Introduction: Swiffer Mop Pad (a Reusable One!)

Picture of Swiffer Mop Pad (a Reusable One!)

Sew a reusable pad out of old t-shirts and a wool blanket for your Swiffer-type mop.

I do not like using disposable cleaning products. I cloth diaper my kids and I use washcloths instead of paper towels. But my Swiffer mop is so convenient! It seemed to me that it was time to stop using disposable mop pads. It will save the environment and save money.

I decided to make this pad out of discarded clothes and a wool blanket I never use because I did not want to throw them away either. The greatest part about this project is that anyone can do it. It does not need to look pretty. You're going to use it to clean your floor, you know?

Cleaning with this pad takes a little more elbow grease than the disposable pads but it cleans great. I recommend making at least two so you have a clean one while the other is in the laundry.

Step 1: Materials List

Picture of Materials List

An old t-shirt
Woven wool blanket (or anything you have on hand that will stick to your mop head)
Disposable pad that comes with your mop
Freezer paper
Ironing board
Scissors or rotary cutter
Sewing machine

Step 2: Trace Your Pattern

Picture of Trace Your Pattern

Trace your disposable pad twice onto the paper side of a piece of freezer paper. Trace your disposable pad once onto another piece of freezer paper.

Step 3: Adhere Freezer Paper to Fabrics

Picture of Adhere Freezer Paper to Fabrics

Place the freezer paper plastic-side-down onto the fabric. Iron the paper to the fabric using a low heat and no steam. It will only take a couple seconds. Iron the freezer paper with two tracings to the t-shirt. Iron the paper with one tracing to the blanket.

You could also pin the paper to the fabrics. I just find this to be much easier.

Step 4: Cut Out Your Fabric

Picture of Cut Out Your Fabric

Cut along the lines. Remove the freezer paper after you have finished cutting. Remove all the paper (check the second picture in this step).

You should have four pieces of t-shirt fabric and one piece of blanket.

Step 5: Layer and Pin the Fabric

Picture of Layer and Pin the Fabric

Layer them as such: 3 pieces of t-shirt, 1 piece of wool blanket, 1 piece of t-shirt.

Pin along all of the edges leaving a 3-inch gap. You will not be sewing this gap at first. You need a spot to turn the fabric out-side-in.

Step 6: Sew It: Take 1

Picture of Sew It: Take 1

Line the fabric up to the edge of the foot of your sewing machine. Sew along all the edges leaving a 3-inch gap of unsewn fabric (this is the hole you will turn the fabric through).

Step 7: Turn the Piece Out-Side-In

Picture of Turn the Piece Out-Side-In

Turn the single piece of t-shirt fabric over, pushing all the fabric through the gap and using your finger to poke out the corners.

You should now have four layers of t-shirt fabric all stacked on top of one another with a piece of blanket fabric on top.

Step 8: Sew It: Take 2

Picture of Sew It: Take 2

Pin the gap and sew once along all of the edges of the piece making sure you close the gap.

Then, sew vertical lines approximately 1- 2 inches apart. Now, sew horizontal lines approximately 1 - 2 inches apart.

Step 9: You're Done!

Picture of You're Done!

Now, go save the environment!


AlisonM (author)2008-08-08

Fabulous idea. Back when I had a cleaning service, they'd tie rags onto to mops so they could toss them when they got dirty instead of just moving the dirt around, and I was trying to think of how to do this for the pet rescue I volunteer for. We started using the swiffer wetjets, but you can easily use two pads a night, and the cleaning fluid lasts barely a week. I've got tons of t-shirt rags, and now I know what to do with them! I might also try cannibalizing some delicate bags (the kind you use in the washing machine that are always opening at the seams or breaking their zippers) for a "scrubby" surface for the bottom. Thanks for the Instructable!

DeanneR1 (author)AlisonM2015-05-30

Instead of buying those expensive cleaning solutions I purchase a gallon of distilled white vinegar. (Less than $3 at Wal-Mart) I mix up a solution of vinegar and water. Not only is it cheaper but it also disinfects and is much safer of a child or pet ingests some.

jcolip franke (author)AlisonM2011-10-09

Delicate garment bag idea is fab!!

SIRJAMES09 (author)2014-09-09


I have seen others' versions of this same type of thing, and although theirs is less "work", yours looks, and has all the appearances of, a far better made product.

You made a comment that it would take more elbow grease with this than it will with the commercial product....

IDEA: why not take a small piece of something(ruff side of velcro, scrub pad, etc) & sew it to this pad for scrubbing the hard PITA(pain in the *cough, cough*) areas of the floor? it may save on elbow grease....

Other than that, I can not think of ANYTHING that I would change about the way you have made this. I love it!! :)

TY for sharing Ma'am.

asianoffice (author)2013-02-11

This is kind of an old thread but I use microfiber cloths on my swiffers. Just size them like op did and then sew them up. The microfiber really picks up the dirt and can help with scrubbing. I also found this cool site that sells replacement batteries for your swiffer vacuum. Instead of throwing it out when the battery won't hold a charge, you can just order this. They are at Mine has gone on for two years now.

mcadwell (author)2007-08-11

Hmm, my Swiffer mop must be different than you guy's. I just put a regular sized washcloth on the floor, set the Swiffer mop on top and stuff the washcloth corners into the slots on top to hold it in place.

ctillinghast1 (author)mcadwell2012-07-25

Wow, I do the very same thing myself. I thought I was being original too. In fact I use old hand towels there are a bit bigger and I can fling it around, hehehee.

jcolip franke (author)mcadwell2011-10-09

I've had both types of swiffer mops. There is the one described above that you can get both dry and wet cloths for and then the wetjet that has the liquid cleaner bottle attached. I've broken both of mine. I was going to get a new wet jet but I'm going to get the other because I really like the idea of using a washcloth with it. It seems it will be easy to rinse good and reattached during mopping of my floors. Then I can throw the washcloth in the laundry.

kibblesnknits (author)mcadwell2007-08-12

Yep - Mine has the hook side of velcro all across the bottom. Is yours a dust mop? Mine is the wet jet. Sounds like yours is really easy to use, though!

mcadwell (author)kibblesnknits2007-08-14

It is easy. Wet the washcloth in the cleaning solution, wring out and stuff in the corners. Take off and throw in the washer. Your cleaning pad looks nicer though. :)

terryperry (author)2008-07-17

you may also try sewing a piece of tulle (that net like fabric used for ballerina tutus) to one side so as to imitate the swiffer scrubber side. 'Just to get the dried on tomato sauce off the floor.'

jcolip franke (author)terryperry2011-10-09

I like this idea too!

escapefromyonkers (author)2011-08-29

i tend to break the aluminum pole, when i mop broke 2 or 3 already, now i use the painters stick,or s hardwood stick, i had a duster /dry type that came with wet and dry pads, there is an instructable to refill the reservoir from the top, no need to mess with the treads and leaking, i use the yellow synthetic microfiber pads that costco sells in the auto section, work great and eaaasy to clean, plus bag of 48 is cheap and useful all over the abode. i added velcro to the bottom, but i am changing to the stick 2 by 2 or the rubber scrubbers head that i also have , abd had no use for.on the wood one could always nail some extra padding.i am going to make a small 4 inch one for behind the toilet. the old mops dont hold a candle to small microfiber shop rags

strayler (author)2011-04-20

I made some reusable pads out of old sweat pants. I made them with the fuzzy side out. You can double or even triple these in thickness. Depending on how thick you want them. I tried them for dry dust mopping. They worked really good.

Mariacleaning (author)2011-01-11

It's a great idea! Maybe I also will use such mops while providing house cleaning services to become even more environmentally friendly!

MAGS76_2006 (author)2008-03-30

I have used maxi pads in the past. They work well and are cheaper than the real thing. The hospital maxi's, that are as big as diapers, work the best.

I have done this.....bough large store brand maxi pads. Thought I was the only one! ha ha! But still want to stop the waste and expense. I'll be making some of I can bleach them clean! THANKS KIBBLESNKNITS!

KittyF (author)MAGS76_20062010-01-03

Now that's a great idea for those who no longer need those things.   I wonder what I did with mine.   LOL

SparkleCleaning (author)2010-07-14

I am admired by idea of the author. I already long time think of equipment of workers by similar things. Then I save expenses of company Seattle House Cleaning and I show care of an environment.

AmyLuthien (author)2010-01-03

AH!  Definitely forwarding this one to my mother!  She's a quilter, I've often claimed she can quilt anything and this just goes to show, you CAN! :D

kayann (author)2010-01-03

Along the lines of stickmop above, I moisten a reusable rag, toss it on the floor, and use a scrub brush on a stick to push the rag around.  It works great and gives you plenty of traction to scrub stuff that sticks to the floor.

You can buy these brushes at home centers for refinishing your deck - basically a rectangular brush on a stick so you don't have to bend over.  They are also good for picking up large quantities of dog hair off of a tile floor - I used to work in a dog kennel and we'd use this type of brush to pick up dog hair that gets blown around.

I break out the real mop (whose head is washable) for major cleaning - but find the rag/brush combo great for wiping up all those little spills that accumulate between cleanings and make the floor look grimy.  When I'm done I toss the rag in the washer.  Hooray for reusable cleaning supplies!!

voodooduck (author)2007-07-08

This is great! It makes me very happy! Thanks Kibblesnknits! :D

kibblesnknits (author)voodooduck2007-07-09

Thank you! I hope you can make some for yourself. And, then go hug a tree. :)

KittyF (author)kibblesnknits2010-01-03

Ferget about the tree, drive past a landfill once and you'll feel so virtuous.  LOL Kitty

margaret swain (author)2009-11-01

Am I missing something, how do you attach this to the mop. 

pesci (author)2008-09-03

i purchased a swifer jet a few months ago and when I went to replace the bottle of solution it was too big. I have looked for the smaller bottles but can't find them anywhere. has anyone has this problem?

Valancy (author)pesci2008-10-10

If you would like to reuse the bottle, you can get a large syringe tube from a feed store ( a bolus syringe ). Use this to refill the bottle with your own combination of cleaning solution. Simply use the syringe to suck up the cleaning solution, and then inject it into the empty swiffer bottle through the soft plastic section of the bottle.

parisbabe (author)Valancy2009-09-05

you can also take a monkey wrench and carefully twist the plastic top off the disposable bottle and refil it with whatever and then twist it back on. This has worked for me alot of times. It will only work for a few times before it leeks but its worth it.!!!

vintagecharms (author)Valancy2009-07-13

My boyfriend got the top off with an adjustable wrench with a towel to keep the wrench jaws from messing the top up. THe wrench strips the pieces inside the top that keeps you from just unscrewing it. I refill with a more pet friendly cleaner.

stickmop (author)2009-08-19

I use bar rags on my stickmop. Yeah, your basic stick with a crossbar 2x2 at the bottom, just like you see all over Mexico. Easy to make free. The rag just folds over the bottom crossbar/stick.

Chibbie (author)2008-07-05

Why on earth would you waste the time and go to all the trouble to make one of these things when you can just use a regular mop??? You people must have more time on your hands than I do.

vintagecharms (author)Chibbie2009-07-13

Because I went thru 3 mops last year and the sponge refills are either impossible to find (The store stops carrying them) or they don't clean my kitchen floor well enough (they are made carpy) and my frustration went sky high. People have reasons for what they do. Yikes! Yes, that was nice!

terryperry (author)Chibbie2008-07-17

SOmetimes a mop is better- but it really depends on the job at hand. Swiffer is a good alternative if you are doing just light cleaning or everyday maintenance on a floor. A regular mop requires lots of water (and sometimes back breaking, hand cramping effort) to keep the dirt from re-depositing itself.

Using a swiffer also allows the floor to dry more quickly, which is really convenient if you have high traffic areas.

Its good to have these Instructables around!

kibblesnknits (author)Chibbie2008-07-05

There's no need to insult. I prefer to use a pad so I can wash it right after I use it. Regular mop heads get yucky.

vintagecharms (author)2009-07-13

I have been using cut up tee shirts for several months now. It does need the padding. I would buy one from you for $5.00. Shouldn't cost more than $2.00 to ship.

mackdarra (author)2009-03-22

what i did was i used a big microfibre bath towel and made a number of cloths v cheap and v efficient and everlasting ---well almost

butterbean (author)2009-01-06

Aw, heck, and it's pretty too LOL. Great job, great tute kibblesnknits! Thank you!

4sweeper (author)2008-11-23

Try using a microfiber cloth. They stick well to the velcro on the swiffer and do a great job of cleaning.

katymay74 (author)2008-08-29

oh wow. my son uses cloth diapers with the big absorbent pad in the middle. now i know what i'm going to do with them when he's done with them.

skincage (author)2008-08-22

Thank you for properly demonstrating an idea that's been in my mind for some time. I was using a washcloth as a pad replacement but this is far more classy. Well done.

cpd_trigger (author)2008-03-20

This is great! I think I'll try it with an automotive sham. Super absorbent.

reach8157 (author)2008-02-22

I love the use of a cloth diaper. They are great, and leave no lint. I have noticed though, that the swiffer refills for the wetjet, look an awful lot like an Always maxipad. Have you thought of trying one of those? I might, just to try it.

DragonsCat (author)2008-01-22

I can't believe this didn't occur to me! I even get angry at Swiffer commercials because the clean-by-creating-more-trash concept irks me so. But, they do look like they would clean better than our spongey mop that just sort of moves the dirt around (and is nearly impossible to get the sponge clean). I'm definitely going to try to make one of these to replace those sponges; hopefully it'll clean the floors better as well as being easier to clean itself! Thanks for posting :D

jessyratfink (author)2008-01-19

This is such a cool idea! I hate buying new pads. It seems silly to spend so much money on one-time-use items.

loveylouise (author)2007-07-31

dumb question, but how do you attach this?

The blanket I used sticks to my mop just like the fuzzy side of velcro. I tested sweaters, towels, a wool felt coat, and this blanket (it's a woven wool blanket). The blanket is the only thing that worked. If you don't have anything on hand, you can buy velcro at a fabric store and sew the fuzzy side to your mop pad.

AlisonEtsy (author)2007-06-22

Great idea!

!Andrew_Modder! (author)2007-06-18

lol yeah , mabe some super absorbent material.

!Andrew_Modder! (author)2007-06-17

oh cool, thos swiffer pads are freaking expensive to use and toss!! there like 1$ a piece to swiffer :-( now i can make my own Reuseable pad! :-) good instructable!

I'm so glad! I really hope a lot of people make these. Earth-friendly crafting makes me a little swoony. :) I'm going to add another version of this. It has exposed seams so it's really not too gorgeous but it works great and takes very little time to make.

About This Instructable




Bio: I am a teacher and crafter. I'm always coming up with schemes for how to make things we buy reusable, better, or more beautiful.
More by kibblesnknits:Knit a Dishcloth from old ClothesIce Cream Pint CozySwiffer Mop Pad (a reusable one!)
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