You can never have enough sponges in your home.
Even if you don’t like washing dishes with it, the absorbent sponge has ample uses that go beyond cleaning. From makeup to car maintenance, the sponge can be used in ways you’ve never imagined.
Here are 43 things you can do with a sponge:
Get gradient or ombré nail art:
Trim a sponge to the size of your fingernail and paint your nail the lightest colour of the ombré (or white). Then spread your nail polish colours on the sponge, letting them overlap and being generous with the amount polish. Next, sponge the nail polish onto the nail, patting up and down to blend it into a gradient.
Add a glitter tip to your nail polish: After painting a base colour and letting it dry, take a makeup sponge and dap glitter polish on the tips of nails. Apply a heavier coat at the very tip and a lighter coat going towards the center of the nail for an ombre sparkle effect.
Make a DIY nail polish remover: Instead of using a million cotton balls, stuff a sponge into a mason jar and soak it in acetone to make an easy DIY nail polish remover. Keep it sealed in a jar when not in use and when it gets too dirty, replace the sponge and add more nail polish remover.
Get an easier pedicure: Put pieces of cut up sponges between your toes so you don’t smudge nail polish while painting your toe nails. It’s like a salon toe separator, but cheaper.
Remove lint from clothes: Just like with pet hair, a damp sponge wiped on your clothes will also remove any unwanted lint — just wipe off the fuzz with your fingers.
Blister-proof shoes: Cut up a circular makeup sponge and insert it between your heel and the back of your shoe. If you love the positioning of the sponge, you can even use a hot glue gun to secure it permanently.
Keep earrings together: Poke earring pairs through a small piece of sponge, securing them in the back. This will keep them together as a pair and will also clean the spokes after each wear.
De-puff eyes: Soak makeup sponges in rubbing alcohol and water, and then store in the freezer covered in plastic wrap. The rubbing alcohol will keep the sponges from freezing completely, making them extremely cold and pliable — perfect to place over tired eyes in the morning.
Make stamps for painting crafts: Sponge stamps are easy to make (just cut the sponge into your desired shape) and use (dip the sponge in paint and press into the fabric of your choice). This is perfect for everything from kids’ projects to grown-up DIYs.
Paint fondant: Create a dappled colour effect by dipping a clean sponge into icing or food colouring and sponging the colour onto cake fondant. You can also do the same thing with a paper towel, waxed paper, or plastic wrap.
Use as a pincushion: If you don’t want to buy a pincushion, make your own with fabric covering a kitchen sponge. You can also use two sponges if you prefer your pincushion thicker.
Make an ink dauber: Crafty people love ink daubers, but shelling out for the real thing can be expensive when you do it over and over again. Instead, make your own by stuffing makeup sponges inside PVC pipe and then craft to your heart’s content.
Paint watercolor trees: Mix a few watercolors together and dip your sponge into the paint. Then simply dab the sponge where you want to have the leaves. The sponge’s texture will create the leafy details for you and all that’s left to do is paint a trunk and add a light wash over the leaves once everything has dried.
Absorb oil leaks:
Instead of letting oil leaks ruin your garage, place a sponge and a plastic bag below the leak to catch the oil until it’s been fixed.
Use as a cushion while raking: Make a shovel or rake more comfortable by wrapping the handle in a sponge and securing with a rubber band. It will save your hands from blisters while you’re working outside.
Make a fly repellent: Make a DIY natural fly repellent with essential oils, witch hazel, and vegetable oil. Dip the sponge in the mixture and place in a coffee can or other pot.
If you don’t love the colour of your brick, you can easily paint over it with the help of a sponge. Paint the entire wall or fireplace in a base colour and then cut a sponge into the brick shape and press a darker colour on top. The sponge will keep the brick texture and look natural.
Remove old wallpaper: Mix hot water and laundry starch to create a paste. Rub the mixture all over the wallpaper with a sponge and let it stand and dry until the wallpaper can be peeled away.
Sponge paint a wall: Nothing is easier than sponge painting. Combine paints with glaze and then cover a base coat by daubing on different colours of paint to create a cloud-like effect in your home. See more instructions here.
Dry umbrellas: Place dry sponges in umbrella stands to soak up extra water and keep puddles from forming on your floors.
Create your own scratch guard protectors: Cut up little bits of sponge pieces and glue them to the underside of heavy frames, vases, or tchotchkes that could scratch your tables. They’re cheaper than the professional alternative.
Keep potted plants hydrated: Place wet sponges into the bottom of potted plants to help plants retain moisture.
Keep your vegetable crisper dry: Vegetables will stay fresher for longer if there’s no moisture collecting in your crisper. Line the drawer with dry sponges to absorb excess water. If a sponge gets wet or dirty, take it out and let it soak in hot water with a splash of bleach before drying and returning to the crisper.
Remove unwanted pet hair:
Use a damp sponge to wipe off any unwanted pet fur, whether it’s on your clothes or the carpet. It will work better than a lint brush, and will easily come off the sponge with a swipe of the hand.
Prevent soap build up: Instead of putting your wet bar soap on the counter or in the shower and letting it develop scum, set the soap on a sponge. The sponge will absorb the moisture and allow the soap to dry completely without any build up. Plus, once the soap is gone, you can use the already-soapy sponge later for cleaning.
Make DIY dryer sheets: Fill a container with two cups of fabric softener and four or five cups of water. Stir together, add sponges, and place a lid on the container for storage.
When you’re ready to use, squeeze out a sponge and put it in the dryer with a load of wet clothes. When clothes are dry, simply put the sponge back in the fabric softener container. The effect will be the same as dryer sheets, and you only have to refill the container twice a year.
Deodorise fridge: Keep your fridge smelling fresh by placing a damp sponge sprinkled with baking soda inside.
DIY a scrubby sponge: For tough grime or food stuck on dishes, make a DIY scrubby sponge by placing the plastic mesh that onions or oranges come in around the sponge, and secure with a bread or twist tie. It will add some extra oomph to your scrubbing.
Polish silver: Use a damp sponge and some baking soda to polish silver utensils in a snap.
Dry a tall vase: After washing, dry the inside of a vase (or any other tall vessel) with a dry sponge wrapped around a ruler or stick and secure with a rubber band. It will reach farther than your hand could.
Freshen the room: Dampen a sponge with water and your favourite perfume or essential oil and place it in a vacuum bag or canister. While you vacuum, the smell will be gently released.
Clean micro-suede furniture: Saturate your couch with rubbing alcohol (no water) and rub and scrub your couch with a white sponge. You’ll see the sponge getting dirtier, so make sure to buy multiple sponges and toss when it becomes too dirty to use. Let dry.
Make a “sponge water bomb”:
During the summer or just for fun, make an easy DIY “water bomb” that kids can play with. Start by cutting up sponges into fourths, then tie four pieces together with rubber bands and let the kids play with them (more detailed directions in the link). They’re better than water balloons since they’re reusable and don’t make as much of a mess.
Grow plants for a science project: Cut sponges into desired shapes (trees, leaves, etc.). Soak the sponge and squeeze out excess water before adding seeds on top. Place the sponge in a sunny window and mist daily with water. The sprouts will grow on the sponge, and this works with lettuce, spinach, and broccoli seeds.
Attract butterflies: You can create a butterfly feeder by tying a sponge dipped in sugar water to a tree with a bit of twine. You’ll be surprised how many butterflies come.
Create blocks: Cut sponges into different shapes like rectangles, triangles, and circles, and then let your kids go wild.
Grow salt and vinegar crystals: Another easy science project for kids is to grow salt and vinegar crystals on a sponge. Combine the water, salt, and vinegar and boil before pouring over the sponge. Dot the sponge with food colouring and set the dish is a sunny, warm area to watch the crystals grow.
Make a glue sponge: For little kids, instead of allowing them to make a mess with glue, make a glue sponge that they can just tap their projects on for an even coat of glue. The best part is it stays ready to use for over a year in any airtight container.
Pack fragile, smaller items
:Dampen a sponge and place it around a delicate item (like a figurine). Use multiple sponges if it’s a larger item (like a vase), and secure everything with a rubber band. The sponge will conform to the breakable item and will go back to its original shape after it gets wet again.
Create an ice pack: DIY an ice pack that won’t leak by freezing a damp sponge and placing in a Ziploc bag. Just be sure to disinfect the sponge every so often.
Seal envelopes and wet stamps: Instead of licking your envelopes or stamps, dab a damp sponge on them for the same effect.
Make two sponges from one: Cut your sponge in half. It’s a money-saving hack that’s super simple.
Did we miss your favourite thing to do with sponges? Let us know in the comments!
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