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You may or may not keep a sponge handy at your kitchen sink to wash dishes or wipe things down. Sure, sponges are known to get germy in the kitchen, holding onto more bacteria than your toilet (via Forbes), which might be one reason why you have forgone them in your household. However, you can use a sponge in some clever ways and avoid the whole germ factor. You can use sponges for various things around the house, and many of the uses have absolutely nothing to do with cleaning. You can use them in crafting, sprouting seeds, making ice packs, and so much more (via Pure Wow).  

Home Expert Tips recommends using sponges for fun artwork. The children in your life would likely enjoy some sponge painting, and doing so is easy and convenient since you can easily cut sponges into a variety of shapes. Plus they hold onto the paint, preventing spills. Another fun use that involves kids is turning brightly colored sponges into building blocks (via Pure Wow). They are quieter and easier to pick up than wooden blocks. Of course, there are plenty of other great uses for these often overlooked household helpers.

Here's how to make sponges work for your household

It seems that this affordable household product has nearly endless uses. For instance, if your fridge smells bad, simply grab a damp sponge and sprinkle baking powder on it (via Pure Wow). Place it inside your refrigerator in an out-of-the-way location. The best part? You can repeat this every day by rinsing and sprinkling more baking powder on the sponge. You can also use a sponge in your refrigerator’s vegetable drawer. Home Expert Tips suggests you place a dry sponge in with your veggies and it will absorb any moisture, extending the life of your produce. 

Sponges have several uses when it comes to clothing, too. First, you can soak them in fabric softener and throw them in the dryer as a dryer sheet substitute (via Pure Wow). They also make excellent pet hair removers. Simply dampen a sponge and run it over fabric or furniture to remove unwanted stray hairs. Sponges also work to help remove pills from sweaters. Use a textured sponge and gently rub said pills off the garment. Your shoes might also benefit from the sponge treatment. From using them to fill in the toe of too-large shoes to shining the outside of your favorite footwear, these soft rectangles come in handy in countless ways (via Home Expert Tips).

The surprising ways sponges help in the garden

In addition to helping inside your house, sponges are helpful in the garden, too. If you place a sponge at the bottom of your pot, it will soak up excess moisture, ensuring that your plants’ roots remain moist (via Expert Home Tips). Even before you have a plant to pot, sponges can help with sprouting seeds (via Pure Wow). Dampen a sponge, sprinkle seeds on top of it, and place a glass bowl over the sponge. Before you know it, you will see little sprouts of green. 

If you decide to plant your newly sprouted plants (or other plants you have) outdoors, you can use a sponge as padding to protect your knees as you dig in the earth (via Expert Home Tips). To help them stay as you move around a bit, use a loose headband to secure them to your knees. If your plants get dirty, you can use a dampened sponge to wipe the dirt off the leaves gently. This tip works well for indoor and outdoor greenery. 

Although you may not use a sponge to wash dishes in your kitchen, there’s still a wide variety of uses for them in your home.

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