If you’ve got a kitchen, you’ve got a sponge. We all know those porous rectangles are great for scrubbing dried, crusty egg yolk off of pans and sopping up spilled milk, but they’re great for much more than simple kitchen chores. It turns out kitchen sponges are shape-shifting stars, ready to tackle a handful of nagging problems around the house! These 40 “sponge hacks” can solve problems you didn’t know you had.
These days, people are using household objects as makeshift overnight rollers, and kitchen sponges are extra comfy for sleeping in. Just secure your wrapped hair with hair ties or bobby pins, and you’ll wake up a beachy-waved goddess.
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To avoid a sticky glue bottle catastrophe, create a designated glue sponge! Simply place a sponge in a tupperware container, generously cover it in glue, tightly secure the lid, and leave it overnight to absorb. The next day you can dab whatever needs gluing.
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Rather than fussing with acetone, cotton balls, and paper towels to remove your chipping nail varnish, create a cheap nail polish remover jar! Cut and fold a sponge to fit inside a tiny jar, pour nail polish remover in it, and voila! Branded “dip and twist” jars cost a fortune!
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Needing ice packs for your kids’ school lunches? In a pinch, you can easily make some out of sponges. Just throw a sopping wet sponge in a Ziploc baggie and put it in the freezer. Once frozen solid, it’s a perfect makeshift ice pack.
Getting ready for a big move? When packing all your good china and glassware, store the pieces in boxes with sponges. They won’t clink against each other and/or break when in motion.
Cut shapes into kitchen sponges to make fun paint stamps! Your kiddies will thank you… but you may not be thanking us when there’s paint all over your new white couch.
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Sending out a bunch of mail? Rather than licking each chemically, glue-coated envelope, keep a damp kitchen sponge nearby to do the work for you! You’ll get a perfect seal every time.
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So your kids want to have a water balloon fight. They’ll likely ask for you to tie each and every balloon, and then the aftermath always leaves your backyard peppered with tiny rubber fragments. Give them a giant bucket of water and some sponges instead.
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Wishing you had some thyme and rosemary? Just make your own mini herb garden at home! Sprinkle herb seeds on a damp kitchen sponge and place it on a plate. Create a mini greenhouse by covering the sponge with a glass.
Got shoes that are a bit too big? Or perhaps your feet are two different sizes. To fill the gaps in too-big shoes, cut up a sponge to create comfortable inserts. No more clown feet!
Removing old wallpaper (perhaps in a hideous, grandma-esque floral print) is a nightmare and a half. To make this task just a bit easier, soak a sponge in a concoction of fabric softener and hot water, then start rubbing down the paper. This will help break down the paper and save you time.
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We all know a kitchen sponge is nearing the end of its life when it literally smells like death. Letting it sit while soaking wet will only breed more bacteria and make it smell awful. Prop it up on a binder clip to dry it out faster and extend its life!
So Fluffy’s white hair is all over the couch… and of course she doesn’t care. To remove stubborn pet hair that’s clinging to your upholstery, take the rough side of a damp sponge and swipe the fabric. It’ll pick all that fur up in no time.
Want to extend the life of your fruits and veggies? Line your crisper drawer with kitchen sponges before filling it with the gifts of your backyard vegetable garden. The sponges will absorb excess moisture, keeping your goodies fresher longer.
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Forget the Swiffer duster, just attach two fresh kitchen sponges to the ends of a pair of tongs to create a housekeeping tool that’ll give you the same effect. Press and slide to dust off double sides surfaces like blinds.
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Newsflash: plants get thirsty. And for the thirstiest of plants (like baby’s tears plants), put a sponge at the bottom of the pot before planting or repotting; it’ll act as a water reserve!
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If the feet of your table and/or chairs are scratching up your precious wood flooring, there’s no need to spend money on those little feet pads. Just cut some out of a sponge and glue the tiny pieces to the bottom of the furniture feet. Poof, no more scratches.
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If you’ve got dried gunk stuck to the inside of a bottle or vase, scrubbing it away is nearly impossible. Cut a slit into the side of a sponge, then stick a fork in it. Shove the sponge end into the small opening, using the fork as a handle, and start scrubbing!
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We’ve all accidentally left a carton of spoiled milk in the fridge for too long. And it stinks. To absorb odors and keep your refrigerator smelling fresh and clean, sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge and stick it in the fridge. You smell that? We bet you don’t.
If you don’t have immediate access to an old rag (and you don’t feel like cutting up a T-shirt), apply shoe polish with a dry kitchen sponge! It’ll go on super smoothly. And while kitchen sponges have a plethora of alternative uses, the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser also has some secret powers.
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Whether you’re looking to re-purpose a wine bottle for a DIY project or remove stickers from a middle school trapper keeper, sticky label residue can feel impossible to eliminate. Take it all off with ease using the Magic Eraser. That’s not all that it can remove.
Don’t forget about your plasticware in the cabinets! Sometimes, storage containers are permanently marred by a three-year-old spaghetti sauce stain. Take the Magic Eraser to it, and you’ll have your Tupperware back.
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The Magic Eraser is great for cleaning glass, and it is also ideal for bringing your windowsill back to life. One less thing to worry about!
Clean up grease and stains off your oven to make the appliance look fresh from the factory floor. Before putting Mr. Clean away, be sure to hit the oven window, as well as other doors in the kitchen. Avoid using the eraser on stainless steel surfaces.
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Kitchen cabinet doors are often forgotten when planning the weekly chores, but they become dirty just like any other surface in the house. Take the Magic Eraser to the cabinets and clean away — even the Property Bros. do it!
Like with the oven, the Magic Eraser is also fantastic for cleaning the inside of a microwave. Say goodbye to messy splats of food left from yesterday’s meal — but avoid using this on stainless-steel casings.
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Take care of your iron with the Magic Eraser, removing brown stains from prior burning to potentially save your clothes. But then again, any issues with clothes can usually be handled by Mr. Clean, too!
Take the magic to your closet and remove nasty stains from clothing. The cleaning may take a bit more effort, but the results will be worth it. Complete your outfit with a pair of Mr. Clean-sponsored sparkling shoes.
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Rather than buying extra cleaning products to keep your shoes polished and dirt-free, just use your handy Magic Eraser! The soles of shoes are study enough to handle the abrasion; however, do be careful with leather.
When you can’t find a reliable cleaner to send your leather bags, jackets, or shoes to, rely on Mr Clean, but with great care. Like stainless steel, leather can be damaged by the Magic Eraser if you’re careless.
Along with many other kitchen appliances, the Magic Eraser can be used on your fridge, including the door handles, a commonly neglected part of the kitchen. (Again, avoid stainless steel).
Mr. Clean can take care of your modern electronics, wiping away dirt from the casing and keyboards with ease. But be cautious with this trick, especially around any screens. The abrasive texture of the Magic Eraser could leave scratches.
Kitchen appliances aren’t alone in needing the Mr. Clean method: Messy counters also benefit from the Magic Eraser. Avoid using on any type of stone or rock material, which will become vulnerable to scratches, stains, and other permanent damage.
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Spilled some nibbles on the microfiber couch? Been staring at a car seat coffee stain that just won’t go anywhere? The Magic Eraser might be able to help you there.
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Using a dry-erase board to take notes or draw fun pictures? The Magic Eraser will take marker and anything else right off the surface for a clean shine.
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You can even bring the Magic Eraser into the bathroom by cleaning the counter, floor, and the tub itself. It’s perfect for clearing soap scum in one quick swipe.
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For any scuffs or difficult stains on the floor, Mr. Clean is here to save the day. It’s ideal for leaving your floors — especially carpets — pristine, fresh, and sparkling.
The Magic Erase rcan be used to clear your car’s headlights, and, for extra safety when driving, you can clean up your car’s windows, too. Whatever you do, do not use the eraser to clean your car’s exterior. Don’t mess up that sweet paint job!
Why not cover the whole house by going after your walls, too? Use Mr. Clean with care, and walls and their baseboards will be cleared of stains, markings, and scratches. Be careful not to chip the paint, unless you really want to start over.
Did your pool turn a murky green color? Some have had luck turning their water back to a healthy blue by simply tossing a Magic Eraser into the pool cleaner’s skimmer basket and waiting awhile.
Give your front and backyard a boost by cleaning up any vinyl gate and siding, or patio furniture. The Magic Eraser will quickly do away with dirt and grime, and leave you with the beautiful polished light color you had day one.
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If you’ve ever cleaned a dirty refrigerator shelf, you know it can be tedious, cumbersome, and time-consuming. Make your life a little easier by laying some plastic wrap on the shelf. Then, when it’s time to clean, simply replace the dirty wrapping.
Have you ever opened your suitcase to find a messy surprise? Plastic wrap has you covered! Simply screw the cap to your toiletry bottle over some plastic wrap and it’ll be totally leak-proof. Never worry about your checked bag again!
You might have seen this done before at the grocery store and wondered why. Wrapping plastic around the stems of bananas keeps them from ripening too quick, guaranteeing fewer trips to the store and no more rotten bananas.
Looking for a nice centerpiece for your dining room table? Fortunately, you don’t need to spend a small fortune at Pier 1. Simply place plastic wrap in some water and voila!
If you’ve ever tried to travel with jewelry, or even to store large amounts of it, you know that tangling is inevitable. But plastic wrap can fix that! Simply press a piece of jewelry between two pieces and say goodbye to those pesky tangles.
Every kid loves winter weather, but as soon as a little snow gets under their clothes, you might as well call the whole day off. Keep the kiddies dry and warm by wrapping their legs in plastic wrap before layering up.
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Want to get rid of those pesky blackheads without an expensive spa treatment or mask? Look no further than some plastic wrap and Vaseline! Simply put Vaseline over the breakout, and then cover it in plastic wrap for silky smooth skin in minutes.
Christmas trees are a lot of work, but fear not! You can use plastic wrap to keep all your decorations in place and even store it for next year. Simply grab some strong plastic wrap and work from the bottom to the top.
Ran out of sippy cups for your toddler? Don’t fret. You can use plastic wrap to make your own! Simply apply the wrap to any cup or glass and stick a straw through. It’s as easy as that.
If you think you know all the cooking applications for plastic wrap, think again! For the perfect poached egg, just crack an egg into plastic wrap, tie it up, and drop it into boiling water. Breakfast is served!
Once your little ones come inside to play, you can use plastic wrap as a makeshift apron for arts and crafts projects or messy eaters. Simply apply the wrapping to your child’s shirt and they’re ready to go!
Plastic wrap allows you to create your own personal greenhouse at home for when cooler weather arrives. Simply place supports around the plant and wrap it up tight. Those petunias will be much happier.
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Lettuce is one of the hardest foods to keep fresh, but this hack has you covered — literally! Just put the lettuce in a bowl with a paper towel and then cover with plastic wrap. Now those leaves will stay fresh for up to a week.
Moving can be a massive undertaking, but packing up your silverware organizer doesn’t need to be. Simply cover the tray in plastic wrap and you’re all set. Not only does this keep the silverware organized, but it’ll stay clean to boot!
Those who like to get their hands dirty with DIY projects know paint rollers can be frustrating: leave one unwashed for too long, and the paint/stain ruins it. Wrap the whole thing in plastic to prevent this.
Want to take a bouquet of flowers to a friend or loved one but don’t want them to wilt in transit? Wrapping the base of the stems in a wet paper towel and plastic wrap will keep those buds bright and beautiful.
Do you enjoy baking but struggle with rolling fresh dough? You can make your life a lot easier by putting plastic wrap on each side of the gooey paste. That way, the dough won’t stick to your rolling pin, making the process much simpler and cleaner.
Adding the final touches to a dessert is incredibly satisfying — the icing on the cake, if you will — but expensive piping bags can be a drag. Don’t fret! Just substitute plastic wrap to create a cheap DIY alternative.
Do you enjoy using old-school cameras to take artsy photos? Try this hack to up your game! Simply put some plastic wrap around your lens for a cool haze effect. Plastic bags work well too.
If you have issues with old window frames, your home energy efficiency can suffer greatly. Thankfully, you can use plastic wrap for a quick, cheap solution. Simply place plastic wrap on window edges and blow dry for a brand new seal.
Plastic straws can also prove to be the most versatile tool in your pantry. Forget to order that Hammacher Schlemmer vacuum sealer? There’s no need to panic, because if you’ve got two lungs and a straw you can manually seal bags yourself! Bag, seal, insert straw, suck, suck, suck, and seal again! You just sealed in freshness AND overcame mechanization in one breath!
“This little straw loom of mine, I’m going to let it shine! Let it shine, as I intertwine more yarnnnn!” Or whatever, make up your own song. The point is, looming 101 is now available for everyone. Get out there and get your weave on.
If you have the urge to ease yourself into a potential USSR-like environment and ration your La Croix, straws are your deliverance! Just use your hammer and sickle to puncture a hole in the bottle cap and fashion your straw tap. Water might be a human right, but bubbles are a privilege.
Straw–berries. Strawberries! Get it? They’re delicious! Spending all that time prepping them in the kitchen, however, is not quite as tasty. So break out your trusty straw and instantly core those suckers. Talk about satisfying.
It’s the worst when you get flowers and they start to droop on you after only a few days. Well, with this new hack you can tell your home flora to suck it up! Dress those stems in a little straw corset and they will stand perky and tall, whether they like it or not.
These hacks really just keep getting “butter.” Check out this genius move! Now you can actually enjoy more than the first quarter of your popcorn by inserting a straw into the depths and fracking that butter right on down. This may be the only pipeline vote that gets a unanimous, YES!
Hate it when your ketchup gets all caught up? Well, if you have a straw on hand, you can stick it right on up in that ketchup bottle’s business. The straw will not only unclog the ketchup, but it will also deliver an aerated effect to your condiment.
You can also use straws to organize that messy tangle of cords behind your T.V. Simply cut a plastic straw into small pieces, wrap the cut straw around the cord, and label! Look at this guy — after years of confusion he can now take one look and know that purple is cable, yellow is wire, and red is the cord.
You don’t have to pay Urban Outfitters prices to have your home look like an Urban Outfitters. You can just spray paint a bunch of straws and string them together into a trendy geometrical structure. Throw in a succulent and you’ll be so hip, it’s ridic’.
If you own bag clips, then congratulations you’re a more responsible and organized person than the majority of the world. If you’re not a bag clip kind of person (no shame) you can totally use straws! Fold your bag over a straw and cut a second straw length-wise to then slide over the fold and create a seal. Fresh cake rolls 4 life!
This is a straw siphon. Its purpose is to create a suction that drives the liquids inside the cup, up through the straws, and then out into the sink. If this won’t suck the boredom right out of you, we really don’t know what else will.
Usually, when traveling with jewelry you end up with a mess of tangles. Well, this clever hack-stress had the brilliant idea of sending her chains through the tangle-less tubes of straw land. Now when she touches down in vacation town, she won’t waste any time yanking her own chain.
Worried that your plants will die while you travel for work? Just rig up a wine bottle full of water as pictured below and upright it into your planter. A steady trickle will keep the plants alive and you get an excuse to drink a bottle of wine! It’s a win-win.
If you are an upcycling queen, you should absolutely get to flaunt your conservation crown all around town. Simply section your hair, wrap it around the straws, and bam! A killer look! Twist, shout, and get yo straws out!
Take a hike REI, match and spice holders for camping are now a DIY. Using a corrugated plier you can seal all your essential spices in a straw. Just look at this A+ prepared camper.
There are few things more horrifying than the thought of stepping on a razor in the shower. For whatever cruel reason, those little blade covers always seem to disappear, just inviting disaster. To give yourself a little peace of mind, give your naked razor the straw treatment. Cover those blades, stop a bloodbath.
Ain’t no party like a disco straw party. This crafty craft is super easy to make at home. All it requires is a zip tie and a bundle of straws. Get super creative and pick your favorite fun colors! Tightly cinch your straw bundle, and like magic, a disco straw ball will bloom. Bonus, it’s also extremely effective for the indecisive drinker.
For those out there who like to make putting honey in their tea an elaborate charade, try this hack! Funnel the desired amount of honey (or agave, we see you vegans) into a straw. Once the straw is filled to the desired amount, you can then re-funnel that honey into your tea. Drink and repeat.
Not everyone can be a guitar hero. But, everyone can make a pan flute out of straws and tape, and do whatever you do with that. If at first, you sound a little flat, don’t get discouraged. Practice makes perfect, and we believe in you.
You don’t need to spend money on a frame to hang your favorite pictures. Just pick up some straws, cut, slice, and presto: a totally unique look at a much lower price.
Need to chill drinks quickly for company or your daily commute? Simply wrap the bottles or cans in a damp paper towel and put them in the freezer for a quick chill. Science is cool!
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If you run out of Swiffer pads and need one in a hurry, look no further than your paper towel roll! Just wrap your Swiffer head in a damp paper towel and you’re ready to go!
Spending the day grilling for a holiday or special occasion? Use a mini flag stand as a makeshift paper towel holder. You’ll have easy access and the wind won’t blow the roll away!
Brown sugar has a pesky habit of hardening into clumps as the natural moisture inside evaporates. To get that sugar back out of shape, simply put a wet paper towel over the clumps and microwave for 25 seconds. Problem solved!
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Want to improve the scent of your kitchen? Get your paper towels working overtime by dropping some essential oils inside the cardboard tube. Your paper towel roll now doubles as an air freshener!
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Maximizing the shelf life of your fresh produce can go a long way toward eating healthy on a budget. To protect your veggies and extend their freshness, storing them in a damp paper towel is sure to do the trick!
Feeling some muscle pain and don’t have any ice packs or frozen peas? You can make your own makeshift ice pack by putting a damp paper towel into the freezer for a few minutes and then molding it to your body!
If you’re ever craving coffee but out of filters, have no fear! Simply toss a paper towel into your coffee maker in place of the filter and get to brewing!
Do you ever struggle with slippery cutting boards? Putting a wet paper towel underneath will help alleviate all that annoying sliding and wobbling — and maybe save you a few stitches, too.
Everyone loves fresh bacon, but this delicious treat can be very greasy. For a simple fix, toss those strips onto a few layers of paper towels and let them soak up that gross grease — your body will thank you.
Like fresh veggies, salads can be difficult to keep fresh once exposed to air. But with just a paper towel sealed inside the bag or container, your salads will stay green and delicious for up to a week!
You pour some olive oil from the bottle and a little drips down, making the glass all slimy — it happens to the best of us. To avoid slippery fingers, simply wrap the neck of the bottle in a paper towel and secure with a rubber band.
Pasta or rice keep reheating too dry and hard? Next time, put a damp paper towel on top of the food before microwaving it and your dish will come out as fresh as mama used to make.
Because of their electrical parts, most waffle irons and other plug-in griddles can’t be cleaned in the dish washer or submerged in water. To get the whole thing sparkling clean, a wet paper towel is your best bet.
Just like with pasta and rice, you can liven up veggies in the microwave with the help of a paper towel. All you have to do is wrap the veggies in a dry paper towel before microwaving to keep them crunchy and fresh!
Are you attending a potluck with friends or family and need to bring your own cutlery? Save yourself a game of “I accidentally cut myself” by sheathing knives and other sharp utensils in a paper towel roll tube.
Ran out of stainless steel cleaner? Just put some WD-40 on a paper towel to get your stainless steel looking shiny and brand new in no time!
Cleaning the microwave can be a pain, but this simple hack makes it easy. Simply place a damp paper towel in the microwave for 3 minutes and the steam it releases will do all the work for you!
The year 2020 showed us that toilet paper can sometimes be in short supply, so if you ever find yourself free of TP, just cut a roll of paper towels in half. Be careful, though, because the paper towels won’t be as, well, pleasant as normal toilet paper!
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Transferring gravy from the stove to your gravy boat can get messy. Avoid the cleanup by placing a paper towel underneath the gravy boat before the transfer. This easy hack will save you time and effort on the back end!