I always loved my Swiffer mop. Except that I didn’t love the solution (nasty chemicals), nor did I love having to buy those disposable pads. I used to use the pads several times, until they were very dirty and falling apart, but still. I don’t like to buy disposable things like that. The only “disposable” thing I buy anymore is toilet paper! (And I might get rid of that if I didn’t think it would cause mutiny!)
So, for awhile, I retired my Swiffer mop and used a regular sponge mop. But it was hard to deal with — it got water everywhere, constantly needed to be rinsed, couldn’t get into corners well, and eventually the sponge started to rip off the base. Enough.
I decided I’d sew these reusable pads instead. I wanted something that was “scrubby” but absorbent, and also kind of pretty. So this is what I came up with. These can be sewn in 10 – 15 minutes each. You don’t need to be an excellent seamstress or even have any experience to make these. If you can press down the foot and sew a straight stitch (or at least a semi-straight stitch, haha), you can make these.
You will need:
- 1 15 x 7.5″ piece of “pretty” fabric
- 1 15 x 7.5″ microfiber cloth
- 1 15×15″ piece of birdseye cotton, cheese cloth, or another “absorbent” and thin fabric
- 15″ of 1.5″ wide loop (like Velcro, the less ‘sticky’ part only)
- A sewing machine (though you could do it by hand…it would just take a lot longer)
Okay, here we go!
Get your pretty fabric and cut a piece that is 15″ x 7.5″. I’m measuring out my 15″ here.
This is my piece of fabric. It does not matter if it is not a perfect rectangle. You’re going to be cleaning the floor with this, after all. The top is pretty only so that you can “enjoy” the experience! (But if you don’t care, feel free to use whatever you want on top.)
Take your “loop.” That less-sticky “Velcro” stuff (Velcro is a brand name; the generic term is ‘hook and loop’). Cut it in half, so you have two 7.5″ pieces. Put them roughly in the center of your cloth, and pin them down.
Starting at the top of the long side, sew down one side, across the short side, back up the other side, and across the last short side. Now your loop is attached to your fabric. Do the same on the other loop piece. It does not matter if they are not placed exactly in the center or if they are not completely straight — just do the best you can.
Here you can see my loop is sewn down. It’s not perfectly straight. Like I said, it really doesn’t matter. (This is a forgiving project, which makes it GREAT for beginners!)
This is one of the microfiber towels that are sold in the automotive section of stores super cheap. I think I bought a 25 pack for $10 or something. I have used them for everything: stuffing in diapers, cleaning every room in my house, and now this. I just take a 15×15 towel and fold it in half. I’m going to cut it right along the fold.
Here is the towel after I’ve cut it. I have two equal pieces, so I can make two Swiffer pads from it!
Now I take a roughly cut 15×15 piece of birdseye cotton. This is the stuff they make cloth prefolds out of. It is really cheap — I bought it through an online coop for $1.50/yard. (I love my online coops!!) You could use an old, thin dish cloth; a piece of flannel; really any sort of absorbent cotton. Once you have your square, fold it in half.
Pay attention carefully here. Layer your fabric with RIGHT SIDES together. So, first lay your microfiber down with “scrubby” side UP. Then lay your pretty fabric on top of it, loop side DOWN. Finally, lay your cotton folded piece on top. Pin this all together. You can see each of my layers and how they are laid in the picture below.
Take this over to your sewing machine, and sew down one long side, across a short side, and up the other long side. DO NOT sew that last short side closed!
Once it’s sewn on three sides, look it over to make sure that you caught all the layers, and that nothing’s unsewn. If you notice a patch where you drifted to one side and you didn’t get all the layers sewn together, just go back over it quickly and sew it up. We don’t want any holes in the cloth!
Then, if you have extra fabric on the edge (more than 1/8″), cut off the extra close to the seam. You can see how I did this.
Now, go to that fourth side that’s not sewn closed. Find the top and the bottom layers (you can see mine in the picture below). Flip the cloth right side out. See how I’m folding it down and pulling it through?
This is my cloth once I’ve pulled it right side out. The scrubby microfiber is now on the bottom, the pretty fabric with the loop is on top, and the cotton is inside. All I have left now is that open edge.
Tuck the edge in so that it looks neat. It doesn’t matter if it’s perfect, just kind of fold it in and press it together. Sew this closed.
Now, it’s done! There’s one more step that I didn’t show that you might want to do, though. (Which I learned when I tried to use it). As-is, the cloth will shift around a lot as you mop. To prevent that, sew 3 – 4 straight lines all the way down the long part of your cloth, about every 1 – 2″. These will be parallel to the long sides. This keeps your cloth in place so that it doesn’t shift around and it’s easier to mop with.
There you have it! A nice, reusable, washable “Swiffer” cloth.
(If you’re wondering, the blue squares in the background are my denim blanket on my bed that Ben and I made a couple years ago.)
What do you use to clean your floor?