Things What to do with Old Bowling Balls & What not to Do?

What to Do with Old Bowling Balls

Not everything ages like a fine wine. Bowling ball is one of these things that lose its strength and potential over time. When a bowling ball turns less effective, bowlers don’t really reach out to that anymore as it may jeopardize their games. So what can you do when you have a useless bowling ball sitting in your home? You can’t just throw them in the trash. Plus, the materials that are used, make bowling balls completely non-biodegradable. So what to do with old bowling balls and what are the best ways to recycle them? Let’s find out!

What to do with Old Bowling Balls?

Okay, let me guess. You have an old bowling ball lying around somewhere, don’t you? And you don’t know how to get rid of it or repurpose it? Well, don’t worry, we got your back.

First, find out how old your ball actually is. You can do that by easily checking the bowling ball serial number.

1. Changing the ball’s finish:

Let’s say you have an old polished finish urethane bowling ball, but you don’t have matte/sanded ones that are great for medium-heavy oil patterns. Yes, you guessed it right! You should take that old polished ball to a pro shop and get it sanded, and vice versa if you have a matte finish ball that can be polished. Doing that will allow you to have a ball with a different finish and greater opportunities during your bowling matches. The goal is to keep it as long as the ball is usable.

You can also purchase a bowling ball rejuvenator and refurbish the ball yourself. While not cheap, you can use the rejuvenator to keep your main bowling balls in great shape.

2. Resell:

Reselling your old bowling ball is a great way to give life back to your ball. If your bowling ball is in a good condition, without any bad scratch or any significant crack, you can easily resell them in the online platform. By reselling, you can get a few bucks which you can use later to invest in your next bowling ball. To resell your ball, you can post an ad on Craiglist, eBay, Facebook marketplace, etc.

Now, are you wondering if pro shops buy used bowling balls or not? The answer is yes and no. Because not all pro shops do that. But how can you tell? First, you have to ask them if they sell used bowling equipment or not. Your chances of selling it to them are slim to none if they don’t sell used equipment. So asking them about that will be a smart move. If they do, go ahead ask the price for your bowling ball and see what they do. Good luck!

3. Donate:

Donating your bowling ball is the best possible way to recycle it. Besides giving it away to a young or new bowler, you can also get your hands off the ball by donating it straight to the local bowling centers or pro shops. They will gladly accept that and pass it to someone who can’t afford a bowling ball. You can also donate your old bowling balls to youth bowling leagues, school bowling leagues, retirement centers (for arts and crafts purposes), local artists, local secondhand/thrift stores, etc.

4. Home Decor Accessory:

Get creative with your bowling ball! If you have a bowling stands where you put all the other bowling balls, you can keep the old unused ones there. But if that isn’t an option anymore, you should get those single bowling stand, and put these old ones as a special showpiece out on a display. If the color of the ball doesn’t go with the room, you can paint it with a neutral color and then use it as a piece of home decor.

5. Garden or Backyard Decoration:

Do you know you can decorate your bowling ball? Consider the surface as a plain canvas. Now go ahead and dive into decorating the bowling ball! Here are some ideas for that:


Decorate your bowling ball with colorful rhinestones! Rhinestones are very attractive. So if you glue them on a bowling ball surface, it will make the ball look amazing! If you want the true color of the rhinestones to pop, make sure you paint the ball’s surface with white color first and then use a hot glue gun to put the rhinestones one by one. Be extra careful while using the hot glue gun.

Disco ball:

Who would have thought that you can transform your bowling ball into a disco ball? Yes, and you can easily do it with some mirror pieces or reflective square stickers. If you’re using mirror pieces, make sure you cut them in equal sizes, otherwise, it won’t be too appealing. You can also skip this hassle by simply buying the small mini craft mirror pieces from Amazon and start decorating. If you don’t the ball to be heavier than it already is, go for lightweight reflective stickers. Remember, this fake disco ball is not for hanging on the ceiling. But sure, go ahead, put it on display at your next pool party or house party.

Garden Accessory:

You can paint your bowling ball in many ways! All you have to do is be creative and crazy with the designs and ideas. Whatever you paint, make sure your bowling ball has a plain and white surface, and then get started with painting! You can draw beautiful flowers on it, or just draw a single and big flower, like a sunflower, on it and put the ball in your garden. This will instantly add a glow to your garden.

You can also paint it like some cute little gnome for your garden. If you want to get more creative, you can paint them like beautiful ladybugs. Since the bowling balls are round, you should also consider painting them as mushrooms. They will definitely emphasize the beauty of your garden.

Things not to do with Old Bowling Balls:

Now here’s a warning! Don’t you ever paint your old bowling ball like a football (soccer ball) and put it out on a display. If there is someone unknowingly hits on the ball with his/her feet, they will surely get injured or worse, end up having a fracture or a broken bone. So do think about everyone’s safety regarding this.

What if the bowling ball is broken in half?

If your bowling ball is broken in half, then it must have gone through an extreme accident. It either fell from high or got struck by something with extreme force. If it got broken symmetrically, then cheer up mate! You have got two pieces to decorate now! And you know what they say, the more, the merrier.

And what if you don’t have symmetrical broken pieces? Well, then it’s totally up to the way it got broken. If it’s just a side, or a small portion is broken, then you can get creative with some geodes and make the most extraordinary decor you can possibly think of.


Recycling a bowling ball is not too difficult as you think they are. All you need is some equipment and some ornaments and paints to get the job done. So if you’re planning to get rid of one, think of all the possibilities that can revitalize your old bowling ball. So if you’re not donating or reselling your bowling balls, just get visionary and you will be thanking yourself for the effort and time you put to recycle and repurpose your bowling ball.


I’m an aspiring bowler with an immense love for bowling. I started playing the game at a very early age and it’s been an integral part of my life ever since.

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