Soccer is a sport that has become a household name in most countries. Even little kids as young as 5 years old can be found around street corners playing soccer with excitement and enthusiasm.
But we can’t mention soccer without talking about soccer balls. The game of soccer can’t happen if there are no soccer balls or round objects that can serve the purpose of balls.
- To keep soccer balls in good condition, they must be cleaned the right way after each use
- The way soccer balls are inflated can affect their performance and lifespan
- Weather elements can cause damage to your soccer balls if they aren’t stored properly
Balls used for playing soccer are usually made with different materials. Different sizes of soccer balls are usually designed for different variants of soccer according to FIFA specifications.
In the earlier years of soccer, materials like unprocessed leather, dry animal stomach, and bladder were stuffed and used for playing soccer. Balls made with rubber replaced these initial ball materials because rubber balls were more durable, easier to play with, and easy to take care of.
The kicking and heading that happen during a soccer game wear out the ball and you will find yourself changing the ball every few weeks if you play regularly. However, if you don’t play your ball too often but have to change them regularly, it is important to question your ball handling.
Do you fall under the category of soccer players that change balls frequently because of damage? Keep reading for efficient ways of keeping soccer balls in good condition to enable them last longer.
How to keep a soccer ball in good condition?
Although soccer balls are the most important equipment used in the sport, you will hardly see that importance in the way they are handled. As a soccer player, it is important to learn how to pump, deflate, clean, maintain, and store your balls.
Although soccer balls might look the same, they are often designed for different surfaces, competition levels, soccer variants, and age groups. Using soccer balls for purposes they weren’t designed for will make them degrade faster.
Before purchasing soccer balls, you have to check if they are suitable for indoor, outdoor soccer, or both. Surfaces used for indoor and outdoor soccer are entirely different. Therefore, they require soccer balls made with different materials.
It doesn’t matter if you play soccer for exercise, entertainment, or professionally, learning how to take care of soccer balls is something you shouldn’t take for granted. When soccer balls are properly taken care of, they will remain in good condition and serve you longer.
There are numerous ways of taking proper care of soccer balls and we shall be looking at them below.
Clean your balls after use
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Last update on 2023-11-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Soccer balls usually get dirty and roughed up after using them on outdoor surfaces. To stop the dirt from affecting the surface of the ball, you must clean them properly before storage.
Some people make the mistake of keeping balls without properly cleaning them after use. The soccer ball gets exposed to chemicals from the pitch that degrades the outer layer if allowed to stay on it for too long.
To properly clean your soccer ball after use, follow the procedure outlined below.
- In a container or bowl, mix either synthetic leather cleaner, gentle liquid soap, or mild powdered detergent with water in a proportion of one tablespoon to a gallon of lukewarm water
- Submerge the dirty ball in the soapy water for 5 to 10 seconds
- Find a wet nonabrasive cloth or towel and use it to mildly rub against the surface of the wet ball
- Keep repeating the second and third steps until the ball is visibly clean
- Once the ball is clean enough, use clean water to rinse it
- Place it in a clean corner to properly air dry
We recommend you clean your soccer balls with nonabrasive organic cleaners. Mild cleaners and detergents wouldn’t harm the surface or integrity of your soccer balls.
Also, try not to use high-pressure water spray like a jet wash when cleaning the ball because it can penetrate through the stitches on the ball and damage the internal material.
Properly inflate your soccer balls
Last update on 2023-11-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
To avoid incurring damage to soccer balls, make sure that the air pumped into them is at the right pressure. The recommended pressure for soccer balls is usually written somewhere on their body or on the manufacturer’s manual.
Overinflating or under-inflating soccer balls can cause damage to them when they are played. Overinflated balls can explode when kicked while underinflated balls fail to bounce properly increasing their drag on the playing surface which can also cause wear.
To get the best out of soccer balls and avoid possible injuries during matches, you must inflate them properly.
Follow the guidelines below to learn how to properly inflate your soccer balls.
- Firstly, you need to get your air pump, air gauge, and pump needle ready
- Check the manufacturer’s manual if you can’t find the ideal air pressure on the body of the soccer ball
- Lubricate the pump needle and valve of the soccer ball using oil before inserting the needle into the valve
- Firmly secure the needle to the air pump and start pumping slowly
- Stop pumping once the gauge hits the stipulated air pressure
- Pull out the needle from the valve slowly and enjoy your soccer ball
Properly deflate soccer balls when storing them for long
Soccer balls shouldn’t be left inflated when they aren’t intended to be used for a long period. For example, when suffering from an injury or sickness that will prevent you from playing for a while, remember to deflate your balls before storing them.
This will stop them from bursting suddenly, especially when hit with extreme temperatures or external pressure.
Below are steps you to safely deflate a soccer ball using an inflation needle.
- Get your inflation needle ready by lubricating it with oil
- Slowly insert the needle into the valve of the soccer ball
- Keep applying pressure to the surface of the soccer ball until the air in the bladder escapes as much as you want
Avoid standing or sitting on balls
Soccer balls aren’t furniture or stones that you should sit or stand on. Sitting or standing on soccer balls can damage them gradually and can even make them explode in extreme instances.
It is better to sit on the floor when you get exhausted from playing soccer instead of relaxing on your soccer ball. Unhealthy practices like that can alter the original shape of your soccer ball or even cause you injuries.
Air slowly escapes through the valve of soccer balls when immense pressure is applied to their surface over an extended period. If you find yourself needing to inflate your soccer ball almost every time, it may be because you stood or sat on it.
Play balls on the right surfaces
Although soccer balls don’t get damaged easily, it doesn’t mean you should play them against walls and other rough surfaces. Natural grass, turf, and smooth wooden floor arenas are always preferable for playing soccer to other kinds of surfaces.
Grass provides cushioning to the surface of soccer balls and stops them from tearing easily—although they get balls dirty quicker. Hard and abrasive surfaces like asphalt can damage soccer balls very fast and even cause injuries during play.
Always use soccer balls on the right surfaces they were designed for. Don’t use outdoor soccer balls in playing indoor soccer or beach soccer balls in playing futsal.
Contact professionals for repair
You might be tempted to repair your damaged soccer ball yourself if it’s just a minor leak or tear. It is highly advisable that you leave leaks and tear for the professionals to handle.
There is always a high tendency that you will eventually make the problem worse if it is your first time encountering such a challenge. Seeking the services of a skilled craftsman is highly recommended.
In most cases, the professional will not only fix your soccer ball but will also give you tips on how to prevent the condition from recurring. If you are confident enough about fixing your balls yourself, always use the right repair kits while doing so.
Store balls properly
Last update on 2023-11-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Soccer balls damage faster when they are not properly stored. Most people are guilty of leaving balls lying around the vicinity after playing which exposes them to harsh weather conditions like direct sunlight, snow, and rain.
Exposing balls to such harsh weather conditions can cause the deterioration of their production material. Storing balls properly should be a habit that you should learn.
There are numerous ways of storing soccer balls but the most common ones are using dedicated bags and ball racks in a well-ventilated dry room. These methods of storing soccer balls are healthy for the plastic materials they are made with.
Your soccer balls can’t perform optimally or stand the test of time if they aren’t adequately taken care of. They begin to deteriorate quickly when handled carelessly or not properly stored.
Harsh environmental conditions and improper storage are two factors that have been most implicated in the degradation of soccer balls. The third has to do with the behavior of the user such as playing soccer balls on the wrong surface or sitting or standing on them.
If you love playing soccer, you must learn how to properly take care of your balls so they can remain in good condition and last longer. Hopefully, the outlines above will do the trick for you if you have been struggling to keep your ball in good condition.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!