Home Blog Advice How to Deflate a Soccer Ball (With a Pump or Without)
How to Deflate a Soccer Ball (With a Pump or Without)

How to Deflate a Soccer Ball (With a Pump or Without)

You may run into times where a soccer ball needs to be deflated. Whether it’s  squeezing the air out of it to fit into a bag or simply because the ball is too hard. In these times, it’s important to know how Inside of a Soccer Ballto deflate a soccer ball.

Also, deflating a soccer ball is an essential part of maintaining it in its optimal condition.

Knowing the parts of a soccer ball can help you better understand where the valve is located. The valve is the small rubbery black hole.

There’s a couple effective ways to deflate a soccer ball. First off, you’ll need a good quality ball pump with the right size needle. Don’t worry if you don’t have this handy. We’ll show you how to deflate a ball without a pump as well.

How to Deflate a Soccer Ball with a Pump

The best and easiest way to deflate a soccer ball is with a ball pump and needle.

  1. Identify the valve of the soccer ball.
  2. Wipe off any dirt or debris off the valve.
  3. Lubricate (saliva, water, silicone oil or coconut oil) the inflation needle. The reason why we need to moisten the needle is because the valve opening is tight so sticking a dry needle could damage it.
  4. Insert the needle straight into the valve. It’s important to keep the needle and ball steady. You’ll run the risk of snapping the needle if you don’t.
  5. Slowly squeeze the air out of the soccer ball.
  6. Carefully remove the needle back out of the valve.

How to Deflate a Soccer Ball without a Pump

Sometimes you’re left with no pump or needle. How do you deflate a soccer ball in this instance? We’ll show you a couple options in the following steps.

  1. Find a paperclip around your house.
  2. Clean off the paperclip (make sure there’s no tape or glue on it).
  3. Straighten out the paperclip so there’s a longer, straight side.
  4. Lubricate (saliva, water, silicone oil or coconut oil) the paperclip.
  5. Insert the paperclip straight into the valve.
  6. Slowly squeeze the air out of the soccer ball.
  7. Carefully remove the paperclip back out of the valve.

You can also do this with the pen cartridge of a ballpoint pen or anything thin enough to pierce through the valve. But, be cautious that it can fit into the valve properly.

Things to Keep in Mind When Deflating a Soccer Ball

Lubricate the Valve

Don’t skip this step! The valve of a soccer ball is the most important part because it allows for the ball to be inflated and deflated. Therefore, it’s crucial to lubricate the needle or object thoroughly before poking it through.

Go Straight Into It

I can’t tell you how many times my kids (never me!)  have broken needles because they went in at an angle or they didn’t secure the ball tight enough.

In this case, you just hope that the needle doesn’t break into the valve. Otherwise, you’ll need a pair of needle nose pliers to get them out.

The best thing to do is stand or sit right above the valve looking straight down so you are inline with the ball.

Release the Air Slowly

You don’t want to frantically squeeze the life out of the ball!

Instead, carefully squeeze the sides of the ball so it’s a steady deflate.

Store the Soccer Ball Inside

You should store your “good” soccer balls inside. If they are left outside, especially where weather fluctuates, they will lose their shape.

What Should a Soccer Ball be Inflated to?

As you deflate your soccer ball, keep in mind that deflating it too much will make it “stick” to the ground and become unplayable.

According to the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), a professional soccer ball must have between 8.5 and 15.61 PSI of air pressure.


There’s no science or art behind deflating soccer balls. It’s pretty straightforward especially if you have a ball pump handy.

If you don’t, you’ll just need to get a little creative and a paperclip or ball point pen will do!

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      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 soccernovo.com 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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