Common Pool Noodle FAQs and Answers

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We would like to be able to answer ALL your questions about pool noodles in this article of pool noodle FAQs. If you want to ask us anything we don’t cover here, just comment below and we’ll try our best to find the answer.

Questions People Ask About Pool Noodles

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about pool noodles that have come in from our readers.

And as the title says, we’ve actually included the answers.

Do YOU know the answer to all of these questions? I’ll bet even you could learn something new by reading through our FAQs.

What are pool noodles called?

In the Midwest, we call these cylindrical, buoyant toys “pool noodles”.

Other names we have heard include foam noodles, swim noodles, or water woggles (or just woggles).

What do YOU call pool noodles?

What are pool noodles made of?

A pool noodle is a cylindrical piece of buoyant polyethylene foam, sometimes hollow. USAFoam says “Polyethylene foam is a strong, resilient closed-cell foam.

Polyethylene foam’s excellent buoyancy allows it to be used in flotation equipment, and other nautical products.”

Why do pool noodles have holes?

There is a debate over the reason pool noodles have holes.

I think it’s to save the manufacturer a little money.

There are varying opinions that you can read about and ponder in this article: Why Do Pool Noodles Have Holes?.

Are pool noodles biodegradable?

According to Wikipedia, “Polyethylene, like other synthetic plastics, is not readily biodegradable, and thus accumulates in landfills”.

However, in 2017, researchers reported that the caterpillar of Galleria mellonella eats plastic garbage such as polyethylene.

So maybe one day we will have a way to decompose polyethylene pool noodles.

How can I recycle pool noodles?

So if pool noodles are NOT biodegradable, how can I recycle them?

The best way to recycle pool noodles is to use them again. Repurpose them by making crafts, toys, or games. Read more about How to Recycle Foam Pool Noodles.

pool noodle closeup

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How do you cut pool noodles?

Cut pool noodles using a serrated knife, an exacto knife, a straight kitchen knife or a mitre box and saw.

Read more about cutting pool noodles in this post: How to Cut Pool Noodles.

How do you connect pool noodles?

To connect the ends of pool noodles when making a wreath or similar craft, simply use duct tape.

You can tape the ends of pool noodles together to make large rings of various sizes.

You can also purchase pool noodle connectors. Read more about connectors and other pool noodles accessories here: Best Pool Noodle Accessories and Extras.

So, if you’re wondering how to attach pool noodles together, the best ideas is to use duct tape or a connector.

Will pool noodles melt?

This is another one of the pool noodle FAQs we frequently see.

Yes, a pool noodle will melt fairly easily. If you are using hot glue on a pool noodle, be quick and careful.

It WILL hold, but if left too long or you get too much glue, it can melt.

Pool noodles will also melt near any high heat – the stove, a fire, etc.

Be careful with your pool noodles around heat.

Can you glue pool noodles?

You can use glue with pool noodles.

Use ModPodge, or a clear adhesive like E6000.

Glue works best used for lower stress application areas such as attaching a flower or ribbon. This is a low-stress application.

If you’re trying to make a wreath, put the two ends together with duct tape instead.

It’s more likely to hold. This is a high-stress application.

How much weight can a pool noodle hold?

Foam pool noodles can support weight up to 250 pounds, depending on the size of the noodle.

Classic foam pool noodles are highly buoyant.

Noodles without holes can support more weight than ones with holes.

Pool noodles with smaller diameters are better for children, while noodles 3.5 – 5 inches in diameter will support more weight and are better for adults.

Can you paint pool noodles?

Yes, you can paint pool noodles. But carefully, and with the right type of paint.

Because of the material from which pool noodles are made, certain paints like spray paint will actually deteriorate the foam.

If you want to paint a pool noodle, use water-based paint like acrylic paint.

Latex paint would probably work as well, but might be more likely to peel.

Now Krylon has come up with a NEW water-based latex spray paint! Give this a try when you need to paint your pool noodle.

Are pool noodles good insulation?

Pool noodles are very similar to the industrial and residential foam insulation that is used on pipes.

The material used to make pool noodles is a very good insulator.

Amazon even sells pool noodles for this purpose.

They have a slit in them to make it easier to attach them to pipes.

So the answer is yes, pool noodles make great insulation and may even be a bit less expensive than regular pipe insulation.

Are pool noodles safe?

Pool noodles are safe to use with a few words of caution.

Don’t chew on or eat pool noodles.

Don’t expect pool noodles to protect you in the water. Always wear your life jacket.

Don’t run with a pool noodle. You might poke your eye out. (Just kidding. Wanted to see if you were paying attention.)

Pool noodles are safe to use. They are fun in the water, to make games and toys, to design craft projects, and to make decorations.

Please use your common sense.

Did we forget anything?

If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask in the comments and we will do our best to answer you with an update to this post of “Pool Noodle FAQs”.

I’m a semi-expert with pool noodles. I’ve crafted with them and spent many hours using them to float around on at the lake. Actually, that’s one of my all-time favorite pastimes!

I love pool noodles and hope you do, too!

So, shoot me your questions!

Also, visit our Facebook Page, please, and share your favorite DIYNoodle craft.

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42 thoughts on “Common Pool Noodle FAQs and Answers”

  1. How to make noodles be straight? E.g. I saw a a post somewhere about noodles as large Lincoln logs to make a fort, etc.
    Put pvc pipe through the hole?

    1. I want to know if I can use them to make a cylindrical round glued together for support behind my pillows on my bed.

  2. Phoenix Layne

    IF I make a column with pool noodles, and I use “latex paint” to begin with, can I SPRAY paint the final product with “SPRAY SAND PAINT?” for texture?

    What type of glue do I use to attach the noodles to the cardboard cylinders? I am using industrial grade “recycled shrink wrap tunes” the company I worked for just threw them away or sold them to a recycling company for “cardboard.” they are VERY sturdy and are 3/8th to 1/2″ thick. I rent so I want to use the columns as a decor near my kitchen to divide the kitchen & great-room. I think this will give a more “upgraded” look to my “rented moble home”

    I have upgraded the ugly wallpaper in the kitchen with painted “spackling & foam board” to look like a “rock back-splash” just to give this 25 yr old place a little “upgrade”

    THANK YOU for any suggestion you have to help me with the use of the columns.

    1. Hot glue or Gorilla glue would probably work as long as you are keeping the noodles vertical. If you’re twisting them around the cylinder, these products may not be strong enough to hold. Noodles are foam and will melt or disintegrate with some types of glue. I’d try on some test pieces first to be sure.
      I’d love to see your project when you’re finished! Maybe you’d share on our FB page? facebook/ Good luck!

  3. I use the spray insulation foam it does a good job holding this material.
    I am in process of making a , 7 ft tall cactus and I wonder if there is an economical way to sand the surface.
    Seems I’ve done everything the hard way this far.
    Perhaps I need to coat it with a plaster of some sort and then sand and paint ?

    1. Hi Nancy. Does the spray insulation foam hold the noodles together in a high stress situation-such as making circles where you put the ends together?

    2. I’ve actually used Harbor Freight Diamond Stones designed for knife and tool sharpening, to help shape what a small-holed cheese grater, will not.
      You get 3 different grit ‘stones’ or about $10. They are mounted on colored plastic backings.
      The coarsest is rated at about 600 grit I believe(?)

      But it sounds like for a cactus, a layer of the latex spray paint tinted green would be a good start for covering the pores…then start adding light layers of more standard paint, spray or otherwise. I imagine anything petroleum based MIGHT do damage to the latex layer, with the initial layers being the most important. Also why I’m thinking multiple thin layers of another paint on top of the latex, build up a base, basically.

      Good luck!
      I came here trying to find the best way to glue noodles together…i’d say based on what I have on hand the E6000 is the best, but based on adhering foam for a kayak in thE past, I want to get some contact cement to try.
      As I recall, similar to rubber cement, and it almost welded that foam together. It IS a closed cell foam, but other adhesives tended to melt it a bit, and Contact Cement is pretty cheap as I recall!

  4. Kimberly Gainey

    I know you covered the heat sensitivity of noodles but also their use as insulators, so would they work as replacement insulation for coolant lines and such for a car engine?

    1. I am not a mechanic, nor familiar with the use of pool noodles in an engine compartment. It would seem to me that the engine compartment of a vehicle could get quite hot, especially during the summer months. While this use of pool noodles may work, it is not endorsed or recommended by

  5. Bonnie Sikes

    I have a carport with some spaces at the very bottom. Debris comes through and into the carport. I thought pool noodles would be just the thing to fill up the gaps. And look good too! I need to find out how to attach them to asphalt.

  6. I want to use pool noodles to wrap my finished quilts around when storing to prevent fold marks. Will the noodle discolour or mark my fabric. The fabric is 100% cotton.

  7. If I wanted to hide a dish pole that is in my yard, can I decorate it with pole noodles, paint it, how long would it last?

    1. I would think that you could do it, but would probably ask the installers if it will affect your service/warranties, etc. As far as how long it would last, there would be many variables. Is it in the sun or shade? What kind of paint are you using? How thick are you applying the paint and how many coats? Is it protected from the elements close to a house or out in the yard? That’s a tough question to answer…

  8. I would like to send you a picture of something I want to create with pool noodles. Is that possible?

      1. can a pool noodle, that’s been sitting in the sun, and thus crispy & crunchy, be reconditioned?

        1. Nelda,
          I think that sun exposure and crispy, crunchy may be the end of your pool noodle. It’s recommended that they be protected from the sun and moisture when not in use. Your pool noodles may need to be replaced.


    Our pool noodles eventually break down to become scratchy and absorb more water. Is there anything I can coat them in that will help restore them to their slick, smooth, less absorbent state?

    1. Pool noodles eventually will break down. I don’t think there is much to do to keep that from happening. You can slow the process, though. The best thing is to keep them dry and out of the sun, and at a normal indoor temperature when not in use. This will help them last longer.

  10. I’m wanting to make those Harry Potter candles out of pool noodles, but I don’t want the texture of the pool noodles to show. What you would you recommend to smooth it out? Thank you!!!

  11. Judy Barnhart

    I want to use pool noodles as a garden edger. Is there anything I can spray on them to make them last longer in the sun?

  12. LaDean Harrison

    Can you cut a pool noodle in half and lay it for the edging of your garden by applying a thin coat of cement over the top of your pool noodle to make your edging round on top

    1. I’ve never tried that. It seems that the cement might crack without strong support underneath. Pool noodles are pretty flexible. If you try this, please report back on your results! Thanks.

  13. How durable is the pool noodle foam? I would like to use a noodle to make a lumbar pad for a wheelchair that can rotate (aluminum rod through the center hole attached to the chair). Would the noodle be durable enough to withstand daily contact and movement against it?

    1. Bob,
      This would probably depend on the noodle you choose. Different manufacturers make varying quality pool noodles. Some are more durable from the start. I would suggest buying your noodle from the store, where you can feel it and test it’s bendability and structure before making your purchase.

  14. We are using pool noodles to protect our blind dog from injuring herself on table legs and corners. We have a small (3”) wall that will need both corners covered. How can we attach the noodles without damaging the wall?

  15. If used as flotation inside a sailboat hull, where not exposed to the sun, is breakdown still an issue? Do the cut ends allow water absorption? If so, what should I coat the ends with?

  16. We use pool noodles in our long term care facility as a border underneath a fitted sheet to aid in preventing a resident from accidently rolling out of their bed. Can they be disinfected and used for another resident? This is in relationship to looking at it from an infection control issue.

    1. Pool noodles are usually very porous and very inexpensive. I don’t think it would be a good to use them for more than one person. But, hey. I’m not an infectious control specialist. Or even a doctor.

  17. Can you use a cut pool noodle attached to pool ladder as a protective cushion between ladder & pool liner?

  18. So I have a question ❓. I want to use pool noodles on my porch to put in tight places so I can attach screen to them. Is this something that can be done? I am trying to enclose my front porch for the kittens. Do I need to wrap them with tape to help to preserve the noodles? They will not have a ton of exposer to the sun. Thanks for any advice on this.

  19. Does packing tape work as well as duct tape? Or does it need to be duct tape to hold in a circle?

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