We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Sea Sponges Used for?

By Jane Harmon
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Sea sponges are very simple animals that live on the ocean floor. They attach themselves permanently to an anchorage, and move sea water through their bodies, filtering out tiny organisms for food. The channels that the water flows through account for their hole-riddled structure, and is what makes their composition so useful.

They are harvested by divers; sponge-diving has been a family tradition in many areas around the Mediterranean Sea and off the coast of Florida in the U.S. They have been used as cleaning tools for thousands of years.

Manufactured cellulose sponges have decreased the market for natural sea sponges, and for common household cleaning use, they are certainly sufficient and much cheaper. Still, there are some applications where you might want to spend the extra money to get the genuine article.

If you love your car, you might want a large natural sea sponge to wash it with. When wet, sea sponges are very soft, much softer than their artificial cousins, and much less likely to damage a finish.

Some women prefer the gentle texture of a sea sponge to apply makeup, and remove it. Artists have always used sea sponges, both in clean-up of their tools and as another way to apply paint to a surface. Home decorators are now often 'sponging' paint on walls to create a particular look, such as a faux marble or stone.

One of the most interesting recent (and more than likely ancient) applications of sea sponges is as natural tampons. Several lines of natural bodycare products now offer sea sponge tampons, which are nothing more than sea sponges of a particular size. The sea sponge is soaked in water, squeezed as dry as possible, and then inserted into the vagina, where it absorbs the menstrual flow. If it is uncomfortable, the user can simply trim away some of the sponge to get a more comfortable 'fit'. The sponge can be removed and rinsed and reinserted every few hours until the user's cycle has ceased. It can then be cleaned with vinegar, or peroxide and air dried before being stored for future use. When cleaned properly, a sea sponge used as a tampon can last six months or more, and is much more earth-friendly than disposable tampons. They also do not carry the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome that regular tampons pose.

Sea sponges are a renewable resource; unless the oceans become too polluted for them to live, we can count on a steady supply.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon350381 — On Oct 04, 2013

Why the heck would you use a sponge in place of a tampon?

By anon338328 — On Jun 12, 2013

They don't have blood so we can't say warm or cold blooded, plus that way of calling animals is only for vertebrates, like reptiles or avians.

By OeKc05 — On Apr 12, 2012

I wash my car with a sea sponge. It is so much softer than the old cotton rags I once used on my last car. I don't ever worry about scratching the paint with my sea sponge.

It almost feels too soft to clean with after I dip it in soapy water. It never lets me down, though. I can easily scrub away grease and dirt with it.

The coolest thing about the sea sponge is that it doesn't hang onto dirt and grease like other rags and sponges do. Once I clean it, it is seriously clean.

I always hated using stained rags to wash my car, because I was afraid I might actually be making it dirtier. With the sea sponge, I have a clean start and a clean finish every time.

By StarJo — On Apr 11, 2012

@seag47 – I am a painter, and I use a sea sponge for a couple of different things. I work mostly with acrylics, which are water based, so they can easily be manipulated with a wet sponge.

Any time I make a brush stroke where I didn't intend to, I use a moist sponge to quickly wipe it away. The sponge will pick up the paint rather than smear it, so it is better than using a wet brush.

I like to paint underwater scenes, so sometimes, I use the sea sponge to actually paint a sea sponge the easy way. I dip one side of the sponge in paint and press it onto the canvas. Once the sponge image dries, I can go back and add highlights and shadows to give it depth, but the sea sponge itself provides the main structure.

By seag47 — On Apr 10, 2012

I am currently studying art in college, but we have yet to use any sea sponges. I am interested in how they are used.

Does anyone here know exactly what artist do with sea sponges? I can see someone dipping one in paint and pressing it to a canvas for an interesting texture, but that is about all I can envision that they would be good for.

I want to learn all the tricks and techniques that I possibly can. It would be cool to find out about sea sponges before the rest of my class does.

By Perdido — On Apr 10, 2012

I can't imagine using a sea sponge as a tampon. It sounds like a lot of trouble!

I would hate to have to handle it with all that blood on it. Also, even though it may be safe to reuse, it doesn't seem sanitary to keep reinserting something that has been soaked in blood and moisture.

I'm sorry that it isn't as good for the environment, but I am going to stick to disposable tampons. Sea sponges sound like they require way too much effort and a strong stomach to use for a whole week once a month.

By anon9122 — On Feb 28, 2008

are Sponges Protostomes or Deuterostomes?

By anon215 — On Apr 18, 2007

Are sponges cold or warm blooded?

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.