How to Clean a Soccer Ball

How to Clean a Soccer Ball

Cleaning a soccer ball may seem pointless but it not only looks better but it helps the performance and longevity.

Science tells us that a clean soccer ball performs better on the field. Dirt and grime can affect the ball’s grip and trajectory.

So, it can be beneficial to periodically clean your soccer ball. But, how do we do it?

First, it’s important to note that there are different ways to clean a soccer ball depending on the type of dirt or stain.

For example, cleaning grass stains is different from removing mud or scuff marks. But no matter the type of stain, there are some general guidelines you can follow to keep your soccer ball clean and in good condition.

In this article, we’ll provide you with some tips and tricks on how to clean a soccer ball effectively and safely.

Materials Needed

dirty soccer ballsBefore you start cleaning your soccer ball, make sure you have the following materials:

1) Soccer Ball (duh!)

The first thing you’ll need is obviously the soccer ball itself. Make sure it’s inflated to the proper pressure and that it’s not damaged in any way.

If the ball is damaged, it may not be safe to use, and cleaning it won’t help.

2) Large Bucket

You’ll need a bucket to mix your cleaning solution in. Make sure it’s large enough to put an adequate amount of water in. It should be bigger than a cereal bowl.

3) Warm Water

You’ll need water to mix with your cleaning solution. Make sure it’s warm, but not scorching hot. Hot water will not only potentially burn you but it can damage the ball’s outer cover as well.

4) Dish Soap

You’ll need dish soap (or hand soap) to mix in with your water.

Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach, as they can damage the ball’s outer cover. Make sure the soap is mild and doesn’t contain any abrasive particles that could scratch the ball’s surface.


Before you begin cleaning your soccer ball, it’s important to remove any dirt and debris that may have accumulated on the surface. This will make the cleaning process more effective and prevent any scratches or damage to the ball.

Remove Dirt and Debris

Start by using a dry cloth to wipe away any loose dirt, grass, or soil particles on the surface of the ball. Be sure to pay extra attention to the seams and stitching, as these areas tend to collect the most dirt and debris over time.

If there are any stubborn stains or marks on the ball, you can use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently scrub the affected area.

Make sure to avoid using any sharp objects or abrasive materials, as these can damage the surface of the ball and affect its performance.

Rinse the Ball with Water

Once you’ve removed all the loose dirt and debris from the surface of the ball, it’s time to rinse it with water.

Fill a bucket with warm water and use a clean, damp cloth to wipe down the ball.

If you’re cleaning a leather soccer ball, be sure to use a damp cloth rather than soaking it in water. Excessive exposure to water can damage the leather and affect the ball’s performance. Most modern soccer balls will have a percentage of rubberized material.

After rinsing the ball, use a dry cloth to wipe away any excess water and let it air dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Cleaning Your Soccer Ball

As we mentioned, keeping your soccer ball clean is important for both its longevity and your safety.

Dirt and grime can damage the outer cover, and bacteria can accumulate on the surface of the ball. Here are the steps to clean your soccer ball:

1) Mix Soap and Water

The first step is to mix warm water with a hand or dish soap that is bleach-free (most are).

If you’re using a bucket, fill it with warm water and add a small amount of soap.

If you’re using a spray bottle, fill it with water and add a few drops of soap. Mix the solution well.

2) Wash the Ball with Soapy Water

Next, dip a soft cloth in the soapy water and rub it in a circular motion on the ball.

Use a sponge or cloth to gently rub any scuffs or dirt away. Be careful not to use needles or hooks that can damage the ball’s stitching or outer cover.

3) Rinse the Soccer Ball with Water

Once you’ve cleaned the ball, rinse it thoroughly with clean water. You can use a hose or a bucket of clean water to rinse the ball. Make sure to remove all soap residue from the ball.

After rinsing, use a dry cloth to wipe away any excess water.

4) Dry the Ball

Let the ball air dry completely before storing it in a cool, dry place. Avoid using artificial heat such as a hair dryer or direct sunlight to dry the ball. This could warp the ball.

Can a Soccer Ball Get Wet?

Soccer balls are designed to be played in a variety of weather conditions, including rain. While getting wet may not damage the ball, it can affect its performance and durability.

When a soccer ball gets wet, it becomes heavier and more difficult to control. The water on the surface of the ball can also cause it to skid or slide on the ground, making it harder to pass or shoot accurately.

Additionally, if the ball is not properly dried after getting wet, it can become moldy and stink. Similar to shin pads left in a soccer bag.

To prevent these issues, many soccer balls are designed with water-resistant materials and coatings. These balls are better equipped to handle wet conditions and can still perform well even when they get wet.

However, it is still important to dry the ball thoroughly after each use to prevent mold and other issues.

By choosing a water-resistant ball and properly drying it after each use, players can enjoy their favorite sport in a variety of weather conditions.

How to Remove Sticker from Soccer Ball

Removing stickers from a soccer ball can be a tricky and an annoying task. Here are the steps you need to follow to remove a sticker from your soccer ball:

  1. First, try to peel off the sticker with your fingernails. If it comes off easily, you’re done, ha!
  2. If the sticker is stubborn, use a plastic scraper or a credit card to gently scrape it off. Be careful not to damage the ball’s surface or stitching.
  3. If there is any residue left behind, apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol or adhesive remover to a cloth and gently rub the area until the residue is gone.
  4. Finally, wipe the ball with a damp cloth to remove any remaining residue or cleaner.

It’s important to note that you should never use harsh chemicals or abrasive materials to clean your soccer ball, as they can damage the surface and affect the ball’s performance.

With these simple steps, you can easily remove stickers from your soccer ball and keep it looking and performing its best! Or, give the ball as a gift without showing the price you paid for it.

How to Store Ball Properly

Proper storage is also important for maintaining the condition of your soccer ball. Here are some tips for storing your soccer ball:

  • Deflate the ball slightly before storing it, as this can help prevent the ball from losing its shape over time.
  • Store the ball in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight or extreme temperatures.
  • Avoid storing the ball in a damp or humid environment, as this can cause the ball to develop mold or mildew.
  • Use a ball bag or a storage container to protect the ball from dust, dirt, and other debris.
  • Check the ball regularly for any signs of damage or wear, and replace it if necessary.

Final Thoughts

It may appear ridiculous to write an article like this but taking care of your soccer balls will help you keep them longer. It will also be in good playing condition when training.

These tips will transform your ball into tip-top shape and allow you to train at your fullest capacity.

For more, read our related articles ‘Why is My Soccer Ball Deflating‘ and ‘Soccer Ball Size by Age‘.

Beau Bridges - Soccer Novo Hey 👋 I’m Beau. A proud Dad, former coach and soccer enthusiast. I continue to love the game of soccer today the same way I did when I was 7. I created to share what I know about the game as well as provide a platform so other parents can learn more about youth soccer in the U.S.

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