What to Do with Old Tennis Balls: Practical Tips and Creative Ideas

Discover innovative ways to give your old tennis balls a new life, while contributing positively to the environment.

Old tennis balls, rather than heading for the landfill, can be given a second life with a bit of creativity and environmental consciousness. From practical uses around the house to fun DIY projects, these seemingly worn-out sports items can be transformed into valuable resources.

This article provides an array of innovative and eco-friendly ideas for repurposing old tennis balls, ensuring that each one serves a purpose beyond the tennis court.

For detailed instructions on each method, keep reading.

Key takeaways:

  • Repurpose old tennis balls to stabilize walkers
  • Use old tennis balls as jar openers
  • Speed up clothes drying with tennis balls in the dryer
  • Transform old tennis balls into massage tools
  • Utilize old tennis balls for lower back pain relief

Reuse Old Tennis Balls to Stabilize Walkers

what to do with old tennis balls

Numerous hospitals, physical therapy clinics, and elderly assistance programs have employed this recycling method:

1. Obtain old tennis balls and make a clean incision about two inches long on one side. This can be done using a utility knife.

2. Slide the tennis ball onto the bottom of each leg of the walker.

3. The grip provided by the tennis ball will enhance stability and prevent the walker from slip accidents.

4. In addition, the tennis ball will protect floors from scratches that could be caused by the metal bottoms of walkers.

Ensure the tennis balls are not overly worn or torn as this could decrease their effectiveness. Replace when necessary. This environmentally friendly practice is not only valuable for safety but also extends the use of old tennis balls, reducing waste.

Repurpose Tennis Balls As Jar Openers

When confronted with a stubborn lid, leverage the flexible nature of old tennis balls to aid in the task. Cut a small X in the ball, large enough to accommodate the circumference of the lids you frequently grapple with. Hold the ball with the X against the lid. Twist with the usual grip strength. The rubber texture enhances your hold, ensuring a successful and pain-free jar opening experience.

  • Cut an X into the ball.
  • Fit the cut section around the lid.
  • Twist the jar open with ease.
  • Rubber texture increases grip.
  • Saves hands from undue strain.

Use Old Tennis Balls to Hasten Clothes Drying

Maximizing the use of a tumble dryer becomes a breeze when Tennis balls are introduced into the mix. Placing two to three of them in the dryer dramatically reduces drying time. Here’s why this method works:

1. Enhances Circulation: Tennis balls facilitate improved air circulation within the dryer. This accelerated air movement quickens the drying process.

2. Efficient Tumbling: The balls create more movement among the clothing items, allowing the hot air to penetrate evenly.

3. Reduces Static: Despite the efficiency they provide, dryers are known culprits of creating static electricity in clothes. Luckily, tennis balls can help prevent this occurrence.

Remember to use clean and undamaged tennis balls exclusively for this use to prevent colors bleeding onto the clothes.

Transform Old Tennis Balls Into Massage Tools

Carve small, rubbery nubs into the tennis balls for texture. A serrated kitchen knife serves as the perfect tool for this task, ensuring your nubs are suitable for deep tissue manipulation.

Use a dense adhesive to attach a handle on the ball. The handle should extend sufficiently for comfortable grip and should be sturdy enough to control the ball’s direction with ease. A wooden dowel rod or a thick wire would suffice.

Place the massager against a wall or lay on it. Go slowly, focusing on knots and tense areas of the body. Avoid applying pressure directly on bones. Remember to breathe, relaxing your muscles more with each exhale.

Maneuver the tool across your body. The intensities will vary depending on the pressure applied. Maintain control with the handle to ensure maximum effectiveness.

With these simple steps, your old tennis balls can be transformed into personal massage tools capable of providing therapeutic relief for your muscles.

Utilize Old Tennis Balls for Lower Back Pain Relief

1. Gathering necessary items: an old tennis ball and small towel.

2. Positioning the tennis ball on a chair, placing it strategically where your lower back hurts.

3. Applying gentle pressure: Slowly sitting on the chair and allowing the tennis ball to press against the sore spot.

4. Adjusting the tennis ball as needed to target the area of pain.

5. Limiting each session to 5 minutes to avoid excess pressure on soft tissues.

6. Repeating twice daily for optimal results: consistency is key to ease lower back pain.

Note: Consult a healthcare professional before starting this or any other pain relief regimen.

Creative Ways to Conceal Valuables Using Tennis Balls

To create the perfect valuables hideaway, select a worn-out tennis ball that won’t be suspect.

1. Cut a small, smooth slit wide enough to insert coins, jewelry, or compact valuable objects. Remember, the longer the slit, the less secure your items will be.

2. Line the ball’s interior with a soft fabric, such as felt or cotton, to prevent objects from rattling around when the ball is moved.

3. Use the tennis ball’s natural bounce to your advantage – place it amongst other loose tennis balls or in other typical sporting scenarios. This method works best when the ball doesn’t look out of place; a tennis ball on a bookshelf will raise more suspicion than on a sports equipment shelf.

Note: Anytime you need to retrieve stored items, simply squeeze the tennis ball along the cut slit.

Improve Garage Parking With Old Tennis Balls

Struggling to perfectly park your vehicle every time in your garage? Old tennis balls can play a part in solving this problem.

Step 1: First, park your vehicle in your desired optimal position. Make note of where your windscreen meets the ceiling of your garage.

Step 2: Thread a string through an old tennis ball and securely fasten it to the ceiling of the garage, so that it gently touches your windscreen precisely where noted.

Step 3: Now, each time you pull into your garage, simply align your windshield with the tennis ball. As soon as the ball makes contact with your windshield, you’ll know you’ve parked perfectly.

Remember, always hang the tennis ball high enough to avoid contact with your car’s roof when the garage door is opened or closed. This efficient use of an old tennis ball not only helps in optimal parking but also extends the longevity of your car by avoiding unnecessary dents or scratches.


Can you put tennis balls in the recycling bin?

No, tennis balls are typically not accepted in most curbside recycling programs.

Do tennis balls go bad if not used?

Tennis balls, even unopened, go bad after approximately two years, losing their bounciness and firmness, and should be replaced for an optimal playing experience.

What are eco-friendly alternatives to throwing away old tennis balls?

Eco-friendly alternatives to throwing away old tennis balls include repurposing them as dog toys, using them for motor skill activities in schools, or donating them to animal shelters.

How can old tennis balls be repurposed for different sports or recreational activities?

Old tennis balls can be repurposed for different sports and recreational activities such as baseball training, dog play, foot massages, and even garden composting.

Are there any organizations dedicated to recycling or repurposing old tennis balls?

Yes, organizations such as Rebounces and RecycleBalls are dedicated to recycling or repurposing old tennis balls.