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How to Clean a Basketball

Publish Date: 26.12.2019
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

A basketball is usually exposed to all kinds of dirt and bacteria due to the amount of wear and tear it receives while being used. Cleaning it will save you from playing with a dirty basketball and can also increase your basketball’s lifespan.

The process of cleaning a basketball may differ depending on the material it is made of and you should be careful in how you approach cleaning a ball until you are aware of the proper techniques based on the material of your ball. In this article, we are going to take a look at the different methods you can follow to make your basketball look as good as new. Let’s dive right into it, shall we?

Materials Used in Making Basketballs

Basketballs are made from synthetic leather, natural leather, and rubber. The Spalding Official NBA basketball and Wilson Evolution Ball are examples of quality natural leather basketballs. Some of the most common synthetic leather basketballs are the BMGX basketball and the Wilson NCAA Wave Microfibre Composite Basketball.

Knowing the material of your ball is important, not only in cleaning it but in using them correctly. You would not want to use a quality leather indoor ball on a playground as it would crack and break down.

Things to Be Aware of When Cleaning a Basketball

  • To prevent corrosion of the material used in making a basketball, you should not soak it in water or detergent.
  • Do not use any dryers that emit high-temperature heat. Use a cloth to dry off your basketball.
  • Strong detergents should be avoided.
  • You should not clean your basketball while it’s deflated.

Cleaning a Rubber basketball

Even though rubber basketballs get dirty very quickly, they are very easy to clean. Follow these steps to clean your basketball:

  1. Fill a bucket with warm water.
  2. Add some detergent and mix the water thoroughly.
  3. Take a soft cloth, dip it in water and scrub the surface of the basketball lightly to get rid of the dirt.
  4. Repeat the process but use more force when scrubbing the surface the second time.
  5. Make sure you have cleaned it thoroughly especially the textured surface.
  6. Rinse it with clean warm water.
  7. Use a dry cloth to wipe excess water from the ball’s surface.

Cleaning a Synthetic Rubber Basketball

Synthetic leather basketballs are mainly used in outdoor courts. Cleaning them may require you to be a little bit keen.

  1. Fill a bucket with warm water and add some detergent.
  2. Rinse the basketball for about thirty minutes.
  3. Using a clean cloth, apply soap on the basketball’s surface.
  4. Rub the cloth over and over again until the dirt disappears and the surface becomes non-sticky.
  5. If you still notice some small patches of dirt on the surface, use some elbow grease to get rid of those patches.
  6. Synthetic rubber basketballs are used in outdoor courts and they can have some nasty stains, which might give you a headache while cleaning. You can use leather synthetic leather cleaner to get rid of those stains.

Cleaning a Natural Leather Basketball

Basketballs made from leather are easy to clean because there are many leather cleaners in the market that ease up the process. Basketballs covered with mud should be rinsed first in warm water before using leather cleaners on them.

  1. Put enough leather cleaner in a container.
  2. Use a clean cloth to apply some of it on the basketball’s surface.
  3. Rub the surface gently for a nice polish.
  4. Use a dry cloth to wipe the surface of the basketball.
  5. Store the basketball in a cool and dry place when you finish cleaning it.

Taking Good Care of Your Basketball

  • Keep your basketball away from direct sunlight. Store it in a cool and dry place.
  • To make your basketball look new, apply some wood polish on the surface.
  • Having more than one basketball will be convenient for you because you can switch them when cleaning one.

Why it Pays to Clean Your Basketball

Cleaning a basketball is an easy task. Your basketball will look new after being cleaned and this boosts your confidence. Not to mention, cleaning a basketball keeps off harmful diseases and infection from affecting you. Each ball should be cleaned in its own unique manner depending on the material it is made of.

If you have any other thoughts about this topic, let us know in the comment section below.

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