Sponges are a must for maintaining a clean home or hand washing dishes, but they’re good for so much more than that! A sponge can do everything from making shoes more comfortable to ensuring fresh produce lasts longer. Below you’ll find 15 uses for sponges that will convince you to keep a few extras on hand for pesky problems that pop up!
1. Uses for sponges: Ensure earrings stay together
Ugh! You can’t find the match to your earring. To avoid this in future: Use a new sponge to corral your earrings. Simply stick the posts through the sponge, then secure the backs. Bonus: The sponge will clean the earring posts!
2. Guarantee a plant stays hydrated
“Kitchen and cleaning sponges are versatile tools that can be repurposed for various tasks beyond their original cleaning duties,” says Hashi Mohamed, president of Ivy Cleans. “One unexpected use is as a moisture regulator for potted plants.” To do: When you’re repotting a plant, place one or two sponges at the bottom of the pot before you add the plant. Then fill the rest of the pot with the soil. “The sponge will absorb excess water, preventing overwatering and root rot, while ensuring the plant has a steady supply of moisture,” adds Mohamed.
3. Uses for sponges: De-fur your furniture
Yikes! Lately your pup Rover has been shedding more than usual, which is causing loose strands to end up all over your clothes and furniture. When you can’t find a lint roller, enlist the help of a sponge! To do: Dampen the sponge with cool water, wring out any excess and wipe down fur-covered areas in a uniform direction. The dampness will cause the hair to cling to the sponge without soaking the fabric.
4. Make yard work easy on the hands
You love tending to your garden outside once the weather warms up, but after a while it’s common for your hands to get blistered and sore from working with the tools. To avoid this nuisance without having to buy new tools with a padded grip, try this: Use heavy-duty rubber bands to wrap a kitchen sponge around the handle of your tools. The sponge provides the perfect cushion to ensure a comfortable grip.
5. Uses for sponges: Help a bar of soap last longer
Prevent a bar of soap from becoming a mushy mess in the shower by placing it on a dry sponge when not in use. The sponge’s porous material will absorb liquid so the soap doesn’t end up sitting in a puddle that causes it to degrade.
6. Create a makeshift ice pack
When you need to soothe bumps and bruises, skip bulky ice packs (which tend to freeze in awkward shapes and have pointy edges) and try this: Cut a sponge in half and soak in a 50:50 solution of water and rubbing alcohol. Place in a resealable plastic bag and freeze until needed. Since alcohol doesn’t freeze solid, the sponge will stay soft and flexible, making it more comfortable to hold against sore spots.
7. Uses for sponges: Remove nails without damaging walls
Looking to switch up a few pieces on your wall and need to remove a few nails? While the claw of your hammer may work, it can also leave marks behind. The solution: “Hold a sponge next to the nail where you plan to use the claw,” says interior designer Brad Smith of Omni Home Ideas. “The sponge will give you the full range of motion you need to pull the nail, but will prevent the hammer from leaving marks on the wall.”
8. Help veggies stay crisp
Humidity in the refrigerator can cause produce to spoil in just a few days. To ward off waste: Toss a dry sponge into the crisper drawer with your vegetables and fruit. The sponge will absorb moisture, keeping your produce fresh longer. (Click through for more secrets to storing produce).
9. Uses for sponges: Remove nail polish in a flash
Although you enjoy giving yourself a DIY manicure, it can get messy when it comes time to remove the old polish from your nails. The solution: Place a sponge inside a small jar so it covers all of the sides and forms a ring. Then pour some nail polish remover inside. When you slip your fingers inside the hole formed by the sponge, the combination of the sponge’s texture and the polish remover will easily wipe off the polish.
10. Keep your cat cool on hot days
Your cat has resorted to staying cool by stretching out in the middle of your tiled bathroom floor…and you’re constantly tripping over him. To keep him from overheating and out from underfoot, try this: Wet three or four large sponges, pop them each in their own baggie and toss them in the freezer. Once frozen, place them around the perimeter of Kitty’s bed. The icy sponges will cool off his bed, giving him a perfect spot to lounge.
11. Uses for sponges: Sop up rain from a dripping umbrella
After a day of running errands in the rain, you come home with a soggy umbrella. To avoid getting a mess of in and around your umbrella stand, place a dry sponge or two in the bottom of the stand. The sponges will help absorb any water dripping off your umbrellas, and you can easily wring out the damp sponges as needed to keep the area water-free.
12. Keep a paintbrush wet between uses
The night stand you bought second-hand looks great after some new paint! You need to add a second coat, however, but have to wait overnight for it to dry. No need to to waste time washing out the brushes when you plan on using them again the next day. Instead, place them in a resealable container with a damp sponge. Water on the sponge will keep the bristles just moist enough so you can resume painting tomorrow.
13. Uses for sponges: De-grime a greasy grill
If you’ve got an old sponge handy, you’ve got the secret to making grill cleaning a snap. The trick? Using a sharp knife, cut several slits about an inch apart along the long side of the sponge. When the grill is cool, wet the sponge in water, add a few drops of dish soap and press the sponge (cut-side down) back and forth along the grates. Since the sponge slits allow it to go between the bars, you’ll get the grill cleaner than ever.
14. Blister-proof loose shoes
You couldn’t wait to don the new pair of heels you snagged on sale online, but when you put them on, you quickly discovered they're a bit too loose. The simple fix: Cut a sponge into two circles, then insert one circle in the front of each shoe. The sponge will fill in the extra space, plus provide gentle cushioning for your toes to help ward off blisters.
15. Uses for sponge: Safely store sewing pins
Whenever you reach into your sewing box, you worry about one of the needs or pins accidentally nicking your finger. The affordable save: “I've used kitchen sponges as DIY pin cushions for sewing,” shares Janice Ruster, who shares lifestyle tips on A Calming Home. “Just cut a sponge to size, and it can be used as is or wrapped in fabric if desired. It's a creative and quick solution, ideal for everyday sewing and is budget-friendly.”
For more brilliant life hacks, keep reading!