How to Make Reusable Swiffer Cloths

The following is a post from contributing writer  Jackie.

Do you own a Swiffer? I do, but I have never liked the idea of having to buy the disposable cloths both from a money standpoint and an environmental one. But, what are you going to do? Well, I’ll tell you. You can make your own reusable cloths, that’s what. :)

Do you have any fleece fabric lying around? What about a fleece blanket you don’t use anymore? While you can always go out and buy fleece fabric, I try to be frugal and “shop” at home for craft supplies first.

Once you have found some fleece you are ready to make your own reusable cloths.

To make Swiffer cloths for dry mopping you will need a piece of fleece fabric that is 8 1/2 inches by 10 inches. You can cut the fleece with a rotary cutter or scissors.

That’s all there is to it. Just poke the fleece through the holes on the top of the mop and you are on your way to clean floors.

I did a little checking of prices at the store recently and a box of 16 disposable cloths costs approximately $4.50 + tax. That would mean that I would spend about $9 a month on disposable cloths. In a year that would be approximately $108 for something that I would just through away. I would rather spend that money on something else for my family, wouldn’t you?

Now, if you sew, I have another idea for you that works great for wet mopping. My mom is actually the person who came up with this idea, but her words to me on how she made it were, “Oh, I just used some terry cloth and elastic and that was it.” Well, I needed a little more guidance than that, so I did some playing around and this is what I came up with.

This reusable cloth is perfect for wet mopping. Here’s how to make your own.

Supplies

  • Hand towel or terry cloth fabric
  • 3/8 inch elastic
  • Sewing Machine
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Ruler

Instructions

1. Cut a hand towel into two pieces that are 9 inches by 12 inches. As you can see from the picture below, I made my pieces smaller than that, but I think a little bigger would be better.

2. Cut a small amount off of each corner to give them a rounded look. If your house is like mine you may have to be on the lookout for 1 year olds who might try to steal your scissors. (Don’t worry, I grabbed them away before she got ahold of them. :) )

3. Pin the two pieces, right sides together, all the way around.

4. Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance sew around the towels but leave a 2 inch opening for turning.

5. Turn the towels right side out and sew around the whole thing again using a 5/8 seam allowance. Be sure to keep that 2 inch opening from step 4. This second seam creates a casing for the elastic.

6. Attach a safety pin to the 3/8 inch elastic. I don’t have an exact measurement on the elastic, but I think 1 yard would be more than plenty. It is probably only 1/2 a yard, but it is better to be safe.

7. Thread the elastic through the casing. Ease the elastic through the opening and thread it through the casing until it comes out at the opening. You should have both ends of the elastic at the opening. Make sure the elastic is pretty tight.

8. Place one end of the elastic on top of the other end. Use a zig-zag stitch to sew over the elastic a few times and then cut off any excess.

9. Sew the opening of the towel closed.

This is what your reusable cloth should look like when you are finished.

It will slip right over your Swiffer and be nice and snug. You won’t even need to poke the ends into the holes of the Swiffer.

I like to use this kind of cloth for wet mopping. I simply run it under water, wring it out, and then slip it on my Swiffer.

If you were to purchase the wet disposable cloths at the store they are approximately $4.50 for 12. Even if I only use 1 package a month, that is still over $50 a year for something that gets thrown away. I think spending 10 minutes to make my own is worth it to save that much money.

To wash either of the reusable cloths I have shown you how to make, simply wash them with a load of towels. There is no special care that is needed.

If you have one of the mops that has the solution in it, I found that it is over $5 for a bottle. If you want a frugal and green option I would recommend using white vinegar either in a 50/50 mix with water or by itself.

Do you have a Swiffer? Do you think you would make and use either of these reusable options?

Other ideas you’ll enjoy:

More posts from Jackie

About Jackie

Jackie is a wife and mom of 5.  You can find her writing about family life and all things crafty at Blessings Overflowing.  If you are looking for activities to do with young children be sure to stop by her other blog, Pocketful of Posies. All images by Jackie.


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Comments

  1. Carrie de says:

    Great tips! I have a wet mop and had knitted a few cloths to use in place of the disposables. I already use a vinegar water mix instead of the Swiffer liquid, but I just spray it out of a spray bottle. This seems to add an unnecessary step… Any advice on refilling an old bottle to put back on the Swiffer??

    • Do you have one of the Swiffer’s with a bottle attached? I used to but I can’t remember exactly what I did to open the bottle. I do know I was able to open it, wash it, and refill it. I think it was tricky to open. I will do a little research and get back to you.

      • I just remembered what I did to open the Wet Jet bottle. I used pliers. However, after doing some research I found an easier way to open it. Put the lid in boiling water, or you could try hot tap water first, and then unscrew the lid. I guess the hot water makes the lid come off easily. If you are going to use vinegar I recommend cleaning the bottle out thoroughly first. I hope this helps.

        • john says:

          there is a link on how to do it, but, i’m not sure if this site would allow the link to be listed! i cheat and use on my swiffer wetjet two other brand reusable already made mop microfiber heads or pads! since i’ve tried the other mops by the other companies and they were less satisfying to me when it comes to overall performance satisfaction! but, both of their pads were perfect for this swiffer wetjet!

    • Bev says:

      I’ve refilled the Swiffer bottles lots of times. Just use a pliers and screw off the lid and fill.

  2. Lia says:

    i like your ideas! especially the one with the fleece for dry mopping. for wet mopping i simply use washcloths from the dollar store. they have the right size to just tuck them in those swiffer holes and there is no sewing involved for all those who hate it or don’t own a sewing machine. and it only costs a dollar! (maybe its even free if you have old washcloths that are not used anymore-go frugal! ;)

    • Thanks, Lia! I like your washcloth idea.I had some trouble once with a wet cloth staying in the holes. Maybe I am just an aggressive mopper. :) I guess that is why I like the elastic ones I made because they don’t move or come off at all.

  3. Jen S. says:

    I bet using one of my toddler’s old fleece pants would work well. Sew up the two ends and cut a hole for the pole which can be detached.

  4. Ginny says:

    Awesome suggeston. I have no sewing skills so I would just tuck the towel in the same way you did the fleece.

  5. Bethany says:

    Great tutorial!!!! Thanks, Jackie. You are winning me over with your frugality.

  6. Gabrielle says:

    Great tips! I’m a big fan of using microfiber towels as reusable Swiffer pads. http://mamagab.blogspot.com/search?q=thrifty

  7. Gabrielle says:
  8. Jeri says:

    AWESOME! The simple things…why does it take us so long to realize them!

  9. Leah says:

    I haven’t thought about using fleece for the dry cloths! I already use an old rag and pop it in the holes for wet mopping. (I like your idea better if I could sew!) This is definitely more frugal than buying those disposables!

  10. Linda Dietz says:

    Good ideas…but I am “old school” & never thought the Swiffer or any other mop did much good…just kinda pushed the dirt around. I still scrub on my hands & knees…& I’m almost 65! It’s good exercise!

  11. Jasmine says:

    After usage, do you just dump the fleece cloth in the wash? My husband is not a big fan of reusable anything (Cloth diapers, napkins, and the like) because he thinks they’ll never wash completely clean! (Germaphobe!) Also I live with my inlaws in _their_ house and my MIL is in charge of her washer, so is it possible for me to do this, but wash by hand? I have old fleece PJs I’d love to use!

    • Jasmine, I brush off the crumbs/dirt in the trash. Then I just wash them with towels and there is never a problem. I wash towels with hot water and it all comes clean with no problem. I usually use vinegar in the rinse for towel loads so that is an extra disinfectant. It sounds like husband is similar to yours. However, since I do all of the laundry I use cloth diapers, cloth napkins, these Swiffer cloths, etc. He never has to worry about it. :) I am sure you can wash them by hand with no problem. The fleece cloths dry very quickly, even when line drying. Goodluck!

  12. Andrea says:

    Thank you very much for the wonderful instructions on how to sew the replacements. I was very disappointed int Swifter that they don’t sell the cotton ones anymore…but I am happy to sew them now myself.

  13. magnoliasouth says:

    I’m a nurse and I’ve seen most of the hospitals I’ve worked for using plain cleaning towels, for years, over mops like the swiffer. They just use safety pins to hold it in place and then toss in the wash when done.

  14. Athena P. says:

    Love this idea! I’m going to make some of these for my mom. She has a Swiffer and would love these. :)
    I will make these when I get a Swiffer as well. I do my best to be as green as I can.

  15. Summer says:

    You can also use Velcro with the cloths for dry or wet mopping ;)

  16. marta says:

    Why work so hard? Just safety pin a microfiber clothes over it .

  17. Jackie says:

    Well, that could work, too. :) Good idea. Also, if you notice the first option is a no-sew one.

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