Even though most of us own a dishwasher, it’s always a good idea to keep a couple of sponges under the sink as the standard kitchen sponge can do much more than just wash your dishes! Essential for any cleanup, these thirsty cellulose rectangles boast an absorbing array of other uses.

Take inspiration from us: don’t confine this versatile item to your kitchen alone and try these 20 unusual ways to use your sponge all over the house instead!

1. Use a sponge to make simple ice pack for treating swelling and bruising. 

2. Embed flax, radish, or other fast-growing seeds in a damp sponge and place it under an inverted glass bowl in a sunny location.

3. If you are having difficulties removing old wallpaper, dip a sponge in hot water and fabric softener and rub the mixture all over the wallpaper. This will help loosen the old, dried paste and make removal a snap.

4. Get crafting with the kids & make some easy sponge art.

5. Attach small pieces of sponges to the bottom of your decor, furniture legs, or on picture frame stands. The sponge pieces will prevent scratching when these items are moved around.

6. Place a sponge in the bottom of a planter before adding soil, to keep water in reserve.

7. Keep your refrigerator smelling clean and fresh by sprinkling baking soda on a damp sponge and placing in the corner to absorb odors. Rinse and repeat daily and your icebox will smell its best.

8. Cut up a sponge into small squares to use as “toe-separators” for at-home pedicures.

9. Adhere small sponge squares to the underside of vases, the bottom of chair feet, or the back of picture frames so that they don’t make scuff marks.

10. Have pet hair embedded in the sofa or carpet? No problem! Simply take a damp sponge and wipe gently across upholstery or carpeting; the hair will come off quickly and easily.

11. We’ve all used bubble wrap and tissue paper, but have you ever considered using your sponges to pad out your valuables when packing? Their bouncy, cushioning texture make them highly effective for this purpose, and they’ll keep all objects, however delicate, perfectly intact.

12. If you’re planning on sending a big batch of letters at once (like “Thank You” notes, invitations, etc.), save your tongue by using a damp sponge to moisten the envelope seals.

13. Make a bar of soap last longer between uses by allowing it to dry out on a sponge next to the sink or in the shower.

14. Keep your vegetables fresher for longer by preventing moisture from accumulating in the bottom of the refrigerator crisper. Line the bottom of the drawer with dry sponges and replace any time they seem wet. Removing this excess moisture will help keep veggies at their peak.

15. Use the scrubbing side of a kitchen sponge to remove pills from sweaters or furniture.

16. Most entryway umbrella stands have a fairly shallow receptacle at the base, which can quickly fill with water on a rainy day. Protect your flooring by placing a dry sponge in the bottom of the umbrella stand to soak up excess water.

17.  Use your sponge to create a nifty nail varnish jar!

18. Keep yours healthy and looking great by wiping them over with a damp sponge every month or so and they’ll thank you for it!

19. Give your children something pretty on the eye and easy on the ears to play with: cut a selection of different colored sponges into strips and they’ll be able to use them as building blocks for creating all sorts of masterpieces.

20. No spare cloths for applying shoe polish? Another great way to apply it is with a dry sponge. The polish will go on super smoothly and evenly thanks to the spongy texture.

These are some truly nifty hacks that are bound to help you when you’re in a bind! Which one was your favorite?