Pool noodles aren’t just for days spent lounging in the water. Made of flexible-but-durable material—polyethylene foam— pool noodles are a clever way to make common household jobs easier (and, even better, a bit more colorful).
Swap out your store-bought solutions to common organizing, baby-proofing, and plant-parenting woes, and use a pool noodle instead. It’s sustainable choice that’s usually more cost-effective—the average noodle costs right around $2, and one noodle can be used for multiple projects, so you can get a lot for your money.
Here are seven ways to put pool noodles to use in your space:
1. Planter filler
Too much water buildup in a pot can cause a plant to get sick or die. Adding rocks or gravel to the bottom of a potted plant can increase water flow, but store-bought options can get pricey. Instead, try cutting up a pool noodle into small, rock-sized chunks with a knife and adding it below the soil in your planter. It’ll accomplish the same thing, for far cheaper!
2. Kneeling pad
Whether you’re planting flowers in your garden or cleaning your baseboards, on-your-knees chores can take a toll on your joints. Skip the price tag involved in a store-bought kneeling bad and craft one from a pool noodle: Just cut the noodle into three, equal-sized sections, then secure them with hot glue or a rubber band.
3. Boot shapers
Shapers not only help air out your boots. They also prevent cracks and creases, ultimately prolonging their life. For a quick, DIY project that’ll make your knee-highs last, use a knife to cut a pool noodle a few inches taller than the top of your boots, then pop them in whenever you’re not wearing them.
4. Ergonomic wrist support
Wrist posture matters more than you think. If you’re working on a computer for more than an hour or two a day, supporting your wrists can prevent discomfort and repetitive stress injuries. Easily and economically up your ergonomic game by cutting a pool noodle to the length of your keyboard (or mousepad).
5. Crease-preventing hangers
Sure, you might not be wearing your “fancy” pants much these days, but it’s still important to take care of them. (Who knows when you’ll need to put on a pair?) Prevent unsightly creases in your pant legs by adding a section of a pool noodle to your hanger before hanging them.
6. Paint brush dryers
Clean up is almost half the work of house projects. If you’re painting any areas of your home, make sure your brushes dry thoroughly after you wash them by cutting a few slits in a small section of a pool noodle. Then, use a knife to cut another lengthwise slit at the bottom of the noodle, then set it on the outer edge of an plastic food container.
7. Cushion sharp corners
Kid-proofing your space? Don’t forget to cushion the soft corners on coffee tables and end tables. Instead of buying potentially costly store-bought cushions, simply grab a knife and cut slits in the middle part of a pool noodle section. Then, bend in half and attach to any sharp corners you want to soften.
Ashley Abramson is a writer-mom hybrid in Minneapolis, MN. Her work, mostly focused on health, psychology, and parenting, has been featured in the Washington Post, New York Times, Allure, and more. She lives in the Minneapolis suburbs with her husband and two young sons.