8 Surprising Ways to Re-Use Kitchen Sponges

March 27, 2012 View all articles in Home

It's smelly. It's covered in old food particles. It's turned a funky color, so you don't want to use it even though you've washed it over and over again.  So, of course, you throw it away. Well, just what else are you supposed to do with an old dish sponge after you've used it a few times? The ChasingGreen team found themselves asking the same question, which is why we've done a little digging and have come up with the following ways to re-use them!

First of all, you'll want to make sure that mangled and weird-looking sponge is clean before you use it again. Just pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds; run it in the dishwasher; or put it in your washing machine along with kitchen rags and towels.

UPCYCLING TIPS FOR YOUR KITCHEN SPONGE

Make a Scrubby Sponge: Wrap your sponge in the plastic mesh that onions or other produce like oranges come packaged in at the grocery store. Secure the mesh with a re-used bread or twist tie, and like magic, you've got a DIY scrubby sponge!

Water Plants: If you have super thirsty potted houseplants that always seem to dry out no matter how much you water them, just cut up used sponges and place them, after they've been dampened, in the bottom of the pots to help the plants retain moisture.

Sop up Umbrella Overrun: If your umbrella stand seems to collect a small waterfall every time you come home after a rainy day, try placing a sponge in its base.

Make Soap Last Longer: Nobody likes grabbing a slimy bar of soap in the shower. To make your soap bars last longer and become more user-friendly, place a sponge in the bottom of your soap dish. The sponge will absorb the excess moisture after your shower so the soap can dry out.

Protect Fragile Items: If you're shipping or storing small, breakable items that can come into contact with a little water without any harm, you can secure a dampened sponge around the valuable item with a rubber band. As the sponge dries, it will conform to whatever it's wrapped around and be protected. You can unpack the item by dipping it in water. And you can re-use the sponge again!

Remove Lint: Give clothes and upholstery a quick wipe down with a dampened, wrung-out sponge to easily remove lint and pet fur. You can remove the captured, unwanted fuzz and re-use the sponge again simply by running your fingers over its surface; the lint should come off in a ball for easy disposal.

Make a Play Garden : Using an old soap dish, a glass bowl, a sponge, and the seeds of a plant like Lobelia, flax, or chia, you can make an easy, renewable play garden with your kids! Just cut the sponge to fit the soap dish, add water until it is moist, sprinkle the seeds liberally over the top, then prop an inverted glass bowl over it until the seeds begin to grow. With bright light and daily watering, the garden will keep growing for weeks!

Make Paint Stamps: Cut old kitchen sponges into shapes like hearts, circles, or butterflies, then dip them in paint and press them onto paper or fabric.

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