23 Unusual But Useful Ways To Use A Kitchen Sponge

23 Unusual But Useful Ways To Use A Kitchen Sponge

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!

Before you continue, sign up to our newsletter to get great home hacks, living tips, competitions, offers and more.

1. Get crafting with the kids & make some easy sponge art

painting with sponges
Sponges are the way forward for mess-free painting!

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

sponges used to protect glassware
A great substitute for bubble wrap!

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 unusable 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

sponge to absorb odours
Ahhhh...nice & 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

sponge nail varnish remover
Now that really is an Expert Tip!

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

sponges used in plant pots
Finally, a fuss-free herb garden.

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 plant pot, and place it at the bottom. It will soak up any excess liquid, so your plant's 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

Removing pilling with a sponge
Light, circular motions should work to lift pilling.

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

cleaning plants with a sponge
Your plants need cleaning every now and then too.

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

sponge for sticking envelopes
Keep your tongue where it belongs!

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

sponge building blocks
Colourful & quiet - what more could you want?

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.

Stephanie C


Lover of all things fashion & foodie...I look to satisfy my tastes without obliterating my budget. Wannabe interior designer, I'm an avid cushion cover maker and charity shop hunter.

Follow me on X
  1. Author Maureen falconbridge on January 16, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    Some brilliant tips will be trying the nail varnish remover one thanks for all the tips

    1. Author Stephanie C on January 17, 2017 at 5:22 pm

      Hi Maureen. The nail varnish pot is my favourite! I'm glad you enjoyed the tips ?

  2. Author Baytrees on January 16, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    Love the idea of quiet building blocks. Also you can cut them up smaller to use as Tokens for good behaviour, when the jar is full of small cubes of sponge they can pick one of the rewards labeled on the jar, such as a trip to the cinema,or a trip to the woods etc

    1. Author Stephanie C on January 17, 2017 at 5:23 pm

      I love the building blocks idea too - it really is a great one to do with the kids. Thanks for sharing your treat jar idea, it's brilliant! ?

  3. Author Edith on January 17, 2017 at 11:56 am

    One more ''use''. My dogs love sponges as toys. They rip them apart. Its fun to watch it.

    1. Author Stephanie C on January 17, 2017 at 5:24 pm

      Hi Edith. I never would have thought to use them as a dog toy! Great tip - thanks for sharing.?

    2. Author Barbara Gibson on April 19, 2019 at 12:16 pm

      So long as they don't swallow the sponge and/or scouring material. Don't know if it could cause a blockage or abrade the intestines. Any vets on here to advise?

    3. Author Joanne A on April 23, 2019 at 10:33 am

      I'm sure it could. You would need to watch your dog at all times to ensure no pieces are chewed or swallowed.

  4. Author Hazel Cawley-Nash on January 18, 2017 at 12:33 am

    Just be sure to keep an eye on your dog whilst they're ripping the sponge to pieces, just to make sure that they don't swallow any,or,you could end up with a very poorly dog and a big vet's bill :0(

    1. Author Stephanie C on January 23, 2017 at 3:35 pm

      This is a good point Hazel. Thanks for reminding us to always be careful!?

  5. Author Kara Conway on January 18, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Soak a sponge in hot water & fabric softener and either wipe down radiators or if possible rest on the radiator for an air freshener that smells quite cosy when the heating's on

    1. Author Stephanie C on January 23, 2017 at 3:35 pm

      Hi Kara. I must admit, I've never tried this before but it sounds great! Thanks for sharing ?

  6. Author Wendy on January 18, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    Hate to say this but as interesting as these tips are, i clicked on "Uses for Sellotape" and got uses for sponges instead! Help!!! Am I mis- reading things? Am I starting to let my age affect me? Please come to my rescue!

    1. Author Anushka F on January 19, 2017 at 9:55 am

      Haha Wendy don't worry your mind is not deceiving you...we made an error with the emails. Accidentally linked to the wrong article, very sorry for the confusion. Hopefully you enjoyed the sponge tips though and you can read the many uses for Sellotape at https://experthometips.com/23-brilliant-uses-for-sellotape

  7. Author Sandy on January 18, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    What happened to the Sellotape?

  8. Author Sue James on June 1, 2017 at 4:27 am

    Hi, I just thought that I should point something out that is connected to Tip No 4. You talk about the stains that the pollen from lilies leaves on the furniture, I would like to remind all pet owners that this pollen can be fatal if your beloved cat or dog happens to brush up against it and later lick it off whilst washing themselves. I absolutely love my Stargazer lilies but I love my furbabies more, so to prevent any chance of pollen poisoning I snip off the pollen pods, wrap them in tissue and bury them in the bin as soon as each flower starts to open. The flowers still look beautiful and smell gorgeous but I know that my pets are safe xxx

    1. Author Stephanie C on June 1, 2017 at 5:21 pm

      Hi Sue. Thanks a lot for taking the time to share your tips with us - our readers which own pets will certainly be grateful, as are we! :)

  9. Author Annnette Pettitt on April 19, 2019 at 9:34 am

    Yes I think the nail varnish remover pot is a great idea best tip ever will definitely be using it

    1. Author Joanne A on April 23, 2019 at 10:34 am

      Hi Annette! It really works. I love it and use mine all the time.

  10. Author Carole Dunn on April 19, 2019 at 10:24 am

    I use a sponge to store my earrings. Just push the posts of the earring in to keep them together, so no looking through all of them to get a pair to go out.

    1. Author Joanne A on April 23, 2019 at 10:34 am

      Fab idea, Carole!

  11. Author Susan Bowden on April 19, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    When stripping wallpaper adding washing-up liquid to hot water before sponging stops it drying out too quickly. I hadn't thought of fabric conditioner, though - I'll try that next time!

    1. Author Joanne A on April 23, 2019 at 10:31 am

      Thanks for sharing, Susan!

  12. Author Mrs. Wendy Mumby on April 23, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    These are some brilliant ideas

    1. Author Joanne A on April 24, 2019 at 9:04 am

      Thanks for the kind feedback, Wendy!

  13. Author Melissa Hodges on April 28, 2019 at 3:32 am

    Cool! About to start some plants in pots, I almost bought gravel today😇😇😇

    1. Author Joanne A on April 29, 2019 at 11:46 am

      Have fun, Melissa!

  14. Author Donatello46 on April 14, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    For many years now, I have used kitchen sponges as paint pads, particularly when staining, varnishing or painting shelves, the covering gets well into the corners and leaves a smooth finish with no brush strokes. It's as well to wear disposable gloves though, otherwise your hands will get nicely decorated!

    1. Author Joanne A on April 16, 2021 at 4:02 pm

      Thanks for sharing!

  15. Author Rose Foster on April 16, 2021 at 11:15 am

    Hi joanne thanks for your tips, heres another one to add. You can use sponges to paint your house too, especially the tricky little places where a brush wont fit properly. You can squeeze the sponge in there and complete the job. Just remember to use masking tape if you need to protect other areas.

    1. Author Joanne A on April 16, 2021 at 4:00 pm

      That's a great idea!


Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *