How to Fix a Waterlogged Soccer Ball in 4 Steps

Soccer balls are built to withstand rainfall and some exposure to water, but they’re not designed to sit outside and endure rain, wind, and dirt for a long time. Soccer balls can get wet, but what happens when they become waterlogged?

To fix a waterlogged soccer ball, deflate it with a pump needle and squeeze the water out. Then, let it sit outside or in a non-humid room for 1 hour. If needed, set the ball next to an electric fan and use the fan to blow air at the ball to help evaporate excess moisture.

Keep reading for more information on waterlogged soccer balls and everything to do with getting a ball wet. I provided a four-step guide on how to fix a waterlogged soccer ball at the end of this article.

Related: 11 Soccer Ball Care Tips – Keep Yours in Good Condition

Can soccer balls get waterlogged?

Whether it’s at the beach, during a rainy match, or sitting poolside, we’ve all wondered if exposure to water is harmful to a soccer ball and if they can get waterlogged. Is water bad for your soccer ball, and can it get waterlogged?

Soccer balls can get waterlogged if left out in the rain or directly exposed to a lot of water. The water goes into the soccer ball from the stitching or the nylon siphon, becoming waterlogged and unusable. You can remove water from a ball with a pump needle. Prolonged water exposure harms a soccer ball’s outer and inner materials.

Water ruins soccer balls. It eats away at and weakens their material. Water causes soccer balls to fall apart over time.

Related: How to Fix an Egg-Shaped Soccer Ball in 5 Easy Steps

Simple care tips like keeping your ball inside and drying it off properly are ways to make it last longer.

Avoid waterlogged soccer balls by using them as intended; on dry or partially wet, soccer-safe surfaces.

To be abundantly clear, it’s safe to play with a soccer ball in the rain; small amounts of water are safe for your soccer ball.

What does waterlogged mean for a soccer ball?

A waterlogged soccer ball feels abnormally heavy. What does it mean when a ball is waterlogged?

Waterlogged means something that has absorbed water or moisture, becoming heavy or distorted. Soccer balls are not meant to withstand prolonged exposure to or submersion in water. Prevent your ball from becoming waterlogged by keeping it away from pools and rainwater and storing it indoors.

Don’t let your ball get waterlogged. If it does absorb a lot of moisture from being dunked in a pool or from playing on the beach, you can fix it with a pump needle. Keep reading for information on how to fix a waterlogged ball.

Can a soccer ball get wet?

Can your soccer ball get wet? The short answer is yes! While soccer balls should not take on excessive water exposure, using them during rainfall or on a damp surface is safe.

A soccer ball can get wet because modern soccer balls are manufactured to withstand water and excessive wear and tear. A soccer ball can get wet while playing in the rain or on a wet surface. Such water exposure will not affect the ball’s lifespan or quality. Store soccer balls inside when not in use to avoid exposure to rainwater.

Excessive exposure to water over time, combined with highly fluctuating weather, will cause the ball to decay. Don’t store your soccer ball outdoors to keep it safe from the elements.

The outer layer of soccer balls is made using polyurethane, a synthetic material safe from water’s adverse effects. This material is used for the best soccer balls on the market. Lower-quality balls typically use polyvinyl chloride (PVC), but this material is harder, making it less ideal for a soccer ball.

Related: 7 Ways to Keep Your Shin Guards from Slipping

The inner lining of a ball is composed of cotton and polyester. The bladder, where the air is stored to inflate the ball, is made of butyl or latex. Soccer ball stitching is made with kevlar or polyester–some soccer balls use thermal heating to glue the outer layers together. Silicone is used for the valves where the pump needle is inserted.

All modern soccer balls are usable in the rain but should not be stored outside. Fickle temperatures and other weather effects like wind can inflict massive wear and tear on a ball; keep your soccer ball indoors, away from harmful weather conditions.

Does water ruin a soccer ball?

Excessive water exposure to a soccer ball’s synthetic material is a no-no. A little rainwater is safe during training or a game, but don’t keep your ball outside for days on end. Does water ruin a soccer ball at the end of the day?

Water does not ruin a soccer ball. Using a soccer ball in the rain or on wet surfaces is safe. However, it’s best to store your soccer ball indoors, away from rainwater. Excessive exposure to water causes decay and erosion of the ball’s outer and inner material. Keeping your ball dry and sheltering it from weather effects makes it last longer.

Your soccer ball will last a while if stored and cared for properly. Storing your ball indoors will make it last longer.

Likewise, leaving it outside during a rainstorm can cause the material to decay; rain, dirt, and wind will harm your ball over time.

A black and white Adidas soccer on a grass field.

Although water doesn’t ruin your soccer ball, prolonged exposure to the outside elements will decrease its lifespan and negatively affect the ball. Such improper care can lead to a defective ball. Soccer balls left outside can become flat or ruined completely.

Keep your soccer balls indoors even when it’s sunny out. Since most outer shells are made from a type of plastic, soccer balls are susceptible to harmful sun damage.

The effects of water on a soccer ball

Water is generally safe for your soccer ball. Small amounts of water and moisture are harmless and can either be removed manually with a paper towel or through evaporation. When your ball isn’t properly cared for, it can quickly deteriorate.

Small amounts of water have no effect on a soccer ball. The surface of modern soccer balls is made with polyurethane, a synthetic water-resistant material. The stitching adds water resistance, but submersion in water can cause waterlogging. Likewise, prolonged exposure to rainwater can erode the polyurethane surface and warp the ball.

Balls left outside in the rain that dry off on their own are susceptible to damage.

Soccer balls left outside that take on a lot of rainwater are covered in residual mud and dirt; these are harmful to the outer material and can eat away at your ball.

Can you leave a soccer ball in the rain?

Playing with your soccer ball in the rain during a game or training is one thing, but leaving it outside during a storm is another. So, can you leave a soccer ball outside in the rain? Definitely not.

Do not leave your soccer ball in the rain or outside at all. Soccer balls left in the rain will decay over time, reducing the overall quality of the ball. Store your dry soccer ball indoors to increase its longevity and avoid defects.

You should not leave your soccer ball or other soccer equipment outdoors. Everything in your soccer bag is best kept safe from the elements, including your ball, shin guards, and soccer cleats.

Related: Synthetic vs. Leather Soccer Cleats – The Key Differences

Proper storage of your equipment makes it last longer. If you leave something outside, the buildup of dirt, mud, rainwater, and debris will eat away at your equipment.

Always store your soccer things indoors. It’s okay to use them in the rain or to get them wet, but make sure you dry them off before you put them away, including your soccer ball.

Can you wash a soccer ball with water?

If your soccer ball has some marks or mud from playing in the rain, you can gently clean the surface to try and remove them. Just use water and a towel!

You can wash off your soccer ball with water. Wet a paper towel or, ideally, a microfiber towel and gently scrub any marks or stains from your ball. Do not use cleaning products on your soccer ball, as these can damage and harm the material.

Water alone is enough to clean off your soccer ball. Over time, your ball will accumulate dirt and slight scratches; these are not harmful and can be rubbed away using water and a towel. Use a microfiber towel if you have one to avoid scratching the outer material of the ball.

How to know if a soccer ball is waterlogged or not

Soccer balls are robust and withstand quite a lot of wear and tear before they need replacing. If your ball feels a little off, though, it might mean it’s waterlogged.

To know if a soccer ball is waterlogged, feel how heavy it is. The average soccer ball weighs 14-16 ounces or about one pound; if the ball feels heavier, it could be waterlogged. Remove water by deflating the ball with a pump needle and squeezing the water out.

If you left your ball outside for some time, there’s a good chance it got rained on, and it’s filled with water. Likewise, a trip to the pool or beach with your soccer ball could cause it to absorb too much moisture.

How to fix a waterlogged soccer ball (how to get water out)

There are four easy steps to fix a waterlogged ball.

Follow these tips if your ball took on an excess amount of water and is feeling a bit off.

1. Check if it’s waterlogged

First, check if your ball is waterlogged. You can feel if the ball is waterlogged by weighing it in your hands; if it feels heavier than usual, it’s waterlogged. The average size five soccer ball weighs 14-16 ounces or about one pound.

If you’re not sure water’s the problem, these steps won’t damage your ball, and you can try them anyway.

2. Remove the air from the ball

After you’ve concluded your ball is waterlogged, remove the air with a pump needle. Unscrew your air pump’s needle from the pump and insert it into the ball’s siphon, just like you would typically do to deflate it.

You only need the needle for this step, not the entire pump.

Five air pump needles sit side by side.

3. Let out the moisture

As the air is removed from the ball, moisture will follow. With the needle still inserted, apply pressure to the outside of the ball, squeezing additional moisture and air from it. You may see some bubbling where the needle is inserted; this means it’s working.

4. Let it sit outside

After you remove the air from the ball, let it sit outside for 1 hour, ideally in sunlight. The sunlight will evaporate excess moisture from the inside and outside of your soccer ball. Leave it outside even if there isn’t sunlight, but don’t let it sit out in the rain.

If you don’t want to or can’t let the ball sit outside for any reason, you can use an electric fan to help dry it out. Aim the fan at the soccer ball and blow air to remove excess water.

Sean Tinney

I’m Sean Tinney, a lifetime soccer player and Ball At Your Feet owner. This website is a hub for practical soccer advice, information, and insights from one player to another.

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