What To Do With An Old Bowling Ball

Like all good things come to an end, bowling balls also become old, battle-hardened, cracked, and broken after years of sincere usage and many strikes and spares, but knowing how to deal with an old bowling ball is not as easy as you might think.

What do I do with my old bowling ball? You may be wondering. Well, that is precisely what I am here to tell you.

In this article, I will talk to you about the age of a bowling ball, what to do when it gets old, different ways of repurposing or making it useful for others so people can benefit in the bowling community world. So, make sure you read this article till the end.

What To Do With An Old Bowling Ball

How Long Does a Bowling Ball Last?

If you are thinking of disposing or saying goodbye to your bowling ball, it must have been there for you a pretty long time. How long exactly does a bowling ball last? You might be thinking.

Well, a quality bowling ball that has been taken care of and maintained well over time can serve you well from 5-10 years. It does not matter what material it is made of because the longevity of all bowling ball materials is around the same.

So, if you have taken good care of your bowling ball and maintained and cleaned it well over the long period that you have had it, it might still have quite a life remaining if it has not been too long. So, knowing exactly what shape your bowling ball is in is crucial before you make a big decision.

Resurfacing an Old Bowling Ball

For example, let us say you have kept your bowling ball well-maintained for 3-4 years and it is in good shape without any coverstock cracks or any rough edges or chips, then you do not have to dispose of it.

Your bowling ball is in its prime at this point, and you can score many more spares and strikes with it. All you need to do to ensure that it is back in perfect shape for your upcoming games is to resurface it.

Resurfacing your bowling ball means sanding it so any lines or curves, or roughness can be polished to a smooth and quality surface that will get the right hook, movement, and traction on the lane. Here is what you need to know if you are resurfacing your bowling ball at home with a spinner:

  • Place the Bowling Ball on the Spinner.
  • Take your grit pad for sanding and press on the spinning bowling ball, and the ball will start resurfacing.
  • Stop sanding the ball once you see the lines are gone, and you have a decent surface.
  • Apply Compound on the surface of the ball.
  • Use polish to make sure the ball returns to its once shiny and smooth nature.
  • Finally, clean your bowling ball because you need to make sure no slippage occurs when you are throwing it on the lane.

Can You Recycle an Old Bowling Ball?

Unfortunately, you cannot simply recycle a bowling ball because it is made of several complex compounds that are tough to break down. Polyurethane, plastic, reactive resin, particle, and other materials used in the coverstock, inner core, and the whole ring of the bowling ball are not separable by normal means.

You may think that since plastic is involved, the breakdown process must be possible, and you may think of putting your old broken bowling balls in the recycle bin, but that most likely won’t work. But there is always a chance for everything.

Can You Melt a Bowling Ball?

No, you cannot melt a bowling ball. If you put it on fire, it would flake off from time to time but in solid form. The simple reason for that is a bowling ball does not melt in liquid form. Any burning process would not bring the materials into a liquefied state which can be a problem for the environment.

However, suppose you are really interested in recycling your old used bowling balls. In that case, you can contact authorities and research whether any nearby recycling units have methods of dealing with old bowling balls and melting them, and recycling them for other materials in use.
If that works out, you will be able to deal with your excessive bowling balls successfully, and it will also be beneficial for the environment and the people, which is fantastic.

Donating Your Bowling Ball

If you are not about going through the hassle of finding the right people and making sure your old unusable bowling balls get recycled, a great way of getting rid of them and making them useful for others is donating them.

Many art schools and colleges must be gladly accepting an as large canvas as a bowling ball. And since there is no use for you in it, you can donate it to a school for the youth’s art projects.

If you are still not satisfied with this way of dealing with your old bowling balls, then I have got a better place to donate your bowling balls too. It would help if you gave the bowling balls to some bowling academy or alley willing to accept old bowling ball donations because the bowling youth can use those balls and practice to become better at the sport.

Ultimately, there are several places you can donate your bowling balls, too, if you’re willing to do that. Trust me; it will help you get rid of the unwanted ones and give you mental peace and satisfaction for your actions.

Are Old Bowling Balls Worth Anything?

If you are thinking of making money off of selling your old bowling balls, it will not be the best experience. But if you are thinking of just getting rid of them while making a bit of extra profit, then you will be pleasantly surprised.

A good-quality bowling ball can be found for around $180-250 from a professional bowling shop or the market. But if you have used a bowling ball for half of its life or anywhere near or more than that, you cannot expect a lot of money from a single ball.

If you have like, 5-10 old bowling balls that have been lying around and they are still in good usable shape, you can sell them to shops or customers personally for anywhere from $30-80 depending upon the brand, the paint, and the overall condition of the bowling ball.

Do Bowling Balls go Bad?

I have been asked this question quite a lot. Well, first, we have to understand what going bad means in this case. I believe going bad means tearing, cracking on the coverstock, or breaking.

If you have purchased a good-quality bowling ball from a prized professional bowling shop, then you will not have any difficulties with your bowling ball giving out before its time.

That is unless you do not take care of it, clean it, resurface it, and maintain it perfectly as advised. Otherwise, even a good-quality bowling ball might break or tear before the 5-10 years period.

But if you get a bowling ball that is not very well structured or too cheaply made, the bowling ball might go bad or break very early. That is why you need to be careful when buying your bowling ball and from where you buy your bowling ball.

Repurposing Old Bowling Balls as Artwork

There’s another pretty amazing way of making use of your old bowling balls if you want to keep them with you as memories of the fantastic moments they brought you in many games.

You can repurpose them as artwork if you have that creativity and arts and craft knack. From garden decoration to a hanging light to a piece of art on your bookshelf, there are many things you can do with your old bowling balls if you want to get artfully creative.

Here is how you can paint and repurpose your old bowling balls as beautiful artwork, keep them at home or gift them to your friends and loved ones:

  • Take your spray paint cans and your bowling ball into a safe space.
  • Make sure you clean the bowling ball prior to any artwork.
  • Use a microfiber cloth to dry the bowling ball and use the spray paint and stencils to paint and design the bowling ball decoration you need.
  • Place the bowling ball in your favorite place, and you are all set.


There’s a lot you can do with your old cracked or simply unusable bowling balls, but it could be a bit difficult to find what exactly suits you. That is why, with these ways mentioned above, you can perfectly do as you please with your bowling balls according to your requirement and needs. I hope that you learned a lot from this article and that you will utilize this knowledge in making a decision that is both perfect for you and the people around you.

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