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Can You Put a Tennis Ball in the Washing Machine?

Can You Put a Tennis Ball in the Washing Machine?

Washing machines have long been a staple in our households, making laundry a breeze and ensuring our clothes stay fresh and clean. But what happens when we introduce unconventional items into the mix, such as a tennis ball? If you've ever pondered the question, "Can you put a tennis ball in the washing machine?" then read on, because we've got the answer for you.

The Short Answer:

Yes, you can put tennis balls in the washing machine. In fact, they are often used to fluff up down-filled items such as jackets, duvets, and pillows.

The Benefits:

  1. Fluffing Down Items: When washing items that contain down or other similar stuffing, they can become clumpy when wet. Throwing a couple of tennis balls into the dryer along with these items can help to break up these clumps and restore the fluffy texture.

  2. Saving on Dryer Sheets: Tennis balls can help soften clothes, reducing the need for chemical-based fabric softeners or dryer sheets.

  3. Improving Drying Efficiency: Tennis balls can improve air circulation in the dryer, which can decrease drying time and help save energy.


  1. Noise: The sound of tennis balls bouncing around in the dryer can be quite loud, especially in metal drum machines. If noise is a concern, you might want to opt for specialized dryer balls, which are designed for this purpose and are usually quieter.

  2. Wear and Tear: Over time, using tennis balls can cause wear on your dryer's drum due to the abrasive nature of the felt on the ball. However, this wear is typically minimal and not a significant concern for most users.

  3. Chemicals and Dyes: Some tennis balls may have dyes that could potentially transfer onto clothes. Before using, it might be a good idea to wash the balls once by themselves or opt for white or colorfast tennis balls.

The Washing Machine: Not Just for Clothes!

In addition to the dryer, tennis balls can also be used in the washing machine. If your tennis balls are dirty or have been used by pets, tossing them in the washer can help clean them off. However, as with any non-clothing item, you should make sure they are free from excess dirt or debris that might clog your machine. Washing them inside a mesh bag or pillowcase can help contain any mess.


In summary, not only can you put tennis balls in the washing machine, but they can also be quite beneficial for certain laundry tasks. Whether you're looking to fluff up your favorite down pillow or clean off your dog's favorite toy, the humble tennis ball proves its versatility once again. As with any unconventional laundry method, always exercise caution and ensure that the method suits your individual needs and machine specifications.

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