Sponges are great companions when you’re cleaning, but if you find yourself with extra sponges that you won’t use for cleaning purposes, try out some of these inventive uses courtesy of This Old House:

  1. Sprout Seeds: if you embed flax, radish or other fast-growing seeds into a damp sponge (placed in an inverted glass bowl in a sunny spot), you’ll start to notice seedlings. Moisten the sponge occasionally to help the process along. When you actually notice the seedlings, transfer them to soil.
  2. Pad Your Grip: make holding a rake or shovel more comfortable by wrapping it with a flexible sponge. Secure it with rubber bands.
  3. Dry the Inside of a Vase: affix a small sponge to a ruler or dowel. Use this contraption to mop up moisture from narrow-necked containers.
  4. Deodorize Your Refrigerator: sprinkle a damp sponge with baking soda and put into an empty fridge drawer to absorb odors.
  5. Protect Scratchable Surfaces: affix small, cut-up sponge squares to the undersides of things that will scratch floors or surfaces, i.e. bottoms of chairs, backs of picture frames or the underside of vases.

Find more uncommon uses over at This Old House’s 10 Uses for Sponges.