14 Unexpected Household Uses for the Humble Pool Noodle

Photo:  VasitChaya (Shutterstock)
Photo: VasitChaya (Shutterstock)

Pool noodles are great summertime companions. They help you stay afloat if you’re unsteady in the water or are just trying to lounge and relax. But they have plenty of non-pool, non-summertime uses too, and they’re cheap enough that you should stock up on them to keep them around your home all year. From storing boots upright (without that dreaded slouch) to childproofing furniture, there are lots of ways you never realized you could use be using them outside of the pool.

Slam-proof a busy door

Using a Pool Noodle as a Door Stop

When you have guests coming or your house sees a lot of traffic, certain doors get used a lot—and the slamming of those doors can be annoying, not to mention dangerous if little kids are underfoot. Cut a pool noodle down to about six to eight inches long, then slice it lengthwise so it opens up into a U shape. Fit it around the edge of the door you’re using a lot to temporarily stop it from being slammed every time it’s opened.

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Stop drafts

DIY Door Draft Stopper

You can use a pool noodle under your door, too, to stop drafts and save some money on your heating bill. There are a few ways to do this, but we like the one demonstrated in the video above: Cut a noodle in two and grab a pillowcase. Make sure one part of the noodle is slightly longer than the door and put that longer one on the interior side. Stuff both noodles into the pillow case at opposite ends, then roll them toward each other until there’s just enough space for your the width of your door. Slide the free fabric under the door so the noodles are on either side of it.

Stop boots from slouching

How to Make Boot Shapers

When storing boots, the last thing you want is for them to slouch or fall over, creating creases. You can easily solve this issue by cutting a few pool noodles to the size of the boots and stuffing them inside so the footwear stands tall in the closet.

Fill a bucket

Photo:  Chonlawut (Shutterstock)
Photo: Chonlawut (Shutterstock)

When you’re mopping or scrubbing, nothing beats an old-fashioned bucket full of water, but actually getting the water in the bucket can be hard if the container doesn’t fit in your sink. Consider a pool noodle. Hold one end to the faucet and place the other in your bucket. The hole in the middle is perfect for transporting the water for you.

Make trampolines safer

How to repair a Trampoline skirt with foam pool noodles

I wasn’t allowed to play on trampolines as a child because my parents thought they were unsafe. If they’d known about pool noodle hacks like this one at Good Housekeeping, maybe I wouldn’t have been denied the pleasure my neighborhood peers enjoyed. Cut pool noodles to the size of the springs on the trampoline, then cut them lengthwise to split them open and secure them around each spring with a piece of tape. Bonus points for running split-open pool noodles up the sides of the stability posts, too, to make impact less traumatic.

Stabilize rocking furniture

Photo:  All About Space (Shutterstock)
Photo: All About Space (Shutterstock)

Rocking chairs are quaint, but sometimes you just want a sturdy place to sit (or for your kids not to have access to a moving chair). Cut two small pieces of pool noodle, about four or five inches long, and split them lengthwise, says Instructables. Then, attach them to the back of the tracks on either side of your rocker and scoot them down until they touch the floor. Now you have an immobile chair.

Child-proof furniture

How To Babyproof Your House | Hax | part 1

You can buy fancy, pre-made child-proofing materials for your drawer pulls and coffee table edges, but you can also just use pool noodles. Hell, you can use pool noodles when you stay at a hotel. Cut the noodle lengthwise and slide it onto the edge of the table or whatever sharp edge is stressing you out as your kid toddles about.

Keep kids’ beds safe

A Great Trick to Keep Your Kids from Falling Out of Bed

After your child transitions from crib to big-kid bed, you might be worried about them falling out in their sleep. Try this Instructables tip: Grab a pool noodle (preferably the thick version, if you can find it) and shove it under the fitted sheet on the outer edge of the bed. Scoot in it a little ways so it’s not right on the edge where it could fall over and become useless.

Mark hazardous strings and ropes

Photo:  Lost_in_the_Midwest (Shutterstock)
Photo: Lost_in_the_Midwest (Shutterstock)

Whether you have a badminton net in the backyard or you’re a camping enthusiast with a nice tent, your outdoor activities may involve difficult-to-see ropes and strings that help keep your equipment upright. To minimize the risk of trips and falls, cut small pieces from a brightly-colored noodle, split them lengthwise, and insert them over the tight ropes so anyone walking near them can see that yes, there is a string there.

Ease wrist fatigue

Photo:  AngieYeoh (Shutterstock)
Photo: AngieYeoh (Shutterstock)

When you’re typing all day on a computer (and aren’t we all?) your wrists can get pretty tired. Cut a piece of pool noodle about as long as your keyboard, then slice it in half so it creates a U shape. Put the flat part on your desk in front of your keyboard and rest your wrists on it while you type, which will keep your hands at a more ergonomic angle, per Family Handyman.

Squeegee the garage floor

Photo:  teh_z1b (Shutterstock)
Photo: teh_z1b (Shutterstock)

Another Family Handyman tip is great for your garage: If your floor is wet, just cut a pool noodle to the size of your rake and split it down the middle. Stick the noodle over the tines of the rake and use it like a squeegee to direct all the water to the drain.

Protect your vehicle from cargo

Photo:  marekuliasz (Shutterstock)
Photo: marekuliasz (Shutterstock)

Slip a few slit pool noodles over the overhead rack on your car to keep any big items you transport from banging up your exterior, according to Family Handyman. You can even put a few across the tops of your windows or car doors to prevent damage on the sides of the vehicle. Keep some split pool noodles in your trunk so when you haul something long enough that it sticks out, you can slide them over the trunk hatch to prevent damage there, too.

Protect your garage from your vehicle

How to Use a Pool Noodle as a Door Bumper in the Garage

Stick some split pool noodles over the cross braces or visible beams on the ceiling of your garage near where you open your trunk too. This will prevent damage if you ever get a little overzealous with it and the trunk swings up hard. You can also screw some pool noodles to the wall where your door usually comes close to making contact, as shown in the video above.

Help flowers grow

Photo:  Zuzha (Shutterstock)
Photo: Zuzha (Shutterstock)

A hack that goes around Facebook from time to time seeks to help you with the challenges of heavy or wilting plants that need to find the sun. Measure about a foot of pool noodle (or less if your flowers are small) and slit it down the side, then secure it around the stems or stocks of flowers that need a little help staying upright.

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