Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Homemade Swiffer Pads

If you've been following this blog for any period of time, you know that we are committed to living green. We are not perfect by any means, but we do what we can, where we can. Our housekeeper is a big fan of the Swiffer, and as someone who needs help with the physical work of cleaning due to my  health issues, I can certainly understand why she loves it. But, as soon as I bought the first box of pads, I knew that it would be my last.

I found  lots of different tutorials online for making pads. I decided to do an experiment to see which worked best.

Starting at the top left in the photo above, and moving clockwise, I used flannel, a cloth diaper, fleece, terry cloth (an old towel), and bar mop

The fleece and flannel work great for dusting, but are not suited for wet mopping. Of the three remaining, the bar mop worked best, then the towel, then the diaper. 

Once I figured out which worked best, I got to work making more. They only take about 15 minutes each to make and they are a nice easy project for even a sewing newbie. After all, a glorified rag doesn't need to be perfect!

You'll need:
  • bar mop towels
  • fabric--this is a great project to use up scraps. Each piece needs to be 5.5" x 11.5".
  • Velcro. 
  • Swiffer pad (optional) 

First, cut 11.5" x 5.5" pieces of both your fabric and bar cloth.

Place the two pieces right sides together. The towel is pretty stretchy. You may want to pin the two pieces together. Or, you can be like me and trim the towel after you sew.

Sew a 1/4 inch seam around the fabric, leaving a hole so that you can flip the material right side out.

Before turning the fabric right side out, you can  trim the edges. 

You can also trim the corners to avoid bulk. Be careful not to cut too close, or you'll end up with a hole in the corner. I speak from experience.

Turn the fabric right side out. I like to use a chopstick to make sure that the corners are fully turned out.

Iron the edges down, taking special care with the hole to make sure that the folded down edge lines up with the sewn edge.

Sew along the edge again to close the hole. I use a 1/8" seam.

Cut two strips of Velcro, 11" long. You only need the fuzzy side. The bottom of the Swiffer mop is going to be the scratchy side.

Stitch around the Velcro, as close as you can to the edge. I used a zizag stitch in my first pads, but I found that they pulled away too much. Because you will be washing this again and again, you'll want to make sure the Velcro is securely attached.

And you are ready for sparkling clean floors! I should mention that I make my own Swiffer solution, too. I haven't found a formula I love, but if you have, tell me about it in the comments!

As far as care, just throw the pads in the wash when you're done. Let them air dry, though, because you don't want to be pulling that Velcro apart!

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  1. Thank you for this tutorial! I am definitely going to be whipping some of these up soon!

  2. Great tutorial! I also wonder if there's a way to use a homemade solution with the Swiffer mop. I don't know how healthy their solution is.

    1. I've been testing out a few concoctions! I haven't found one I love yet, but I will post it when I do. I'm not a fan of the Swiffer solution. The scent is much too overpowering for me!

  3. Aren't you clever!! I admire your quest for green, but what motivates me to try this is the price of the disposable pads, highway robbery!! Thanks~

    1. Oh my goodness! Isn't that the truth!?! I've been using these for about 3 months already and I've been keeping a tally in my head of how much money I've saved. Makes me smile to think about it. And when these wear out, they will cost nothing to replace because I'll use scraps and old towels. I won't be taking pictures for the blog so they don't have too look so pretty :-)

  4. neat idea! thanks for sharing the pattern with us :) I am going to have make some and use up some of my scraps!


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