How can I reuse or recycle … old tennis balls?

Tennis ball
A few weeks ago, I did a post about old tennis rackets but what about old tennis balls?

What can you do with them once they’ve been punctured or misshapen to such an extent that even the dog rejects them as a play thing?

(Photo by vierdrie)

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52 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle … old tennis balls?”


  1. Ted says:

    An old tennis ball makes a good cover for a towbar ball to stop it rusting. That requires one vehicle per tennis ball though, so is not particularly efficient.

  2. dancing girl says:

    Yes, a great idea for keeping the grease from the tow ball getting on peoples’ clothes.

  3. rita says:

    Would it be possible to make them into hanging bird food containers?
    Or to stick on the ends of canes being used in the garden to protect people from eye damage.

  4. amm says:

    You could put them on spiky fence posts, bed posts, radiator controls etc to stop children getting hurt heads.

  5. Joan says:

    If they are split or worn out cut in half and create slug collectors – leave in strategic locations in the garden and then collect the slugs etc – you can decide how you want to dispose of them -my local birds find them a treat!

  6. VTSheik says:

    I often use old tennis balls in my dryer cycles. The balls help fluff around your clothes in the dryer, which gets them more air. Essentially, this helps lessen your dryer running time. I usually use around five balls, and they last forever…so this may notbe that efficient either.

    Also, using tennis balls in your dryer cycle is great for balnkets or pillows with feathers, as it helps prevent them from lumping together.

  7. leslie says:

    They slit them then use them to put on the bottoms of the metal chair legs in the classrooms at the elementary school here – cuts way down on the noise as the chairs are moved around on the tile floors.

  8. Dave says:

    I sell them to people with dogs 25p each and also cricket clubs use them to get the children in to cricket without using the hard balls

  9. Answerer says:

    You can cut them out and put magnets in them for some fun.

  10. Johnny says:

    Those are nifty ideas to get rid of a few, but what about a load of balls? I constantly cycle through tennis balls, and I find myself with no option but to throw thema way.

    • Melinda says:

      I’m a teacher and I use tennis balls by the boxful or pass them on to other teachers. As mentioned above, it greatly reduces the noise and makes desks easier to move around. At 4 balls to each chair and 4 more per desk, they can be used in great quantities. Also, they get really dirty and need to be replaced after a year or so.

    • holly says:

      i am looking for some to make dog toys with – recycle and make dogs happy – it’s a win win. you can send some to me – i am in the dc area if that works for you.

    • Anonymous says:

      I could use 240 or so in my classroom. I have 30 chairs and 30 desks, 4 legs each. It is an art room, so we move around a lot. If you’ve got a batch you are going to throw away, let me know!
      mspdgtt@yahoo.com
      I have seen the “official” chair feet covers, but they are $1 each–like I said, I teach art and there is no budget for chair feet covers, so free tennis balls would be great!

  11. madlizzie says:

    How about making some poi?
    Get two small string bags the kind you put you laundry tablets in and put a ball in each of them. Attach some string to them, and make some finger attachments and you get a great circus toy!

  12. Lesley says:

    I remember seeing one of the Wildlife Trusts had used a number of tennis balls as homes for dormice (or possibly harvest mice – it was a long time ago). They cut a hole in the tennis ball so the mousy thing could get in and out and put them around the area that they lived. It seemed to be quite successful.

  13. crancy5 says:

    donate them to your local elementary school. they use them on chair and desk legs.

  14. njtomboy says:

    I’ve seen the elderly &/or hadicap use them on the bottom of their walkers, canes & crutches….

  15. mildred lane says:

    They are used at school ,split and placed on the legs of the desk that the kids sit in.

  16. Sarah says:

    I am looking for old tennis balls myself. Would anyone know where I can get some from. Have tried a couple of tennis clubs, but they are not very nice!!

  17. hells says:

    Send them all to me – I am disabled so the only way I can exercise my dog is to go to the park armed with a racket and balls. He runs like crazy but sadly isn’t that great at finding them – and since I can’t go looking for them, we go through quite a few. Any donations are very welcome!

  18. Melanie says:

    You already have this one, but seriously, it is true, Old Tennis Balls are great for schools. I use them on my art stools…I am an elementary art teacher. It cuts WAY down on noise in the classroom. The technology teacher uses them in her lab as well for the same reason.

  19. Freeman says:

    Cut the ball in half to place paper clips. It just like a tumbler.

  20. Freeman says:

    Put few balls into a bag as a cushion.

  21. Jobo says:

    They make great inconspicuous hide-y spaces, just make a slit fill with your favourite hiding item, place in an inconspicuous space, although, not where anyone is going to play with it, or throw it out. This is what I used before I had a bank account.

    • BD says:

      There is a new company that specializes in recycling tennis balls. You might check them out (rebounces.com)

  22. SoundGreen says:

    Try rebounces.com

    The only system in the world that Replay, Reuses and Recycles tennis balls

    Cheers

  23. Ivan says:

    I’m a tennis coach and I cut them in half, color them and use them for markers. I also made a coloured hanging mobile for my daughter.

    • Ivan,

      Hi. My name is Grant Garland. I represent Rebounces.com. I saw that you are a tennis coach and thought that you might be interested in our business. Please visit our website at your convenience.

      Sincerely,

      Grant Garland
      Rebounces.com

  24. louisa says:

    Jennifer just emailed me to say:

    There’s a company in the states of Arkansas and Missouri that take in tennis balls. They re-pump balls that are still intact, reuse the ones that can’t be re-pumped, and then recycle the ones that can’t be re-pumped or reused. Their website is http://www.rebounces.com/

  25. Jodie says:

    what about donating some to a dog shelter?

  26. Me says:

    I just throw mine over to my neighbors dogs they enjoy them.

  27. thestoob says:

    They make great massage devices. Find a flat wall that you can stand up against. Put the tennis ball behind you into the muscle along your shoulder blade, then press your back into the wall. You should be able to move up and down a little bit and massage some of the muscles. Once you’ve found one of your knots, just lean into the ball and breathe deep for as long as you can hold it. You will likely be sore after. You can do this with your feet, your face, your calves, etc.

  28. einalbert says:

    10Stoe.com recycles tennis balls by converting them into rubber sole patches to double the life of worn tennis and athletic shoes.

  29. Emily says:

    an idean nobody has thought of yet- take googly eyes, a peice of cardboard cut into a small circle for the base, and a button or bead for the nose. use piepe cleaners for the antennae and anything els you might need for decorationg.
    1. use a hot glue gun to glue on the bse. this will help it stand up.
    2. glue on the eyes, nose, and antennae, and anything else for decorations.
    3. let the glue set for about two minutes.
    4. enjoy your new pet!

  30. Jean Ferrara says:

    I play lots of tennis; Atlanta, GA has Huge tennis org. “ALTA.” We generate many used tennis balls. I hate to put them in the trash only to have them end up in landfills!

    The only ideas I’ve heard are: elementary schools for desk and chair legs; rest homes for legs of walkers; dog shelters.

    Any other ideas will be welcomed.

  31. Iain Singer says:

    Give them to physio therapists, athletes, gymnasiums, anywhere where athletes or joggers train. I use a one for massage purposes over tight muscles.

    Iain

  32. Tatsuya says:

    Make some poi. Take 2 tennis balls and put them into tube socks. It’s quite easy to make, and hours of fun! Just follow this tutorial and you’ll have your own poi in no time!

    http://www.homeofpoi.co.uk/lessons_all/teach/Library-How-to-make-your-own-gear-Fabric-Poi-Sock-Poi-12_57_208

  33. Mitch says:

    Minimum of 200. Looks like they will send you the label, if you provide the box. I only have 14 and will have to pay for my own shipping.

    http://www.rebounces.com/

  34. Anonymous says:

    how much does it cost to recycle tennis balls?

  35. Cookie Brookie says:

    You can also cut a slit somewhere and use it as a change purse, key holder, or something that will hold stuff(paperclips, sticky notes, small highliters, etc.).

    Have fun!!!!!! :D :D :D :) :) :) :D :) :D :) :D :)

    Cokkie Brookie

  36. AMB says:

    Hi,

    Try this new way of recycling tennis balls. It is the stress-relief tennis ball. Everything you need to know about this idea is in the short website. Please enjoy with the knowledge that there is another way to recycle old and well-used tennis balls.

  37. Melinda says:

    Just a thought, because I haven’t tried it, but could they be used inside beanbag chairs- they aren’t as soft as the original stuffing, but they could be tolerably comfortable in their own way and wouldn’t flatten down as the original stuffing does. Hmmm…

  38. graham says:

    i am looking for a huge amount of used tennis balls for recycling however can not find enough of them anyone who knows where they go in london it would be awesome if you could advise me

    • Michiel Moret says:

      Hi Graham,
      We have lots of used tennisballs every year and are looking for a re-use. What do you have in mind ?
      We have 11 tennis clubs, thus thousands balls each year



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