5 Ways to Make Your Own Reusable Swiffer Pads (Sew and No Sew)
Why Swiffer Cloths are Toxic for People and Planet
If you’re wondering why you might not want to use Swiffer’s single-use wet mopping cloths (or even their dry cloths or dusting cloths, for that matter!), here’s why. Yes, they are super practical. But, if you care about your health or the planet, you’ll want to reconsider. The Environmental Working Group gives Swiffer wet cloths an F grade. That’s because they contain ingredients shown to disrupt hormones, cause developmental issues, cause skin irritation, respiratory effects, nervous system damage, damage to vision, and even cancer. Not to mention, they trash the planet by being highly toxic to aquatic life and create tons of non-biodegradable single-use wipes. (Are you outraged? You can start by supporting the reform of the outdated U.S. federal system for protecting citizens from toxic chemicals. Check out our Environmental Activism course!)
How to Make Your Own Reusable Swiffer Pads
These models work for 5”x10” Swiffer mops, which are the regular mops. Make sure to measure your Swiffer before getting started.
Option 1: Reuse your old washcloth (no sew method)
The easiest way to make your own reusable Swiffer pads is by simply using an old washcloth and pushing the fabric into the 4 Swiffer holes to secure. That’s it. Avoid using microfiber washcloths or towels since these release microplastics into the waterways when washed.
Option 2: Reuse an old towel (no sew method)
You know that ratty old towel that’s been sitting in your dresser drawer? Now’s its time to shine. You can make your own reusable Swiffer pad with it.
- Your old Swiffer mop
- A medium-size old towel
- A measuring tape
- A pair of scissors
Cut out 11×10” rectangles from the old towel. That’s literally it. Now you can use them by pushing the fabric into the 4 Swiffer holes to secure.
Option 3: Reuse an old towel + sew the borders (sew method)
This option takes it a step further than option 2. It takes a bit more time to hem unsealed borders on your homemade Swiffer pads, but it will stop them from fraying (especially in the washing machine!). This time, you’ll cut your old towel into 12×10” rectangles. On the unsealed sides, measure ½ inch and fold along that line. Keep it folded by securing with sewing pins. Then, sew the border with a forward and backward stitch. Cut off the extra fabric. Repeat on the other unsealed sides. It’s ready to use!
Option 4: Reuse an old towel + an old T-shirt or fabric for the borders (sew method)
If you’re comfortable with the sewing machine, here’s another easy way to make your own reusable Swiffer pads.
- Cut 11×10” rectangles from your old towel. Your towel will have seamless sides that will need attention.
- Grab an old T-shirt. Find a side with a seam (bottom or sleeve). Cut a long 2” thick strip of fabric from the edge of the shirt. (One strip per seamless side that needs attention.)
- Place the fabric strip on top of the seamless towel border. Cut the extra fabric off from the sides. Use pins to hold it in place.
- Sew with simple stitches as close to the edge as possible.
- Fold the fabric strip over to the other side to cover the seamless towel border. Pin into place. (If you are using scrap fabric that has no seam, you can do a double fold on this side before sewing. Use an iron and sewing pins to help hold the fold. Watch video tutorial for visual help.)
- Sew on the other side with forward/backward stitches.
Option 5: The Ultimate Reusable Swiffer Pads (sew method)
This model is by far my favorite! If your Swiffer is really worn down, the pokey-holes for securing the wet cloths might not work perfectly. That’s why you may want this model that holds on tightly to the mop.
- Cut 12 x 12 inch squares from an old towel
- If there are any seamless borders, sew hems using the instructions in option 4
- Fold the square in three, overlapping the wings by 1 inch.
- Use pins to hold this fold together.
Sew the outer borders with forward/backward stitches. Done!
How to Make Your Own Swiffer Pads Cleaning Solution
Once you’ve made your own reusable Swiffer pads, you can easily make your own Swiffer pads cleaning solution, too! Don’t make it in advance. Make it right before use.
- A bucket
- 1 tbsp. of Black soap or Castile Soap (palm-oil free)
- 4 cups of warm water
- An old Swiffer mop
- Reusable Swiffer Pads
Dilute the soap into the water and soak the reusable Swiffer pad into the cleaning solution. Now you can clean your floor!
Do you love this DIY? Tell us in the comments below!
P.S. If you like sewing, check out our other sewing projects like How to Make Reusable Menstrual Pads and How to Sew a Face Mask to Slow the Spread of COVID-19.