8 Best Eco Friendly Swiffer Alternatives for Zero Waste Mopping

Looking for an eco friendly Swiffer alternative that will keep your floors clean without single-use pads and toxic chemicals? You’re not alone.

While Swiffer products captivated us with promises of speed mopping, they’re now viewed as the K-Cups of the cleaning world. 

Single-use mop pads create huge amounts of unnecessary waste. Between the cleaning solution, disposable pads, and the plastic packaging they come in, the minor convenience of using Swiffer mops isn’t worth the negative environmental impact.

Thankfully, there are plenty of great alternatives out there, from reusable mop pads to conventional mops with a sustainable twist.

Building a zero waste mopping routine is as much about developing good habits as it is about finding the products you need. Below, you will find everything you need to know as well as several eco friendly Swiffer alternatives to consider.

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Why Aren’t Swiffers Eco Friendly?

The Swiffer was a game-changing product that revolutionized housework in the late 1990s. While there’s no denying how convenient it made sweeping, mopping, and dusting, it also brought single-use cleaning pads and toxic cleaning agents to the masses that gave rise to a ton of waste and chemicals.

Ever feel nauseated by the whiff of Swiffer wet pad refills or alarmed by the amount of waste after a single mopping cycle? To know more about what your Swiffer is made up of and its adverse effects check out EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning.

Swiffer’s fragrant cleaning solutions have been known to cause various allergies, sinus infections, headaches, loss of coordination, and respiratory problems, as well as ear, nose, and throat irritation. Furthermore, the fumes from these solutions have been found to be extremely toxic to both aquatic plants and animals. 

Between the non-biodegradable plastic that is extracted from fossil fuels to use in refill pads and the toxins from the cleaning solutions, a Swiffer mopping routine simply isn’t worth the waste and risk. 

Luckily, there’s no shortage of eco friendly versions of the Swiffer, non-toxic cleaners, and even DIY hacks to transform your existing Swiffer into a zero waste mopping machine. 

Two reusable mop pads for Swiffer on hardwood floor next to spray bottle and plant.

Benefits of Zero Waste Mopping

Making the switch to zero waste mopping is an easy way to start leading a more more sustainable lifestyle.

It’s surprisingly easy to find (or make) floor cleaner and reusable mop pads. While I prefer reusable mop pads, you can just as easily wrap your Swiffer head in a towel or cloth to avoid buying new products.

I’m also a fan of Soganics floor cleaner poured into a spray bottle for easy application. However, you can create your own zero waste solution by mixing 1/2 cup of white vinegar into a gallon of hot water.

Eco friendly Swiffer sweepers, whether recycled, upcycled or store-bought, will also save you money. Those packs of single-use pads really add up over time!

8 Best Eco Friendly Swiffer Alternatives

Zero Waste Swiffer Pads

If you already own a Swiffer, it makes sense to simply swap out the disposable pads for zero waste swiffer pads that can be machine washed. After all, one of the biggest tenants of zero waste living is to reuse what you already have until it’s no longer functional.

This option is especially appealing as it allows you to reduce waste by avoiding single-use cleaning products without changing the way you use your Swiffer.

Sweeper Spray Mop Pads by Juniperseed Mercantile

Isolated image of JuniperSeed reusable Swiffer mop pad in white.

Juniperseed’s reusable mop head pads made from cotton and chenille fabric are compatible with Wet Jet Swiffers. In fact, they’re even better at absorbing moisture than the single-use ones.

Highly textured and made to last, these pads are great for use on all types of surfaces–hardwood floors, laminate, etc.–and can endure repeated use just fine.

Simply pop the reusable cleaning pads into the washing machine on a cold cycle without a fabric softener. You can tumble dry them on low heat or let them air dry (my preferred method).

Easily Greener Swiffer WetJet Compatible Microfiber Mop Pads

This pack of 2 machine-washable pads made of loose strand microfiber is designed to fit the Swiffer Sweeper perfectly. 

The folded edges of the microfiber pads help them stay put as they glide smoothly on surfaces, into corners, and against baseboards, picking up even the smallest fragments of dirt and pet hair. They’re great for using either wet or dry on all floor types, be it bamboo, marble, hardwood, or laminate.

Upcycled Swiffer Mop

Zero waste mop made of wood and towels cleaning hardwood floors.

If you want a completely free replacement for your already existing Swiffer mop, just dig through your closet and find yourself a couple of old washcloths, T-shirts, fuzzy socks, or other scraps of fabric that you don’t need.

Wrap these around your Swiffer, spray them with some homemade cleaning solution of hot water and vinegar, and you’ll have yourself a zero waste mop. You could also put your DIY solution into the Swiffer Wetjet compartment for speedier cleaning.

Microfiber Mops

These mops are very similar to the Swiffer, but instead of single-use refill pads, they clean with a washable microfiber pad head. Pair yours with a DIY or store-bought eco friendly spray and you’re golden. 

Also, it’s imperative that you wash your microfiber mop pads WITHOUT fabric softener! Otherwise, the fibers will get coated with residue and lose their ability to absorb moisture.

Turbo Microfiber Mop

Turbo’s eco friendly Swiffer alternative features an extendable aluminum handle and a 360-degree swivel-action rotating head. It’s perfect for wiping down corners, getting under the furniture, as well as reaching other inaccessible areas around the house. 

The microfiber dust mop pad is also compatible with the Swiffer Wet Jet, Shark, Bona, Bissell, Libman, O-Cedar, and other top brands.

Mighty Mop by full circle

Made with recycled plastic and bamboo, the Mighty Mop prides itself on its intentional and conscientious design. This 2-in-1 Wet/Dry Microfiber Mop comes with a detachable and washable mop head.  

Full Circle is a Plastic neutral company, which means that all the plastic used in their products is verified using the Global Recycle Standard.

Cuban Mops

Widely used across Latin America and Europe, the Cuban mop is mainly made up of two wooden pipes that are joined to form a T-shape. This holds either a folded towel or a piece of fabric as the mop head.

To use this water-efficient mop, simply soak the towel in your solution, ring it out, and mop as usual. Resoak as needed until your floor is clean.

Quick-Loop Cuban Mop Head

The Quick-Loop is an improvement over the traditional Cuban mop because it has a loop that holds the draped cloth over a dowel. This loop makes it possible for the mop to hold any type of fabric, so it can be used for both mopping as well as dusting.

The Quick-Loop head attaches onto your existing threaded broom or mop handle, saving you the need to buy extra equipment. It’s an eco friendly Swiffer sweeper alternative that’s great for your wallet and the planet.

Cuban Style Mop by Studio 24

Studio 24’s more traditional, no-nonsense Cuban-style mop stick featuring a long 49” handle. It also comes with a hanging knob for ease of storage.

Traditional Wood and Cotton Mops

Due to cotton being highly absorbent and compostable, a classic wood and cotton style swab makes an excellent zero waste mop.

Wet Deck Cotton Mop by American Market

Wet Deck’s 100% cotton mop features a 16” long mophead with highly absorbent 4 ply cotton strings, which makes it ideal for cleaning all kinds of floors indoors. 

Since it is wire wound, you don’t have to worry about it coming undone, and the solid wood handle makes it a sturdy and durable choice.

Cotton Wet Mop by Genuine Joe

This lightweight mop by Genuine Joe comes with a natural wooden handle attached to a 24 oz. 4 ply highly absorbent cotton mop head. It handles both light mopping and heavy-duty scrubbing with ease.

Steam Mops

Another popular green alternative is the steam mop, which heats water in its chamber to release steam through a cloth or pad. Apart from loosening up dirt and grime, the high temperatures also aid in killing germs and bacteria from surfaces without having to depend on any harmful chemicals. 

Recommending plastic mops seems counterintuitive to a post about eco friendly Swiffer alternatives. However, a high quality steam mop can last a decade or more, and it eliminates the need to buy floor cleaners that come in single-use bottles. 

Bissell Steam Mop – Powerfresh Pet

We have a German Shepherd and a persistently damp lawn, which leads to lots of muddy pawprints on our tile floor.

This Bissell Steam Mop is the only thing that works at getting the dirt out of the porous stone and grout. It also destroys 99.9% of bacteria and germs without the need for floor cleaner.

Whether you’re looking for a pet-friendly Swiffer alternative or want to stop buying single-use plastic bottles, I highly recommend this steam mop.

Eco Friendly Steam Mop by Black + Decker

The 7-in-1 multi-surface Steam Mop by Black + Decker is your all-in-one solution to a sustainable and spotless home. 

Its versatility results in the use of fewer products and hence a smaller carbon footprint. Use it to clean sealed granite, stone, wood, tiles, and grout after only 20 seconds of heating. 

For hard-to-reach places, the steam mop comes with a “SteamGlove” attachment that allows you to get at them with your hands. 

Cleaning by Hand

One of the most basic methods of cleaning is the age-old method of cleaning by hand.

It’s not the fastest or easiest method, but it gets the job done when you have smaller spots in the house to clean. In fact, it’s how I grew up cleaning floors in my small childhood home. All you need is a a piece of cloth and some eco friendly cleaning solution and you’ll be good to go. 

Floor Cleaners and Tools to Use When Zero Waste Mopping

Complete your zero waste mopping transformation by pairing your eco friendly Swiffer alternative with some green accessories. Most of the tools listed below are long-lasting, one-time investments that fit right into a low waste lifestyle.

Spray Bottles

Eco Friendly Floor Cleaners

  • Eco All Purpose Cleaner Spray by Meliora from EarthHero
  • Soganics Eco-Friendly Tile and Hardwood Multi-Surface Floor Concentrated Cleaner from Amazon

You can also create your own affordable and eco friendly floor cleaner by mixing ½ cup of white vinegar with a gallon of hot water.

Metal Bucket

  • Galvanised Steel Bucket by Beherens from Amazon

Eco Friendly Cleaning Gloves

  • Splash Patrol Natural Latex Cleaning Gloves by Full Circle from EarthHero and Amazon
  • Natural Latex Rubber Gloves by if you care from Amazon

Looking for other eco friendly living tips? Check out these posts:

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