, 2020

    i am so frustrated with the Bona and Swiffer cleaning systems for tile floors. We had our entire flooring, up & downstairs, replaced because of a pipe leak. Since I am using Bona on the wood floors, I tried their solution for tile. All I got was streaking. So I tried the Swiffer setup and I was left with streaking and a residue. This residue was such that you could walk across the clean, dried floor and see your foot/shoe print in it. I am not able to get on my hands and knees to clean so I was hoping the wet mop set up of these two popular products would work. I’ve followed all of the manufacturers instructions/tips with the same outcome AND frustration!

    is the only remedy to use water & vinegar in the Swiffer liquid container? Any suggestions will be appreciated.

  • Zully Zully on Nov 22, 2020

    How much vinegar and water should be used (e.g. half and half)?

  • David Oland David Oland on Jan 01, 2021

    I also tried Clorox brand on the Swiffer sweeper I have, and it also is sticky and attracts more dirt. I like ideas here, but why not try regular pinesol on the dry and the fluffy disposables? That should do the trick. Smell better too.

  • Stan Modjesky Stan Modjesky on Dec 05, 2022

    Grr...I wish I had read this before buying the mop and a large package of refill pads. Something else I can donate to the thrift shop.

  • Mogie Mogie on Dec 05, 2022

    I found that the type of liquid in my swiffer bottle can do this. The best thing I have found is just water and Dawn. But the amount of liquid dispersed could also contribute to the problem. In this case less is more.

  • Kelli Cook Kelli Cook on Mar 23, 2023

    Please tell me how you get the lid off of the Swiffer solution bottle. Thanks

  • Mogie Mogie on Apr 03, 2023

    I quit using swiffer because of this. Don't have a problem when just using water and vinegar. Plus swiffer seemed to streak. Amazon sells mops that are made for kitchen floors and spray out less liquid and that has reduced my streaking problem (LOL).

  • Mogie Mogie on May 18, 2023

    The stickiness on the hardwood floors after cleaning with Swiffer is mainly caused by an imbalance in the water-to-Swiffer ratio. If the water is too much, the solution is diluted and makes the hardwood floors sticky.