Skip to main content

This cruise hack works, but the internet thinks it's totally unnecessary

cruise sponge hack hero

If you’re looking for cruise hacks to make your vacation more enjoyable, look no further than TikTok. A quick search on the app will result in thousands of videos with people sharing their best hacks to simplify your cruise vacation.

Because you’re on a moving cruise ship, you do not always have the same luxuries that you’re used to with a land-based vacation. Plus, your cabin will likely be smaller than most hotel rooms. Some tips and tricks are well-known in the cruising industry, such as bringing magnetic hooks to hang on your cabin walls for utilizing space, but not all cruise hacks might be worth your time or money.

One viral cruise hack, posted by Cruising Insiders, has been gaining a lot of traction online. The user refers to this sponge hack as, “The ultimate cruise cabin hack” that will “make your cruise so much easier.”

Jewel of the Seas

The video has 2.5 million views and over 74,500 likes on TikTok. Thousands of people responded in the comments, with some questioning why the hack was necessary.

While you might not want to think about dishes on your cruise vacation, others appreciated having the option to clean things like water bottles, baby bottles, and coffee cups in their own cabin.

The hack involves just two simple items: a sponge and liquid dish soap. While this cruise hack certainly works, the internet thinks it’s totally unnecessary. Here’s how it works and why many think it isn’t worth your time on your cruise vacation.

First, you’ll want to purchase or find a cheap sponge and some dish soap for this "game-changing" cruise hack


The TikTok from Cruising Insiders starts with a trip to the grocery store to purchase a sponge, along with liquid dish soap. The video suggests purchasing the cheapest sponge and smaller bottle of dish soap you can find to save money.

Of course, you might have both of these items in your kitchen already, which would also be perfectly fine for this hack to work, so this step is not necessary if you have both of these items on hand.

During the introduction, Cruising Insiders also states that she learned about this cruise hack on YouTube, and it’s been a total game-changer for her.

Next, you will cut the sponge into tiny squares and drizzle them with liquid dish soap


The goal of this soap hack is to have small, individual squares soaked in soap that you can use throughout your cruise. Since you have a sink in your cruise cabin, the soapy sponge can be used to properly clean anything from cutlery to baby bottles and coffee cups.

Start cutting the sponge in tiny squares with as many as you think you’ll need for your cruise. “I know this makes no sense right now, but follow me until the end and it will,” says Cruising Insider while cutting up the sponge.

Next, you’ll place these individual sponges in a single layer on a plate. Take the liquid dish soap and drizzle the soap over the sponge squares. Make sure you drizzle enough soap across each sponge to make sure it’s evenly distributed.

Once you have the sponge square drizzled with soap, take the plate outside and place it in the sun


In the TikTok video, the cruise hack continues with instructions for bringing the soap-soaked sponges outside. Place the plate in an area where it will receive ample sunlight, so the sponges will thoroughly dry.

While the sponges sit in the sunlight, the soap will eventually absorb the liquid dish soap. Make sure the weather forecast does not call for rain, as one responder noted that her sponge squares turned into a soapy mess when she forgot about inclement weather.

Once the sponges are dry and the soap has been absorbed, the sponges are ready to be used or packed away for your cruise.

Now that the sponges are ready to be used, you can wash things like your coffee cups and cutlery right in your cruise cabin


The TikTok video continues to show how the sponges can be put to use in the sink while washing a mug. Instead of waiting for your stateroom attendant to bring clean dishes, you can simply clean the mug directly in your sink with the sponge square.

Most cruise ship cabins come with at least two cups to use for water, while some suites might have coffee makers and mugs to use with coffee cups.

Cruising Insider explains how the sponge hack could be useful for multiple people staying in a stateroom who need to share mugs each morning. The sponge squares allow you to clean whatever you need in the sink very easily and thoroughly.


The squares are also reusable until the soap has been completely extracted from the sponge. You can simply toss these in the trash when you're done. Cruising Insider also shows how easy it is to travel with the tiny squares, as she places them in a small baggie for bringing onboard. 

The responses were mixed, with some saying this sponge hack was a great idea

Espresso on Royal Caribbean

As with anything, some found this cruise hack to be helpful, while most said it was totally unnecessary. A few responded that this was a great idea and thanked Cruising Insider for the useful cruise hack.

“I love this idea for cups and reusable straws! You can’t be too careful with cleanliness on a cruise ship, in my opinion. Thank you,” said one commenter.

Another viewer wrote, “What a great little hack, I must remember this. This would be great for traveling."

“Great idea! I am going to do this for my cruise,” said another person.

Balcony stateroom Royal Caribbean

Others mentioned that this would be great for parents bringing baby bottles onboard: “This would have been amazing when my kids were babies! It was so hard washing bottles in the room!!!” 

Some felt that this could be a good tip for cleaning your own water bottles, as these can get dirty throughout your cruise and, obviously, cannot be replaced by your cabin steward

A few people even commented that this sponge hack would be perfect for those who like to camp, stating that this is a good camping hack rather than cruising hack. Some said this was a great hack for any instance where you’d want to have quick access to cleaning. One example could be on a long road-trip, where you could wash whatever you need in a hotel or bathroom sink.

However, most people in the comment section found the sponge hack to be unnecessary

NCL Studio

While the cruise hack certainly works, the majority of viewers found this hack to be totally unnecessary. Doing house chores on a cruise is understandably a hot topic. Vacation is meant to be an escape from reality, where you leave behind most of your responsibilities like cooking, cleaning and working.

“Who does dishes on vacation,” commented one viewer.

Another person argued, “I get the concept by why do you need to cut up the sponge? It’s not like they take up that much room in your bag.”

“No. HECK no. Cruising is for me not to have to clean or cook. Literally just got back from one two days ago. The only thing I washed was myself,” said one viewer.


Many agreed with this sentiment. Most people commented something along the lines of, “I absolutely loathe doing dishes! I can’t think of anything worse than doing dishes while on vacation! Please tell me you’re joking!”

I can’t say that I disagree, as I am typically not eating and drinking in my stateroom cabin very often. I’ve never wished that I had a soapy sponge to clean anything. If I do find myself ordering room service, everything is brought directly to my cabin and taken away once the stateroom attendant comes to clean.

Plus, you can always ask your cabin attendant for more mugs or cups. If, for instance, you have four people in your cabin, simply ask them to give you four brand-new cups each day when they're servicing your room. 

Regardless, some could find this viral sponge hack useful, especially those sailing on longer cruises

Room Service

While I might not be heading to the store immediately before my next cruise to get a sponge for this hack, I did find it quite clever. While the sponge hack might not be universally helpful, some unique cases could find this idea useful.

In particular, those sailing on longer itineraries - or even world cruises - could find something like this helpful. These longer sailings are less like vacation because you are almost living aboard a moving vessel. Crew members who live onboard cruise ships could also find this hack useful to save space in their tiny living quarters.

For example, I lived on a ship for a semester during college with a program called Semester at Sea. Having these little soap-soaked sponges would have been nice for cleaning my water bottle or anything else in my cabin. I ended up doing laundry for four months in my stateroom sink, and access to cleaning supplies was limited while cruising around the world.

Regardless, I don’t think this hack is a cruising "game-changer" that will make my life "so much easier" onboard. Having dirty dishes is not a perpetual problem that I find myself facing on a cruise ship. In fact, I really do not worry about dirty dishes while cruising other than rinsing out my water bottle from time to time.

What do you think? Do you find this sponge hack useful or is it totally unnecessary?

Loading Comments