Image © handknitted4you
Most disposable stuff just sucks. Seriously, it really does. Society’s love of single-use items like disposable coffee pods, diapers, and cutlery has created so much unnecessary waste that our planet can barely keep up with the crap we’re loading into landfils every day. Those Swiffer-type cleaning tools are also on the “worst offenders” list, with their cleaning cloths that that get tossed away after a few minutes’ worth of use. Fortunately, the same folks who bring their own travel mugs to Starbucks can also keep their homes tidy by making their own re-usable covers for their sweepers.
If you’re interested in creating your own covers, the most sturdy and long-lasting re-usable wipes are those that have been knit or crocheted. Novice fiber-fiends need not fret: these don’t require super-fancy stitches (you don’t need to add cables or lace or anything), so as long as you have basic math skills and enough manual dexterity to knit or hook simple stitches, you can make these.
What You’ll Need:
- Cotton yarn in the color of your choice (I like grey or green, as they hide dirt well and don’t bleed much in the wash, but feel free to use any color you like. Hey, if purple and fucshia make you feel like dancing while you clean, knock yourself out.)
- Knitting needles or crochet hooks appropriate to the yarn you’re using
- A measuring tape
- Notebook and writing utensil
- Buttons or hooks (optional, depending on the style that you create)
Types of Covers
First and foremost, take a good look at your sweeper to determine what kind of cover you’ll need to make for it. The standard Swiffer has little round depressions in the top so the disposable cloths can be pushed in and held while you clean, while other, more generic models have a varied array of attachment types. Some have grooves on the top, others have velcro grips along the bottom, and some utilize covers that have pockets attached so they slip onto the sweeper head. If you have any disposable covers for your specific model, it’s a good idea to use them as a base pattern for the cover you’ll be creating.
Take measurements of both the head of your sweeper, and write them all down in your notebook. If you have a disposable cover, you’ll need to measure it as well in order to establish gauge for your knit/crocheted piece.
Now that you’ve established the type of sweeper that you have, it’s time to find a pattern. Your best bet is to head over to Ravelry and do a search for “Swiffer”: you’ll find a wealth of amazing patterns that you can use, and you can select whether you’d like a knitting or crocheting pattern.
Here are a few links to patterns that you may like:
+ Scrubby Bobbles Swiffer Cover (crochet)
+ Swiffer Cosy (crochet, and can be used with any sweeper)
+ Swoofer (crochet)
+ Swiffer Sweeper Pattern (crochet)
+ Nifty Floor Sweeper Cover (knit)
+ Dust Mop Cover (knit)
The re-usable sweeper cloth pattern that’s shared below is a super-easy knit pattern from Birdy’s Knits on Ravelry, and is knit with bobbles to secure the cloth to the mop head and seed stitch for scrubbing power.
This cloth is for the types of sweepers that have the little indentations on the top, as the bobbles will just get tucked into those to hold them in place. If your sweeper doesn’t have them, just create bobbles on one side, and then create chained crochet loops on the other side that are long enough to stretch over the head and hook over the bobbles: this will keep the pad snugly in place while you clean. If your sweeper has the aforementioned indentations, you can even get away with a plain knit/crocheted square, as you can just shove a bit of the cloth into the holes and they’ll pinch it to keep it in place as you sweep.
+ Cast on 43 stitches.
+ Row 1: slip 1 stitch purlwise, purl till the last stitch, k1.
+ Row 2: slip 1 stitch purlwise, knit to the end.
+ Row 3: repeat row 1
+ Row 4: slip 1 stitch purl wise, knit 9, MB, knit till there is 11 stitches left, MB, knit to the end.
+ Row 5-8: repeat rows 1 and 2.
+ Row 9: repeat row 1
+ Row 10: repeat row 2-but increase by 4 stitches evenly across the row
+ Row 11-43: slip 1 stitch purlwise, p1, k1 to the end.
+ Row 44: repeat row 2, but decrease by 4 stitches evenly across the row.
+ Row 45-48: repeat rows 1 and 2
+ Row 49: repeat row 1
+ Row 50: slip 1 stitch purl wise, knit 9, MB, knit till there is 11 stitches left, MB, knit to the end.
+ Row 51: repeat row 1
+ Row 52: repeat row 2
+ Row 53: repeat row 1
+ Bind off and weave in the ends.
You can find more of Birdy’s Knits inspirations on her website.
An avid permaculture gardener, locavore, and novice (but enthusiastic!) canner, Lana Winter-Hébert joins Inhabitat after spending the last decade working as a writer and event guru for non-profit/eco organizations. In addition to her work with this site, she writes features and blog posts for Vegan Cuts, Green Pigeon, and several event planning websites based in London, UK. Currently, Lana divides her time between writing, and doing collaborative projects with Winter-Hébert: the design studio she runs with her husband. Best described as “endearingly eccentric”, she spends any spare moments wrestling with knitting projects, and devouring novels by obscure Czech writers. A Toronto native, she has recently chosen to leave that splendid city in favor of a tranquil lakeside nook in rural Quebec, where she and her Sir co-habitate with two hand-raised sparrows that live in their writing-desk.