clean a basketball

If you want to clean a basketball and keep it clean, then this is the blog post for you. Not only will I tell you how to clean a basketball step-by-step. But I’ll also provide some tips on how to take care of your ball so that it’s always in good shape!

Grab a Bucket and Fill it with Warm Water

The warmth of the water helps open up any dirt or grime that might be stuck on the surface of the ball. If there are any logos or images on your ball. Do not submerge them into the bucket as they could come off when wet.

Do Not use cold water because it will not be able to break down tough stains like hot water can. So stick with warmer temperatures!

Mix in Some Detergent with Your Warm Water Mixture

clean a basketball with warm water & detergent

Make sure to use a gentle detergent as it could damage the ball. If you want, add in some vinegar for an extra clean-boosting effect! Let your mixture sit on and around the basketball for five minutes or so. This allows time for any grime that might be caked onto the surface of the ball to loosen up and become easier to clean off.

If there are any stains stuck into cracks or against certain areas of the ball. Try using a soft-bristled brush (like a toothbrush) with soap rubbed all over it. You can also use a metal scrubber if needed. But take great care not to scratch anything during the cleaning process!

Remember: do not submerge logos etcetera into water/dye mix; let it sit on the surface instead.

Rinse it Out!

Fill another bucket with clean water and dunk your basketball inside of it a few times. So that all of the soap/dye mixtures get washed away from the exterior. Once clean, let dry by standing upright. Having something underneath to catch any drips will also help speed up the process!

Extra Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining a Basketball

No Harsh Substances

Don’t use any type of bleach or stain remover as this may damage materials used in stitching together a basketball;

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If there’s an area where the dye has been applied onto leather material. Try using a little bit of Vaseline around those areas before going into step two above. After five minutes have passed, clean as usual and use a clean cloth to wipe away any excess Vaseline that may have been applied onto the ball.

Use Petroleum Jelly

Every once in a while, rub some petroleum jelly into leather material. This will help keep the stitching from being frayed or damaged. Just be sure not to apply too much of the jelly on your ball so it doesn’t slip out of your hands! In general though, just stay gentle with basketball at all times. You don’t want anything but cleanliness for its exterior/materials used inside.

How do You Maintain an Outdoor Basketball?

Always clean off dirt and mud after each use – this is especially important if you’re playing with an outdoor basketball;

Clean your ball regularly, using the steps described above in order to maintain its cleanliness. If there are any areas where the stitching has come undone or frayed, try applying some petroleum jelly onto it so that stitching doesn’t wear away further;

If outdoors for long periods (e.g., during the summer), consider bringing along a bucket filled with clean water whenever possible. This will save you from having to clean your basketball under running tap water which can damage the leather material used inside of it! As well, be sure to clean up spills right away as they could cause stains over time – these stains may be impossible to clean off so prevention is key!

maintaining and cleaning a basketball

How Often Should I Clean my Basketball?

Ideally, clean your ball after every use – this prevents dirt or grime from getting stuck onto it and becoming a pain to clean off later. If you clean it after every use, you can usually get away with cleaning your ball once a month or so throughout the year.

Of course, this depends on how often you play with your basketball – just be sure to clean whenever necessary! You’ll also want to clean when any visible stains/marks have been left behind by dirt and grime stuck onto the exterior of your ball.

You should clean off sweat after each use as well to prevent foul odors from forming and making their way into leather material (if applicable). Just remember: take good care of your basketball and give it love — if properly maintained, it will last for years.

Does a Basketball Lose Grip if I Clean it?

No! You don’t want to clean a basketball too much because you will wear away the leather material and make it lose grip. Just clean off dirt/mud after each use, as well as sweat during those hot summer months to prevent foul odors from forming inside of your ball (if applicable).

If excessive cleaning is applied, it will eventually deter the materials. As a result, all the materials used for stitching together a basketball won’t hold well anymore causing holes in your ball or it will just start tearing up.

When to Replace a Basketball?

A basketball should be replaced if:

  • It is worn out or has holes, tears, cracks in it;
  • It is out of shape or has warped;
  • The rubber bladder inside the ball is no longer airtight. This usually occurs after a few years if you clean your basketball properly and play with it often! If this happens, there’s not much else you can do besides replacing it – this will also help prevent any injuries from occurring while playing on an old/worn-out ball which could lead to puncture wounds etcetera. Always be safe rather than sorry!
  • You clean off your ball with water after every use but the leather material inside still smells bad – this means that there are some stains left behind which can’t be cleaned. You’ll want to replace your basketball if you continue smelling these odors over time as they could lead to mold forming on its surface!

If none of the above apply and you clean your ball regularly (after each use), then a replacement isn’t necessary just yet. However, keeping track of when was the last time you replaced/cleaned your ball will help prevent potential problems down the road so keep tabs on how often you clean it versus replacing it!

replace or clean a basketball


We hope this blog post on how to clean a basketball was of great help and use! We want to write more posts like this in the future, so please let us know any topic you might want to be covered. If there’s anything we could improve upon or add, then don’t hesitate to drop us a message – your feedback is always appreciated!

Also, if there are any questions about how to take care of your basketball let us know down below.

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