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Eco-Friendly Swiffer Alternative – Zero Waste Mopping

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Swiffer is one of the biggest brands as a reliable home cleaning solution and has been at the top of the industry for over 2 decades. However, some Swiffer products are not that friendly to the environment, and many people are looking for a more sustainable option. Let me explain what they are.

Some eco-friendly Swiffer alternative mopping options are a Cuban mop, wood and cotton mop, a DIY mop, a steam mop, and a similar mop to a Swiffer but one that is eco-friendly, like the Turbo MicroFiber mop. All these are more sustainable and, in some cases, even cheaper.

This article will cover the best Swiffer alternative mops that are cheap, effective, and eco-friendly. Whatever the budget or cleaning requirements, I have it covered here. This article will also take a look at some important FAQs that could influence public opinion of Swiffer sweeper products as a whole.

Zero Waste Mopping – Eco-Friendly Swiffer Alternative

In 1999, Procter and Gamble released Swiffer and cornered the mopping market with their fancy marketing scheme, promising to make this dull daily chore fast, efficient and fun. However, there was one snag. At the time, their products were not recyclable.

Fast forward to today, and many individuals not only want a mop that is comfortable to use and does a great job at cleaning, but they also want one that is friendly to the environment.

What Are Eco Mops?

An eco mop is similar to a traditional mop. However, the materials used to manufacture and construct the mop are typically friendly to the environment. This means that the materials are sustainable and/or recyclable, and the process by which they are made is also environmentally friendly.

For example, are the mops made from wood or plastic? Is the material for the cleaning head made from cotton, rayon, or synthetic microfibers? These are all factors to consider when deciding if a mop is eco-friendly or not.

Are There Swiffer Alternatives?

Swiffer has a wide variety of sweeping and mopping kits that are available for purchase and will be appropriate for nearly every cleaning solution. Although Swiffer does offer kits that utilize a reusable cleaning pad, indeed making them zero waste, there are alternatives such as;

  • Cuban mop
  • Wood and cotton mop
  • DIY mop
  • Steaming mop

These options are a great solution in terms of providing and more eco-friendly alternative that does not require the purchase of additional non-recyclable clothes.

I attempted to use these Swiffer alternative mops and found them to be very practical, efficient, and cost-effective, with the added benefit of knowing they are safer for the environment.

Zero Waste Mopping Alternatives

Below are the four best alternatives to Swiffer sweeper products, offering a zero waste mopping alternative. 

Cuban Mop

A Cuban mop is a simple construction of two wooden poles that form a “T” shape. Widely used throughout Central and South America as well as Europe, a towel, mops clothes, and in some cases, even t-shirts are folded over the T-end of the mop to form the mop head.

To use these mops, emerge the cloth into a solution of water and a cleaning solution. Then ring out the excess water, wrap it over the mop head, and start mopping.

Wood And Cotton Mop

Another option is to choose a traditional wood and cotton mop if that is more enticing. They are made from sustainable materials like wood, steel, and cotton.

Various models are available for purchase; some may come with a device (gadget) that allows soaking the mop in a cleaning solution and then ringing it out using a specially made device. This helps to prevent the mop from retaining excess water and making things too wet.

The same process for cleaning applies to this mop as it does with a Cuban mop. Simply soak the mop in the cleaning solution, ring out the excess water using your hands or an available addon device, then mop away.


There is a way to build a DIY mop if an extra mop handle or pole of sorts is laying around the house. To make a DIY mop, a towel will need to be cut into strips and attached to the mop handle.

Mop handles do come with clamps, so this should be easy enough. However, if it does not, then a simple and cheap cable (zip) tie investment will get the job done perfectly.

Remember that this method is lighter on the wallet, and it is always better in terms of the environment to try and utilize (recycle) any old materials that are laying around.

Steaming Mop

If none of the above options are engaging enough, then purchasing a steaming mop might be an option that might be worth considering.

There is no dealing with buckets that can spill, ringing out of clothes, and any other frustrating, mundane experiences.

These steaming machines that just use water behave like a zero-waste disinfectant. Moreover, many manufacturers produce an additional cleaning solution available for purchase, giving it an extra cleaning benefit.

Consider that these machines can be expensive, and if looking to save the environment is key, then perhaps opting to purchase one that is used or one of a very high quality that will last years, if not decades, is best. 

Eco-Friendly Swiffer Alternative

Besides the examples above, there are eco-friendly Swiffer-like mops, and if the Swiffer sweeper look and feel are preferred, then perhaps this option is better suited.

The best Swiffer alternative eco-friendly mop that is almost identical and the one I would recommend the most is the Turbo Microfiber Mop.

This 18-inch dust mop features reusable microfiber mop pads that are machine washable. It sports a 360-degree rotating head as well as a telescoping handle that can extend up to 60 inches and Is made of aluminum, meaning it’s very light.

The mop pad is even compatible with other brands of cleaning mops like Swiffer, Shark, Bonna, Bissel, and more. These microfiber mop pads can be used dry or wet and work fantastically on hardwood floors, laminate, vinyl, and pretty much any other floor.

Frequently Asked Questions About Swiffer

Below I have taken to answer some of the most queried questions regarding Swiffer sweeper and its products. By reading through these FAQs and going through my alternative mops above, an informed decision is sure to be made on what mop would best suit any cleaning situation.

Are Swiffer Products Safe For The Environment?

Swiffer products are made from non-biodegradable plastic that utilizes fossil fuels in the manufacturing process. Moreover, the cleaning solution used in their pads are somewhat toxic to the environment. However, some are recyclable.

How Eco-Friendly Are Steam Mops?

Steaming cleaning does not use any harmful chemicals or cleaning solutions (in most cases). Due to the fact that it primarily uses water, it won’t trigger allergies or releases toxic chemicals that are harmful to the environment; these machines are considered eco-friendly.

Are Any Swiffer Products Reusable?

Swiffer has come to a conclusion, in their more than two decades of being a giant cleaning conglomerate, that people are worried about the environment. As such, they do offer reusable pads that fit some of their sweeping and mopping products.

Are Swiffer Pads Biodegradable?

Swiffer pads and refills, as they are currently made, are not biodegradable. 

Are Swiffer Pads Considered Non-Toxic?

Although Swiffer sweeper pads are not so great for the environment, they have been deemed non-toxic for pets and humans. This is because they contain propylene glycol n-propyl ether, a low toxicity chemical; only 4% of this substance is in each mop pad.

How Good Is Mopping Compared To A Swiffer?

Depending on a situation, a floor, and the mess that is being cleaned, one may not be better than the other. Swiffer just offers simple solutions while taking away the frustration of the additional steps involved in mopping.

How Many Times Can A Swiffer Pad Be Reused?

Swiffer sweeper pads can actually be thrown into the wash, allowing them to be used up to 100 times.

Is There A Way To Make A Reusable Swiffer?

The easiest and simplest way to make a reusable Swiffer sweeper pad is to simply use an old washcloth or cut-up t-shirt. Pushing the fabric into the four designated holes will fasten and secure it.

Which Swiffer Pads Are Recyclable?

Some Swiffer sweeper pads are recyclable through the TerraCycle program. They will send an envelope, and the appropriate disposable pads should be returned. The heads that are recyclable include;
– Sweeper Dry Refills
– Sweeper Wet Refills
– Sweeper XL Refills
– WetJet XL Refills
– Duster Refills 

Does Swiffer Make Their Wet Pads Compostable?

Swiffer pads are, at this point in time, not compostable, and additionally, they have elements of plastic in them, making them hazardous to the environment.

Are Swiffer Products Vegan?

If vegan means cruelty-free, then Swiffer is not. They may test their products on animals either by themselves, through a third party, or their suppliers. 

Do Swiffer Pads Contain Harmful Chemicals?

Swiffer sweeper pads contain the chemical propylene glycol n-propyl ether, and each mop pad contains approximately 4% of this chemical. Take note that this chemical has been deemed non-toxic for humans and animals. 

Can You Wash And Reuse Swiffer Dusters?

Swiffer Dusters can be washed and then reused with a little rinse under some water. This will save a little money and keep things more friendly for the environment. 

What Chemicals Are In Swiffer Dusters?

Swiffer dusters and cloths are practically non-toxic and do not contain any chemicals.


Non-biodegradable plastic and non-recyclable products from Swiffer may not be the first choice in cleaning products if looking to save the environment is a primary focus.

Other, cheap, easier alternatives exist and require little money or practically no effort to make. Additionally, Swiffer-like eco-friendly alternative mops exist, and these are a great replacement for Swiffer mops.

Either way, this article covered everything there is to know to make an informed decision, so there is only one thing left to do: choose a mop!