Homemade Wet-Jet Pads and Solution

Dear TL,

I know it irks you as much as it does me to BUY swiffer pads and solution. So, I created a pictorial tutorial on avoiding the refill monster entirely.

You will need:

  1. swiffer wet-jet
  2. microfiber washcloths (scrubby kind if you want to be FANCY–5$)
  3. good scissors
  4. frayblock, fraycheck, or the like
  5. cup of hot water
  6. vinegar and water

DIRECTIONS

1. Open microfiber washcloths. (Remember how microfiber sticks to you fingers if they’re dry? Sticks great to that bottom-of-the-mop velcro too.) Cleave in twain.

2. ‘Fray Block’ the cut edge and allow to dry.

3. Smush the cloth onto yon mop.

4. Turn empty solution bottle upside down in a cup of hot water for one minute. Twist off cap and fill with 50/50 water and vinegar.

5. Get to mopping!

6. Toss DIRTY cloth in washer!

RECIPE MAKES 10 REUSABLE CLOTHS

luv, Ivory

Tags: swiffer refill, swiffer pads, ,

Leave a Reply

  1. I’m a bit late here, but I just had to say thanks for posting this! I love my swiffer, but the cost of refills…not so much. I still have a couple of pads so I didn’t try yours yet, but finding out I could actually refill that “unrefillable” bottle is cause for celebration. I just mopped my white ceramic tile floors with it, and they look great. The house smells a bit like pickles right now, but I know that will dissipate in a bit. Thanks again!

  2. Well, I’m even later getting back to you.

    You are welcome! And I guess you already found out that the smell disappears as soon as it dries.

    Thank you for the comment!

  3. I really like your site–simple, fun (and funny) and VERY helpful. Thanks a lot!

  4. Love your posts. You have an AWESOME since of humour. This makes me wish I had the mop thingy. I just have the regular swiffer but have been using a scrap muslin hack because the smell of their evil disposable cloths was made me sick. When I read about the microfibre hack I had a ‘hits head and goes duh’ moment of epic proportions.

  5. Silly question… what does “cleave in twain” mean? I am guessing something to do with the way you open the cloth and cut it? Just bought a wet jet and using a homemade solution and washable pads sounds fantastic. Just want to make sure i am doing it right.

  6. Ivory — thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this! I usually avoid using those cloths because of the way they cling to every minute rough spot on my hands but this idea is too good to not use.

    “Cleave in twain” “Professional smushing” — Bah hah hah! Too funny!

    Thanks for the laugh as well as the idea.

  7. I LOVE reading your site and all of the wonderful ideas… One question; when you refer to ‘vinegar’ in your cleaning recipes, do you mean white distilled?? I’m sure that if I looked a little deeper I’d find the answer, but couldn’t so far so I thought I’d ask! Thanks for the great ideas.

  8. Ooo — forgot to tell you — I am the cleaning lady at a small insurance company and I used to use my Swiffer in their break room. The insurance company bought the pads for me for a while. I have to use the liquid floor cleaner concentrate the cleaning company I work for provides so I put a hole in the ‘bottom’ of the empty Swiffer bottle, add water, and then squirt into the hole the liquid concentrate which I had put into a spray bottle (I set the spray nozzle to “stream”). I put the water in the Swiffer bottle first, then the concentrate, so I don’t get too many bubbles. I don’t use batteries to spray either — I just tip the whole thing and let some of the cleaning fluid/water flow out onto the floor, then mop. I have to fill the bottle each time with just enough liquid to do the floor once — any more than that and the liquid would just flow out over a short period of time (a couple of hours) because the hole in the bottom isn’t sealed.

    Because of the economy, the insurance company had to stop buying the Swiffer pads for me (and I can’t afford them even for at home) so I’ve been having to use “the big, yellow monster” bucket, wringer, and string mop head that was provided by the cleaning company I work for. It’s a horrid, almost unmanagable thing. Now, with your idea, I can use my Swiffer again at work as well as at home! Thanks again!

  9. @Always in Blue Denim–GREAT! Glad to have helped. And I know what you mean about the rough spots on your hands.

    @Court–I use white vinegar. I try apple cider from time to time, but it’s just so much stronger smelling.

  10. This is pretty late, but you can buy 24 microfiber cloths at Sam’s Club for $10. I love them and use them for everything, we only use paper towels for bacon and other greasy food related tasks.

  11. I hate to contradict you, but you should never use vinegar on tile! Vinegar is acidic; grout is alkaline. Eventually you can have grout failure unless the vinegar is rinsed off thoroughly so it doesn’t “eat at” the grout. (My husband runs a tile cleaning business, so he knows all about this). And you can’t say “Grandma always used vinegar”. My guess is that Grandma didn’t have tile – she probably had linoleum or vinyl. You really need to find something that is pH neutral to clean: Spic ‘n Span and Mr Clean are a couple of products that work.

  12. I’ve been making my own swiffer juice for a few years. Just take a pair of pliers and twist off the cap. Fill to shoulder of bottle with water and add a tbsp. of Hoover Floormate concentrate (I use the floormate a few times a year to really scrub them). Smells good doesn’t bother my asthma and is streak free. A bottle of of the cleaner will last for years if just used for the swiffer.

    Thanks for the tip on making pads – I’m going to Sam’s tomorrow and will stock up on micro fiber cloths.

  13. I like the idea of the refillable swiffer and the homemade cloths but Bissel makes a wet mop and vac with a refillable tank on it. It comes with 2 washable microfiber cloths that velcro on them. I love it but I have hard wood and tile and linoleum in my house so I have to use Murphey’s Oil Soap in it (diluted of course so it lasts a long time!) I bought cotton kitchen twine in the hardware department and knitted myself some super scrubby cleaning pads then sewed velcro on them. It takes a little longer to make but they will last forever! I like the twine better than cotton yarn because it’s scrubbier, (if anyone was wondering) I use sugar n’ cream yarn for my dish cloths.

  14. Just found you today — what a neat site. Here’s my swiffer hack. Use an old thin sock. Cut off the top (cuff) or use the “peds” or athletic type w/o the cuff. Slit the sock at the heel a couple of inches at most Now pull it on the swiffer “foot” and tuck the cut ends (at the heel ) in the grooves. The toe end doesn’t need tucking. I wear a size 8-9 which perfectly fits the swiffer. Great recycling for old socks, works great, and toss in the washing machine.

  15. Oh I have been wishing for this very thing! I have 100% hard floors in my house and we swiffer like crazy! I have the swiffer vac and the wet-jet and I cringe at buying refills, but not as much as I cring at using an old-fashioned mop. Making my own *everything* is just the ticket! And the wet-jet is so simple that my kids fight over who gets to mop!

  16. So – I bought a wet jet because age and natural deterioration have made it impossible for me to mop the way I did before all my parts went out of warranty.

    I had guests the first time I tried it, and that awful blue juice that comes with the unit triggered two asthma attacks, one headache, and required opening windows in spite of the cold temps.

    You have saved yet another victim of chemical warfare.

    Dorothy

  17. Amazing, Carmen! Our well-established, repuitable ceramic floor tile installer and dealer in Tulsa told us to mop our spice colored ceramic tile and grout with white vinegar. On our white bathroom tile and grout, we’ve used liquid toilet bowl cleaner to keep it clean and bright for over 40 years. No need to rinse after the vinegar but when using the liquid toilet bowl cleaner be sure to rinse the floor and other porcelain fixtures. Towel dry, if desired. Our floors, tubs, showers and lavatories all look new like the day they were installed in 1966. No problems for our babies or pets either. Both leave a clean, fresh odor with no stickiness or residue.

  18. I know I’m very late on this one, but I have something to share on the topic. I gave up on my Wet Jet because I couldn’t keep up with battery demands. My husband is a geek so batteries get sucked up like water. So I went back to the regular kind.

    I found a knitting pattern for a cover that, with a little adjustment for size, works delightfully well and washes up even better. I make a solution of vinegar, HOT water and and whatever essential oil suits my fancy. I throw about 3 of the covers in the bucket and mop until one cover gets gross. I just pitch that one in the washing machine and get another one out of the bucket if needed. I keep a spray bottle of half vinegar and half water around for quick cleanups. Quick, cheap and cheerful, as Kim Woodburn would say. Happy Cleaning!

  19. Also very late to this conversation, however wanted to share something i discovered if you’ve been a hold-out like me to the Swiffer bandwagon. Once i purchased the “duster”, i was not amused and didn’t go for the “wet jet”.

    I did notice at our local one stop shopping last week that Libman’s now makes a mop that has a refillable tank in it and a washable head. Woot!! Since i’ve only just discovered it, i am not sure i’m buying it. More standing in the aisles over the next few weeks to see if i can brainstorm why it would be better than the washclothes we imploy for mopping, by using my foot and electric slide moves. :)

  20. Hi,

    Where do I find FrayBlock? Wal-mart? If so, what section of the store?

    Thanks,

    Sid

  21. I’ve been hearing that the Swiffer solution is harmful to cats, so I stumbled upon your site looking for alternatives. Great ideas! And you had me giggling from twain to the end. :) Thank you!

  22. Thank you SO much for posting this! My parents- father, disabled, and mother, homemaker- asked me on the phone today if I knew of any coupons to ease the price of the refills for solution, because its so expensive. I asked if you can just refill the same bottle, and she said my Mom said ‘No, its non-refillable’. Well, I know my frugal community, I knew someone had to of found a way around it! A quick google brought up your site! Thanks again!

  23. Just love these ideas. Because of everyone’s ideas, I had a brain storm. If you have the Shark Steam cleaner mop cloths, they work perfect over the swiffer mop head. You can use one side and when it gets dirty, then turn it over and use the top side. I had 2 of those mops and they both died within a short period of time, so threw them away but kept the cloths. (The Shark did a great job but would not recommend because they quit working after a couple of months) Keep these brilliant ideas coming! If you are going with microfiber cloths, Home Depot and Sears also carry them. I love to use them to dry the car after I wash it.

  24. If you search for “Swiffer wet jet MSDS” it will bring up the ingredients, it is just a 5% alcohol and water solution. The vinegar would not smell good and leaves the floor sticky. Try using just 1.15 L of water and .1 L of 70% rubbing alcohol. (resulting in 5.6% alcohol).

  25. I have another quick and easy solution my mom told me about. If you have kids in diapers (or even if you don’t I guess) you can just use a disposable baby diaper stuck to the bottom of the jet, using the tabs for one side and piece of tape on the other side. To refill the bottle I left it in the swiffer, cut a hole at the top of it, and put some hot water mixed with multi-purpose cleaner in (I’m not a fan of the vinegar). Then I just stuck some duck tape over my little hole at the top which keeps it from splashing out, and can be replaced next time I need to refill it. I admit it’s not as environmentally friendly as reusable ones, but it’s easy and cheap and one diaper works great on my whole kitchen and all the bathrooms!

  26. This HAS to be the BEST tutorial I have ever seen, HANDS DOWN!! I have kids and large puppies, which as you may know makes cleaning a daily event! Right away, one of my little ones seemed to have an allergic reaction to the cleaning solution, so I stopped using it all together — until today! Thank you so much, you SAVED us!!

  27. Help,
    Where can I find ths smaller size liquid refill for the Swiffer Wetjet?
    They are only making the larger size that doesn;t fit my mop!!!!

    Thanks
    Diabe

  28. I have no idea! This was years ago for me and I haven’t used one in ages.

  29. Wow…this is excellent! I had no idea the cap so easily unscrews. I am having trouble getting the terry cloth to stick, though.

  30. I used to have a Swiffer, but got sick of buying it pads, batteries, and cleaner. I gave it to my mother and got a Rubbermaid spray mop instead. It has a lever, so no batteries (not sure why it’s so important to push a button rather than a lever anyway), microfiber, and I can put whatever I want in its spray bottle. I will pass this along to my mom using a Swiffer, I’m sure she would rather not buy cleaner.

  31. I have one tip for the cap on the cleaner… Once you get it off take nail clippers and clip off all of the little plastic “teeth” that keep it from unscrewing. Once this is done you can unscrew the cap as much as you like without sitting it in the hot water everytime. Thanks so much for this tutorial! I am getting microfiber cloths today! :)One question: Could we put a seam on the side of the cloth that is cut instead of using the fray stuff? I haven’t ever sewn with microfiber….

  32. Yes you can seam it, we just did it that way for non-sewists. And GREAT tip on the cap. THANK YOU!

  33. If you don’t want to trouble with Fray Block: You can quickly run a lighter around the edges to singe the fabric and lock in the fibers to keep them from fraying.

    If you do this make sure to do it outside with plenty of ventilation because melting plastic = bad for you (obviously)… the trade out is that it is super quick and easy!

    Molly

  34. Wouldn’t you know! They came out with the new Swiffer mop with the new, larger size Swiffer solution bottle. You can’t find the smaller bottles anywhere. I already recycled my last small bottle, so now I have the original Swiffer mop and no access to the original size bottles. I’d rather use a spray bottle of water and vinegar rather than invest in a new mop and larger size Swiffer solution bottle. Right now, I hate the Swiffer company! Money-grubbing assholes!

  35. I’ve heard a lot of people talk about the smell of the vinegar. I use a couple of drops of Lavendar Oil and my whole house smells like it has lavendar in every room. It’s also very good for burns. You can use whatever smell you like. It only takes a couple of drops.

  36. I used to use 50/50 Vinegar and water in my swiffer but the smell is too strong. I find that using 4 cups of water, 1/2 cup vinegar, and 1 tsp of dish soap works nicely.

  37. I cannot get the bottle of solution that came with the wetjet to open (they are on to us that refill). Any suggestions?

  38. Wow! This really works. I had quit using mine because I refused to spend that much on refills. (I tried to get that top off the bottle. Who knew it was so easy) I now have 6 reusable cloths and paid only $3. Thank you : )

  39. I used your advice and reuse the bottle, it was good for a while, but suddenly the fluid is leaking out overnight, I do not know what is he problem.

  40. The Swiffer Wet Jet has Velcro on the bottom, so i crochet my own pads. the yarn sticks to the Velcro like GLUE! I also make a Pine Sol hot water mixture, and soak 4 of my cloths in it for a minute to get them nice and wet! then i simply ring one out, and mop my floor. when its dirty, i simply peel it off and throw it in the washer, and grab another one to use! When i am done mopping, i simply grab my small throw rugs, and wash them with my swiffer pads in a small load! mopping and cleaning of throw rugs, two birds with one stone!