You’d be hard-pressed to find a household that doesn’t have a sponge, or ten, lying around. What is easier, though, is finding people who wouldn’t dare reuse something as gross as an old sponge. But it doesn’t have to be that way — sponges, when handled properly, can be put to work in a multitude of uses. It doesn’t take much a clean a dirty sponge! Zap (nonmetal) wet sponges in the microwave for about 2 minutes, which kills more bacteria in a shorter time span than the dishwasher. For more information, see THIS handy article.
What’s more, sponges are so cheap that you might just find the urge to go out and buy a pack after reading all of the fantastic ways you can use them. Click through to read the tips.
Earlier: 15 Ways to Use Eggplant (Slideshow)
Health & Beauty.
1. Make Ice Packs. Keep these in the freezer to have on hand for injuries! Soak a sponge in water and place it in a re-sealable bag and freeze. You can also use these ice packs to keep food cool in your packed lunch.
2. Extend the Life of Bar Soap. Store your bar soap on a sponge when it isn’t in use. The sponge will dry out the soap, stretching its life and avoiding that slimy sensation.
3. Give Yourself a Manicure. Check out this technique for applying nail polish with a sponge. Too cool!
4. Soothe an Achy Tooth. Have a toothache, but can’t make it to the dentist yet? Dampen an unused or sterile sponge with whiskey, vanilla extract, mouthwash, or whatever your preferred numbing agent is and apply it to the tooth.
5. Use Every Last Bit of Bar Soap. You can make use of the small pieces of bar soap by cutting a slit down the middle of a sponge to create a pocket. Cradle the last bits of soap in the pocket and clean away.
6. Say Buh-Bye to Lint and Pet Fur. Use a just damp sponge on the affected area to remove the clump.
7. Keep Your Fridge Smelling Great. Sprinkle some baking soda on a sponge and place it in an empty drawer. The sponge will absorb odors.
8. Make Your Own Scouring Pads. Genius! Check out detailed instructions here.
9. Polish Silver. A little bit of baking soda and a damp sponge works wonders on large pieces of silvers. Read more about the technique here.
See Also: 6 of the World’s Most Unusual Schools
Around the House and in the Garden.
10. Protect Valuables. Storing something you just can’t bear to break? Sponges are an excellent way to keep them safe. Cut up a few damp sponges into small cubes to cushion your breakables. When they dry, they’ll take on the shape of the space in a way packing peanuts never could.
11. DIY Mosquito Repellent. Check out detailed instructions here.
12. Remove Car Scratches. Who needs the body shop when you have toothpaste and a sponge? Place a dab of toothpaste on the damp sponge, and gently rub the scratch in a circular motion. Dry it with a soft cloth.
13. Keep Plants Watered. Place a damp sponge at the bottom of the flower pot — not only will it keep the soil moist for longer, it’ll also absorb any excess water.
14. Sprout Seeds. Fast-growing seeds love to sprout in sponges! Embed the seed in the (damp) sponge. Put a glass bowl over the seed and place it in a sunny spot. Moisten the seed occasionally, and move the seedling to soil when the time comes.
Crafts and Projects.
15. Remove Wallpaper. Are there a few areas of wallpaper just too pesky to come down? Use a sponge dampened with hot water to loosen up those stubborn spots.
16. Make a Mini Air Conditioner. With a fan, a fridge deodorizer and a sponge, you can cool off a small pace. Wow! Click here for detailed instructions.
17. Use as a Pin Cushion. Sponges are a great alternative pin cushion.
18. Seal Envelopes and Attach Stamps. Can’t stand the flavor of envelopes and stamps that don’t have adhesives? Use a damp sponge to get the job done.