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Many household items have earned a spot in the ultimate do-it-yourself toolbox: duct tape, vinegar, lemon juice, aluminum foil, wire hangers; but there's one multi-task tool that many people might overlook: the tennis ball.

Yes, that furry yellow orb of happiness is good for a myriad of tasks far beyond its typical role of sitting in the bottom of your closet as a continual reminder of your broken New Year's resolution to get more exercise. In fact, the common tennis ball might be one of the most versatile and useful tools you never knew you had!

To prove my point, here are 17 helpful tips to make a tennis ball serve you (as opposed to the other way around):

1. Scuff-free chairs - To protect your tile or hardwood floors from destructive chair legs, simply cut an "X" into four tennis balls with a knife or razor, stick them on the bottom of each chair leg, and voila, you've got yourself a bonafide scuff-free (and squeak-free) chair.

2. Super screwdriver - Can't seem to get a good grip, or enough torque on a screw? Making a small slit in a tennis ball, and sliding it over the handle of your screwdriver will give you a better grip, and more torque.

3. Hammer lightly - Pop the end of your hammer through an "X" in a tennis ball to create a hitting instrument that is less likely to ding up fragile or expensive wood.

4. Bottle opener - Cut a tennis ball in half, and use one of the sides to open those stubborn pickle jars.

5. Walkers - I'm sure you've seen tennis balls stuck on the bottom of walkers, but do you know what benefit they serve? For people who might be too weak to lift the walker, tennis balls enable them to scoot across most floor surfaces, while retaining enough traction to keep them upright.

6. Trailer hitch cover - No one wants a scratched up trailer hitch! Pop a tennis ball over that knob of chrome to keep it as shiny as the day before you hitched your first trailer to it.

7. Garage wall proximity detector - Hang a tennis ball from the ceiling of your garage to alert you when you're the perfect distance away from the wall. Extra bonus: when the car's gone, you can use the hanging tennis ball for batting practice.

8. Secret storage - Looking for a place to stash that million dollar microchip while you're at the gym? Slit a tennis ball and stick it inside! Works for anything that's valuable (or not) and small enough to stick inside a tennis ball via a tiny slit.

9. Dog toy - Pretty obvious.

10. Dryer fluffers - Next time you have something in the dryer that needs to be fluffed up (pillows, down comforters, big coats), chuck in a couple tennis balls and let them fluff your garments to high heaven! It might be loud, but your face will thank you the next time you lay your head down on your huge tennis-ball-fluffed pillow.

11. Free weights - Fill a tennis ball up with something heavy (sand, marbles, pennies, sad poems), lift it up and down several hundred times, and watch in amazement as your muscles rip through your old clothes.

12. Remove cobwebs from hard-to-reach places - This is a cool one. Wrap an old rag around a tennis ball, secure it with a couple rubber bands, and throw it at all those hard-to-reach cobwebs. Beware of falling spiders!

13. Strengthen your grip - Next time you find yourself sitting idly at your desk, pick up a tennis ball and give it a few squeezes. You'll be surprised at how strong your grip will become.

14. Door jamb tricker - If you're working on a car, and need to keep the door open without having the interior light suck all the juice out of your battery, stick a tennis ball into the door jamb to keep the interior light switch depressed.

15. Sand curves - Throw a piece of sand paper around a tennis ball to help you get a perfect sanded curve.

16. Give yourself a back massage - After a hard day's work, nothing feels better than a nice back rub. But what if no one's around to give you one? Stuff a long tube sock with a few tennis balls, tie off the end, and swing it across your back. Pull the sock back and forth like if you were drying off you back.

17. Pool cleaners - Have you ever noticed how swimming pools develop a shiny oily sheen over the course of the summer, especially in pools that are used frequently? That's body oil, my filthy friend, which can be easily curbed with a couple floating tennis balls. Over time, the tennis balls will absorb the oil, leaving your pool fresh and oil-free.

There you have it -- 17 terrific tips for all those rogue tennis balls bouncing around in the bottom of your closet.

  • david maddox


  • Wm. R. Doty

    Drill a hole in the ball and mark it clearly with a ball point pen or marker. Insert it over the tip of your car antenna when parked in the Green Bay Packers parking lot. It makes a beacon to find your vehicle when you leave, victorious, after the game. PS. It works in a Wal-Mart lot just as well. Big Bill.

  • Tracy

    Are you people that stupid that you make a comment on what is already on the list! Cannot you read? Like Brooke Edwards..HELLO, your comment is number #10 on the list..DUH..
    I do have one that is NOT on the list..
    When camping in a tent and your sleeping on a cot, and you need to put your mosquito net over the cot. Get (4) PVC pipes about 5 feet long each one, put a tennis ball over each post, and then slide your net over the whole cot and poles. Now you can sleep in comfort without worrying about getting ate up at night.
    We use this method at Boy Scout camp. The poles slide down in between the frame and cot to make it sturdy.

  • Joyce

    My Ex and I cut them in half and laided them on the ground a good distance apart so he could learn to ride a motorcycle... he learned how to handle the bike and it also helped with the balance of the bike... he passed his test... this will also work for kids riding on bikes too



  • david maddox

    WHO CARES ??

  • Joy

    Tennis balls make great sound barriers and cut down on feedback when you have a hearing impaired student with a sound system. Cut an X in the tennis balls and slip them over the legs of the desks and chairs.

  • Dani

    Another amazing one: put a hole in a tennis ball either with a hot screwdriver or a lighter and next time you lock your keys in the car put the hole directly over they key slot and push hard. The air pressure will force the lock system to open. Go to and see for yourself!

  • Janet

    When driving or traveling long distances, to keep from developing leg or sciatic pains, try sitting on two tennis balls (older, used ones are best) - one in the center of your buttock, the other in the center of your thigh for 15-20 minutes and repeat when needed. These are acupressure points that can relieve the pain of sitting or holding your leg in one position for long periods of time.

  • Bill Jeunette

    I use them as rests under the windshield wiper blades on our motor home when stored or parked for a long period of time. Keeps the blades from sticking to the windshield and prolongs the blake life ...

  • Tom

    Don't forget the kids. After it is slit open it makes a great little puppet. Just squeeze the sides to make the mouth move. Stick a few eyes on top and look out Kermit.

  • Jan

    Yes, my friend Paris has used the "tennis ball(s)" approach.
    She places a tennis ball under her foot and polishes her toenails!

  • terry

    i stuff my bra with them

  • dclaw

    don't forget #18. The hand grenade.

    1. Drill or cut a small hole in a whole tennis ball.

    2. Fill with gunpowder

    3. Insert proper length fuse. I'd start with 1ft to give you extra time. Then cut to length as needed when you are about to throw it.

    4. Wrap tightly with duct tape, making sure the fuse is stuck inside the tennis ball and fully sealed so that no gunpowder leaks out.

    5. Utilize as necessary.

  • andy

    A tennis ball is an ideal travel companion.
    Cut in half, invert, and you have travel ashtray/ shaving receptacle/ universal plug for washbasins.
    Use whole as marker buoy for ocean cooled six-pack :)

  • Noko

    put an X in tennis ball and put it on your antena
    when parking in a crowded parking lot , your car is easy to spot

  • joel

    NOT a dog toy! Tennis balls are bad for your dog because a tennis ball has a sandpaper-like inner lining that damages your dog's teeth. Instead, go to a good pet store and get an un-tennis ball-- it looks the same and is safe for you pooch!

  • IshMEL

    I went to a wholesale produce auction in New Jersey where the receipt for the winning bid was placed in a tennis ball with a slit and then tossed to the bidder. During the entire auction this ball was flying back and forth between the auctioneer and the bidders.

  • Gatzke

    You can also use it with a friend and a couple of sticks, looped at the end with criss-crossed strings. Then just hit the ball back and forth!

  • Rod

    If you're a gardener and have those green metal fence stakes holding up the fences that keep critters out, it is east to back into one or bark you shin on one and cause a bleeding wound. I cut a tennis ball with an 'X' and put them on the top of these to prevent injury.


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