Budget-Friendly Swiffer Hacks You'll Wish You Knew Sooner

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Swiffer products were created by Procter & Gamble and first came on the market back in 1999. The design of Swiffer sweepers and mops made cleaning more convenient, as well as less taxing on the body. With these products there is no need for dustpans, buckets, or the many gallons of water it typically takes to mop a floor. All these benefits, however, come at a cost. Swiffer's line of sweepers and mops utilize disposable pads that need to be replaced and cleaning solutions that need to be replenished.

Although you can obtain coupons and watch for Swiffer pads and cleaning solutions to go on sale, this is not a long-term savings solution. To really make an impact on your finances, you'll want to implement one or more of these budget-friendly Swiffer hacks. They are designed to give you the most bang for your buck, while still providing your home with a proper clean.

Make your own refill pads

A 32-pack of Swiffer Dry Sweeping Cloths will cost a little under $10 at Walmart. Depending on the state of your floors, you may only be able to use one cloth per room. If your home is devoid of carpeting, chances are you'll use up that box of sweeping cloths within two weeks or so. To save money, purchase a four-pack of paper towels at Walmart instead for just under $4. Even when you use multiple sheets per floor, you'll still get the equivalent of 110 sweeping cloths. You'd pay more than $30 to get that number in Swiffer pads.

Grab a roll of paper towels and tear off either two large sheets or three smaller sheets. Fold the paper towels in half and set them horizontally in front of you on the floor. Place your Swiffer Sweeper in the center of the paper towels and then fold up the top edge, pressing the paper towel down into the two grippers. Repeat for the bottom and you're good to go! It's important to note that this budget-saving hack works on the Swiffer Sweeper, but not on the WetJet.

Switch to washable pads

Another budget-saving hack is to ditch the disposable pads altogether and purchase a set of washable pads. Amazon sells a pair of microfiber mop pads that are designed for use with a Swiffer Sweeper for just $8. Instead of spending money on new pads every couple of weeks, you'll only have to make that one-time payment. After each use, simply toss the pads in your washing machine to get them clean again. There are some things to know before you machine-wash and -dry them, though: If you use cleaning products that contain any bleach, hand-wash the pad thoroughly first before throwing it in the washing machine lest you ruin your clothes. And when it comes to drying them, dry the pads using the low heat setting.

The washable pads can be used to both sweep and mop any floor type. I attached them to my Swiffer WetJet just fine, so you can use them on either product. The pads are designed to wrap around the base of the sweeper. You secure them using Velcro straps that rest on top of the base. Make sure you get a tight fit so the pad doesn't slide off the Swiffer when in use.

Make your own washable pads

Not interested in paying for a set of washable pads? Consider constructing your own set of reusable Swipper pads instead. Chances are you have all the supplies you need on hand, meaning this hack won't cost you a dime. Microfiber towels work best, and you can use an old set that has been stained, so long as it is still absorbent and doesn't have any holes. You'll also need a pair of scissors and a few strips of Velcro.

Place a towel on the floor and set the base of your mop on top of it. Fold the sides up and over to see where they meet. You want them to overlap a little, as this is where you'll place the Velcro. Start by cutting away the excess fabric at the top and bottom end of the towel. Then cut out a space where the fabric meets in the top center to accommodate the Swiffer pole. Attach Velcro to the flaps on either side of the pole. The Velcro should stick just fine, but you may wish to sew the strips in place to keep them from coming loose in the washing machine.

Grab a shammy

While paper towels are an excellent option to replace Swiffer refill pads, they still require you to make additional purchases when the roll runs out. Another item you may have around the house that doubles as a Swiffer pad, yet doesn't come with any replacement costs, is a shammy. Shammies are the cheaper versions of that ShamWow cleaning cloth you saw advertised on TV. If you don't have a shammy or its more costly relative, no worries — shammies are actually sold in dollar stores around the country. If you're going shopping, you might want to buy a few so you always have a clean one ready to go.

Place the shammy on the floor and set your Swiffer base on top. Fold up both sides of the shammy so that you have enough fabric to press into the gripper holes. Make a mark where you need to cut, and then use a pair of scissors to create your Swiffer Sweeper pad. Depending on how long the shammy is, you may be able to get two pads out of one sheet. You can also use shammies on a WetJet, as they are absorbent and quick to dry, but you'll need to cut the fabric the same way you did the washable fabric above. Then add Velcro to hold the pad in place.

Use an old pair of socks

According to Dowi Hosiery Mills, individuals tend to lose around 15 socks per year. Chances are you have a basket in your home filled with socks that are missing their matches. Well, now you can put those lonely socks to good use — using them as washable replacement pads for your Swiffer is one of the best ways to repurpose old socks. While any sock will work for cleaning floors, fuzzy socks work the best for trapping dust and pet hair. Since this hack makes use of your old socks, it costs you nothing!

You'll first want to give those socks a good inspection. Toss any that have holes or areas where the fabric has significantly thinned, and don't use socks that have grips built into them. When you're ready to clean the floors, slide the Swiffer base through a fuzzy sock, making sure the sock opening ends up on top. If your socks aren't as stretchy, you might need to slide one sock on either side of the Swiffer base. You can also cut a slit halfway down one side of the sock, slide it over the base, and then tie the two ends of the slit on top of the base.

Refill the WetJet bottle

Proud owners of the Swiffer WetJet not only have to deal with the replacement costs of disposable pads, but also the cleaning liquid that sprays out of the mop. A bottle of WetJet cleaning solution at Walmart runs about $7. While customers are led to believe that the WetJet bottle can't be reused, users have actually come up with a hack to get the bottle open. From there, you can fill it with your own cleaning solution to save money.

To remove the bottle cap from your WetJet cleaning solution, you must first bring a small pot of water to a boil. Once the water has reached the boiling point, you can remove it from the flames, turn the bottle upside down, and set the entire cap in the water for 90 seconds. The cap will now come off, but make sure you're removing it using a towel, as the plastic will be hot. Fill the bottle with a homemade cleaning solution that costs you pennies. Simply combine 1 cup white distilled vinegar, 1 cup water, and a few drops of liquid dish soap. Mix, and use a funnel to pour the solution into the WetJet bottle, file down or clip the prongs that locked the cap, and then replace it. That's it!

Create your own Swiffer wet pads

Swiffer also sells a line of wet cloths, which run just under $10 at Walmart for a 24-pack. These cloths eliminate the need for purchasing both pads and a cleaning solution; however, they still cost a great deal considering each wet cloth only cleans one room and is single-use. Instead of buying these pads or using dry pads and then spraying the floor with a cleaning solution, you can make your own wet pads at home.

Grab a container with a sealable lid. It should be big enough to hold both your homemade cleaning solution and three or four reusable pads. Pour 1 cup of water, 1 cup of white distilled vinegar, five drops of liquid dish soap, and 10 drops of essential oil (lavender, orange, and lemon work well for this) into the container. Stir the ingredients. Now cut out a few reusable pads from old washcloths. They just need to be long enough to wrap around the Swiffer base and tuck into the gripper holes. Place the pads inside the container of cleaning solution and attach the lid. They are now ready to go the next time you need to mop.

Use wax paper to dust

Surprisingly, there are actually many items around the house that work well as replacements for the more expensive Swiffer Sweeper pads. One such item is wax paper. A 75-foot roll of wax paper generally costs around $2.50 at Walmart, but chances are you already have a roll in your home. It's important to note that while wax paper will suck up dirt and dust, it's not the best option for heavily soiled floors and lacks the absorbency of paper towels. You'll also find the other hacks are better suited for long-term use. Still, wax paper will do in an emergency.

Roll out a sheet of wax paper on the floor and then set the base of your Swiffer Sweeper on top. Cut a piece of wax paper to fit around the base and back up into the gripper holes. Use this piece as a template to cut out additional sheets from the roll of wax paper. This way, you won't have to re-measure every time you need to dust. When you're ready to clean, attach the wax paper the same way you would a Swiffer pad.

Use an old cloth diaper

Once a toddler is fully potty-trained, the parents are left with a stack of old cloth diapers. Instead of tossing them, consider repurposing those diapers as pads for your Swiffer. Cloth diapers are designed for maximum absorbency, and they do a great job of replacing wet pads when mopping. Plus, you can toss them in the washing machine after each use and reuse them.

As long as your old cloth diapers are free of holes, you can use them as pads for your WetJet. Smaller sizes may not even need to be cut to fit, although you'll still want to make a slit to accommodate the Swiffer pole. Place the base of the Swiffer in the center of larger cloth diapers to measure and cut as instructed above for making your own washable pads. Once you attach the Velcro, you can begin using the homemade cleaning pads.

Use both sides of the Swiffer cleaning pad

If you are loyal to Swiffer's products and don't want to DIY too hard, you can still save money by using both sides of the cleaning pads. This is an excellent way to cut costs when trying to scale back on a budget without sacrificing the things you love. In fact, you can use both sides of the dry Swiffer Sweeper pads, as well as both sides of the moisture-absorbing WetJet pads.

Once you've cleaned one floor using your Swiffer cleaning pad, remove the pad and take it outside. You can also hold it over a trash can on a rainy day. Give the pad a shake to release any loose dirt and debris. Flip the pad over and place it back on your Swiffer to clean a second room. Then toss it out as you normally would. It's not just Swiffer pads that are reversible — you can also use both sides of many of our washable pad alternatives, reducing how often you need to clean them.

Switch to generic microfiber floor pads and cleaners

Not into making your own reusable pads and cleaning products? You can still save by switching to generic microfiber floor pads and cleaners. For example, Amazon sells a generic pack of microfiber cloths, and you can also shop on Amazon to get a set of seven Swiffer-compatible generic pads. Both of those options are reusable, compared to Swiffer's single-use wipes. When it comes to the floor cleaner, you'll find that 42 ounces of WetJet solution costs $7, while Walmart's store-brand 128-ounce multipurpose cleaner is just under $6. That's a savings of over $.12 per ounce.

If you're going to buy your own pad alternatives online, make sure they're compatible with Swiffer Sweepers and mops. If they're not, that just means you'll have to use your DIY skills to attach them, so get that Velcro handy. If they are compatible, however, the floor pads can be installed the same way as your usual Swiffer pads. However, when it comes to your cleaner alternative, there are not identical cleaning bottles for the Swiffer WetJet. Instead, you'll need to remove the cap from an old Swiffer WetJet bottle as instructed above and fill it back up with the generic cleaner.

Combine sweeping and mopping

Swiffer sells sweepers and mops separately, but you don't need to pay for both. You can actually skip the WetJet and just use the Swiffer Sweeper. Not only will you save from not having to purchase two separate systems, but you'll also eliminate the need to keep buying new batteries for the WetJet, as the system uses four AA batteries to power the release of the cleaning solution — not to mention the money you spend on the cleaning solution itself.

You can place a dry pad on the Swiffer Sweeper and use it to dust and sweep the floors. Remember, you can use wax paper or paper towels instead of the company's pads. After you've finished, remove the dry pad and replace it with a wet one. You can use Swiffer's version, or go with the shammy or cloth diaper. Spray your homemade cleaning solution on the floor in sections as you use the Swiffer Sweeper to mop up any messes.

Swap pads for dryer sheets

Looking to quickly whisk away dust, dirt, and hair while leaving the fresh scent of lavender behind? Your Swiffer and a dryer sheet are all you need to accomplish this task. For just over $5 you can purchase a 160-pack of lavender-scented dryer sheets at Walmart. If that wasn't a big enough savings, there's also the option to first use the dryer sheets in a load of laundry and then use them on your Swiffer. You won't get as much of the scent this way, but you'll still enjoy the full cleaning power of the dryer sheet.

To place the dryer sheet on your Swiffer Sweeper, simply unfold the dryer sheet and lay it flat on the floor. Place the base of your Swiffer in the center of the dryer sheet. Fold the sides of the dryer sheet so that they rest on top of the Swiffer's base and then press the corners of the dryer sheets down into the grip holes. The sweeper is now ready for use.