Most of us would be lost without our sponge in the kitchen, but did you know there are loads of other great uses for this humble object too?
The bouncy texture of kitchen sponges mean they can be used in a variety of weird and wonderful ways, and you know how much we like upcycling and reinventing household objects here at Expert Home Tips.
Take inspiration from us: don’t confine this versatile item to your kitchen alone – try these 24 unusual ways to use your sponge all over the house instead!
1. Get crafting with the kids & make some easy sponge art
Do you and your little ones love to paint? Try something new by using sponges instead of paintbrushes.
Not only are they easy to cut into a variety of shapes, but as they soak up excess liquid, there’s less chance of splatterings and spillages. The kids will be pleased, and you will too.
If you’re looking for more inventive ways to entertain the kids, Colleen’s 17 super fun ways to keep the kids busy should help inspire you!
2.Sponges are great for sprouting seeds
Have you always liked the idea of growing your own herbs? Well with the help of a sponge, it’s easier than you might imagine.
Pull out an old plate, and place a damp sponge in the centre. Pop your seeds on top, being careful to leave them enough space in between one another to grow. Then position a glass bowl over the top, and place on a windowsill or other surface that gets a lot of light.
This will create a ‘greenhouse’ environment for your seeds, giving them everything they need to grow into healthy and strong herb plants.
3. Avoid calluses by using sponges to pad your grip
Calluses are not only unsightly, but they can also be pretty painful.
Avoid the build-up of rough skin by attaching a kitchen sponge to the handle of the object you’re using with an elastic band.
4. Help protect valuables with sponge padding
We’ve all used bubble wrap and tissue paper, but have you ever considered using your sponges to pad out your valuables when packing?
Their bouncy, cushioning texture make them highly effective for this purpose, and they’ll keep all objects, however delicate, perfectly intact.
5. Dry the inside of a vase without breaking the glass
Small, delicate vases can look so pretty, but they’re not always easy to clean out and dry.
Make things easier by attaching a sponge to a chopstick, and pushing it into the smaller space.
6. Don’t waste any soap
Does your bar of soap seem to run out super quickly? Or perhaps you find it unuseable when it becomes too small? Try this great hack to make your soap last longer than ever:
Cut the centre out of your sponge, and place the soap inside. It will soak up any soapy residue, and also mean you’re able to continue to reap the benefits of your bar of soap, no matter how small it gets.
7. Use your sponge to get your fridge smelling lovely & fresh
If your fridge lets out a waft of really unpleasant odours every time you open the door, a kitchen sponge may help to stop it.
Sprinkle a damp sponge with bicarbonate of soda and place in your fridge away from direct contact with food, and it will absorb the offending odours.
If you’d like more tips on how to keep your fridge in good order, Anushka has 17 hacks to keep your fridge exceptionally clean and organised that you can read right now.
8. Protect your woodwork with sponge stickers
Don’t let your lovely glass and wooden surfaces get all scratched up.
Use your sponge to protect them by cutting out small squares and sticking them to the underside of decorative objects such as vases and bowls.
9. A sponge is useful for loosening wallpaper
Wallpaper can be a real nightmare to remove.
If you’re looking to redecorate, make things easier by soaking your sponge in a diluted solution of fabric softener and hot water.
Squeeze out the excess water, then wipe over your walls to break down the adhesive and make the wallpaper easier to remove.
16. Use your sponge to create a nifty nail varnish jar
Have you ever tried a nail polish remover pot? They’re really handy, and remove the need for buying endless cotton wool pads.
Try making your own by rolling your sponge into a small, clean glass jar, then pouring on some nail varnish remover, little by little. Be sure to leave the lid on when not in use to keep the sponge moist.
10. Use a kitchen sponge as a no-drip ice-pack
Often, the best thing for a nasty bump is to apply an ice-pack.
Ice cubes in tea towels aren’t practical, as they fall everywhere and don’t lie flat onto skin. The solution? A sponge!
Soak a sponge in water, pop into a sealed plastic bag, and freeze for when accidents occur.
11. Give your plants the perfect amount of water
Unless you’re a pro-gardener, it can often be difficult to know how much water your plants need.
A great trick is to cut a sponge the size of the base of your plantpot, and place it at the bottom. It will soak up any excess liquid, so your plants roots will stay moist, but won’t be left drowning in a puddle of water.
11. A pedicure is so much easier with a sponge
Pampering and kitchen sponges may not traditionally be two things that go hand in hand, but once you’ve tried this, you won’t ever do a pedicure without a sponge as well.
A sponge is not only flexible enough to bend in between toes, keeping them the perfect distance apart while you put on your polish, but it’s also really comfortable.
Now you’ll never have to struggle with toenails getting smudged again.
13. Use your sponge to get your knitwear looking as good as new
It’s so frustrating when your favourite jumper starts to bobble.
A quick – and surprising – fix for this is to use the rough side of your sponge in light, circular motions over the surface. It will lift pilling and leave your jumper looking as good as new again.
14. Make gardening & household tasks less tasking
Weeding and scrubbing floors can be hard work anyway, without the extra strain of sore knees.
Good news: you can use sponges to pad your knees whilst doing such tasks to improve comfort. If you find them slipping from underneath you, use a loose headband to keep them in place.
15. Lift pesky pet hair
Our pets – we love them. The hair that they leave everywhere? Well, that’s a different story.
If you’re sick of the sight of hairy furniture, use a dry sponge to wipe over the offending surfaces. The holey texture will pick up hair in a jiffy and leave your place looking spick and span.
17. Keep your plants nice and clean
Indoor plants are a great way of bringing the outdoors inside, but they can be tricky to keep clean.
Keep yours healthy and looking great by wiping them over with a damp sponge every month or so – they’ll thank you for it!
You can also use a hairdryer to clean plants. Find out how in Colleen’s 21 uses for a hair dryer that will blow your mind.
18. Use your sponge to keep veg crunchy for longer
Convincing yourself to eat ‘five a day’ is often hard enough, without the added issue of floppy vegetables.
An easy way to keep your veg crisp and appetising for longer is to pop a dry sponge into the drawer. It will soak up any excess moisture and keep everything nice and crunchy.
20. Bulk out shoes that are too big
Hand me downs are a great way of getting your money’s worth and reducing waste. Whilst an over-sized t-shirt isn’t exactly the be all and end all, shoes that are too big are a different story.
If your child doesn’t quite fit into their older sibling’s shoes yet, you can push a sponge into the toe to make them fit nice and snug.
20. Wet your thank you notes
Does the thought of licking envelopes turn your stomach?
If you have a load of invites, thankyous or christening cards to send off and don’t want your tongue to be as dry as the Sahara by the end of it, your sponge could be the answer.
Use a damp sponge to wet the sticky seal just as you would with your tongue, then stick into place – sorted!
21. Use your sponge to shine up your shoes
No spare cloths for applying shoe polish?
Another great way to apply it is with a dry sponge. The polish will go on super smoothly and evenly thanks to the spongy texture.
22. Mop up umbrella puddles
Are you sick of seeing puddles by the umbrella stand?
A subtle way of preventing this is to place several sponges at the bottom. They’ll soak up any drips and your guests will be none the wiser – handy!
23. Colourful & quiet building blocks for the kids
Wooden blocks make a right old racket, don’t they?
Give your children something pretty on the eye and easy on the ears to play with: cut a selection of different coloured sponges into strips and they’ll be able to use them as building blocks for creating all sorts of masterpieces.
Wow! Who knew there were so many uses for a kitchen sponge? Think I’ve missed one? Please let me know if you have any other ideas in the comments below.