4 Swiffer Cleaning Hacks for Cheaper Dust-Free Living

Achoo! I’m waging a war on the dust bunny and I want you to win the money battle in the dust game. Since I’m allergic to paying for Swiffer Sweeper refills and I break out in hives at the cost of replacement Swiffer Duster thingers, I’ve hacked a better way for cleaning my home.

Getting us to spend big bucks on refills is a nice gig for cleaning companies looking to make ongoing cash. So I’m putting an end to endless refills, taming the dust mites, dealing with allergies, and sweeping up pet hair all with a swish of my Swiffer hacked broom.

dust swiffer spring cleaning checklist

So if you’re allergic to paying for expensive and environmentally unfriendly dusters and sweepers, then try these 4 frugal home cleaning tips for a cleaner home at less cost.

1. Use Microfiber Cloths or Towels

Go ahead and turn your Swiffer into a microfiber mop by passing on refills altogether. Microfiber fabrics are woven from very fine synthetic fibers and are perfect for lots of home cleaning activities, including: mopping, dusting, polishing, and wiping.

microfiber dust spring cleaning tips

These soft and reusable cloths save you money because they are effective at cleaning delicate surfaces like computer monitors, are machine washable, and don’t require costly cleaning solutions to remove grime. Microfiber cloths come in a range of sizes and weights with varying loop sizes and you can buy a package of 12 Microfiber Cleaning Towels for around $10. That’s less than $1 a towel!

I’ve used microfiber cloths on my Swiffer Sweeper for over a year now with excellent results. Microfiber fabric is durable and when the cloth is dirty I just clean it with my laundry.

To turn your Swiffer Sweeper into a microfiber mop:

1. Apply microfiber cloth to the Swiffer Sweeper in the same way as a refill.

spring cleaning tips dust swiffer microfiber

2. If the cloth is too long or wide, use clasps to tighten cloth over the Swiffer.

house cleaning checklist microfiber swiffer dust allergies

3. Sweep away all your dust bunnies and pet hair!

I love using microfiber cloths over refills because they are a greener alternative, they are reusable for many years, and they cost far less over time. Besides, throwing away Swiffer mop pads and dusters needlessly adds to our landfills and I feel better about not contributing to our environmental debt.

2. Get with it and flip it!

When the dust settles and you think your Swiffer mop sheet has bitten the dust, go ahead and flip it to push forward and continue gathering dust! By fliping these seemingly one-sided Swiffer mop sheets you save 50% on your home cleaning costs by using both sides.

dust swiffer house cleaning checklist

You may need to dust the one side off with a little vaccuming power, but I assure you both sides work equally well for removing the grime from your flooring.

3. Wash and Reuse

Don’t chuck your Swiffer sheets and dusters just yet! If you’ve got some mesh laundry bags and a load of wash ready to rumble, then extend the use of these handy electrostatic dusting and floor mopping tools by washing your dusters and mop heads.

dust swiffer spring cleaning tips

Did you know they can last for several cleanings? Well, they can. Not only do these refillables stay electrostatic after washing but you will reduce the garbage created and save big.

4. Buy Generic Refills

With the popularity of Swiffer refillables, many companies have moved into this dusty market to capture your home cleaning dollars. Many generic refillables cost 10-60% less than the cost of the Swiffer brand. I’ve purcased the Swiffer Duster refills as generics and they hold up nicely for several uses AND can be washed many times to keep costs down.

So if you’re ready to leave your Swiffer sheets and mops in the dust then do try these home cleaning hacks to save some dough. I promise, when the dust settles you’re gonna love the savings.

Your two cents:

  1. Meg from FruWiki July 23rd, 2009

    I’m really glad to see more people using reusable clothes on their Swiffers since it not only saves money, but saves all those disposable clothes from going to landfills (what a waste!).

    But honestly, I find that an old fashioned broom works just as well if not better — and I do a lot of sweeping since we have 5 cats and hard floors throughout. Though I’ve never felt the need to, I’ve read that you can use an old pillow case or even just a towel around one to pick up smaller pieces of dust.

  2. Beth July 23rd, 2009

    Great tips! Maybe I’ll have to stop boycotting Swiffer now…

  3. Stella July 24th, 2009

    Thanks for sharing this!

    I have actually started crocheting “refills” for my swiffer products. It gives me something to do while watching television (instead of EATING), and is much greener!

    Making them from cotton makes it very washable, and I can add a textured stitch to them to give them extra scrubbing power.

    I’d bet there are lots of patterns out there for knitters, too!

  4. Jan Morrison July 24th, 2009

    Hey – try a feather duster or one of those ones made with staticy threads – that what I use and then just shake it out. Works great on everything. What ever happened to the mops our mums had with washable heads? (hmmm…weird image there- sorry) Yep – just say no to disposable anythings.

  5. Aman@BullsBattleBears July 24th, 2009

    For a neat freak like me, this is an amazing money saving trick! Thank You!!

  6. Iva @ Horizontal Yo-Yo July 24th, 2009

    I love the idea of using microfiber cloths. I don’t generally use Swiffer because I’m not too keen on disposable things…

  7. marci July 24th, 2009

    Even cheaper – find some prefolded cloth diapers at a garage sale – like $2/dozen is what I managed to find. The diapers fit nicely around the swiffer, the cloth sticks well in the holes, and the padded center lines up well with the main pad. Then just toss in the washing machine when you have used both sides of it. I use it mostly to damp mop with on my wood laminate floors, with some vinegar in the water. I spray the water onto the diaper with a misting/spray bottle.

  8. Matt Jabs July 24th, 2009

    Ha ha, funny to see this post now… here’s why:

    My wife & I made the switch to microfiber clothes back in January of 2009. Since then we have only used 1 1/2 rolls of paper towel, and that is mostly because guests still use them when they come over (because of habit).

    Just the other day, my wife bought a generic swiffer at the dollar store & used a couple of our microfiber clothes! It works great & just plain makes sense!

    Cheers.

  9. MoneyEnergy July 25th, 2009

    Oh, to have a house large enough to warrant dusters and swiffers:) In my apartment there are just a few small surfaces that need dusting, and I just use kleenex or paper towels. This is my way of using the same item for several purposes. Great tips here, the microfiber towels are smart!

  10. Carla | Green and Chic July 25th, 2009

    Great tips! For me, I rather use a vaccum or a broom and dustpan to sweep my floors. To mop, I’m on my hands and knees using microfiber rags. I find that the floors get much cleaner that way.

  11. Lorraine July 25th, 2009

    Wow this is a LOT better than my muslin scrap hack!

    Now where did you find that mesh laundry bag?????

  12. Lorraine July 25th, 2009

    sheesh I can be such a dork. Clicked on the link for the bags…so ignore my ignoramus question, please.

  13. Michelle July 26th, 2009

    Before I made the switch to microfibre I hacked a solution for my swiffer solution. I cut a hole in the top (or I guess bottom) of the bottle and poured my own cleaning solution in with a funnel. Suppose you could do the same when using microfiber and just put water in and give a spray when you need?

    And before I did that – I got a spray bottle from the $ store and filled that with my solution and would spray, mop, spray, mop.

    Oh are you talking about the swiffer sweeper? Well no problem, this is a solution for the swiffer wet jet :)

  14. Shan July 26th, 2009

    Some of the generic refills really, really suck. You think you are saving money but then you use more to do the same job. LIFE brand refills are a good example of this. I’ve long been a ‘flipper’ but it never ocurred to me to wash them before – nice tip! Also I have done the same with my WetJet, just cut a hole in the top and use my own organic cleaner – or just water. A word of caution though – some cleaners will clog the spray nozzle, and they will also evaporate through the hole in the top.

  15. Monroe on a Budget July 29th, 2009

    I cut up some fleece scraps for my dust mop. I like the results from that better than the generic disposables.

  16. Angie August 26th, 2009

    How handy. I just moved to hardwood floors and picked up a swiffer on freecycle. Was trying to figure of the best way to secure them since the wether type doesn’t have those indents to catch the cloth. Thanks!

  17. la August 13th, 2010

    ditto Michelle…i used to love swiffer sweeper…i got lot of pain in my hand and back due to constant back and forth going… but these days i’m cleaning with plastic broom that you get for 1$ in indian stores ( it covers decent area in one big sweep and you get behind furniture and corners and reusable too)… then clean off with swiffer wet jet which i cut hole on top of bottle and filled with venigar,water or just plain water sometimes..it sparkles my hardwood floor ..really cool ..saved aton on refills.

  18. GulfCoastGirl October 24th, 2010

    I like microfiber cloths for most cleaning, but for dusting around and behind stuff, especially furniture with small crevices and between entertainment components and tops of books in shelves, without moving it, the swiffers are great, even better than feather dusters. My tip for increasing the pick up power when new AND refreshing them after washing them is to use a fine wire pet brush to brush and fluff them. The more separated the fibers, the more they pick up. You can brush and shake them outside or vacuum them with a dustbuster many times before having to wash them, as long as you brush and fluff the wadded and dreadlocked fibers afterward.

  19. cmdavis November 15th, 2010

    Isopropyl alcohol mixed with vaseline intensive care lotion will shineup everything from an electric guitar body to the dash in your car without hurting anything (buff out the excess so yo don’t get lotion vapor from the dash on the inside of the windshield ) – its a cheap armorall and I’ve used it for years . Also, when painting car wheels, use a little lotion or vaseline on the rubber tire to keep the paint of instead of buying masking tape- the lotion works better anyway. Get water out of the gas tank of your car by putting 8 oz to 16 oz of 100% pure isopropyl (rubbing alcohol) in the gas tank. It mixes thoroughly with gasoline and water , bringing them all three in to solution that is easily burned in the engine and prevents rust to metal fuel lines, filter, etc and especially metal fuel tanks (works for motorcycles, cars trucks, motor boats, generators etc ) .

  20. Carol November 17th, 2010

    cmdavis,
    what are the proportions used in the solution of alcohol and lotion? equal?

  21. Beth November 21st, 2010

    I save socks that get holes in them and slip them over the ends of my Swiffer to sweep the floors. Pull them off and toss them when you are finished.

  22. Heidi November 26th, 2010

    Swiffer Savers:

    Once my bounce sheets no longer do their thing, I take 2 sheets, over lap them, put my swiffer on top of it, then tuck them into the holders, & away I go. My only complaint is that I still have to use a broom/dustpan to get my small pile into the garbage bin.

    I ask family & friends for their used ones as well.

    I know using bounce sheets isn’t the best for the environment, & I’m adding to the landfill in a way, but I’m using up the last of my bounce sheets this way. Once I’m done I’ll go to the microfiber cloth route which I never even thought of.

    That’s my thing.

  23. Matt December 21st, 2010

    My grandma came does this! Well lol not quite as well as you. She was taking a Swiffer and putting paper towels on it. I think I’ll have to pass along your dollar store, microfiber towel idea to her… She’ll love it!

  24. Ellen January 1st, 2011

    I did read not to wash microfiber clothes in the wash that will have fabric softener in the rinse water. Doing so will make it less effective with dust etc.

  25. Bobbie January 4th, 2011

    Old washcloths do a good job of fitting on the swiffers also. I have used them with the wetjet forever, throw them back in the wash and reuse over and over.

  26. Donna April 6th, 2011

    I vaccuum my swiffer cloths to make them last longer, as well as flip them between vacuums. A good slapping on cement while still on the swiffer also cleans them between vacuum days or if you don’t feel like getting the vaccuum out.

  27. Debbie April 25th, 2011

    Used dryer sheets work like a dream when polishing shiny things like faucets, sinks etc….

  28. Ann Gronis May 3rd, 2011

    I just received some microfiber mits as a gift, but don’t like the feel of them on my hands. Your tips gave me the idea to use them on my swiffer wands. Thanks!

  29. Mairead September 2nd, 2011

    Does anyone know what I can use as a replacement for the cartridges needed on the Swiffer Carpet Flick. The refills are no longer made.

  30. A January 18th, 2012

    You can also use plain old piece of paper towel. Works like a charm, just push all the larger things that dont attach into a small pile and vacuum it up!

  31. Katice March 24th, 2012

    I’m moving with my friend next week and this tip will really help us save money. Thanks.

  32. Darcey March 25th, 2012

    Anyone have any ideas for the swiffer wet wipes? not the wetjet, just the wet cloths. I hate using a mop. Thanks

  33. Lisa June 3rd, 2012

    Instead of Swiffer wet wipes I use a micrfiber cloth on my swiffer head and use a spray bottle with one part vinegar/two parts water. Just spray an area of your floor and mop. Turn the cloth over when it starts to get too dirty. If you are doing a large area you might switch to a second cloth if your first one starts to get too wet. If you don’t want to walk around with a spray bottle try just spritzing your cloth well first – same as a wet wipe really.

    If you don’t care for the vinegar scent (which dissipates quickly imo) add a few drops of essential pil. Good ones for housecleaning are lavender, tea tree or sweet marjoram.

    As for the swiffer dusters, I found instructions online to amke your own with old flannel pieces. A small amount of sewing required. Haven’t tried it yet myself but I plan to soon!

  34. jan June 9th, 2012

    I reuse my swiffer dusters many times. Vac off the dust bunnies and put in a cut off large empty vinegar or cloroz bottle until I have a few and then just wash by hand. Dirt falls out. Also, am using microfiber towels. Have cut to fit swiffer and use a zig zag stitch around the edges. You don’t have to cut the bottom/top out of your bottle for the wet jet – a bit of pressure with pliers with take off the top and you can refill.

  35. Annie July 7th, 2012

    YUCK!!!!!! I would not be happy putting my dusters in with a “WASH” what sort of wash load would that be anyway? And I certainly would not want to wash such a small load of dusters because it would be uneconomical……. a complete waste of money.

  36. Elif July 23rd, 2012

    Annie, if you have enough microfiber cloths to make a decent load of laundry, then you use them all until it’s time to wash. Run the load with hot water and no fabric softener. Of course, this would be washed separately; you wouldn’t want this mixed in with unmentionables.

    As it was mentioned before, this cuts down on paper towel use. I respect that it might not be your ideal scenario, but it works for others.

  37. Christine August 25th, 2012

    Stella.. I found patterns for crocheted and knitted covers for the sniffer on marymaxim.co…. Look on the left side to where it says free patterns. You’have to sign up but that’s no biggie. i used cotton yarn I inherited from my Mother-in-lawTo clean the floor I bought a Rubbermaid reveal mop and extra mop thingie. used Canadian Tire money to pay for it on sale. loaded with vinegar and water it works great!! I love it!!Having two of themop head things I just switch between the two as one gets dirty. Someone spills something I can just squirt, wipe and go. works a treat.

  38. Leticia November 4th, 2012

    I haven’t tried this yet, but when my daughter started researching this, alot of people suggested washing the microfiber in fabric softener, or even just spraying it on the cloth. It “attracts” the dirt better that way. I am sure it makes them smell good too!

  39. Kerry November 4th, 2012

    @Leticia Isn’t fabric softener supposed to de-cling your wash? Wouldn’t that make your mock-Swiffer non-static? It’s the static cling that makes the Swiffer Sweeper collect the crap.

  40. Lisa January 2nd, 2013

    Great suggestions!
    Are there any suggestions for the wet refills?
    I don’t have a lot of time to clean & I find my floors need a wet clean @ least once/week but the Swiffer wet clothes really irritate my husband, he has a senstitive respiratory tract…

  41. Christine Weadick January 2nd, 2013

    Lisa
    There was a thing on another site that had a recipe for use in the swiffer wet jets. She used it for household cleaning but also her wetjet. 1/8 cup Dawn dish soap, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1 cup water, and 1 cup vinegar….. hope this helps you… Good Luck..

  42. Lisa February 5th, 2013

    Rubbermaid has a mop that has a refillable “wetjet” chamber. You can put in any solution you want and buy more than one microfiber mop head to use, then wash them. I hate using the same one. Makes me feel like I’m rubbing dirt around!

  43. Christine Weadick February 5th, 2013

    Lisa… that’s what I have and I have two mop head jobs, I love it!! I usually use a vinegar/water solution in it, so it’s just squirt, wipe and go. I also found a recipe for a cleaning solution like swiffer’s wetjet stuff…. see above comment..

  44. Sharon March 4th, 2013

    My WetJet no longer sprays (I’ve tried everything but nothing worked) so I just fill a spray bottle with cleaner — spritz it on the floor and then mop. When I run out of the Swiffer refill pads I’ll switch to micro-cloths.

  45. Helpful Husband May 12th, 2013

    I have been refilling our Swiffer Wetjet for years. The containers are supposedly throw-away. When empty, just run scalding hot water from your tap over the lid. After a few seconds, it will come right off. We use 70% Windex and 30% water, but of course you can pour whatever you want in there. Never buy a refill again.

  46. Julie April 15th, 2014

    Thank you so much for the mop tip! Next time I wash the floor, I’ll do this! :D

  47. Nancy May 25th, 2014

    No need to punch a whole in youre old wet Jet bottles to reuse, Just boil enough water to cover the top of the bottle for about 10 to 15 seconds remove and top will come right off. You can then use any type floor cleaner you like! Enjoy:)

  48. Julia October 30th, 2014

    Great article! Just wanted to add a tip: Using fabric softener on microfiber cloths removes their electrostatic properties. Probably works the same for the disposable cloths.

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