If you’ve ever wondered what else you can do with all those old and new sponges stored under the sink, this list is for you. Turns out, sponges are quite versatile and can be used for a variety of things, some quirky, some brilliant! Here’s a list of ten other ways to use sponges besides washing dishes. 


1. Reusable ice pack 

If you need an alternative to loading your cooler with ice, a soaked sponge is a great way to make a reusable ice pack. Simply soak the sponge the night before it’s needed and in the morning you’ll have drip-free reusable ice packs! Place them in zip lock sandwich bags to keep the condensation minimal. 


2. Nail polish remover kit 

You can remove nail polish by simply applying nail polish remover to the sponge and wiping your nails. However, to make a convenient kit, grab a glass jar, nail polish remover, and the sponge, then stuff the sponge in the jar and add the nail polish remover. This method allows you to wipe and swirl each finger much more effectively and without drying out your fingertips. As a bonus you can add a lid to the jar for future use.  


3. Remove lint from clothing 

Do you ever get those pesky fuzz pills that form on your older sweaters and cardigans? Try using the textured side of a sponge to remove fuzz pills on fabrics. Don’t scrub any materials, but gently rub your clothing with the textured sponge until you see the pills being picked up. Wipe the fuzz collected on textured surface of the sponge into the trash when it becomes covered.  


4. Deodorize your fridge 

When it’s time to freshen up the fridge you can do so while conserving baking soda with a damp sponge. Take a wet sponge and squeeze out as much water as you can so that it is only damp and set it on a small dish. Sprinkle baking soda on top of the sponge in a single layer, optionally, add a drop of two of peppermint extract (avoid using anymore so that your stored food doesn’t have a minty aroma). Place the dish in the back of the fridge and replace the sponge as necessary to keep it fresh. 


5. Make DIY dryer sheets:  

This is a creative and fun way to use sponges to make your own dryer sheets: You’ll need a medium container, your favorite scent of fabric softener, water, and about five sponges. Fill the container with two cups of fabric softener and four cups of water, five cups if the scent is too potent. Stir the mixture together, add your sponges, and place a lid on the container for storage. When its time to use a sponge as a dryer sheet, take one out, squeeze as much liquid back into container and put in dryer with damp clothes to dry. Re-use when finished. 


6. Finger painting pad / paint sponge shapes 

A clever way to keep mess contained from kids’ art projects with paint is by using sponges as  finger painting pads. Simply cut rectangular sponges in half to make as many pad colors as desired. You can also buy sponges in fun shapes or cut them, to make the perfect paint stamp. This also helps to reduce wasted paint and craft materials. 


7. Protect floors 

A great way to protect furniture from scratching up wooden floors is by cutting up sponges into small squares. If you don’t have furniture pads this is a convenient alternative that can be used on chair and furniture legs, large vases, lamps, and other heavy objects.  


8. Sprout seeds 

Seedlings don’t require a lot to get a kickstart and you can help grow new plants from seed with a sponge. All you need to do is take a damp sponge and put it on a plate, then place your seeds on the sponge. Of course, make sure to give each one a little room from each other and place a glass bowl on top to create a temporary terrarium. Place the terrarium by a window that gets a lot of sunshine and the those seeds will be sprouting in no time.  


9. Use as a soap dish 

We’ve all experienced the runny soap dish that gets filled with watery soap run off. As a result, the bar of soap sits in standing water and becomes ruined or wasted if left in the “soap soup” for long enough. This can be avoided by replacing your bar soap dish with a sponge. Excess water will be absorded into the sponge keeping your soap bar from sitting in water. Make sure to squeeze out the sponge every son often and clean as necessary.  


10. Polisher for leather and vinyl goods  

Need to polish your shoes but don’t have a polishing cloth? Use a sponge! The soft side of a sponge is made with ideal material to polish away scuffs and revive tarnished leather and vinyl. Best of all, as sponges are absorbent, you can use them again and again as your go to polishing kit to use with waxes, oils, and shiners without worrying about making a mess.