I am always looking for ways to be both more economical and environmentally friendly around the home. Cleaning products and methods are always a challenge for me in this regard and improving the way I mop the kitchen and bathroom floors has been my recent focus. In the past, I used to use a traditional mop or one of those sponge mops with some floor cleaner. The floor cleaner always smelled slightly toxic when I used it and I didn't like the idea of all the germs that the mop was collecting and spreading around the floor every time I used it. But, what was I going to do, use a new mop each time? Then, the Swiffer Wetjet entered the market. I instantly loved the idea; it was like having a fresh mop every time, but you only had to dispose of the cleaning pad.
However, even though I love my Swiffer Wetjet, I have had a tough time coming to terms with how wasteful it is. The cleaning pads are a bit costly if you think about how many you will go through, throwing them away isn't helping reduce waste in the landfills, and then there's also the energy, water, materials, and packaging used to create them. So, I decided to make some reusable ones that could be thrown in the washing machine with the weekly laundry. Here's how I did it.
Things You Will Need
To make 3 reusable cleaning pads:
1/2 yard of terrycloth
1/4 yard of flannel
1 yard of 3/4 inch or 1 inch velcro - loop (fuzzy) side only, you won't be using the hook (rough) side
sewing machine and thread
Step 1After you have pre-washed the fabrics to avoid shrinkage, cut the fabric into 5 inch by 11 inch pieces. For each pad, you will need 3 pieces of terrycloth and 1 piece of flannel. Cut the velcro into 10 inch pieces and then cut each of those in half lengthwise so that you have 2 skinny pieces of velcro for each pad. I found that the velcro sticks to the Swiffer Wetjet very well, almost too well, so having half pieces makes the pad easier to remove from the mop.
Step 2For each pad, make a stack of 3 terrycloth pieces and 1 flannel piece. Using a straight stitch on the sewing machine, make 3 passes over the stack to attach the pieces together and keep them from slipping when you are mopping.
Step 3Next, using a zig-zag stitch with a fairly short stitch length, sew all around the border to create a durable edge for your pad.
Step 4Lastly, using a zig-zag stitch with a longer stitch length, sew the 2 pieces of velcro on to the flannel side of your cleaning pad. Aim to place them between 1 and 2 inches from the edge. Now, you should have a cleaning pad with a terrycloth cleaning surface and a flannel back with 2 strips of velcro that will attach wonderfully to your Swiffer Wetjet.
I have used my new cleaning pads several times and I love them. They do very well in the washing machine, partly due to using the loop (fuzzy) side the velcro so they don't get caught on the rest of the laundry. It is also very satisfying that I made them myself and they are quite economical and better for the environment than the disposable ones.
Since I already had the sewing machine and thread, the only costs were the fabric and velcro, which I purchased for $9 with tax. That works out to $3 a cleaning pad. Lets say that I get 50 uses out of each of my pads. That is equivalent to buying a little more than 4 boxes of disposable cleaning pads. Each box of 12 costs $6, so 4 boxes would cost $24. That means that you are saving over $20 for each pad that you make. If you made 3 like I did, then you saved over $60, not bad for about and hour and a half of work.