Modify a Pledge Fabric Sweeper So You Can Empty It

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Introduction: Modify a Pledge Fabric Sweeper So You Can Empty It

About: I'm a graphic designer/illustrator who is delving deeper into my science interests. More later. Hi!

Pledge makes a really great product called the Fabric Sweeper. It is an enclosed plastic container with two rollers on the bottom. By sliding it side to side, the rollers pick up animal hair and dust off of fabric. It's a great tool if you have pets and according to Pledge "Fabric Sweeper picks up as much pet hair as 145 sticky roller sheets." The problem I found is that there is no built in way to empty them, in fact on the packaging it states "Do not try to empty or disassemble disposable sweeper." At $5.99 a piece and considering the eco impact this has, I figured that would tempt fate by both opening & emptying my Fabric Sweeper. I even went one step further and made it so I can reuse and re empty the device.

Here is what you will need.

1. Pledge Fabric Sweeper
2. A flat head screwdriver
3. Adhesive backed Velcro. I used 1 strip that is 5" long x .75" wide.
4. Scissors or an Xacto knife

Step 1: Opening the Fabric Sweeper

Around the base of the sweeper, where the clear plastic meets the blue plastic, you will see the contact points. These are blue plastic "welds". Take the flat head screw driver and pry it between the two layers of plastic. Aim the sweeper AWAY from your face, and slide the screwdriver towards one of the welds. The weld should pop off with little effort. Continue this method until you can separate the two parts.

Step 2: Velcro

Cut each part of the Velcro in half lengthwise and apply it to the rails of the plastic, hooks on one side teeth on the other.

Step 3: Close Up and Your Done

Fit the pieces back together and your done! You now have a fabric sweeper that will pick up allot of dirt and hair that you can empty and re use without tossing tons of plastic and cash out the door.

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    38 Comments

    Great idea since the company stopped making this product. They've replaced it with a reusable model that costs an arm and a let (around $75)! I'll try this first. Thanks!

    What an awesome idea!! I did this and it took me about 5 minutes. And viola!!! It works!!!! I actually bought the fabric sweeper at a yard sale for 50 cents. My animal hair problems are over and I don't have to keep spending the money on hair remover products!!!

    this was simple, great instruction, and most of all it works!!! thank you sooo much!

    I was ready to do as suggested by the author, but I found it was much easier (and you save the Velcro), if you just pop one of the rollers (with a simple screwdriver), empty the hair and attached it back on.
    I still appreciate the tip, as it made me look for way to reuse the product. I have cats and I used to buy them often. Not anymore! ;-)

    1 reply

    This idea worked great! Thanks so much! I haven't been able to find them in the store anymore.

    I got one a couple years ago and it has a little yellow sliding lock on the side so it can be emptied.

    It's actually VERY easy to remove the rollers and empty the container. The plastic is pretty flexible, so I just pull the roller away from where it clicks into the container, just pulling out and then away from the base. Never had a problem with it, didn't break anything. Unfortunately the rollers do become less effective after a while, so I do need to purchase a new one now (but that's like 4 years later).

    I love this product. I am also one of the people who was not willing to throw it out & buy a new one when it was full.

    I do think it is stupid that pledge didn't go the extra mile & promote it as reusable but I am glad so many of us figured out how to do this on our own.

    People power!

    Much simpler to do what Consumers Reports suggests:
    "Pledge says the Sweeper is disposable, but we suggest reusing it. Just unsnap a roller, remove the collected hair, and snap the roller back in place. "

    They give it a good review and say its a good buy, if you reuse it. Darn Pledge. Their pledge must be, "Clean your home, dirty the environment."

    My wife and I only learned of this product the other evening and she picked one up today to put it to the test. She thought it was great, but was bummed to find that you couldn't reuse it (and in our home, it took maybe 10 minutes to fill!). I took a look at it...rooted around in the garage...and then ran up to our local Home Depot... I considered popping it apart, as you have here, but was afraid I'd break it or degrade its performance. Take a look at my post and let me know what you think. Keep up the good work!

    The Pledge Fabric Sweeper is great but I was shocked when I went to empty it and read the instructions that when it was full to throw it away. Pledge needs to re-think this, not only are they ripping off their consumers but what about the ecological damage they are doing to the earth by not making this re-usable. Another example of GREED by our corporations... it reeks of it.

    user

    I agree about this product.  It works great but, toss it?  No.  All you need to do to clean it out is place the crevice tool from the vacume between the rollers and vacume the pet hair out of the sweeper.  I too, comtemplated taking the sweeper apart but his is much easier.  Good luck

    Nice idea. I actually was going to make one using button snaps but  I found it's easier to just suck the hair out with a regular vacuum cleaner.

     This is fantastic! Can't wait to try it :)

    Good Idea! But i just pull out the rollers (gently prying them out of the tensioning holders) using a flat head screw driver.

     my girlfriend just jams her fingers in between the rollers and pulls the hair out of the inside. then we clean the rollers with a damp paper towel. the hair balls right up. thats also part of our old cleaning regimen when a cat would really get comfortable in one spot and cake it with hair. damp paper towel in a pinch.

    How long does the modified sweeper last?  We've been using one for our dog/cat hair and love it, but I think over time the bristles on the rollers will wear out.

    Does this get you one extra use out of the sweeper, 5, 10?

    Great idea though - and you get to stick it to the mnft's for not making a greener product.  Although, you have to admit, the disposable version is a sales dream - use once, toss, replace.  Gets them a lot more $$$ than a reusable unit.

    I had thought of this too (e gads, ANOTHER one use product, YUCK). But ours broke before it ever got full.

    This will save people alot of money.