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

Picture of Modify a Pledge Fabric Sweeper So You Can Empty It

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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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.


fedmom48 (author)2016-11-06

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!

AngelaH73 (author)2016-02-21

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!!!

BridgetB5 (author)2015-09-13

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

mkuhlka (author)2011-12-24

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! ;-)

alivermore (author)mkuhlka2014-03-06

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

NLund (author)2013-09-09

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

scp36 (author)2013-04-22

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).

marylisalanteigne (author)2013-02-21

want to try it

flameonglass (author)2011-11-22

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!

pwmpls (author)2010-12-09

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."

MadVegetarian (author)2010-10-26

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!

sswiatek (author)2010-04-09

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.

jeva (author)2010-03-14

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

MdP1632 (author)2010-03-11

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.

fcbella (author)2010-03-04

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

jdkmetal (author)2010-03-03

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

sariej (author)2010-03-03

 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.

Warthaug (author)2010-03-03

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.

JerryMopar (author)2010-03-03

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

ShadowJesus (author)2010-03-02

This will save people alot of money.

Misty Direwolf (author)2010-02-24

This is great!  I was planning to buy one of those when I go shopping.  Now I won't have a fit when I see the price!  I love this site  :))

cszostek (author)Misty Direwolf2010-02-24

The price is what inspired this. It's always cool to see that people find this useful.

nubialopezroman (author)2010-01-01

I did it! First it took me a while to find the sweeper in Canada, but once I did, I bought the velcro and modified it myself. I works! Thanks

Browncoat (author)2009-03-08

We have multiple cats. Will have to try this since A) You've said they actually work B) We can reuse. Thanks!!! :)

cszostek (author)Browncoat2009-03-08

We have one older dog who sheds pretty much all day and a long hair cat who also seems to leave half of her self in fur. I use it most on the couch and lounge.

Browncoat (author)cszostek2009-11-17

We've recently (finally!!) bought this.  I was happily surprised at how well it worked on our couch, chairs, etc!!  Thanks again for this great 'ible!

Muireena (author)2009-07-24

Brilliant idea!! Saves money, gas in store trips, plastic, etc!!

keirasucks (author)2009-05-31

Thank you so much! The fabric sweeper looked so cool, so my brother and I decided to get it. Then we were outraged when we realized it wasn't reusable. Anybody who has pets in their house needs it to be reusable! Now my brother and I are very happy with the product :P

pianolady64 (author)2009-05-28

I found the Pledge Fabric Sweeper picked up, maybe, 90% of the dog hair. Not completely sold, especially at the price it is! Plus, it's disposable?? Had I known this, I never would have purchased it. But you have come to the rescue with a way to take it apart! Bravo!!

caputvacans (author)2009-03-27

I was excited about the ad on tv so I checked it out and was repulsed to see it was a throw away product. How incredibly environmentally irresponsible of Johnson. I had a look at it at the store and decided not to buy it. I went home and thought about it and figured there must be a way to crack it open to empty so I went back and bought it. I was amazed to find popping out the rollers was so easy! Sweet! Going to share the trick with my friends as well as pass the coupons that were also in the box on to them.

chriselma (author)2009-03-15

I love the product but it does fill up with hair quickly. I found the easiest way to clean the hair out of the product is to use my Dustbuster crevice tool, stick it in between the rollers and suck out the hair in seconds. You do not have to open the case or remove the rollers

west40 (author)2009-03-10

The Pledge Fabric Sweeper is absolutely great. The funny thing about this Instructable is that just this morning I grabbed my fingernail clippers and a dinner knife and pried open the container to try and empty it for reuse. It came apart fairly easily and I used packing tape to secure the container back on. I really like the velcro idea - thanks for the tip

Brobru (author)2009-03-09

I love this sweeper thing. Filled it up in 5 minutes after getting it home. Not one to dispose something that doesn't need to be, I figured out a way to empty it myself. The tabs that hold the rollers in are fairly easy to open up enough to get the rollers out. The smaller side is easier. Then just empty out and pop the roller back in.

cszostek (author)Brobru2009-03-09

Excellent! Any way to make this re-usable is a good way! I didn't think to try releasing the rollers. Thanks.

NachoMahma (author)2009-03-09

. Nice job. . Does the Velcro affect the seal around the edge of the unit?

cszostek (author)NachoMahma2009-03-09

Thanks. Not that I've noticed. Since your mainly picking up hair nothing has enough weight to warrant a real seal.

cszostek (author)lemonie2009-03-08

Thanks. Yeah that whole bit about being green thinking and then putting out the instructions to toss this large amount of plastic out and buy a new one really moved me to make this. It's such a simple fix.

About This Instructable



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