Friday, August 5, 2011

Reusable Swiffer Cloths

Perhaps you've seen a version of these reusable Swiffer cloths somewhere online. The idea certainly isn't original with me. However, I thought I'd show you a step-by-step tutorial in case you wanted to make some, too.

My parents just got laminate flooring installed in their kitchen, and my mom asked me to make her some of these. Since we had several "old" towels on hand that were perfectly fine (just stained from rusty water), I decided to use one of those. I was able to get three of these cloths from that one regular-sized towel.

Do you want to make some? Okay, let's get going!

What you need ...

  • a towel without rips or excessive wear (new or old, but old is usually free)
  • sewing machine and basic accessories
  • scraps of fabric for binding strips (1-1/2" width)
For the sake of clarity, I'm writing this tutorial based on sewing just one cloth. Feel free to sew several at a time. It's easy to do, and you'll be surprised how quickly they come together.


First of all, you'll need to cut a 1-1/2" binding strip from any washable fabric you might have on hand. I used an old sheet. Depending on the width of your fabric, you may need several strips. (Start with one and add more as you need them.)

Fold the binding strip in half widthwise, with raw edges meeting. You'll have a long, thin strip. Iron it flat. (Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of this step, but it's pretty easy.)

You'll also need to cut a 6" x 18-1/4" rectangle, using one of the bound edges of your towel as one of the short ends. This saves a sewing step.


Step 1. The first raw edge you're going to sew is the short end that isn't bound. Terry cloth sheds like crazy, so this is a must!

Line up the raw edges of the binding strip with the raw edges of the short end of the toweling and sew with a 1/4" seam. A walking foot is very helpful when sewing this material, but it's not necessary.

Step 2. Then you'll turn over the folded edge of the binding so that it covers the raw edges of the binding and toweling. Sew this in place, stitching close to the edge.

It should look like this. You've now enclosed that pesky raw edge.

Now you want to open out the rectangle so that it looks like this.

Step 3. Measure in 2-3/4" from one side, and fold this in. Pin it in place.

Repeat with the other side. It should look like this.

Step 4. Now we're going to deal with the rest of the raw edges, using the same method as before.

Pin the binding strip to one of the long raw edges, matching raw edges and being sure to catch the folded part (this is how you hold it on your Swiffer). This picture shows the folded edge underneath.

This time, you want to fold your binding strip in about 1/4" at the beginning and ending. This will prevent it from fraying.

Step 5. Sew 1/4" from the raw edge, as before.

It should now look like this.

step 6. Again, turn over the folded edge so that it hides all raw edges of the seam. Sew this in place, stitching close to the edge.

Repeat from Step 4 for the other long side.

Your finished cloth should look something like this.

If you have the newest-style Swiffer Wet Jet, the jets are probably going to be hidden under the cloth. I thought it would be a problem, but it worked quite well. The only thing we can figure is that the cleaning solution dampened the cloth instead of being spray directly onto the floor.

If you have an older-style Swiffer, it will fit something like this. The jet is free to spray directly onto the floor.

These will be a snug fit, but you shouldn't have to sweat to get them off and on.

I hope this saves you as much money as it has my parents!


Marsha said...

Isn't that just nifty! I love it.Thanks for the idea.