How To Make Your Swiffer Less Evil. A Tutorial.

Quite sometime ago, I mindlessly purchased a Swiffer Wet-Jet.

Why? Like many Americans, I was attracted to the idea of the convenience, and efficiency that it promised me. All I had to do was dole out $18.50 for the starter kit, and I would be on my way to a cleaner house.  I wouldn't have to get on my hands, and knees anymore. I wouldn't have to schlep a bucket of soapy water all around my house anymore. But best of all, I could throw away those Swiffer pads once I cleaned my house, keeping all of those awful germs, and creepy-crawlies out of my house, and in the trash where it belongs.

Why did this sound like a good idea? Should I really be throwing even MORE stuff away than I already do? About a year later I realized my mistake. I contemplated tossing the dreaded Swiffer, because every time I looked at it I felt more, and more guilty about my purchase. But since I already felt guilty about throwing all those pads away, why would I throw the Swiffer away? It was then that I decided to make my own re-useable Swiffer pads.

They can be made out of any absorbent materials. Cotton, bamboo, hemp, micro fiber. Think about what fabrics you have at home that you no longer use. Stained towels, ripped jeans, your exes flannel (assuming the last time you dated was in 1994 : ) ) You will save even more money, and keep even more out of the landfills, if you simply upcycle something you already own. Or make a small purchase from your local thrift store, and upcycle something you found there.

I used towels (terry cloth) for this project.

**You will need
11 1/2" x 5 1/2" of terry
2 10" strips of Velcro. The fluffy piece, not the hooky, rough piece.
Thread, pins, scissors...

Cut 2 pieces of your fabric down to 11 1/2" x 5 1/2", and pin together. If you are using a material other than terry, be sure to put the right (pretty) sides together, ugly sides out. Terry doesn't have a right or wrong side so if you are using terry, it wont matter which way the sides are facing.

Next, leaving a half inch seam allowance, sew all around leaving an inch and a half opening on one end. I used red, and brown thread so you can see where I stitched.
Turn right side out by pulling your fabric through the opening you left. Remember to push out all of your corners really well.
Now, fold in the ends of your opening, and either pin them shut, or press them with your steam iron.

Now go ahead, and beginning at the opening, topstitch around all 4 sides.

Now you need to attach your Velcro. Take the fuzzy sides, and cut 2 pieces to 10". Remove the plastic backing, and right below your stitching, pin onto your pad.

Now set your machine to a zig-zag stitch. I stitched right down the middle, but you can stitch around all 4 sides if you choose. Just remember to back stitch at the beginning, and end a little to secure your Velcro really well.

There you you're all done.

Feel free to clean your little heart out. I like to change these each time I clean a different room. Just toss in the laundry when they get skanky.

Click on the link here, to find out how to make your own natural floor cleaner. If you put the solution in a spray bottle, it will work with the same ease as your Swiffer Wet Jet. Simply spray, and wipe.

Happy cleaning.


Makarios said...

Wow! Clever AND resourceful. Good for you.

Your profile reminded me of an add I once saw. The guy was describing himself and among other things he said, “. . . non smoker, social dinker.” I don’t know if the News Paper gave him his money back.

krista said...

haha you gave me a good laugh. thank you. :)

Linguisticky said...

I inadvertently came into a Swiffer WetJet. I kind of hate it...but it's so darn handy. I whipped up 2 of these today; it took like 20 minutes! Awesome. Thanks so much!

krista said...

i know it's so quick and easy.

Leigh said...

This is great, thank you!!!

ktquilts said...

I think that I might do this with some of my microfiber cleaning clothes!!! Thanks for sharing!!!



Yoyo said...

What a great idea. Hubby got a swiffer because he thought it would be quick and easy in the kitchen, but I feel the same as you about all the excess trash. I'm off to make a couple of these. Thank you for sharing!!!!!

Kimmie said...

Hi Krista

Thank you for the clever pattern...this will save us tons of money!

I don't have a wetjet swifter...just a normal one...wondering if it will still work?

thank you!

mama to 7
one homemade and 6 adopted
with one on the way from Ethiopia!

krista said...

thanks so much for your comments everybody!

ktquilts, i wish i had some micro fiber stuff to make these lying around. :)

kimmie, i never had a regular one. i guess if it has velcro on it to hold the pads on i think it may work. just double check the measurements.

Shorty said...

Such a great idea! I have an old terry robe that will work perfectly!

krista said...

way to upcycle shorty! :)

Lowbudget said...

Would fleece work? If not, I have some old towels around here. Have you seen the homemade swiffer dusters? I have also made some of the pads before, but I used felt and t-shirt fabric. I will be using your idea now though. The directions are a lot easier!

Gigi said...

Love my Swiffer wetjet. Especially since I got it at a Garage Sale for 50 cents! Made a couple of similar ones, the last one was in an H shape and it velcroed on top. Also "cushioned" it with a layer of old double knit fabric that I had from my mother's 60s stash. Great ideas!! Will be making a couple of these for my sons

krista said...

lowbudget, i guess it depends on how absorbent fleece is. i could see it leaving some renegade fuzzies on the floor though. i have seen the duster tutorials, and i really want to make a few. i stopped using my swiffer duster for the same reason. :)

gigi, adding some cushion isn't a bad idea. maybe i'll try that.

Morgan said...

Oh, i love it! A great way to recycle old towels too!
Good thinking!

Anonymous said...

I'm confused...what is the point of the velcro? How does it go on the swiffer?

krista said...

unless they changed it, there is velcro on the bottom of the swiffer wet jet. the velcro is stitched onto the pad to affix it to the bottom of the mop.

i don't think there is any on the regular dusting mop though.

Maya said...

Wow! such a great idea... it almost makes me wanna buy a swiffer, it seems so convenient and now not so evil :)

Debbe said...

I don't have a swiffer, but I was intrigued by your tutorial for the pads because I have a steam mop. i am going to make new pads for. I'm saying all this to say if they took the velcro off the swiffer (commercials show adhesive pads) why not make you pad a smidge larger and add a draw string to hold it on the mop/duster.

Angie Neil said...

So cool! Can't wait to try it! I grabbed your button and I'm a follower now too!

Go have a look at my blog when you get a chance:

Clever-grrl said...

I love my swiffer too, but I hate buying and throwing away those replacement pads, as well as new fluid bottles.

I made some swiffer pads which came out pretty pathetic, although they worked. I will use your technique with the velcro next time.

I also hate buying new bottles of fluid.... and I'm cheap... sooo I used one of my husband's tools (channel locks) to open the top of the swiffer bottle (shhhh!!!) and I re-fill it with about 1 inch of Lysol, 1 drop dishwashing liquid, and the rest warm water. Works as good as the expensive fluid! And it's much much cheaper. AND I don't have to throw away so many of those little bottles!

krista said...

debbe, that's a good idea. you could even sandwich some elastic on either side, and slide your swiffer in between the pad, and the elastic. maybe they changed it, cause mine still has the velcro.

you are a clever grrrl, i couldn't get my bottle open to save my life. :) i now wander around my house with a spray bottle in one hand, and my swiffer in the other.

Lydia said...

These are a really cool idea. I don't have a swiffer but I do have a Vileda mop. It is similar to the swiffer except that the pads for it are meant to be washed and reused. Too bad they cost close to $18.00 each! I only have one currently, but having seen your post I plan to copy the Vileda mop pad and make some for myself.

Amy said...

My mom has been making regular-Swiffer sheets for years from her quilt batting scraps. Just cut 'em and tuck in.

burrum said...

A query from Oz.

Great way to make covers for the mop and I only have an old squeeze mop. Have discarded the foam bottom and now use knitted covers.

Got ahead of myself and sewed this project, then realised that I have no way of attaching to the bottom of the mop.
The only way I think that I can get the other part of the velcro on is to glue them, so that the sewn piece will adhere.

Any other suggestions?>

Katie @ Cheep Ideas said...

This is WONDERFUL!!! I've added it to a "Green Cleaning" roundup on my website today.

You can also grab an "I've been featured badge" if you'd like.

Great site!!

Milesmomma said...

Wonderful. I made three of these using a torn towels and leftover velcro.

Jill said...

To get the cap off, hold the bottle upside down in boiling water for 90 seconds it will be able to be pryed off, then cut off the little nubby tabs. I found this clever idea somewhere online.

Denise's Blog said...

Just made mine! Totally love it!! Just a note, a standard size washcloth is the perfect size. Just fold it in half, topstitch and add velcro strips. No cutting. I used a microfiber cloth because it is very absorbent. Works perfectly.

Georgann said...

I love this idea. Anything to reuse and upcycle sounds terrific to me!

Goldilocks said...

Instead of cutting, sewing and turning inside out - just fold the washcloth to the size you want and stitch it when you add the velcro - it won't hurt if it's too long or too wide. About a 3 minute project

Pat said...

Thanks for a great idea. I had saved your post on Pinterest for a while and just tried it today. It worked great. Now I'll make several more to keep on hand. I had stopped using my Swiffer because I hated to buy the pads.

Leslie said...

I tried to upcycle a soft cotton baby blanket and it didn't glide very well across the tile floor once it got wet, so I'm thinking either a towel or microfiber would work better. If anyone wants an AWESOME liquid spray cleaner for your shower, oven, etc. this is a life changer for me, so wish I would have had this 20 years ago! 10 oz water, 4 oz lemon juice, 8 oz white vinegar and 2 oz dawn dish soap. I got a heavy duty spray bottle at Wal-Mart for $3 and this stuff is amazing. I didn't even have to scrub off the soap scum! I'm in love!

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