Sunday, July 27, 2008

Easy Way to Make Reusable Swiffer Pads

1.Get a package of microfiber towels. You can find these in the automotive section of most stores. They are made of 80% Polyester and 20% Polyamide.

2. If you are using a green Swiffer (dry) all you have to do is trim the towels to fit your swiffer and stick the ends into the holes on top. You can serge it if you like but microfiber generally does not fray.

3. If you are using the purple Swiffer (wet) all you have to do is tri-fold the towels and sew a few lines across to turn the towel into a pad. I do two rows lengthwise and 3 across.

You won't need many rows - just enough to keep the pad stable once it gets wet.
The purple Swiffers have velcro on the bottom that sticks perfectly to your microfiber pad and will hold it in place without you having to sew velcro to your pad itself.

It takes less than a minute to make the wet pads and will be a big money saver if you have laminate or tile floors and swiffer a lot. The microfiber attracts dust and hair when dry and when wet mopping is very absorbent. It also is easy to wash and quick to dry. A very economical solution to reduce waste and save money!
Depending on your floor it may take a little more 'push' to wet mop with this pad. I have found no difference on my ceramic tile floor but I have to push a little harder on my laminate floor. On the plus side though the disposables never got my laminate clean. As soon as it dried I could see little greasy hand prints again! With the microfiber pads I get it clean in one swoop. :)

The pads can then go in the washer and dryer to be used again.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Organic Cotton - What's the Deal?

It's sort of easy to see why organically grown fruits and veggies can have an impact on us. But cotton? What's the deal with cotton. It's not like we eat it!

I try to use organic cotton in my products as much as possible. All of my cloth pads (aka mama pads) are made with Bamboo/Organic Cotton blends. My cloth baby wipes / family cloth is made from 55% hemp/ 45% organic cotton fleece.

But since you don't eat it why should it matter?

I found a great site : The Pesticide Action Network of North America - PANNA

According to PANNA conventional cotton is the most pesticide intensive crop grown:

Conventionally grown cotton uses more insecticides than any other single
crop and epitomizes the worst effects of chemically dependent agriculture.
Each year cotton producers around the world use nearly $2.6 billion worth of
pesticides -- more than 10% of the world's pesticides and nearly 25% of the
world's insecticides.

Cotton growers typically use many of the most hazardous
pesticides on the market including aldicarb, phorate, methamidophos and
endosulfan. Cotton pesticides are often broad spectrum organophosphates--pesticides originally developed as toxic nerve agents during World War II--and carbamate pesticides.

Pesticides used on cotton-even when used according to instructions-harm people, wildlife and the environment.

These pesticides can poison farm workers, drift into
neighboring communities, contaminate ground and surface water and kill
beneficial insects and soil micro-organisms.


Obviously it's not always possible to get organic cotton but I do whenever I can. Our family cloth/ baby wipes are all made with 55% hemp/ 45% organic cotton and the bamboo blends I use in our Domino Pads all have organic cotton as the second component (after bamboo).

The Organic Produce List

It's so tough to know what really needs to be bought 'organic' and what you can get away with conventionally grown. With the price of groceries and gas up it's not always feasible to buy everything organic.

I was thrilled when I found this list that's perfect for printing out and sticking on your fridge or in your wallet. It is based on information compiled by the Environmental Working Group and published online by Parents R Us.
Check it out: