How to Hack your Swiffer (Because You are Thrifty, or because You are Trying to be Environmentally Responsible)

I was given a Swiffer Jet mop. It is a lot more convenient than mopping, but I have a hard time paying for the disposable pads and solution. I usually use three pads each time I mop, and it adds up. I'm not terribly fond of their cleaning solution either, it always seems to leave a film on the floor.

After a little research I found it is easy to make this device more economical and cut down on waste.

You need a Swiffer Jet or similar wet mop, microfiber cloths, pliers, and a sewing machine or serger.

When I first got the mop I tried to figure out how to refill the bottle but had given up. It turns out you just need some pliers to give you enough grip to twist the lid off. The first time I tried it the lid came right off, but the second time I refilled it the lid didn't come off as easily, but I got it off eventually. I'm not sure why. Once the lid is off, you can refill it with your favorite floor cleaner, or just use a vinegar-water solution. (If you have hardwood floors, make sure your solution is safe to use on them).

I bought the thickest microfiber cloths I could find at the dollar store and used an original pad for a guide as to how to fold it. It doesn't matter much if it's a little bigger than the original pad.

I folded it so the edges were inside, and I surged the sides to hold it together.
My Swiffer has some Velcro that holds the pad on, if your mop doesn't have this, you could sew some elastic to the pad to hold it to the mop. Microfiber sticks well to the Velcro, but you could use elastic to hold a pad made out of other fabrics, like old towels to the mop.

The homemade pads are machine washable, and you can flip them over once one side gets dirty. After testing the new pads, I decided to sew across the pad a few times to keep all the layers together. The microfiber worked so much better than the disposable pads ever did, and I only ended up using one (flipping it over once) instead of the three disposable pads I usually use.

I'm feeling so thrifty and eco-friendly right now! Now I just need a steamer mop...

Quick Quiet Books

I'm working on an overly ambitious quiet book but in the meantime I wanted a few quiet books for my little buddy. I just used what I had around the house, and this is what I came up with.

Changeable Albums
I have two little accordion style photo albums I'd picked up on clearance ages ago but hadn't done anything with, so in one book I put pictures of grandparents and our family, with the idea I could teach him names, especially of those who don't live close. I had an extra spot so I put in a picture of the cats too. :) The other book I cropped some pictures of him so I had a closeup of his eyes, nose, mouth, hands, and ears, and one picture of his face. Once he learns these words, we can change the pictures to teach him colors, numbers, etc. He likes looking at these, and likes playing with the snap. I thought I'd also pick up a few mini photo albums and put cut out pictures from magazines, or put postcards in them. They will hold his interest longer if some of the pictures change occasionally.

Magazine Saver

Little Buddy likes reading his magazine but insists on turning pages himself. He does pretty well for a one-year-old, but in the meantime I've been putting his magazine into sheet protectors to help it last until the next month's issue. I simply cut the magazine along the fold line, and insert one page into each protector. I used heavy weight sheets and this has worked well. I keep a few favorite pages from each issue and just leave those at the back, and I've been saving some of the coloring and activity pages for when he's older. I also save a few pictures for clip art and projects before recycling the rest. This magazine is available online so I can always go back and get copies of stories, so I don't feel bad cutting it up. Judging by how often the stacks of magazines get touched in our library, I feel I'm getting more out of it this way.