Smart Cleaning Uses for Sponges

5 ways to use sponges at home and in the garden.

from Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things

Make flowerpots hold water longer
If your potted houseplants dry out too quickly after watering, when you repot them, try this simple trick for keeping the soil moist longer. Tuck a damp sponge in the bottom of the pot before filling it with soil. It’ll act as a water reservoir. And it will also help prevent a gusher if you accidentally over-water.

Keep your veggies fresh
Moisture that collects at the bottom of your refrigerator bins hastens the demise of healthful vegetables. Extend their life by lining bins with dry sponges. When you notice that they’re wet, wring them out and let them dry before putting them back in the fridge. Every now and then, between uses, let them soak in some warm water with a splash of bleach to discourage the growth of mold.

Stretch the life of soap
A shower is so refreshing in the morning — until you reach for the soap and are treated to the slimy sensation of a bar that’s been left to marinate in its own suds. You’ll enjoy bathing more and your soap will last longer if you park a sponge on the soap dish. It’ll absorb moisture so soap can dry out.

Protect fragile items
If you’re shipping or storing small, fragile valuables that won’t be harmed by a little contact with water, sponges are a clever way to cushion them. Dampen a sponge, wrap it around the delicate item, and use a rubber band to secure it. As it dries, the sponge will conform to the contours of your crystal ashtray or porcelain figurine. To unpack it, just dip the item in water again. You’ll even get your sponge back!

Lift lint from fabric
To quickly remove lint and pet fur from clothes and upholstery, give the fabric a quick wipe with a dampened and wrung-out sponge. Just run your fingers over the sponge and the unwanted fuzz will come off in a ball for easy disposal.