Tennis ball in washing machine

Can You Put Tennis Balls in the Washing Machine?

Whether you’re using tennis balls for sport or playing with your dog, keeping them clean means they’re much nicer to use. But what’s the best way to wash them?

In this article, we’ll look at whether you can put tennis balls in the washing machine and how best to clean them.


Can You Put Tennis Balls in the Washing Machine?

You can put tennis balls in the washing machine, as there’s nothing in them that could be damaged by the washing machine.

Tennis balls are fairly resilient things and can happily withstand a cycle in a washing machine (on the correct setting, of course).

Not much can go wrong when washing tennis balls. Even so, follow these tips to ensure you’re doing it properly:

  • Wash on a cooler cycle to avoid damaging rubber elements. Don’t go any higher than 40 degrees.
  • If the tennis balls are for your dog, make sure you use a chemical-free laundry detergent. After all, they’ll be putting the tennis balls in their mouth!
  • Ideally, pad the load out with some towels. Tennis balls on their own shouldn’t cause any damage, but the washing machine should have some weight to spin.
  • Use a low spin cycle and air dry them. You can put them in the tumble dryer, but this shouldn’t be necessary.

You can also wash tennis balls by hand in warm, soapy water. Washing them in the washing machine is easier, but if you do it by hand, just soak them and then rinse.


Why Do People Put Tennis Balls in the Laundry?

The most obvious reason you’d put tennis balls in the washing machine is to clean them. However, they also work great as washer and dryer balls, which you’d otherwise pay a decent bit of money for.

Putting tennis balls in the tumble dryer helps create more space as the clothes roll around, which aids with air circulation. In turn, this can help clothes dry faster.

Similar logic is true for putting tennis balls in the washing machine. Adding them to a load containing, say, pillows can help prevent the pillows from going lumpy. Just don’t use your dog’s dirty tennis ball for this!


Do Tennis Balls Stain Clothes?

It’s generally fair to assume tennis balls are colourfast. However, this isn’t always the case, especially if you buy inexpensive ones.

You can still use them in your washer or dryer, but should maybe avoid putting them in with whites until you’re sure they’re colourfast.

As with non-colourfast clothes, the chance of dye running decreases the more you wash the tennis balls.

So, after a few loads, you should be fine to use them in a load of white washing. If you’re unsure or just want to be safe, consider looking for colourfast tennis balls.


Final Thoughts

Putting tennis balls in the washing machine is the easiest way to clean them. But tennis balls are also quite practical as inexpensive washer and dryer balls. So, if you’ve got a load of laundry that needs aeration and you’ve got some tennis balls lying around, chuck them in!