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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)
  • Thread
  • 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.)

**This post has been entered in Frugal Days and Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable,  Works for Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family, Healthy2 Days Wednesday at The Humbled Homemaker.**

What do you use to clean your floor?

 


This is the writings of:

Kate is wife to Ben and mommy to Bekah (5), Daniel (4), Jacob (2), and Nathan (born March 2013). She is passionate about God, health, and food. She has written 7 cookbooks and a book entitled A Practical Guide to Children's Health. When she's not blogging, she's in the kitchen, sewing, or homeschooling her children. You can also find her as a contributor at Keeper of the Home.

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20 Comments

  1. Love this Kate! Thanks so much for sharing. Now, what do you use as a cleaning solution for your Swiffer mop? Also, do you have an alternative for the dry mop? I always just buy the off-brand dry mops at Walmart, but don’t really like the whole disposable aspect.

    Reply

    • I like 1/3 water 1/3 alcohol 1/3 vinegar for cleaning my laminate floors and kitchen tiles. Try it! Good Luck & God Bless…

      Reply

  2. For those who don
    t have a sewing machine I bought a washable microfiber mop at Wal-mart(I hate that place). I haven’t tried it for a wet mop but it works nice for dry mopping.

    Reply

  3. [...] I love this idea from Kate at Modern Alternative Mama! [...]

    Reply

  4. I have a shark steam mop and have made the pads for that too. Basically the same as the pattern above. Water is better on the floors than the chemicals that dirt sticks to. Our socks stay cleaner on a steam mopped floor.

    Reply

  5. LOVE IT!! I am actually thinking of making dry Swiffer reusables and I think the micro-fiber clothes would be great for that.
    I currently use a Lbman refillable “swiffer” style wet mot with washable pads. It is such a money saver on the cleaning solution along. I rarely use my standard mop but I do hand-scrub the floors maybe once a month (although now that I’m back to work I might not do it as often.)

    Reply

  6. I have a Swiffer and I use it a lot for the kitchen. I would also like to know what you use for the cleaning solution.

    Reply

  7. Thanks for this! I used to be a sponge and hands-and-knees gal. We have a tiny bath and a relatively small kitchen with lots of nooks and crannies. The sponge was easy, and I could spray homemade cleaner and be done quickly. Now – at 18 w pregnant, getting down on my hands and knees is getting more difficult and will soon be nigh unto impossible. I was out to shop for a new mop this weekend, and this article may have sold me on a swiffer – assuming I get brave enough to pull out that old sewing machine. I generally prefer hand sewing, but not with all those thick layers.

    Reply

  8. What do you use for the Swiffer spray? I love my wet jet but not the chemicals it sprays.

    Reply

  9. hi! you can dip the empty solution bottle in boil water for 20-30 seconds and it will enable the cap to come off. then refill with whatever you want! now all i needed was a reuseable cover! thank you for the tutorial!

    Reply

  10. You are so crafty, Kate! This are not only functionable–they are CUTE!! Thanks for sharing w/ Healthy 2Day Wednesday! Hope to see you back next week!

    Reply

  11. [...] Kate aka Modern Alternative Mama posted about her hand-made mop pads and I was inspired! (Thanks [...]

    Reply

  12. [...] 1. Make a swiffer washable pad [...]

    Reply

  13. I don’t understand how this is supposed to attach to the mop. Could you explain?

    Reply

    • Hi Shelly,

      The mop should have some form of “velcro” or other sticky-thing on it. So the hook-and-loop on the pad should stick to that. If your mop doesn’t have this (although I think all Swiffer mops do), then you could buy some stick-on Velcro and stick the rough part to the mop itself.

      Reply

  14. [...] Refillable Wet Mop – I used to love my Swiffer Wet Jet Mop.  Then I started switching to a more natural way of cleaning and I realized the Swiffer mop was not going to cut it any more.  I loved the ease of use but not the “formula” that I had to use.  Then along came a commercial for the Libman Freedom Wet Mop. For $30.00, I had a reusable, refillable mop.  Another cost savings benefit is that you can buy washable pads or make your own. [...]

    Reply

  15. One thing you can do also, is use old pre fold diapers! They wrap around the swifter and you can push them into the grip things on top!

    Reply

    • My swiffer wet jet does not have those things on top to push the cloth down into. Still, the cloth diaper idea is a good one and I will try to figure that one out.

      Reply

  16. I use the ENJO floor system to clean my floors (I actually use ENJO to clean my entire home!) It works way better than microfibre cloths, swiffers, steam mops, etc. and has been scientifically proven to clean 6x better than traditional methods. It removes 99.99% of bacteria and dirt using just the ENJO fibres and water! No more harsh chemicals or even vinegar or alcohol. Chemicals, vinegar, alcohol, etc actually damage floors, even the hot water in steam cleaners can damage floors. ENJO uses very minimal water while cleaning. I LOVE my ENJO products!!

    Reply

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