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 don’t like to buy disposable things like that. The only “disposable” thing I buy anymore is toilet paper! (I might eliminate that if I didn’t think it would cause mutiny!)
So, for a while, 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. 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)
- 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.)