Inexpensive Homemade Swiffer® Cloths
by Reader Contributors
Swiffer cloths are convenient, but they are also pricey. Our frugal readers offer inexpensive alternatives to the high-priced original.
Dear Dollar Stretcher,
Do your readers have any good ideas for “homemade” Swiffer cloths? These cloths are quite remarkably effective for floors and dusting, however expensive. I’d love to be able to make my own.
Homemade Swiffer and Water
Use a very slightly damp dust cloth. Buy a bunch of cotton cloth diapers. Wash them once before initial use. Dampen ever so slightly. I put a little water in a plastic bag, add several diapers, and let sit a while to distribute dampness. You can safely dust anything with these cloths. They aren’t wet or even very damp, just “humid.”
Switch cloths as they become soiled. Drape over a floor mop to get the “Swiffer” effect. Wash them with your laundry when you have a lot of them. Reuse.
No extra agents except water are needed. They trap dust, hair, and other little particles like a dream. You will have to lay out some money to buy a set of cloth diapers (they aren’t cheap), but they will last for years.
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Diaper Liner Swiffers
Diaper liners are made of material similar to the “Swiffer” cloths, but MUCH cheaper! They are also sized nicely to fit on the Swiffer tool.
I bought two sets of reusable “Swiffer” cloths on Amazon ages ago and they are still doing the job. I use one type for “wet” jobs and another set for “dry” jobs. You can find a lot of sellers on Amazon of Swiffer reusable alternatives.
Dryer Sheets to Homemade Swiffer
Believe it or not, you probably have a version of these in your home already, namely dryer sheets! The electrostatic that makes these Swiffer cloths so great is what helps the dryer sheets eliminate static cling. I always use these for dusting, and they leave a nice fresh smell, too! When the Swiffer first came out, all they were doing was marketing an already available item under a new name and for a lot more!
I use dryer sheets for dusting everything, from computer monitors to blinds. Stick them with some tape on the end of a ruler or broom/sponge mop, and you have an extendable version for higher spots. When you’re finished, though, don’t throw the dirty sheet away. Put it in the bottom of your garbage can to help eliminate odors.
From a Frugal University Student
When I was in the military, we had to sweep our hall over and over and over again. The military, of course, doesn’t supply one with any sort of specialty floor cleaner, so what we used was a pair of old pantyhose wrapped around a big industrial broom like you’d find in most people’s garages. It picked up dirt when you didn’t think there was anything there.
We used to throw the pantyhose then away (no time allowed for cleaning unauthorized materials!), but I imagine you could easily wash and reuse them. When I saw the commercial for the Swiffer, I thought about how I used to do the same thing with my old pantyhose!
Mom’s Homemade Swiffer
I showed my husband the ad for the “Swiffer” and he told me that it was nothing new. His mom used to spray “handi-wipes” with Pledge for the same effect.
Repurpose Worn Out Socks as Swiffer Alternatives
Rather than discarding unmated or worn-out socks, I cut them down the front to within three inches of the toe and then slip them on my Swiffer®. After giving them a spray of Endust®, I use them to mop the hardwood floor. The stretchiness of the socks makes them easy to put on the Swiffer® head, and the cut sides of the socks are easily stuffed into the appropriate holders.
After each use, I remove the sock and put it in the laundry. It is ready to use again.
Wash Your Swiffer Cloths and Use Again
I know Swiffer cloths are pricey, but I have a great money-saving tip.
I have found that the Swiffer dusters that fit the long and short handles can be washed and reused! I throw them in with my regular laundry! I usually put them in a zippered mesh bag like you use for under-clothing. I wash them several times and they hold up great! I also dry them in the dryer. This restores their static electricity if you do not use fabric softener.
A Good Dusting Alternative
For years, I’ve used Puffs Plus facial tissue during cold and flu season for sore noses, but because of the oils in the tissues, they’re great for dusting, too! (They’re also much cheaper than Swiffers!)
Reviewed January 2024
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