Make Your Own Mop Cloths and Solution

Posted on March 22, 2010 by Courtney


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It’s hard to beat the convenience of a battery-powered mop. All you have to do is press the button, and the cleaning solution squirts out onto the floor right in front of you! Then, with just a few back-and-forth sweeps of the mop, your floor is clean!

But let’s face it: Those mops aren’t exactly green. You have to replace the plastic bottle that contains the solution, and those pads that affix to the bottom of the mop are disposable. But fear not! If you have a wet-jet mop, there are ways to green it up a little.

Let’s start with the pads. It’s easy to find alternatives to buying a refill pack — just Google “make your own Swiffer pads” and you’ll find a plethora of things to mop your floor with, including old socks, washcloths, onesies that babies have outgrown, finger towels, flannel shirts, and even covers you can knit or sew yourself. Basically, if you can wipe up a spill with it, you can attach it to your mop and clean your floor with it.

But what about the cleaning solution? Not only is it greener to reuse the plastic bottle over and over again, it’s also better (and cheaper!) to make your own solution out of natural, non-toxic ingredients. Here’s one way to rig your bottle so it’s refillable:

What you’ll need:

Drill with a 5/16″ bit
5/16″ nut (available at any hardware store)
hot glue
5/16″ bolt

What to do:

Drill a hole in the bottle. (When the bottle is inserted in the mop, drill into the end that’s facing up. This should be the opposite end from the spout.) Hot glue the nut around the hole you just drilled. Once the glue has cooled, insert the bolt into the hole, sealing the bottle. Done!

If you’re not so good with the power tools, consider getting rid of the bottle-in-the-mop idea altogether. You can make your own cleaning solution, put it in a reusable spray bottle, then just spray your floor before you mop. It’s not quite as fun as pushing the button and seeing the solution squirt out, but it’ll get the job done.

Speaking of making your own cleaning solution, here’s one no-rinse recipe, courtesy of eHow:

What you’ll need:

White distilled vinegar
essential oils (in any scent you choose, though lemon and other citrus oils are great for disinfecting surfaces)

What to do:

Add equal portions water and vinegar to a bottle; don’t fill it all the way to the top. About 7 oz. of each is ideal. Then, add 15 t0 20 drops of essential oils. Don’t exceed 20 drops. Then just shake to combine, and you’re done! (Note: This works great on tile, linoleum or polyurethane-finished wood floors, but vinegar will damage unfinished wood floors.)

Needless to say, the Internet contains more recipes for natural cleaners than you can shake a stick at, so it won’t take much work to find one that’s right for you.

And there you have it — green mopping! Tell me, how do you mop your floors?


  1. I use bar mop towels, folded in half they fit perfectly on my swiffer mop. I have a “hand powered” mop. I carry a squirt bottle and squirt the stuff on the floor then mop it up. I love that I can wash the mop. I dry them on the line which make the towels scratchy like a scrubber, so they are heavy duty and scrub really well.

    For my hardwood I have a microfiber towel that I use, I haven’t found the right mix of homemade cleaner to use, so I still buy some. The only store-bought pre-made cleaner I buy.

    March 22nd, 2010 at 9:21 am
    Comment by Chiot's Run
  2. I use reusable rags cut to fit my sweeper head. It is ridiculus to keep buying those sweeper pads when it is so easy to use your own reusable ones

    March 22nd, 2010 at 11:44 am
    Comment by Rachel
  3. I love it! What a great way to keep the convenience without the waste! Plus, those crocheted covers are really cute.

    I have a floor steamer that has washable pads. I use that mostly. It uses electricity, but not much, and it doesn’t need any chemicals to fight germs. But I do have one of those old wet spray mops from way back when. I like the idea of hacking it and using it for quick spill clean up, etc.

    March 23rd, 2010 at 9:41 am
    Comment by Allie
  4. I love the crocheted Swiffer pad! All great ideas, Courtney.

    March 23rd, 2010 at 1:58 pm
    Comment by Stefanie
  5. OMG, what great ideas. I never thought about making my own swiffer solution and pads.

    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:19 pm
    Comment by The Modern Gal
  6. I have a Clorox mop, and that one you can take off the jug and refill. I use about 1/3 castille soap, 1/3 Mrs. Myers Clean Day all purpose cleaner (I like the geranium one, but it comes in oodles of scents, and 1/3 water. Not only does it clean well with no rinsing and no slippery residue, but it smells fabulous and the ingredents are all pretty mild and you can buy them in larger sizes to mix down.

    April 3rd, 2010 at 12:57 am
    Comment by Kass
  7. It’s hard to beat the convenience of ready made swiffer pads from the box, but in an effort, I bought 2 reusable microfiber swiffer pads from the woman that runs this website:

    They work great! I really like the knitted ones though and might look for a pattern! I have some cotton yarn that needs to be used up!

    April 16th, 2010 at 3:05 pm
    Comment by Melissa

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