I know that Green Cleaning was the Change Challenge last month, but I recently started using my Swiffer in a new way that has been so helpful to me, I just had to share.
A while ago, probably over a year, I took some Gerber prefold cloth diapers that I bought at the store and cut them down to fit my Swiffer mop/broom, whatever you want to call it, and zig-zagged stiched along the edges to keep them from fraying. I thought they were great because they are thicker and more absorbent in the middle, the part that is actually on the mop, and thinner on the outside, so they work perfectly to stick in the little grippy holes on the top. They fit just as well as a disposable Swiffer sheet. But, they didn’t work that well to actually mop with. When they were wet, the didn’t slide across the floor very well, and the cloth was likely to fall out of the grippy holes on the top. So, they basically got resigned to the back of my rag pile, not really getting much use.
And then, a few months ago, a friend told me how she kept her Swiffer out in her living room and just “swept” things up throughout the day to keep her floors clean. When we were over at her house for a playdate one day, I saw her Swiffer in the corner, and thought, that is a good idea, I should do that too. But, because we don’t use the disposable Swiffer sheets, I kind of dismissed the idea and forgot about it.
Then last week, I was getting frustrated with how I vacuum and the next day, or often even the same evening, my floors are full of crumbs and dog hair again and it hardly looks like I vacuumed at all. When you have hard wood floors, a preschooler who doesn’t like to sit still while eating, and a dog that sheds, it’s hard to keep the floors clean. And since my sweet baby boy is now army crawling all over the place, his shirts were beginning to look a little bit like my mop should look. Oops. I really don’t want to pull out the vacuum cleaner every day, and regular brooms are kind of annoying to use. I thought again about my friend’s Swiffer idea, and decided to pull my reusable homemade Swiffer cloths out of the back of my rag pile and see how it worked.
Now, I am totally kicking myself that I didn’t do this sooner! It is amazing! I put a new cloth on my Swiffer at the beginning of each day, and then after breakfast and lunch, and any other time I see something that needs to be swept up, I just push the Swiffer around, it picks up the dog hair and crumbs, and I make a little pile by my kitchen, and then sweep it into a dustpan once or twice a day. Another great things about it, is that Kaelyn loves to help too, and I took my old Swiffer mop and made the handle shorter and now she can push that around and “sweep” with me. (Yes, she is using a disposable Swiffer sheet in this picture, I actually had a few left from my “before” days and thought she might as well use them up, but mine is one of my reusable ones.) 😉 Using the Swiffer is much easier than using a broom, doesn’t use energy like a vacuum would, my floors look clean, without dog hair dust bunnies and cracker crumbs all over, and my army crawler’s shirts are staying clean. And I don’t get frustrated about feeling like I have to vacuum every single day. Why, oh why, did I not try this before?!
And at the end of the day, when my floors are all swept, I throw the rag in my laundry hamper in the basement to be washed and used again. Clean floors, reusable rags, and my daughter helping me clean – it’s everything that great about homemade and green cleaning!
Also, I’m participating in Steady Mom‘s 30 Minute Blog Challenge today. The challenge is to write and publish an entire post in 30 minutes or less, so that we as moms can focus on the things and the place that is most important, our families and our homes. I’m off to Swiffer my floor!
(Post time: 28 min.)
Join us at Heavenly Homemakers for the little Green Project!
I made my green swiffers out of microfiber cleaning cloths. Really captures the dust and dirt. I can even wet them and use them for quick mop jobs without soaps/cleaners. I also found on line directions for making the replacement covers for the Swiffer duster. Sorry, I didn’t keep the web address, but again made from microfiber cloth they leave no dust behind just like the paper style, but I don’t spend money on them and throw them out. I just toss them into the washer at the end of cleaning. I don’t know what might come up if you just type into Google – “pattern +make your own swiffer dusters”. Worth a try.
I use microfiber cloths when I’m out of my cut to size diaper rags, and they do work great, but mine are not actually the right size. i should think about making some of them into actual swiffer covers. And I love the idea of homemade swiffer duster cloths – I’ll have to look into that one. Thanks for the recommendation!
I use microfiber cloths too. I cut small pieces of velcro and stuck them beside each tuck hole on the swiffer mop. The microfiber cloths from the dollar store stick to the velcro very well. I still have the original holes in case I want to use another cloth too. Been doing it this way for years. It’s wonderful!! 🙂
if you crochet, you can make a really great swiffer cover. If you make it bumpy and quite textured it does a really good job – wet ordry – of picking up everything! There are patterns online.
My Mother used terry cloth with elastic around the edges to hold it onto the swiffer. She then had a spray bottle and just sprayed as she mopped. I don’t think she even made her cloths. I think she bought them somewhere. But, where I live there is seriously an organic/green living type store on every corner.
Funny thing is that she wasn’t trying to be green, she was trying to save money! Lol
Rob Madden says
Great article. Thanks for sharing this great advice.
Perfectly Clean says
I have read some were to use those really soft socks they seem to work great.
I have been cutting up and using my old underwear as “swiffer” covers for year. They are microfiber and are light enough to be used wet or dry.
I have been cutting up and using my old underwear as “swiffer” covers for years. They are microfiber and are light enough to be used wet or dry. I cut out the crotch and sew the front and back together (where the crotch once was), slip it over the swiffer and tuck the elastic part into the grippers on the swiffer–it is the perfect size with minimal work. This is really green because it is reusing something that has already lost it’s original use but can be made into something new and useful again.
I buy socks at the dollar store, use them one day and throw them in the laundry. They are great!
Emily McClements says
Great idea Laurel! Thanks for sharing!