13 Clever Ways to Use Dish Sponges

sponge
credit: Stephen Paul for Hunker

A basic sponge is good for a lot more than just washing dishes and wiping counters. In fact, its uses extend outside the kitchen and beyond the cleaning realm. Here are 13 unexpected tasks that are easily done with a little help from the humble dish sponge.

1. Seal envelopes. If you're sending out a bunch of mail at once, spare your tongue and use a wet sponge to seal envelopes and apply stamps.

2. Sprout seeds. Growing a garden from scratch starts in the kitchen. Place a damp sponge on a plate, sprinkle on a few plant seeds, cover with a glass bowl, and place in a sunny spot. Once the seeds sprout, they'll be ready to plant!

3. Water plants. Make sure your plants never get too much or too little water by putting a piece of sponge at the bottom of the pot before planting. The sponge will soak up the excess from over watering, so your plant won't get root rot, and in the event you forget to water, they'll have a backup drinking source.

4. Make ice-packs. Place a soaked sponge inside a sealed Ziploc sandwich bag and stick it in the freezer. The icepack will be small enough to fit in a lunch box or sack, and as it melts, the moisture will stay contained.

5. Keep produce crisp. Place a dry sponge inside your refrigerator's vegetable crisper to absorb excess water vapor — your fruits and veggies will stay fresh a lot longer!

6. Protect floors. Use tape or glue to stick small pieces of cut-up sponge to the bottom of furniture to prevent scuffs and scratches.

7. Save soap. Resting a bar of soap on top of a sponge to dry not only makes it last longer, but the sponge wicks away moisture so it doesn't turn into gooey soap slime. You can either put a small piece of sponge at the bottom of your soap dish, or use a full sponge instead of a soap dish.

8. Defuzz. Use the textured side of a kitchen sponge to gently wipe away pilling on knit garments and upholstered furniture.

9. Make a nail polish remover jar. Simply soak a sponge in nail polish remover and stuff it inside a mason jar. Voila!

10. Assist with a pedicure. While you're at it, cut another sponge into eight squares to use as toe separators for at-home pedicures.

11. Entertain the kids. Cut sponges into shapes for little ones to play with in the bath, tie up sponge strips with rubber bands to make outdoor water bombs, and replace wooden blocks with sponges for a headache-free form of Jenga.

12. Remove wallpaper. Wipe down walls with a sponge soaked in hot water and fabric softener to loosen the adhesive so wallpaper peels off with ease.

13. Wipe away pet hair. A damp sponge is just as adept as a lint roller at picking up pet hair from clothing, furniture, and carpet.


Amelia McDonell-Parry

Amelia McDonell-Parry

I'm a freelance writer and reporter for outlets like Rolling Stone, the Village Voice, BUST, Nylon, Woolly, and the Appeal, a podcast host for Undisclosed, and once upon a time, I was the founding editor of The Frisky.