13 Ways To Make Your Own Swiffer Pads

Swiffers are awesome but it sucks to keep buying those pads for $1 a piece. Here are 13 ways to make your own Swiffer pads. Save money or save the planet. Your choice.

13. Microfiber cloth. Buy a microfiber cloth and cut it to size. Attach it to the Swiffer.

12. Paper Towels. Use high quality paper towels instead of Swiffer pads for pennies on the dollar.

11. Old Socks. Instead of throwing old socks away, pull them over the Swiffer. Toss them in the washing machine, or throw them away.

10. Bar Mop Towels. Use instead of the pads. Wash when dirty and reuse.

9. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Attach with rubber bands.

8. Rinse and Reuse Swiffer Cloths. Rumor has it you can just wash them and use them again.

7. Knit a Swiffer Cloth. If you can knit a dish scrubber, you can knit a Swiffer cloth. Here’s an awesome pattern.

6. Old Washcloths. Ugly old wash clothes can be used as Swiffer clothes. Discard when they’re gross.

5. Old Clothes. Got stuff that even charity wouldn’t want? Cut them up and use them on your Swiffer. Watch out. Don’t scratch your floors with your bedazzled jeans. Flannel is best.

4. Baby Clothes. Brat outgrew it? Wash the floor with it.

3. Disposable Diapers. Not used ones. Clean ones.

2. Buy a Reusable Cloth on Etsy! Support awesome crafty people, save money.

1. Sew your own Swiffer pad using this Instructable.

(Photo:Green Mountain Mama)


Edit Your Comment

  1. chrisfromnl says:

    I buy them at the dollar store. $1 for a normal size box. Not Swiffer brand, but they pick the dust up.

  2. Kenneth says:

    14) Buy a damn mop! Very green.

  3. fluiddruid says:

    What’s the point of using a Swiffer if you’re washing the cloths? Color me confused, I thought it was the convenience of throwing the pad away.

  4. homerjay says:

    I always hated using a toilet brush so I bought one of those disposable dealies where you stick the pad in the end of the stick and then flush the pad when you’re done.

    Then I realized the pad is little more than cleanser soaked paper so now I just squirt some toilet cleaner into the toilet and stick a wad of toilet paper into the end of the stick and scrub. End net result. Big savings. Plus its one less thing for the shopping list.

  5. Falconfire says:

    @Kenneth: not the same thing. Swiffer is a statically charged duster, not a mop. Swiffer Wet bills it’s self as a mop replacement, but its seriously lacking unless its a little mess.

  6. Shadowfire says:

    @fluiddruid: No, it’s the convenience of not having to pull out the mop and bucket. It’s also easier to do than mopping (don’t have to hit the same area with a second bucket of water, etc).

  7. MDSasquatch says:

    Spray the cat with starch and drag him across the floor; leave him a lone and he will even get places your Swifter can’t get.

  8. Kenneth says:

    @Falconfire: pardon my lack of clarity.. let me try again…. 14) Buy a damn wet mop / or by a damn dust mop. {remember those huge dust mops the janitor used?) O-Cedar make small version and they rock, then you just toss it the washer. (I agree the Swiffer Wet is a joke)

  9. Kenneth says:

    @MDSasquatch: Evil, but GENIUS!

  10. NewYorkNewYork10001 says:

    I suggest getting a powerful leaf blower and about a half dozen air filters. Position the air filters strategically around your house and turn them all on.

    Place anything that can be blown away into drawers and tie down anything fragile. Finally, set the leaf blower at maximum intensity and blast the heck out of your home.

    Go to the movies.

    Return home to a dust-free environment. Turn off air filters.

    Enjoy ;-)

  11. grumpymo says:

    9. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Attach with rubber bands.

    * * * B A D * * *

    The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is basically the equivalant of 600 grit SANDPAPER. That’s SERIOUS overkill for simple dusting. Only use that stuff for spot-cleaning stains or taking off crayon. Use it LIGHTLY.

    Then again, the Magic Erasers would cost more than the Swiffers.

  12. TangDrinker says:

    I have extremely curly hair. My pets shed constantly. Between me and our 3 pets, our bathrooms and kitchen floors get covered with hair. The swiffer (regular old swiffer) is the ONLY THING I have used in my 34 years that picks up hair (human or pet)this well.

    You can flip the sheets over and use them again – and you can usually get a few days use out of one swiffer pad.

    If you’re just using the swiffer to clean and nothing else, you have bigger problems than saving a dollar.

  13. bobosgirl says:

    I own a small cleaning service- I use my Swiffer 10-12 times a day. I bought a huge back of yellow static cloths for $9 and a pack of “auto” rags ( both in the auto care section at Costco) for about $12 about 2 years ago. I use the white “auto” cloths (basically bar towels)to mop floors ( anything except hardwood) and the yellow ones dry to pick up dusty floors, and wet to mop hardwood floors. You get about 80 re-useable rags between the 2 packages, and there’s no need to buy the expensive disposable ones. I WOULD NOT use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on ANY floor! This suggestion should be removed RIGHT AWAY! These “erasers” take off paint and the gloss on a floor, and can leave permanent marks on your floor! I only use those to scrub out white sinks, and then only when they are on a great sale.

  14. elsifer says:

    I cut up old flannel sheets – it’s not like the Goodwill wants ’em, and they’re gonna go into the landfill eventually anyway. I might as well get some good use out of them before tossing them.

    Cut up sheets make good dusters, too.

  15. Blueskylaw says:

    They want you to think it’s all about convenience, it’s really about selling you a one use product that you throw away and have to keep on buying over and over and over and over again.

    EXACTLY. Thank You

  16. quail says:

    I’ve been using the microfiber cloths for ages. A pack of 25 cost around $11 at the membership warehouse store. The nice thing about them is that they do grab the dust and they’re washable. They also work well when wet, but mostly in the pull and not the push direction. I use a spray bottle with a water and vinegar mixture and my microfiber swiffer becomes a swiffer wet jet replacement.

  17. Scudder says:

    I use these IKEA washcloths that come in a bag for $3.99…reusable, a great fit and you can bleach the hell outta them.


  18. inelegy says:

    43 years old and I’ve managed to get this far in life without buying or building a Swiffer pad. Somehow, though, my house is clean.

    I think I’ll stay the course.


  19. mikemar42 says:

    I second the use of a dust mop. They are cheap you wash the damn mop part and your good to go. This has been around since like the beginning of time. Honestly guys…. honestly…

  20. davere says:

    My Swiffer just collects dust at the very front of the pad. At first I wondered what I was doing something wrong, but really, how can I be doing that wrong?

  21. ohiomensch says:

    Am I the only person on the planet that uses a bucket of water and scrubs floors on my knees? I am convinced this is the only way to truly clean floors. You dont miss anything, you dont swish stuff into the corners.

    I use a wet sponge mop for spot cleaning, and do the floor every week. It really does stay clean like that.

  22. kris in seattle says:

    I already do the wash cloth version of this.

  23. Starfury says:

    We have 2 cats and hardwood floors so dust gathers quickly. We’ll reuse the same pad multiple times by just vacuuming it off when it’s full. They work ok but don’t pick up the bigger bits of dirt/gravel that end up on the floors.

  24. bohemian says:

    We bought a dustmop at Target that has a microfiber pad in the middle with the yarn dustmop thingies around the edges. Works great, goes in the wash.

  25. FLConsumer says:

    I’ve found that it takes just as much time to use a Swiffer as it does the canister vacuum and the canister vac does a far better job.

    Definitely agree on the uselessness of the Swiffer Wet stuff. There’s not enough fluid being used (and removed) to not just be shoving dirt around a floor, at least with as much tile I have.

  26. FLConsumer says:

    @Ohiomensch: Nope, I still do that. Although I’ll fess up and say I only do the deep clean on my hands and knees about every 2 months, regular mop & water every week or so.

  27. mrmysterious says:

    Buy a Roomba ;)

  28. bobosgirl says:

    With arthritis in my family, doing floors on my knees is a detriment to bones and I find thatonce every other mnth is enough of that. Keep the floor swept well and wipe up spills immediately.@Ohiomensch:

  29. MaliBoo Radley says:


    That was what I was going to recommend. It’s called the Omop and it’s rather awesome.

  30. descend says:


    This has been studied. In between the energy used for the water processing and the soap, ecologically they’re a bit of a wash. Mopping is cheaper, but not greener.

    Very similar to how everyone asserts that cloth diapers are “greener”, when really they’re just a different type of environmental footprint.

  31. descend says:


    We do this once every couple months. Gives it a good, thorough clean occasionally, and mopping keeps it touched up in between.

  32. She Laughs says:

    @MDSasquatch: A Pomeranian works equally well.

  33. Kenneth says:

    @descend: I see. kind of like the whole hummer vs. hybrid comparison. Oh well, who am i kidding our floor hasn’t been swept OR mopped in 3 months. (whose green now?!?)

  34. gfinakoma says:

    3. Disposable Diapers. Not used ones. Clean ones.

    diapers are really expensive and much harsher on the environment. a good broom and mop work just as well. if you have to use swiffers, usually there is an online coupon or check the dollar store.

  35. gfinakoma says:

    @Kenneth: hahahaha.

  36. wimpkins says:

    Ahhh…Time saver, money waster.

    Thanks for the post !

  37. silencedotcom says:

    Mr. Clean Magic Eraser’s can also leave a white film on top of some things.. not a good idea to use on just anything – you HAVE to try it out first.

  38. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    Put your kids in pajamas with feet on them, feed them M&Ms and Red Bull for breakfast, then turn ’em loose around the house. Voila! Dust-free floors!

  39. camille_javal says:

    A dollar per Swiffer pad? What grocery store in Hell do you go to? I pay about $.10 each (and I live alone in a tiny studio apt, so it takes me a while to go through them because one cleans the whole damn place)

    And, I do wash my floor on my hands and knees – *after* I use a dry Swiffer, because it’s easier when I’m not pushing around wet globs of hair and lint (I have a shag rug)

  40. vesuvian says:

    @ohiomensch –

    We have pebbled/textured black and white 9″x9″ alternating chessboard vinyl on the kitchen floor. The white squares pick up dirt almost instantly. They require hand scrubbing.

    For others with truly smooth surfaces in kitchens and other rooms, the above suggestions are great. Textured surfaces demand significantly more attention, however.

  41. smitty1123 says:

    I gotta say, I think the Swiffer (wet version) is a crappy mop but it’s fantastic for washing walls.

  42. UpsetPanda says:

    I understand why a mop and water is better but to me, it just doesn’t make the floor smell any better, plus I always mop myself into a corner. How can I not mop myself into a corner?

  43. mopar_man says:

    The wife and I have a Swiffer WetJet. We bought some really nice reusable pads off of eBay. I think we paid $16 shipped for a pair from this seller: [search.ebay.com]

  44. yesteryear says:

    to all of those who knit their own swiffer pads: get a life.

  45. shanaynay says:

    @Descend: it’s not just about the environmental footprint. It’s also about not creating a demand for throwaway sh*t. Even with everything else being totally equal, I will always choose the option that doesn’t involve my financial endorsement of a giant company’s making more disposable crap. Consider ALL the variables, man.

    @Yesteryear: don’t be such a jerk. People often knit to keep themselves busy on the subway, as something to fidget with while watching TV, or something to keep themselves sane while in line. Try being more snap-judgmental.

    I clean my floor with a spray bottle of vinegar and water and flannel cloths, on my hands and knees. Vacuum in between washings.

  46. azgirl says:

    You should not use Mr Cleans magic eraser- unless you like carcinogens– it’s active ingredient is formaldehyde. ICK!
    And because the throw-away business is an eco- nightmare…
    And because I use Roomba now.. who is superior to swiffer any day….

  47. Rachel R. says:

    Another cheap and, in a way, environmentally friendly, option is used dryer sheets. They have the same “static” factor as the Swiffer cloths, so they do a great job picking up hair. And they let you reuse something you would have already thrown away, thus being slightly less disposable. (It is, obviously, easier on the environment to have not bought the dryer sheets in the first place. But since we prefer not to light up every time we pull sweatshirts over our heads, we buy them. ;) )

  48. nrwfos says:

    @elsifer: Just a note on the side of recycling….if you have old sheets and towels that you are sure shouldn’t be donated because of wear and tear…please donate them to your area animal shelter (usually the no-kill or ASPCA) for bedding for the animals. They have a constant need for them.

  49. Ragman says:

    I have a 12 ft extension hose with a 10 inch wide bristled floor attachment for my HEPA vacuum cleaner. Works wonders on dusty/hairy floors.

  50. clickable says:

    Or buy the generic brand clone from CVS. Buy it when they have a two-fer-one sale and use a dollars-off CVS brand purchase coupon, and it will be quite cheap.

    Aso if CVS makes a clone, then probably similar retailers do too – check Costco, etc. under the house brand name.

    Acambras, there is a product out there, I don’t know if it’s for reals or a gag gift, that combines slippers and a dustmop-type sole. I think it has battery-operated headlights too. Just in case you want to, you know, sweep the floors in middle of the night. They sell it through catalogs like Miles Kimball.

    Attach ’em to kidlets, and awaaaaay they go!

  51. clickable says:

    Oh, I forgot to add and don’t know if it’s been mentioned, but those damn Swiffer people will not stop till they have completely taken over our cleaning cabinets: Swiffer dusters totally *rock*. These are the ones you pull onto a stick that look like the old-fashioned feather dusters.

    They pick up dust fantastically and you can twist and squirm them into the wierdest little corners. Better for above the floor dusting than the dustcloths.

  52. catndhat says:

    I use the clorox wipes that come in the pop up container for hitting the floor real quick.

  53. diablofreak says:

    this just gave me an idea. i have dozens of old, but clean underwear that i no longer wear. the other day i was thinking to use them to clean my dusty computer desk, i’ll just use them as replacement swiffer pads and throw them away after use!

  54. Ragman says:

    @diablofreak: Gives me an idea to do at work for unwanted visitors. Act casual and start dusting your desk with an old pair of underwear.