Instructables
Picture of 10 Unusual Uses for Tennis Balls
Tennis balls are ubiquitous and inexpensive. They're great for tennis... for a little while. Then they lose that carefree, Tigger-like bounciness and become dog toys.* But what if you don't have a dog? What can you do with some tennis balls?
  • Laundry? Yeah, tennis balls.
  • Household cleaning? Yep.
  • Parking? Got you covered.
  • Sensual self-massage? You bet your felted fluorescent balls.
Don't you worry, baby birds. I have chewed on this wooly problem for a while now, and I am ready to regurgitate my knowledge into your cheepinig little maws. So let's help you fledge the nest and unlock the McEnroe/MacGyver potential you have buried deep inside your life-hacking soul.

Go grab some balls from the bushes behind the local tennis courts. Intercept a lobbed ball at the local dog park. Begin training as a Wimbledon ball-boy. Do whatever you need to do to get a hold of these magical golden orbs.



*According to small, panicky corners of the Internet, tennis balls may be bad for your dog's health. That fuzzy yellow coating might be ruining Fido's teeth. They're choking hazards for large dogs. They could randomly explode.
 
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Step 1: Protect Your Floors

Picture of Protect Your Floors
Refinishing a floor is a messy, time-consuming, and expensive task. It sucks, and you probably don't want to do it. I've done it professionally and it's not even fun when you're being paid for it.

Protect your precious floors by capping chair legs, walker feet*, and pirate pegs that might need to consistently slide or tap across your floor.

Just cut an X into the top of a tennis ball and insert the offending leg into the warm embrace of the tennis ball. Done.



*You've probably seen this trick at the local senior hang-out. Probably alongside a rousing game of shuffleboard or aqua-robics. Walker feet covered in tennis balls facilitate safe sliding and are easier to replace/cheaper than little rubber caps.
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CaseyCase3 years ago
Door knob used to hit a wood post in my basement--drywall screw and tennis ball solution!
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ibwebb CaseyCase5 months ago

When I was younger (in my teens) my older brother and I were rough on the dry wall behind doors. My dad would a version of this on those doors.. I won't go into the punishment we got on top of having to fix the dry wall. Anywho, he would cut an X on the back and put the tennis ball over the door handle. He also did the same to put over his trailer hitch to protect it and make it more visable.

wilgubeast (author)  CaseyCase3 years ago
Awesome! I can't believe I missed this one. I've seen this done with the tennis ball placed over the doorknob, but this seems a lot better.

For posting another use and a pic, have 3 months of pro membership.

Wrap a ball with each corner of a tarpaulin : the bulge thus made will allow you to tie the latter very taut without the risk of seeing the lines slip from the tarpaulin's corner as it happens too often. You can use soft rocks too …

Pro membership? Thanks! I appreciate your kindness.
lknowles3 years ago
Put the ball in a long sock or stocking, throw it over your shoulder, and you can move it around while rolling against a wall. It doesn't drop every time you move.
slimtb2 months ago
One more use is for boxing or martial arts training. Hang them on strings from the ceiling (or tree limbs outside), swing them, and dodge them to practice head movement or punch/kick them to practice striking.
slimtb2 months ago
One more use is for boxing or martial arts training. Hang them on strings from the ceiling (or tree limbs outside), swing them, and dodge them to practice head movement or punch/kick them to practice striking.
Hometalk2 months ago

make a slit, drop in dog treats, awesome doggie toy!!

fossilsue25 months ago

Put two tennis balls in a sock & tie. Place on either sides of the
spine under your neck. This helps neck tension and headaches. For
migraines place at the base of your skull and slowly work it up the
skull.

imboredalot2 years ago
Or you can play a game where you hit the ball with a racket to the opponents side of the net in the goal of making your opponent miss the ball.
wilgubeast (author)  imboredalot2 years ago
Never heard of anything like that. Pics?
225px-Tim_Henman_Wimbledon_2005_1.jpg

what in the work is that peculiar game???!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!

GO ON TIM!
appliancejunk6 months ago
Safeguard a sliding glass door with a tennis ball.

All you have to do is suspend a tennis ball so that it hangs in the door frame and prevents the door from closing all the way. When you do want to close the door, just pull the ball out of the way and close the door on the string.

ampersand20067 months ago

You can cut them in half and use them like little obstacle cones on pavement for stuff like soccer practice.

OH MY GOSH!!!!!! My grand parents have a tennis ball hanging in there garage!!! I thought no one else did that!!
If you hang the line from the garage door itself to a hook on the ceiling, the ball will go up as you close the garage door. If you ask, I can add pics.
Really sorry didn't see the post under mine :P
I've unlocked cars w/ tennis ball :3
dexterford3 years ago
On using hanging TBs as a parking aid:

Just had a brainstrom/squall/fart.

To make the tennis balls disappear when you don't need them, rig them with string to the top of your (automatic) garage door. Lead the string through eyelets directly above where they should hang. When the garage door goes up, the balls come down automatically—then disappear up toward the ceiling when the garage door goes back down.

Might be tough to get the heights exactly right. A knot or other obstruction on the string, just upstream of the ceiling eyelet, would limit travel and get the hood-height just right.
"Brainstrom"? Is that like a mental maelstrom? Or did you have one while typing? Hee hee. :]
Good idea about the garage door.
If you are that good at judging distances, you will not need this device.
Brilliant! I've been using a tennis ball on a string for years, and I have occasionally bumped into it, and once even caught it in the door of the car. A "retractable" indicator is a nice improvement on the concept.
outstanding!
That's actually a pretty interesting modification of the traditional tennis ball vehicle position indicator. Personally, I tend to use the 550 paracord in a neon color along with the tennis ball so that it is VERY noticeable for my S.O. when she parks her SUV in the garage. The only concerns that I would have with attaching it to the moving garage door would be that it adds one more failure point into the system and if the garage door does not return to the EXACT place each time it is opened, it would affect the position of the ball, possibly resulting in you hitting something at the back of your garage.

When I tie a tennis ball for a vehicle position indicator, I thread the paracord through the tennis ball 3 times so that I have 4 cord "legs" 90 degrees apart and then tie it back to the line going to the ceiling on the top side of the ball. Some people just pull it through once and tie a knot in the cord at the bottom, but it would be too easy for someone to pull the ball off the line using that method, so I over-engineer it a bit.
JTMLB262 years ago
I hang a plastic golf ball in my garage in stead and didn't think other people did that until about a year ago my friend down the street had one . . . works great and thanks!
hey! i have those same chairs! IKEA rocks!
Hack42Moem2 years ago
Sew three or four tennis balls into the back of your partner's jammies. It keeps hirm from sleeping on hirs back, and thus, from snoring.

(In lighter cases, marbles do the trick, but some of us need harsher measures.)
austinbacak3 years ago
Here is another great use for tennis balls.

I once was playing tennis and upon finishing I went to my car to realize that I had locked my keys inside. I took a tennis ball and cut a quarter-sized hole into it. I placed the hole over my car door key-hole and hit the ball with my hand sending a burst of air into the key-hole and watched as my door lock popped up. I was in my car in seconds.

This worked every time on my 1999 Toyota 4runner, I have not tried it on any other vehicles.
I second the Mythbusters comments others have made. What's more, I can only assume your lock is busted for that to work as all the key locks I've ever opened require a twisting motion after all the tumblers have been correctly lined up by the key. Blowing air into the lock is not an unlocking method that would fill me with, um, belief.
Would you post a video of you doing this without someone in the background operating a remote? I'd love to see this proved possible (but see Mythbusters). If you post your address, perhaps some local 'ibles members could come over and test the idea while you're asleep (better leave the car somewhere accessible). : ]
I hate to pop bubbles, but don't forget -- the Mythbusters have to remain on good terms with local law enforcement to handle explosives and use their range. Thus some "conclusions" they come up with were suggested to them by law enforcement.
wilgubeast (author)  austinbacak3 years ago
Sweet! I was looking for someone who could confirm this for me. In doing the research for this, I came across a few conflicting anecdotes about the tennis ball car door trick. Can you post a video showing this trick in action?

I'm of the opinion that this is a really, really unlikely means of opening one's vehicle. But I'd love to see it actually work. Because I'd like a '99 4runner and happen to have a bunch of tennis balls on hand.
The tennis ball opening a locked car door doesnt work. The web video u mite have seen- fake. Someone was standing behind the camera with the keys and unlocked it.
If austinbacak is actually saying that Mythbusters is wrong, why would you want a car that can be easily opened without the key (and then it or the contents stolen)???
Check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNaSTipOYy8
The car has an electronic locking system, and somebody else has the key. I believe it to be faked, because locks aren't designed to be airtight, and the pins on the inside most definitely aren't. I don't believe that this is a true demonstration, but you have the video, so you can form your own opinions.
Definitely faked.

Is it possible that the air may temporarily line up the tumblers in the lock? Maybe. It's far from likely, given that equal air pressure across all of them would push them all the way out, then they would spring back in at the same rate.

What is absolutely impossible is that the gentle breeze that would have been generated by her pressing in on the ball (or a blast of 200 PSI from an air tank, for that matter) would rotate the lock mechanism the 45 to 90 degrees necessary for the linkage to be moved. I'm not sure what they claim having power locks does... a power lock system is exactly the same as a non-power lock. On older vehicles that had power locks as an option, the linkage, latch, lock cylinder, etc. are usually identical whether or not it had power locks. With power locks, there is usually one extra rod and an actuator, that snaps into a clip that is there on the one without power locks. The only difference is that the lock actuator adds drag on the linkage, making this more likely to work on something without power locks. Except you need the power locks to make this look real... a hand on the inside pulling up on the lock would make this a much more obvious fake.
Old Audi's used to use a pneumatic locking system which the tennis ball trick does work on. It does not work on any cars that use real linkages to connect the lock to the latch/handle.
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