Laundry Tips With Tennis Balls

Updated April 17, 2017

Whether you play tennis regularly or only occasionally, you might have old tennis balls lying around. Eventually they lose their bounce, but you don't want to throw them away. Why not recycle them and put them to work in the laundry room?


Tennis balls work great to break up and distribute fibres in an item in the dryer. Whether you are drying a pillow, comforter, jacket or other "puffy" item, you will find the fibres inside the item will clump and stick together after going through the washing machine and dryer. This will cause your items to be lumpy, rather than plump and fluffy. To avoid this unwanted effect, use a tennis ball or two to keep the fibres dispersed. Place a clean tennis ball in a clean white sock and tie the open end closed. Place this tennis ball in the dryer when you dry the pillow, comforter or jacket. Use a medium heat setting. The ball will hit against the clumps of fibres, breaking them up, helping them dry efficiently and keeping them distributed through the item.


We prefer towels, blankets and other items to be soft. However, with use and multiple washes, these items can become matted and rough. The warm air of the dryer can press fibres together and cause items to lose their softness. Tennis balls in the dryer can remedy this. Place a tennis ball in a sock, tying the top to close it in. Put this ball in the dryer, on a medium heat setting, when you dry your towels or blankets. This tennis ball will beat against the fibres of the towels or blankets and keep them from getting matted. When you take out your items, you will find them softer and more comfortable.


The bounciness of tennis balls is useful in beating items dry, but the fibrous, abrasive texture is useful in scrubbing clean certain items. While fabrics are cleaned when water moves between the fibres, plastics such as shower curtains have a natural tendency to let the water and soap slide right off. If you need to clean mould and mildew build-up on a plastic curtain or sheet, place a tennis ball or two in the washing machine, along with the detergent, on a gentle cycle. The rough exterior will rub against the plastic and scrub off any scum. Your plastic will come out shiny and clean.

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About the Author

Tiffany Silverberg has written grants and copy materials for over three years. She graduated from the University of California Berkeley with a degree in linguistics. Silverberg has conducted research regarding language development in deaf children and worked as the lead reporter at the Kingsville Record and Bishop News in Texas.