Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Reusable & Washable Microfiber Swiffer Pads- Tutorial

Do you own a Swiffer Sweeper or a Wet Jet? I own both and I love them, except for having to buy replacement pads and cloths. They cost money and produce waste, two things that I am trying to do less of.

So I came up with my own, reusable, washable pads made from microfiber cloths.

Microfiber cloths are great for cleaning, but I have found that they can be a little pricey too. The best deal that we found was at Costco where we got 36 of them for I think about $30. They were in the car care section and are meant for washing cars, but they are the same as the ones meant for household cleaning.

Swiffer Sweeper and Wet Jet Cloths

So here is what you need:

1- 16"x16" microfiber cloth
cutting mat and rotary cutter or fabric scissors
sewing machine or serger
thread
scissors
2- 4" strips of 1/2" elastic (for wet jet cloth)


Cutting: 

Be sure to measure your swiffer and wet jet to be sure that they are the same as mine before starting. They should all be the same, but I would hate for you to go through all the steps and have them not fit. For each 16"x16" cloth, you will be able to make 2 sweeper cloths and 1 wet jet cloth. The bottom of my sweeper measured 10"x4 1/2" so in order to be long enough to clip in the slots, these cloths will be 10" by 8". My wet jet was 10 1/2"x4 1/2" so the cloth will be 11"x5".


Lay out your cloth on your cutting mat, and measure 10" from one side. Cut along this line.

Now take that 10"x16" piece you just cut. Cut this piece in half to get 2 - 8"x10" pieces. These will be for the sweeper.

 Now take the 6"x16" strip left over from the first cut. Measure 5" from the finished side, and trim so that it is 5"x16". Then measure 11" in length and trim it to 11". This gives you a final size of 5" x11".

(I show two in this picture because I actually cut up 2 cloths, giving me 4 sweeper cloths and 2 wet jet cloths)

Finishing the edges:

If you have a serger, this step is easy, just serge the edges and you are done, but for most of us who don't have one, we will be using a zig zag stitch to finish the edge and prevent fraying and prevent all the little microfiber fuzzes from coming off.

Each cloth should have 2 unfinished edges, so start on an unfinished edge where it meets with an unfinished one. My sewing machine has 4 widths for a zig zag, 1 being the narrowest and 4 being the widest. For this I set mine to 3.

 Make sure to have the side lined up so that the needle just barely misses the edge. Go back and forth a few times when first starting and then just all the way along one side.
 When you get to the corner, just lift up the foot and rotate the cloth without pulling on the thread too much or having to cut it. Do the same stitching for this second edge. When you get to the end, go back and forth a few times.
Now you can either cut the threads here, or very carefully, flip the whole thing over to the opposite side. We are going to zig zag the edges again, only this time doing it from the back of where we did it the first time. This will reinforce the zig zag a little better and prevent more of the fuzzies from coming off when you wash it. Do the same thing you did above, turning at the corner with out cutting the threads. Be sure to go and back and forth when get to the end so your threads don't unravel.
Repeat this for all three of the cloths. I switched thread colors after doing the 2 sweeper cloths so that my wet jet cloth would be a different color and it would be easier to see the difference when they are done.

Now your sweeper cloths are all done!

Sewing on elastic for Wet Jet cloths:

Take your first piece of elastic and about 2 inches or so in from one of the long sides, place elastic about 1/4" -1/8" in from the edge. You can pin it in place, or just carefully line it up on the sewing machine using the presser foot to keep it in place. Using the zig zag stitch again (this time I narrowed mine down to a 2) zig zag back on forth on the elastic 3 or 4 times so that it is securely attached to cloth.
 Now is the tricky part, you need to sew the other edge of the elastic to the opposite side of the cloth. Make sure that it is all oriented correctly, and then sew this one in place the same way as above. You need to hold the elastic out of the way of needle as you sew.
 Repeat for the other side of the cloth using the second piece of elastic and then you are done.
I am really happy with how they turned out!. The wet jet one is a little tricky to get on because of the velcro on the bottom and it is harder to push around then the wet jet pads you buy, I think it actually does a better job of picking up dirt and cleaning. It takes more muscle to use, but I could use the work out :) When you are done cleaning, just throw them in the washing machine and you can use them over and over again.

Now I just need to find a way refill the cleaning solution bottle so I don't have to keep buying that too.

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Creations by Kara

Craft Junkie Too Friend

5 comments:

  1. I love this! Thanks so much for sharing through Kara's Look What I Made Linky Party. :)
    I'd love to invite you to share your projects at my weekly linky party….that I host every Friday. I think my viewers will LOVE your projects too. Thanks for the consideration.
    Tracy ~ Craft Junkie Too
    T.G.I.F Linky Party

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  2. wayy good idea. i am totally doing this. thanks for sharing!

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  3. This is so clever and useful! Thank you so much for the genius idea!

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  4. Thanks for sharing! I saw a hack online about refilling. Tried to do it but it went awry. Will have to try again when I use up my current bottle. I want to use a more eco-friendly floor cleaner than what Swiffer sells. If you figure it out, please post so others can follow! Thanks! Rachelle

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  5. I just found 12 microfiber cloths 12x12 for $5.00 at Harbor Freight Tools!!

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