How to Clean a Basketball – Some Dead Simple Ways

John Lochert


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Every single time your hand comes in contact with a basketball you are unknowingly at risk of being infected by deadly viruses. The balls get thrown into lots of mud and dirt during the game or practice season, and it is exposed to lots of harmful germs and bacteria on earth and whatnot.

It’s not just for health hazards that have come with it but for economic reasons as well. Buying a new one is often out of our budget. So the best way for a basketball to last long is to clean it regularly.

So stop being a sloth and clean your basketball!

What are the Necessary Cleaning Materials?

Different kinds of basketballs are available out there. Basketballs can be made of different materials. So vast varieties of basketball materials are available as well. Some basketballs are made of rubber. Some are made of synthetic materials. On the other hand, some basketballs are made of leather materials. So the cleaning procedure varies depending on the ball.

Cleaning the Rubber Made Basketballs

The rubber-made basketballs are extremely common, and it is the most commonly used basketball in the world. Almost every basketball lover must have owned a rubber-made basketball at some point in their life.

These basketballs are cheap and handy as well, But rubber-made basketballs get dirty very quickly. Rubber is also that kind of material that catches dirt itself. The elasticity and tenderness of the material basketballs make them more prone to catching viruses and bacteria. That is why it is important to clean rubber-made basketballs.

You can clean it in three different ways.

Cleaning With a Wipe

  • Take a wipe to clean the basketball. Submerge the wipe or cotton cloth in a liquid solution made with mild detergent.
  • Wipe the basketball with a cotton cloth. Try to clean the ball by putting a bit of extra pressure. It will help to remove all the dirt the basketball has got into it.
  • After wiping, let the ball dry for a while. You can clean it again with a dry cloth. But don’t try to dry with a hairdryer.

Washing the Ball Directly

  • You can directly wash the ball with lukewarm water. Always remember that the water must be Lukewarm otherwise the ball will shrink away and get damaged.
  • After drenching the ball with water, wash it with soap water or mild detergents.
  • Let it dry.

Use a Toothbrush

  • The process may seem a bit weird, but a toothbrush is very handy to clean a basketball.
  • Take a toothbrush and drench it in detergent water.
  • After that, use the brush to clean the ball.
  • Put pressure and be a bit harsh while brushing the ball to clean it.
  • Wash it and pat dry it.
  • The ball is ready to use again.

Ways to Clean a Leather Basketball

Leather balls are more expensive and need some extra care to clean. You can’t just put it into the detergent water because exposing it directly to the detergent can harm the leather. Never forget to use natural leather cleaner to clean the basketball. Otherwise, detergent water can ruin your basketball.

  • Make a solution to clean the basketball with natural leather cleaner.
  • Don’t submerge the ball in the solution water.
  • Soak a cotton cloth in the solution and scrub the basketball with this cloth.
  • After using the cloth, wash the ball with clean water.
  • Dry the ball with a clean cloth.

If you regularly use the ball, then it comes in contact with extra mud and dirt more than often. So at first wash it with clean water before you start.

  • Try to remove the mud as much as possible.
  • After washing and removing the dirt, clean it with a natural leather solution.
  • Leather balls are very sensitive. So never submerge it in any cleaning solution. It will ruin the ball.
  • After cleaning it with solution keep it in a cool place.
  • Never keep it in direct sunshine or use the dryer to dry it.

Leather balls are made for professional use, and they are very sensitive. So take proper care of the ball it is necessary to keep it usable for a long time. Any basketball enthusiast who owns leather basketball should keep it in mind.

How to Clean Synthetic Leather Basketballs

Synthetic leather-made basketballs need a different way of cleaning than other basketballs. Although it is much more sensitive than pure leather basketballs but comparatively more sensitive than rubber-made basketballs. This kind of ball is used in regular practice and some tournaments as well. Also, Synthetic Leather made basketballs are more used in Europe than in other places in the world.

Cleaning a Synthetic Basketball

  • Use mild soapy water to wash a synthetic basketball.
  • Just like leather basketballs, don’t submerge a synthetic basketball in any detergent solution.
  • Take a cotton cloth and drench the cloth in mild soapy water.
  • Wipe the strains and dust off the ball with this cloth.
  • You can also use a brush to clean the ball instead of water.
  • Another safe way is to use a natural shampoo solution. Natural shampoos are very mild. You can use this shampoo water solution to clean the basketballs.
  • After using the solution, wash the ball with lukewarm water first.
  • If you see any more particular stains, then use a synthetic leather basketball cleaning solution.
  • Be a bit harsh while using the solution and wipe the ball with pressure.
  • After that, rewash the ball.
  • Let it dry.

See how easy it is to clean synthetic leather-made basketball? With regular cleaning, you can keep a basketball good for playing for a long time.

Some Important Points to Remember

  • Never submerge your ball in the water.
  • Never use hot boiling water to clean the ball.
  • Always use natural leather basketball cleaner with a leather ball. Detergent is extremely harmful to leather balls.
  • Don’t try to dry the ball with the dryer.
  • Don’t use any random strong cleaner for your basketballs.

Closing Note

Without regular cleaning and maintenance, nothing will last for long, and the basketball is no exception either. No matter if it is a rubber ball or synthetic leather.

Your health is at risk from not cleaning the basketball properly. Who doesn’t want to play safe? So it’s better to take some time to properly wash and dry it if you have an extra hour to spare.

We have covered all the necessary details you may require in this guide on how to clean a basketball. Hope it helped you to get started.