How can I reuse or recycle an old PVC airbed?

airbedWe’ve had an email from Heather:

I have a former airbed — the pump has failed mechanically and is built in so it can’t be replaced — so I could cut the material away from it if I had an idea what to do with it. the bottom is just pvc sheet, the top is the same but with a fabricy surface.

I suspect some of the suggestions for old inflatables and (from a plastic sheeting point of view) old shower curtains may be relevant – but has anyone got any specific suggestions for Heather?

(UPDATE: Sorry for the downtime this evening – unexpected and unplanned. Grrr, computers suck sometimes.)

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26 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle an old PVC airbed?”


  1. Hel says:

    How about a groundsheet protector for a tent?

  2. Anonymous says:

    If you’re replacing it, hang on to it. You can use the material to patch any leaks you may get in the new one.

  3. Tamara says:

    this is so relevant! we have two…lying in a heap…

    i have no idea what to do with them!

  4. Javier says:

    Fill it up with dirt. Cut holes out the top and grow some tomatoes.

  5. Nicole says:

    Blue screen for your new video project? :)

  6. Cheryl says:

    I read that someone had used one as a “flat rain barrell” for unerneath a deck

  7. Jessica says:

    Use it as a tarp or to shade an area for a dog run.

  8. Brooke says:

    Put lots of Velcro on onside, strap it to a wall, put on a suit that sticks to Velcro and JUMP! I have not tried it but it always looks fun!

  9. roxanne says:

    use it as a floaty toy in the pool or lake.

  10. debbie says:

    Not sure how flexible this material is, but could you cut away one of the narrow ends and attach a (blanket, old comforter, etc.) to the inside, and use this as a sleeping bag?

    Or cut into long strips, weave (over/under) the strips to make an outdoor area rug, say for the patio?

  11. Xarla says:

    Sew it into grocery bags.

  12. David says:

    eat it..

  13. Keith says:

    Cut the plastic top off and use for BBQ cover

  14. Deb says:

    Make cushion covers for outdoor furniture.

  15. David says:

    have you not thaught of turning the air bed into a rather fetching skirt as the places that the air springs are placed will make a plesent pattern on the skirt, though it might be sweaty you could have the fabric side against your skin but it would mean that you could sit down on a wet park bench or a wet seat whithout a care in the world but would need a matching top to compleate the outfit.

  16. Jodie says:

    I have one too, an air bed the cat got a hold of, and now all I have is a big question on how to keep all this plastic from just ending up in the ground (taken to the dump). That’s what these other folks are wondering too I imagine. Is there no way to RE-cycle this stuff back into the “re-cyclying plastic system” and re-made into “other stuff”.
    Like “sort it” into it’s proper place in the Re-cycling plastic system?!
    I mean, if in case you don’t have a BBQ, Or have a dog (to make a dog-run cover for) or dig the idea of sewing up a bunch of plastic skirts (all GOOD suggestions——-but…..)

    Jodie unaforest@yahoo.com

  17. karen says:

    I have three mattress. The only thing I can think of is to cut it up for a tarp to paint. I paint a lot. That still doesn’t slove what to do with the built in pumps that all work

  18. Suzanne Hadwin says:

    Use it to make a car boot liner.

  19. Paul says:

    The car boot liner is a brilliant idea, I transport tools in my hatchback and this is perfect for keeping the carpet clean

  20. cheryl says:

    use as a car seat protector for your pet dogs muddy feet. or trunk protector

  21. Wray says:

    Most failures are caused by a small puncture and their almost impossible to fix to hold air for an extended period.
    It’s a nice chunk of heavy duty vinyl or pvc that you hate to see go to the landfill.
    I cut mine into a large sheet to wrap my electric hot water heater.
    Wrap the heater with fiberglass insulation (2 corning “handy-paks” from Home Depot wrap a 40 or 50 gallon heater nicely). Wrap your recycled vinyl around the heater, to make an outside skin over the fiberglass insulation. Cut a circular section to make a top for the heater allowing the supply pipe and electrical connections to exit.
    Secure the seams with heavy vinyl tape or sew Velcro fasteners.
    Better than the commercial water heater blankets which cost about $60.00 and it will save you $10 to $15 on every electrical bill in the future.
    Never wrap a gas water heater — only an electric water heater.

  22. A Jamison says:

    I made a fish pond. I cut the top off leaving the sides and bottom. The pretty side is the inside of pond… Just pull the sides up and push the bottom down so it holds water. Dug a hole in the ground and laid the side material over a 4×4 then stapled it down. Filled w/water and used it for some tadpoles. The pump was used with tubing to airiate the water.

  23. tanya says:

    Cut the fabric into two sheets. (cut away the sides) I used one sheet like a piece of fabric the top of a homemade workout bench. For the other piece I used it to cover some memory foam and replaced a chair cushion that had been terrible stained and damaged. I used hot glue to hold it together instead of sewing it. We’ll see how well it holds up.

  24. trospiro says:

    So many nice ideas!
    But, what to do with the built in pump that still works!!??

  25. Kirsty says:

    I have one also and am thinking of cutting the bottom off, turning it inside out, stringing cord around the edge, to make a lego tidy mat.



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