The Simple Trick That’ll Make Your Sink Area a Million Times Better

updated May 14, 2021
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sponge holder in sink, falling down

Keeping your sink area tidy can be as simple as having the right organizers for all your dish-washing gear. But what if you don’t want to take up more valuable counter space than you absolutely have to? That’s where sponge holders with suction cups come in handy. Just (literally) stick yours on the inside of the sink and set your sponge in it for a simple, convenient way to grab your sponge when you need it — until, that is, the suction cups start to lose their suction power, and the holder starts shimmying down the edge of the sink. 

According to this viral TikTok, there’s a really easy and inexpensive way to solve that frustrating, all-too-common problem. And all you’ll need is something you already have in your home: petroleum jelly!

Here’s how the hack works: When your sponge holder won’t stick to the sink, simply grab a paper towel (or your fingertip), dab it in petroleum jelly, and apply a bit to the inside of the suction cups. In the video, it looks straightforward — and hundreds of commenters seem excited that it works. I thought the hack was brilliant, too, but I have a few caveats from my test-drive.

First: Don’t use too much petroleum jelly! When I tried it, I put on way too much, which only made the suction cups slippery and caused the sponge holder to shimmy down the sink even more. Rule of thumb: The layer of jelly should be barely visible. Also, the paper towel seems like an important component of getting this trick right; directly applying the jelly didn’t work as well as dabbing it on with the corner of a paper towel. (If you don’t want to be wasteful, you can also try a dry rag). Lastly, make sure the area of the sink you’re sticking the sponge holder to isn’t just clean, but dry. Food gunk or too much water will have the opposite effect!

I love this hack because it’s so darn easy, but also because it’s so versatile. The trick also applies to shower organizers with suction cups, and it should also work for anything that stays up via suction cup on other surfaces, including your kitchen sink, bath tile surfaces, and mirrors. 

Petroleum jelly doesn’t work for you, or you don’t have any on hand? According to commenters, there are a few other ways to restore suction power to suction cups. You can, apparently, boil the entire sponge holder in water, or wipe down the suction cups with isopropyl alcohol. Either way you do it, restoring something you already have is more convenient and less wasteful than buying an entirely new organizer.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Your Suction Cup Organizer Won’t Stay Put? I Tested This $2 Hack and It Worked!