How to Eco-Hack Your Swiffer Mop

You know which household chore sucks the most? Oh, dusting? Yeah, youíre probably right. But this one comes in a close second.


Boy howdy, is there anything more frustrating? I think not.

When I first lived on my own I used the mop that came with the house. NOT the highest quality of cleaning supplies, I probably donít have to tell you. The mop was one of those old rag-head models, with permanently-grey fibers that sort of always smelled like stale goldfish water. I would announce to my roommates, ďDonít come into the kitchen for a while, Iím going to move wet dirt around the floor!Ē It never felt like I actually cleaned the floor.

Then, in my early-20s, Swiffer released that fancy-shmancy bright and shiny new wonder mop. It was like paper towels, but for the floor! It was always clean! It had jet sprays of chemical freshness!

The lady who loathed mopping that lived inside of me Ė she was intrigued. But that dang hippie who had taken up residence in the fore of my brain? She said no way. No disposable, toxin-misting mop of eco-destruction would be entering my home. Not a chance.

So I didnít get my new mop just then. But flash forward a few years, and I found myself living as a proud new owner in my first real home, with my fiancť. And somewhere along the way – between the moving and the mixing and the hand-me-downs – we had acquired this Swiffer-style mop.

My precious.

Once I had it in my hands, it wasnít hard to imagine the green conversion. In fact it was simple, it was as if that little bugger was begging for an eco-makeover. Hereís what I did:

1. Replace the disposable pads with washable fabric. For me, this was simply a matter of cutting an old bath towel into small rectangles. The terry cloth fastens onto the mop head just exactly the same way as the paper would (see photo). Easy peasy.

2. Save the empty chemical canister; re-fill it with DIY cleanser. I fill mine up with straight white vinegar, undiluted. (Vinegar kills bacteria.) You can add essential oils or lemon juice or castile soap or fairy dust or whatever else it is you like to clean with.

I use my modified mop all the time, and now the chore doesnít feel like so much of, well, a chore! Okay, maybe it still does, but at least Iím no longer just watching dirty water sloshing around my kitchen. My bathroom tiles shine beautiful and bright, and my bamboo flooring in my Portland home looks so clean you could eat off of it. Which is what my toddler routinely does, and which is all I really care about these days. So good enough for me, I say!

By Sayward Rebhal of†Bonzai Aphrodite for†Networx

Sayward Rebhal writers for Remodeling Networx. Get home & garden ideas like this on Networx.

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Past Member 4 years ago

don't have one, but tyfs

Kathryn M.
Kathryn M4 years ago

Thank you for the ideas!

Autumn Perrotta
Autumn Perrotta4 years ago

Thank you

Slava R.
Slava R4 years ago


Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill4 years ago


Donna T.
Donna T4 years ago


Alexandra G.
Alexandra G4 years ago

vinegar is the best cleaner !

Jonathan Harper
Jonathan Harper4 years ago


Danuta Watola
Danuta W4 years ago

Thank you for posting.

Jane C.
Jane C4 years ago

This is brilliant!