DIY: How to Make Reusable “Swiffer” Mop Pads |

DIY: How to Make Reusable “Swiffer” Mop Pads

admin February 1, 2012

Written by Kate TietjeEnough.

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.  Each pad takes 10-15 minutes to make.  You can make these even if you have no seamstress experience.

How to Make Reusable “Swiffer” Mop Pads

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, cheesecloth, 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!

Step 1: Get your pretty fabric and cut a 15″ x 7.5″ piece.  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 I can “enjoy” the experience!  (But if you don’t care, feel free to use whatever you want.)

Step 2: 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.

Step 3: 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 doesn’t matter.  (This is a forgiving project, which makes it GREAT for beginners!)

Step 4: This is one of the microfiber towels sold in the automotive section of stores super cheaply.  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 in half.  I have two equal pieces to make two Swiffer pads from it!

Step 5: I take a roughly cut 15×15 piece of birdseye cotton.  This is the stuff they make cloth pre-folds 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 dishcloth, a piece of flannel, really any sort of absorbent cotton.  Once you have your square, fold it in half.

Step 6: Pay attention carefully here.  Layer your fabric with RIGHT SIDES together.  So, first, lay your microfiber down with the “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 my layers and how they are laid in the picture below.

Step 7: 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!

Step 8: Once it’s sewn on three sides, look it over to ensure that you caught all the layers and that nothing’s unsewn.  If you notice a patch where you drifted to one side and 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.

Step 9: Now, go to the 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.

Step 10: 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 I didn’t show you might want to do, though.  (Which I learned when I tried to use it).  As-is, the cloth wound 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 it doesn’t shift around and is 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 my husband Ben and I made a couple of years ago.)

What do you use to clean your floor?

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  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.


    • 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…


  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.


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


  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.


  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.)


  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.


  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.


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


    • Hi Alisha, I haven’t figured that out yet, but I think I will use diluted white vinegar and essential oils. 🙂


  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!


  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!


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


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


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


    • 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.


  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. […]


  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!


    • 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.


  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!!


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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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