I have to be honest, I'm a die-hard fan of steam mops. I cleaned houses for years, and when one of the women I worked for excitedly showed me the new steam mop she purchased, I thought I was in heaven from the first time I used it. However, one of the benefits of our tiny apartment is that the floors don't take too long to clean, and therefore I am perfectly content with the Swiffer left behind by previous teachers. The problem I ran into was the cost of the refills, as well as the amount of trash it created! We have two growing pups in our apartment, and cleaning the floors once a week is just not an option. Usually I try to give them a good clean 2 or 3 times a week to scrub up paw prints and goodness-knows-what-else that gets tracked onto our tiny space. Tiny space + two people + two puppies = condensed mess.
Also, when you have a spazzy dog that affectionately licks corners of the room, you begin to rethink the chemicals that are in your floor cleaners.
TL;DR, I'm super excited to introduce a way to refill your Swiffer for just pennies! It also has the added benefit of being Eco-friendly, since they are totally washable and re-usable. First, you'll want to grab some cloths. I used these cleaning cloths I got from our dollar store here in Korea, but you can use old wash clothes, cleaning rags, or a cut up towel (if you use the towel you might want to sew the edges to prevent frays).
I cut mine in half to fit my Swiffer. After you have the cloths prepared, set them in a container and put it to the side. Get one cup of white vinegar, and add your essential oils to it. I used 15 drops of lemon and 10 drops of lavender, and it smells oh so good! Tea tree oil is also a great addition, but it is TOXIC to pets, so as long as your pets don't lick the floor, by all means go for it. Thoroughly mix the oils and vinegar, and then add 1 cup of water. The reason I add the oils BEFORE the water is that essential oils and vinegar can mix, while oils and water cannot.
After you have your mixture, pour it over the cloths. They should absorb most of it, and it's good for a little extra liquid to be on the bottom. If you find that you need more liquid, it's easy to whip up another batch. I figure I can squeeze any extra liquid out of the cloth before mopping.
Put an airtight lid on top, and you have Swiffer refills for cheap! Once I use a cloth I just throw it in the washer. I prefer to let my cloths hang-dry as well since the fabric won't get warped and loose it's shape. If you use a more sturdy material, this shouldn't be a problem! Enjoy!
Note: If you are in Korea, you can purchase white vinegar and container at any grocery store, and the oils on iHerb. Have fun!
Eco-Friendly Swiffer Refills:
Container with sealing lid.
1 cup white vinegar
Essential oil (suggestions: Citrus, lemon and basil, lemon and rosemary, lemon and lavender, lemon and tea tree)
1 cup water
Directions: Cut the cloths to size and place them in the container. Mix the vinegar and oils, then add the water. Pour mixture over the cloths, and seal the container. Use as needed, and throw it in the washer when you're finished!