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How To Remove A Needle From A Soccer Ball?

How To Remove A Needle From A Soccer Ball?

Soccer is an exciting sport to watch and play, it is one of the best ways to exercise the body and get your system working as it should. But would soccer be exciting or even exist without soccer balls? Guess you already know the answer.

Taking adequate care of soccer balls should be a priority for every soccer fan out there who wants to preserve the existence of the sport. Properly inflating soccer balls is one of the little but important ways of sustaining this course.

A properly inflated soccer ball can determine the outcome of a match. Excess air pressure can cause a soccer ball to burst easily and inadequate pressure can hinder the ball from traveling as it should so a ball must be pumped to the right pressure for optimal performance.

a person is pumping the soccer ball


Knowing how to properly use an air pump is also something everybody who enjoys playing soccer should learn, knowing that a deflated soccer ball is useless until it is adequately pumped.

Manual air pumps and ball pump needles are not hard to find at commercial sports stores around you. Buying a good quality air pump will do you a lot of good and don’t forget to also buy a good quantity of pump needles with a good air gauge.

Pump needles often get stuck on the tiny openings of soccer ball valves especially when they are not properly lubricated before insertion. This can also happen when they are roughly handled while pumping the soccer ball.

the person is trying to remove a needle from a soccer ball

We know an incident like this can be devastating when it happens in a situation where there is no alternative soccer ball to be used. This article is accurately tailored to help you navigate when you find yourself in such a dire situation.

How to remove a needle from a soccer ball?

For those who might not know what a soccer ball’s valve is, it is that tiny dark circle on the top of soccer balls that controls airflow by opening and closing when needed. Soccer ball valves extend into the bladder of soccer balls to enable proper regulation of air pressure.

Sports balls may look different in size, texture, and shape but they often require frequent pumping using a specialized needle before they can function properly.

When purchasing pump needles, factors like metal type, cost, and size must be of priority to you. The inflation needle size must correspond to that of your soccer ball’s valve to avoid unexpected circumstances.

Standard needles are usually 5/16 of an inch (0.79 cm) in diameter and 1¼ inches (3.2 cm) in length. Based on your type of soccer ball, you can select from two common sizes of needles which are 7mm and 5mm. The two are highly recommended for soccer balls.

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Needles are manufactured with different metals which can directly affect their durability and strength. The most common types are the stainless-steel type and aluminum needles which are more durable than other types.

Some modern pump pins are designed to be slightly flexible to reduce breakage that often occurs while pumping soccer balls. They are suitable options for people fond of constantly breaking needles on soccer ball valves.

Sometimes, people find it hard to insert or remove needles from soccer balls when the needles are not properly lubricated before use. Lubricants like glycerin, hair oil, and olive oil should be applied to needles before inserting them into the valve.

Lubrication helps the needle to slide in effortlessly without much difficulty and also pull out after inflation without struggle. Moistening the needle is a step you mustn’t overlook while trying to pump a soccer ball like some people often do.

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High-grade pump needles are designed to suit many types of pumps such as hand pumps, foot pumps, and ball pumps. Once high-grade pump needles are correctly screwed onto the pump, they work effortlessly without fear of breakage, or else you are determined to damage them.

Pump needles are essential for pumping all balls with a valve e.g., basketballs, footballs, volleyballs, handballs, netballs, water polo balls, etc. You don’t always have to buy different needles for different sports balls because a single needle can function across all varieties of balls.

One good thing about pump needles is that they are lightweight and crafted to perfection and can easily be carried around without causing discomfort. Pump needles are rust, chemical, and heat resistant which makes them enduring and durable.

When inflating a soccer ball, it is common to add pressure on the needle to avoid air from escaping into the environment. That action is capable of breaking the thin needle on the valve.

Completely deflating such a ball and pushing the broken needle from the inside out through the valve is one of the biggest mistakes you can make because the needle can damage the ball’s bladder.

Another crazy decision some people often make is that they push the broken needle into the bladder of the ball using a different needle. Actions like that can render a ball useless in no time.

To avoid making risky mistakes like these that can cost you your soccer ball, we have compiled a few step-by-step solutions that can save you time, money and the life of your soccer ball.

Vise-grip Locking Plier Method

This method is cheap and easy to replicate as long as you carefully follow instructions.

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Needed items for this method

  • Cotton balls
  • Vise-grip locking plier
  • Pump
  • Alcohol


  1. Disconnect the pump nozzle from the needle adapter. Pick a cotton ball and dip it in alcohol, make sure the cotton ball is not dampened.
  2. Take the cotton ball and try pulling the lodged needle on the valve, as you pull, make sure you are cleaning the needle as it emerges. Keep pulling until you can no longer pull with your hands.
  3. Take your vise-grip locking plier and firmly grab the needle as you place the ball between your legs for an added grip as you pull. Keep pulling until the needle is out.
  4. Clean the valve with the cotton ball and add a drop of alcohol to the valve itself.
  5. You can now re-inflate the soccer ball to its recommended PSI. Carefully retract the needle after pumping.

Pros of the Vise-grip locking plier method

  • It is time-efficient
  • Very effective

Cons of the Vise-grip locking plier method

  • Drains a lot of energy
  • Pulling the needle too hard can damage the valve
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Paper Clip Method

The paper clip method is one of the widely used methods because of its ease and proven effectiveness.

Needed items for this method

  • Paper clip
  • Super glue gel


  1. Get a paper clip, the type used to hold documents together, and slightly unfold it from its original shape to a pointy shape like a needle. Allow the remaining folded portion of the paper clip to remain.
  2. Get a super glue gel and pour a little of its content on a container, and carefully coat the pointy part of the paper clip with the super glue gel before it gets dry.
  1. When the paper clip has been coated with superglue, carefully insert it into the broken needle on the valve of the soccer ball until it reaches a reasonable level.
  2. Allow the super glue on the paper clip to dry inside the needle before trying to pull the broken needle out of the valve by grabbing firmly to the folded portion of the paper clip.
  3. Firmly hold the soccer ball with your knees as you wiggle out the broken needle from the valve.
  4. After the needle has been successfully pulled out, properly inflate the ball and play. Please don’t use a plier to pull the needle when applying this method.
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Pros of paper clip method

  • Paper clips are readily available
  • Very easy to follow

Cons of paper clip method

  • A paper clip can mistakenly puncture the soccer ball
  • Super glue can cause more damage when applied in excess
  • Time-consuming


A broken and stuck pump needle can be a nightmarish experience if you care about playing an important tournament and you lack the available tools and needed skills to take them out.

Most soccer enthusiasts wouldn’t ever want to experience such a daunting situation knowing that soccer is a game designed to spread joy and happiness, not frustration.

Properly arming yourself with the needed skills used in handling this scenario is your key to a delightful soccer experience.