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Life Hacks

From Ice Packs to Umbrella Drips: 4 More Brilliant Uses For Sponges

They're multipurpose marvels.


Sponges are something you likely have in your kitchen right now. Yes, they’re great for washing dishes and scrubbing away grime — but did you know there’s even more they can do? We’ve already covered 10 out-of-the-box ways that sponges can make your life easier, like helping veggies stay fresh, and even making your shoes fit more comfortably. Keep reading to see four more ways to use sponges and get the most bang for your buck from this simple staple.

1. Keep food cold.

The weather is warmer and pot luck season is finally in full swing. You’re bringing a big batch of your famous potato salad to the church pot luck, and you know fridge space will be tight at the church. If you don’t have extra ice packs, try this: Soak sponges in water, then place each in a resealable plastic bag and freeze until needed. Pack the frozen sponges with your food to keep it cold. When they’re thawed, squeeze them out and dry them. Problem solved.

2. Keep a paintbrush wet.

You love painting. It’s relaxing and engaging. But it takes a good amount of time to do it right. The paint on your craft project needs to dry overnight before you can add a second coat, and you don’t want to wash the brushes since you’ll be using them again soon. The solution: Place them in a resealable container with a damp sponge. Water on the sponge will keep the bristles just moist enough so you can resume painting tomorrow.

3. Remove nails without wall damage.

Did you hang up the masterpiece you just painted, only to realize it would actually look better on another wall? No sweat. The next time you have to pull a nail out of a wall, slide a sponge between the hammer and the wall, just below the nail. Press the head of the hammer against the sponge and use the hammer’s claw to pull the nail out. The sponge will act as a compressible barrier for the hammer so you can free the nail without leaving behind scratches or indentations on the wall.

4. Sop up rain from a dripping umbrella.

April showers bring May flowers… and they also bring puddles in and around your umbrella stand. Unwanted water on the floor is not only unpleasant — it can also cause damage if it’s left for too long. To prevent a mess: Place a dry sponge or two in the bottom of the stand. The sponges will help absorb any water dripping off your umbrellas, and you can easily wring out the damp sponges as needed to keep the area water-free.

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First for Women.

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