Make Your Own Endless Supply of Swiffer Refills!

homemade swiffer pad

Believe it or not, I have never purchased any kind of Swiffer device…until I decided to do a blog post about it. But lately I have had several people email me asking about a cheaper, greener alternative to those Swiffer pads and cleaning solution…so I decided I better check out this cleaning phenomenon.

Did you know that since Procter and Gamble introduced the Swiffer in 1999, it has grown to become one of the most recognized and successful brands in American history, with retail sales at over a half billion dollars??!! That’s a lot of swift-sweepering! :-) It’s obviously an idea people like…a LOT!

But constantly buying the refills for the Swiffer…dry or wet…can add up. So today I’m going to show you how to save yourself some $$ AND save resources by making your own REUSABLE “pads” and cleaning solution. Two ideas that are so simple you’ll be smacking your forehead (like I was) and uttering that familiar phrase…”Why didn’t *I* think of that?”

This idea is one I’ve seen on Pinterest a few times and quite honestly didn’t believe it could possibly work like people claimed it would. But one day I found myself walking past a display of these pretty, pink chenille socks at the dollar store and couldn’t resist buying a pair to put the idea to the test. Of course that meant I had to buy the Swiffer apparatus as well, since I didn’t own one, but I figured it was well worth the $9.99 for the sake of home science!

When I got my new cleaning tools home I began the arduous task of putting them together. Of course I’m being totally sarcastic because you literally click the sections of the handle together to the head of the Swiffer and then put the sock over it. Done.

homemade swiffer pad

But as nifty as it looks, I still had my doubts whether it would actually work. Well color me WRONG…because it worked like a charm. I took the swiffer-sock for a quick spin around my kitchen floor (that I had actually just cleaned the day before!) and………………..

homemade swiffer pad

homemade swiffer pad

homemade swiffer pad

……… this is what is came up with!  I didn’t think it would work on a DIRTY floor, let alone one I THOUGHT was clean! But I was happily mistaken. The proof is in the DIRT! 

homemade swiffer pad

And now all you do is slide the sock off and throw it in the washing machine! ONE DOLLAR just bought you a virtually endless supply of “pads” for your Swiffer!

homemade swiffer pad

 

Now, if this wasn’t cool enough…out of the clear blue, my nephew Danny sent me a message on my iPhone the other day showing me his DIY idea for pricey Swiffer WetJet refills. He said he really likes his WetJet, but didn’t like paying for the refills and actually liked his homemade solution better!

homemade wetjet refill

(Note:  I realize the picture shows the WetJet on carpeting. He wasn’t cleaning his carpet with it!  He was just showing me the device.) 

Here are the pictures he sent me showing his refill “hack”. Yep, all he did was cut a hole in the bottom (top?) of the bottle and pour in his own concoction of 50 percent water/50 percent vinegar and just a drop or two of dish soap.

homemade wetjet refill

 

I have yet to try this out myself but knowing my nephew….it’s a winner!  It looks like I’m going to have to go buy one more Swiffer apparatus…all in the name of home science, of course!

So, how do YOU Swiffer?  Share your tips, tricks and hacks!

 

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Comments

  1. Nancy says

    I saw a post on Pintrest that if you put the bottle top in hot water it comes off to be refilled. I do not own a wet one, so I have not tryed it. But I will try the sock on my duster. Wonder how that will work on the hand duster too. Will have to try it! Thank you for all your posts, they cheer me.

    • candace moore says

      I tried putting the bottle top in hot water but I couldn’t seem to get mine off. If anyone else has tips on how to get them off I would love it!

      • Amy says

        Hot water worked for me. I boiled about two inches of water, then stick just the cap in the boiling water for about 20 seconds, then it twisted right off! It screws right back on with no leaks. And you dont have to do the hot water trick for each time you want to open it, once and teats it!
        I love the socks idea, I crocheted some pads for my sweeper and wetjet but this idea is awesome!

      • Karen in AZ says

        I have also made both crocheted and knit covers for my Swiffer AND my mop! Since I knit a LOT of dish cloths, I save all the bits from the ends of the balls of cotton yarn and use those. (I figure that I’m going to be bleaching these things anyway and the colors won’t matter after a couple of times through the wash.) These work great and can be used again and again. There are patterns on Ravelry. I’ve found the seed stitch nice because it gives a “scrubbing” surface rather than stockinette stitch. (Garter stitch is too stretchy.)

      • sandi says

        I worked in a assisted living home and one of the residents daughters knitted the dish cloths and gave me one i loved it !!!!!! I would wash it so i could use it again instead of my others until it fell apart, unfortunately i can not knit.

      • Vicki says

        If you put the top of the bottle in boiling hot water for a few seconds, then you can carefully use pliers to turn the lid and get it off. There are little plastic bits that keep the lid from coming off, and this breaks those so you can twst it on and off again. If you do it carefully it won’t leak. I made pads for mine from a washcloth, sewing a pocket on each end, then put another washcloth folded in half on the inside for extra padding and absorption. It works great. The homemade cleaner is so much better than the real Swiffer cleaner, which always left my floor sticky.

      • Michelle says

        I had to use a wrench to get my cap off after soaking it in hot water. My husband however is able to just twist the cap off. I think it’s all in the strength. The cap will come off if you work it.

      • Amy says

        You just need a wrench to get the cap off the first time & then it snaps on and off instead of cutting a hole in the top..

      • m.a. says

        I did it with the hot boiling water and it came off right away, with a little resistance but it did. maybe try leaving it in the water a little longer and definitely use a towel.

      • Peggy Sue says

        I used a pair of pliers and the top of the wet jet solution bottle came off easily.

      • kayla says

        You just have to use a monkey wrench or something somilar to get a good grip on the cap and twist pretty hard and it comes right off! After the first time it gets easier and easier to take off! No boiling required!

      • Lupe says

        Microwave some water in a coffee cup then set the top in it for a min or two and then it will come off.

    • Davi says

      I don’t have the wet one either, I just use my dry one with a squirt bottle filled with the cleaning solution. Works just as well I think.

    • tx_cotton says

      Dunk the cap in hot water to soften the plastic, twist it off, and then clip off the little locking tabs with a pair of nail clippers. Easy! I also make my solution with 1/2 water and 1/2 vinegar. Since I don’t care for straight vinegar smell, I added peppermint essential oil to the mixture. I will have to try the 2-3 drops of dish soap.

    • Nick says

      All you have to do is take a pair of pliers to it. The top comes off quite easily

  2. Patricia says

    I crocheted myself several washable swiffer covers out of cotton yarn. there are tons of patterns out there. on the net if you Google it. They make great little gifts/stocking stuffers for all the floor cleaners on your list too :).
    Love your blog!

    • Heidi says

      Gosh Patricia, I never thought about that! Thanks so much for the tip, I will google it now and grab my crochet needle and cotton yarn! :) Thanks so much for the idea! AND Jillee, as always YOU ROCK….can’t imagine not having your blog and awesome ideas! Thanks for spending your time making our lives easier and better!

    • Michelle says

      Thanks I love to crochet. I never thought of that. I will have to search for a pattern.. So excited to give it a try

  3. Bonnie says

    I have the dry Swiffer but have never bought refills of the same brand. I buy very cheap towels for dusters at cheap stores. I also have a lot of rags that I have made from old t-shirts and lots and lots of old socks, that once I am done cleaning I just throw them away. I do not like to put them in my washer!

    Bonnie
    from Belgium

    • Vikki says

      I love the sock idea but also agree with Bonnie about not liking to put those dirty things in my washer. I will definitely use my old socks and t-shirts this way before throwing them away and using the chenille socks when I don’t have anything old to use! Thanks!!

      • Casey says

        I think it is so funny you ladies don’t put “dirty” things in your WASHING machine! I am curious as to what you use it for then? I cloth diaper and wash lots of cleaning cloths all the time so it just seems silly not putting it in the washer. If it really weirds you out you can always rinse it first in the sink and then wash it…but then you would be touching something dirty! :)

      • Susan says

        Heehee….although I wonder just how dirty the floor is! OTOH, I still have kids at home, pets and chickens so…and pet chickens ;D

      • elaine says

        what is a washing machine for…..wash dirty clothes. you can wash the dirty rags by themselves or dark colors.

      • Denise says

        @ Casey, I thought it was odd as well that they dont want to put something dirty in a washing machine. When my Son was young, I used cloth diapers and never thought twice about washing them because they were DIRTY! LMBO! Oh well… different strokes for different folks lol

      • CTY says

        Jillee–Gotta watch those chenille socks–they can bleed, some times they are chenille like also do not put them in the dryer because they lose their loftiness (dirt grabbing abilities).
        For me my cleaning rags have their very own load and I wash them right before my monthly sanitizing of the washer.

    • Nadine says

      I totally understand what you mean about putting things like that in the washer some things are just gross. things like the dog hair covered dog bed. If you save up enough of the socks rags or what ever you are using to make up a load worth your time just pop into a laundry mat and use their machines to me it is worth the few dollars to wash my bathroom rugs and dog bed covers so my machine doesn’t get gross. I don’t have an issue with floor cleaning cloths as I usually run things like that through the washer twice, once on a rinse and then on a wash. oh and regular wash cloths work great in the swiffer you just poke the corners in the holes. I buy the little $5 bundles of wash cloths at places like wallyworld. :)

      • Melinda says

        isn’t the point of all of this to save money. not having to but the expensive replacement pads yet paying to do laundry at the laundry mat? Maybe I’m missing something?

      • Susan says

        Yes, please do go to the laundry mat with your dog beds, filthy greasy rags, etc. I love it when my clothes come out smelling like the garage. If the rags aren’t suitable for your washer, why use one others are forced to use? Some people do not have landlords that will let you own a washer or dryer. Again, thank you for being inconsiderate!

  4. Deborah says

    Yep! head smacking here ~ ouch/ duh moment. Thanks for sharing this quick fix. I too have been collecting crochet instructions for swifter wipes for floors & dusting. Have one in the making now, but will try this in the meantime. Might like it even better, who knows.

  5. mdoe37 says

    The wetjet bottle tops will also unscrew if give a bit more persuasion with slip lock pliers or a quick turn in a snug vice.

  6. Carolyn says

    One day before I saw this I tried a regular sock and was pleased
    I love reading all ur ideas and helps thanks!

  7. Priscilla says

    You can open the bottle by soaking the lid in hot water for 10 seconds and then use a towel to twist off the cap. When I originally started doing this, there were little plastic fingers inside the cap that gripped the bottle. If there are, snipped them off with scissors and you won’t have trouble opening the cap again. I didn’t have any trouble with leaking after I did this. However, I did have trouble with the solutions clogging the spray nozzle. I got so tired of it, I got a different mop that can be refilled with ease (and, which leaks around the cap!). There’s a quick video on YouTube (does not mention the plastic fingers): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pO-AbT3GpE

  8. Megan P says

    I’ve got both a swiffer and a wetjet. I’ve been bad about not really using the swiffer although I use the wetjet a lot. My problem with it is that it takes batteries (although they do last a long time). I still hate using things that use batteries because they always die when you least expect them to! I’ve pulled out the old regular swiffer and have promised myself that when I run out of wetjet solution or the batteries die again (whichever comes first) I’m going to goodwill it and just start using the regular swiffer with a spray bottle of vinegar water that I already have for all purpose cleaning. :)

    • Karen423 says

      That is what I do is regular swiffer with all purpose spray solution for the floor. Going to try it with the chenille socks though. Just not the socks with the little non skid grips on them.

    • Kerri T says

      I also got really sick of my batteries dying in the middle of a mopping. I solved the problem with re-chargeable batteries. Works great! Get the one that holds four at a time. :)

    • Susan says

      Libman (and I think Clorox) makes a model with a tank that is designed for refilling, and they don’t use batteries (it operates on a trigger like sprayer). Very good design for those who don’t like filling up our landfills. Oh, and they don’t use disposable pads (maybe you can buy them, not sure), they come with ones you reuse!

  9. Wendy says

    I have the Wetjet and do the hot water on the lid to refil. will look for the fingers to cut off next time. But there is also a different brand of mop, Liebman, that does the same thing only, they have and sell a washable pad. yes they are 8.99 each and I bought 3 of them to rotate. They work fine, they are thicker than socks and less likely to comes up holely. yes their cost is up there, but we are happy with it.

    • says

      I switched to Libman products because they are made in the US and I like their sustainability program … I use their freedom mop replacement heads on an older Swiffer I bought before their freedom mop came out and when the swiffer dies, I’ll go Libman. They also have the BEST microfiber cleaning cloths I’ve found — I buy the green and purple and use the purple for wet and the green for drying and I haven’t used a paper towel for cleaning in five years.

      • Jen K. says

        I have the Libman mop too. I love it! I use my citrus vinegar and make my solution just the same as this. But this is a great idea if you already have a swiffer. I spent 20 bucks on the libman mop and the pads for it were like 7 bucks a piece. I thought it was a tad pricey, but definitely better than spending the ridiculous amount they charge for the disposable products.

      • Heather says

        I use a Libman too. When the mop is cheaper than the swiffer and one re-usable pad is the same price as one refill pack of swiffer wipes, it’s a savings right at the register–and then I don’t have to buy solvents or refill wipes ever again. Just the same vinegar I’d be using in the counter spray bottle. Easy peasy!

      • Susan says

        Way to go! I agree, Libman!! Also, I have found another brand of the cloths (they also work on the libman) that are 3 pads for about $8.

    • CC says

      Went to the dollar store and bought microfiber rags. Basically folded the microfiber in half and put some batting/old towel in the middle and sewed around it and it sticks to the Swiffer just like Velcro and I just throw them in the laundry when done. Has saved me a lot as we have dogs and constantly mopping up after them.

  10. Sarah says

    I bought a pack of microfiber carwash cloths from Target and cut them to fit my swiffer. I could cut 2 swiffer pads per cloth, with a length of extra fabric left over for a general cleaning rag. Work like a charm, washable, reusable, cheap (it was $5 [clearance] for 8 cloths = 16 swiffer pads). I love them! I use microfiber cloths to clean
    E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G though!

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