Stick a Tennis Ball on the End of Your Broom to Make a Super-Powered Cleaning Tool

updated Oct 16, 2019
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

I learn a lot in my line of work writing about cleaning and organizing. Yes, I “write what I know,” as they say, but there are also many things that I learn while writing about it.

This cleaning tip I have for you today is one such thing that I learned “on the job.” And it’s not an obscure one like boiling rust-stained clothes in rhubarb water (also something I learned about while working!). Since discovering this tennis-ball hack just a few weeks ago, I’ve used it several times in my own home and once to help my sister who was noticing a problem with her wood floor.

All of this is to say that this is a cleaning tip that may prove more useful more often than you first think. Let me tell you about it:

We all do our best to keep our floors reasonably clean. So when scuff marks show up, it’s disconcerting. Where did they come from, and how can we get them off? Sweeping and mopping don’t seem to touch them.

Credit: Amelia Lawrence/Kitchn

Answering the first question helps you prevent scuff marks: Scuff marks happen when rubber or leather scrapes against your floor. Sneakers can leave scuff marks, but so can nice leather dress shoes. Rubber tips on the feet of chairs or step stools can also leave scuff marks.

And here’s how you erase them: With a tennis ball. Here’s all you need to bring your floors back to perfect pre-scuff condition.

What You’ll Need

How to Use a Tennis Ball to Remove Scuffs From the Floor

Find a tennis ball. You want it as clean as possible so you’re not grinding any sand or dirt particles on the surface of your floor (i.e. don’t borrow one from your dog — see if you can find one that’s new or like-new).

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

Using a box cutter or razor blade (carefully!) cut an “X” shape into a spot on the tennis ball. You don’t want the “X” to be too big — just big enough to squeeze the end of your broom handle through it like a straw through a cup lid.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

Affix the tennis ball to the end of your broom or mop handle, then flip the broom or mop over so the tennis ball is on the floor.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

Use leverage to apply pressure while you move the tennis ball back and forth in order to “erase” the scuff mark from the floor. If the scuff marks are dark (mine were black), you’ll see that the left-behind rubber transfers cleanly from your floor to the surface of your tennis ball.

This technique is safe for use on all kinds of hard flooring. And it’s so handy that you may just keep the tennis ball on your mop handle for good.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Stick a Tennis Ball on the End of Your Broom to Make a Super-Powered Floor Cleaning Tool

Note: We ran a similar story on Kitchn, but our friends at Apartment Therapy had the brilliant insight about putting the tennis ball ON A BROOM (!!!) so we decided to share this post. No having to get down on your hands an knees!