Make Your Own Swiffer Wet Pads

It's so easy to make your own swiffer wet pads with 3 simple ingredients. Say no nasty chemicals found in the store bought version!

A few years ago, before I was enlightened about all of the nasty chemicals lurking in so many cleaning products, I bought a Swiffer. This was before the Wet Jet time, so it was just a good ol’ Swiffer that you used with the wet pads you can still buy in stores.

After a few uses I stopped buying them because of the smell. It had an “off” smell to me—Off enough that I didn’t dare step on the floor while wet, not because of getting it dirty, but because I was leery of what unknown toxic ingredients would be seeping into my foot. I guess I’ve always been a little granola at heart. And then when my floor would dry, it felt slightly sticky so I would never walk on my kitchen floor without socks. And then I decided that was ridiculous so I switched over to what I’ve been using ever since—My trusty 2/3 water, 1/3 vinegar solution mixed in with some essential oils when I’m feeling fancy.

Then it dawned on me.. Why not combine my favorite floor cleaner with the convenience of the Swiffer? And that’s how a star was born.

To make your own Swiffer wet pads you’ll need the following:

It takes less than 5 minutes to make your own swiffer wet pads. 72% cheaper than the chemical ridden store bought version!

4 C distilled water
2 C white vinegar
10-14 drops of pure essential oil 
(12) 11”x11” clean rags
an empty Swiffer pad container, or a 2 gallon Ziploc bag

Directions for making your own Swiffer wet pads:

Pour the distilled water and vinegar into the empty container or Ziploc bag. Add your essential oil. I chose to use lemon today because of its de-greasing properties. You can see how far up this solution fills my container, below:

Recycle your old swiffer container and make your own wet pads. So much cheaper and without all of those nasty chemicals!

Next, place your clean rags in, one at a time into the container. They should soak up most of the solution between all of them. I’ve found the “11 x 11” cleaning rags are the perfect size, and because their edges are already sewn, they’ll last through lots of cycles in the washer. Here’s what it looks like when all 12 rags are in:

Simple. Quick. Cheap. Make your own swiffer wet pads without all of those nasty chemicals. 72% cheaper than store bought version and it doesn't leave behind that nasty chemical residue!

Store with the lid on, or if using the ziploc bag, with the top zipped.

To use, attach a rag to your Swiffer mop, just like you would the other wet pads. Make sure the rag is pulled taught. And by all means, feel free to flip the rag over and use the other side.

Make your own swiffer wet pads using 11"x11" cleaning rags. Only 3 simple ingredients!

Here’s what my rag looks like after just a few minutes of mopping, and I just mopped my floors last week!

Make your own swiffer wet pads. So simple and waaaay cheaper than the chemical ridden version from the store.

We don’t wear shoes in the house, so this is just from regular living traffic. Moral of the story? It does the job. To clean, just throw the rag in with your other cleaning rags and wash in the washer.

How does our solution cost compare to what you would pay for a container of wet pads in the store?

Distilled Water: $0.22
Vinegar: $0.22 (I buy my vinegar in bulk from Costco for $3.49)
Essential Oils: $0.81 (I used 12 drops of Lemon essential oil)

I already owned the rags, container, and mop so my total cost is $1.25 per batch. A container of 12 Swiffer wet pads at my nearest Walmart costs $4.47.

That’s a 72% savings!!!!!

I’d be willing to save 72% any day, especially when you consider that our version comes sticky-chemical & residue free.

How about you? Are you in love with your Swiffer? Do you have any other hard floor cleaner favorites?57 Comments

Make Your Own Swiffer Wet Pads was last modified: February 24th, 2017 by Jenny

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  1. Steffany says:

    This may seem silly, but does it have to be distilled water?

    • My question exactly

    • Jennifer says:

      Still no answer??? I’m waiting for a reply also. Curious as to why?

      • Distilled will help with bacteria I think more, if you don’t use up all the cleaner or wipes bacteria can get in there and grow, so you want all clean bacteria free agents as possible.

      • cindy eggleston says:

        I wouldn’t imagine it has to be distilled to use as cleaning solution. I tried this today actually and it worked perfectly with regular tap water, vinegar and a touch of lemongrass oil:)

    • because regular tap and bottle waters can have bacteria and other minerals. minerals that can leave your floors streaky and spotty.

    • Distilled water has less minerals in it and leads to less build up over time. That’s the only big difference I found. Hope that helps. If you are in a pinch the blue shop towels (a heavier duty paper towel, found in the paint isle at lowes) work really well and then can be disposed of.

  2. Once upon a time I had a Swiffer like you; I hated the pads for the same reasons you stated.
    These days I have a FlyLady mop. It came with reusable rags and a dust mop head. You can purchase extra rags or use/make you own. It is much more sturdy & has an adjustable handle. I even use it for cleaning the outside windows (once a year whether they need it or not).

  3. shannan slifka says:

    I use a reusable fibro mop and wet it and squeeze it well then a spray bottle with whatever cleaner you like and sweet and mop same time and then toss in the wash 🙂

  4. I just used my last Swiffer wet pad last week. I’ve been dreading shelling out more money for another container. Very glad I came across your post and can’t wait to try it out!

  5. What about for wood floors? Any suggestions?

  6. I love my spray Libman mop which comes with reusable and machine washable pads that last a very long time. I have had mine for 2-3 years and I am still on the 1st pad. You also fill the cleaner bottle with whatever you want and it sprays without the use of a battery. I have not made my own cleaner but I did buy a gallon of a non-toxic concentrated cleaner a couple of years ago from Home depot. I have only used a 1/3 of it so far because it is concentrated and despite the fact that I I have 3 kids and need to mop often.

  7. Where did you get the curtains in the photos? They are beautiful!

  8. Can you use real lemons instead of the oil. I squeeze lemons and put them in ice cube trays for lemonade and when I need lemon juice for recipes. I have a lot of cubes.

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      Lemon oil is made from the rind of the lemon. I am not sure if the lemon cubes would work the same way but give it a try and let me know what you think! 🙂

    • After squeezing the lemon juice from the peel, I remove all the flesh from the peel and tear the peel into pieces and drop it into a jar of white distilled vinegar. Let it sit in the refrigerator for a week or so shaking daily. Strain into another jar or bowl. Keep it covered in the refrigerator. This is how I make my lemon or other citrus vinegar for cleaning.

  9. I was so excited for this but it was a huge fail for me! There are spots all over the floor and the floor feels “tacky”. Not sure what I did wrong?

  10. Is this how you mop? or do you have a water/vinegar ratio you fill up the ole’ mop bucket with and actually bust out a string or sponge mop and clean the floors occasionally? Looking for a more natural mopping solution for my tile floors… without the soap Lysol has in it that stains the grout.

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I use these homemade swiffers for daily clean up. When it needs it I usually just use vinegar and water and a mop or the best tool–a rag and my hand! 🙂

  11. Joanne Kelly says:

    I noticed you don’t use any soap – does vinegar and water actually clean the floor?

  12. Where did you purchase your towels? Trying to find the best deal.

  13. Thanks for the tip, this should save me money cleaning houses.

  14. Add a little rubbing alcohol, about 1 c for this recipe ratio. It makes the floor dry super fast with no spots.

  15. I buy a Gallon of vinegar and pour about 1/4 out into another container. I then place the gallon into the pantry and anytime we eat an orange, grapefruit, lemon or limes, we discard the peeling into the vinegar. I shake it once in awhile and in about two weeks I pour the infused vinegar, straining with a cheesecloth, into a spray bottle, leaving about three inches, then pour in some alcohol. No need for a good smelling oil, it’s already in the spray. I then keep pouring vinegar and place citrus into gallon and start process all over again. There will come a time when you will need to take the old citrus out. I use this for cleaning and deodorizing.

  16. What about wood floors? water is supposed to be bad for them.

    • My mom uses a mixture of murphy’s oil soap and water for her wood floors and it works great.

      • Lu Walton says:

        I also have used murphy’s oil soap and water for my wood floors, but when $ was tight; I started using the vinegar with citrus peel as above, on the kitchen and bathroom floors they sparkly without feeling sticky on bare feet. However on the wood floors, I make sure the cloth is not drippy wet, but near dry. The results make me happy and less tired, I’m 74!

    • It would depend on whether your wood floors are sealed or not. I would recommend you test the mixture in an inconspicuous spot. I use this and other essential oil and distilled water combinations to clean my sealed hardwood floors all the time.

  17. Can you mix some castile soap in with this mix? I bought my rags at Ikea they were so cheap just to try this out before buying some in bulk!

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I don’y see why you couldn’t!

    • Don’t mix Castile soap and vinegar…one is an acid and one is a base so they cancel each other out and form a disgusting sludge :/ you’d think you’d get extra natural cleaning power but it makes a mess instead.

  18. catherine says:

    TAUT (meaning tight) not taught (meaning to teach).

  19. I’m looking for a disposable version of this! Any Ideas on what I could use instead of the rag clothes? Im thinking paper towels wouldn’t be sturdy enough….?

    • Samantha Riley says:

      Get the blue rags in the automotive section that are on a roll they are sturdier than paper towels and it is still way cheaper than buying the name brand Swiffer pads.

  20. Marlene Blake-Fain says:

    For my next batch, I’m going to put a few drops of chlorine bleach in my cleaning solution.
    I used an old towel that was fraying on the sides for my swiffer reusable pads. I have about eight (8) pads from this old towel. I made the solution from above, placed the pads one at a time into the solution. By the time I got to my second pad, there were black spots throughout the remainning pads.And they were sticking together.

  21. Has anyone had issues with the essential oils breaking down the plastic of the Swiffer pad container??

  22. Mitzi Hendrix says:

    What about on slate and porcelain floors? I heard that citrus and vinegar are not good for them. Any reply would be helpful.

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