Cleaning A Basketball Of Rubber, Synthetic, and Genuine Leather Material-How to Clean A Basketball

cleaning a basketball

Are you fed up with playing with a filthy basketball that won’t collaborate? Search no more, here is an ultimate solution for you. As germs and dirt over the ball suppress the performance and also affect the grip of the ball, so, deep cleaning a basketball makes it both look and act like a new basketball.

Cleaning a basketball is a simple process and needs some household equipment and also involved easy steps. In this guide, the complete process’s pros and cons are explained. So, go through this guide of cleaning an indoor basketball and outdoor basketballs and get ready to dominate the court with your new cleaned basketball. Now, just grab your ball, and let’s get started.

  • Note:

Different material basketballs are used out there like rubber basketball, synthetic basketball, and leather material basketballs. These different material basketballs vary in terms of properties and characteristics and thus have unique procedures for cleaning. Without wasting a minute, let’s dive into cleaning exercises of each material basketball one by one.

Cleaning the rubber basketball

Rubber basketballs are used very often by amateur players, and are also a very common basketball for beginners also. Everyone who is an expert in basketball or playing a basketball for a long time must have gone through rubber balls. As the rubber material is somewhat sticky and elastic, it catches dirt and germs very quickly but can be cleaned very easily too. So, the complete process of cleaning a basketball of rubber is explained in the following.

Here are the materials needed to clean a rubber ball

  • Warm and freshwater
  • Liquid soap/detergent
  • Rag/towel
  • Scrub brush/sponge

Steps Involved 

Step 1: gather your supplies 

Before starting the cleaning, you should make sure that all the required materials are in your grasp. So you complete your cleaning process flawlessly without any hassle. The needed materials are listed above.

Step 2: fill your basin or sink

Fill the basin or sink with warm water where you want to clean your basketball and add some amount of liquid soap or detergent. Soap or detergent water will seize up the grime and the germs on the ball. 

Step 3: scrub the surface

Dip the sponge or scrub brush into the soapy water and scrub it on the surface of the ball. Make sure to scrub the brush or sponge carefully like don’t put much pressure on the ball. It may deform your ball. While on smudges you can scrub with a bit of force to remove them.

Step 4: rinse thoroughly

Now rinse the ball properly with warm water to remove the detergent. This step involves more heeding because if any detergent or soap residue remains on the ball it’ll affect the ball’s performance and grip. 

Moreover, the residue of detergent left on the ball catches mud and dirt easily, so your ball got dirty soon which will put all your work in vain. 

Step 5: Pat dry

Use a clean towel or rag to pat dry your basketball after cleaning. It is essential to ensure that your basketball is properly dry before you store the ball or use it again.

Cleaning the synthetic basketball

Synthetic basketballs are typically used outdoors. So, it may get more nasty smudges and germs compared to indoors, therefore you have to be careful while cleaning a basketball of synthetic material. Those who use synthetic basketballs keenly can make their basketball as new ever after a long time after deep cleaning. 

The material needed to clean synthetic balls

  • A bucket
  • Detergent
  • Elbow grease
  • Warm water
  • Scrub brush
  • Rag or towel

The steps involved in cleaning are described below:

Step 1: Collect your supplies

In the very first step, you would gather your supplies and place them beside your hand so you can get them easily when you’re in need of them gradually with no annoyance and time wasting.

Step 2: fill the bucket 

Fill the bucket with warm water and add detergent to it. Soapy water will clean your basketball and also remove the nasty smell. If the smell is left on the ball it’ll become irritating for you to use the ball. 

Step 3: scrub the surface 

Dip the scrub brush in detergent water and rub it on the surface of the basketball thoroughly to remove stains and grimes from the ball. In case some patches of dirt persist on the ball, then use elbow grease to remove such dirt. 

As outdoor basketball are mostly synthetic balls and get more filthy so you have to put more effort to clean them. You can also use a toothbrush for rubbing purposes as it removes grime deeply penetrating into the channels of the ball. 

Step 4: cleanse the ball

Now, look at the ball, if it seems perfectly cleaned, then rinse it with water. You can rinse the multiple times in order to remove all the extras.

Do make sure that all the soap and detergent residues will be removed. If you don’t, then these residues will stick to your ball and make it sticky and more vulnerable to grabbing dirt, and then all your hard work will become a wild goose chase.

Step 5: Pat dry

Take the clean towel and mop the whole surface of the ball completely. If moisture isn’t removed even after pat dry, then place it in the ventilation to dry out.

Never put your basketball in direct sunlight as it ruins your basketball surface.

Cleaning the genuine leather basketball

Genuine leather basketballs are also used outdoors and are expensive basketballs. As these balls are premium, so require more care to keep them safe and sound. These balls are also outdoor basketballs, therefore, need special treatment while cleaning.

While cleaning a basketball of genuine leather you can’t use high chemical detergent or soap as they affect the quality of the surface of the ball and also decrease the life span of the ball.


Clean the muddy ball entirely with warm water to remove dust from it.

Now take the leather cleaner and pour it into a container.

Use a clean, soft towel or cloth to apply the leather cleaner on the ball.

Rub the cloth on the ball’s surface to give it a gentle polish.

Now dry the ball with a clean cloth and place it in a dry and cool place.

All steps are done! So, here is your ball ready to use.


Cleaning a basketball is needed when you see your basketball isn’t performing the way it should be. But the cleaning process cries out for attention as it can renew your basketball, if well done and also on the other hand, can wreck your ball if done carelessly.

Furthermore, the grip of the basketball is an important factor to play an important role during the game. As if the player cannot grip the ball accurately the result will always be disappointing. A dirty ball with a muddy surface reduces the grip on the ball, so cleaning is done. But while cleaning you also have to take care that:

  • More pressure should not be inserted on the ball.
  • Not place the ball in warm water for a long.
  • Low chemical detergent and soap should be used.
  • In the case of leather, leather cleaner like saddle soap increases the grip of the surface.
  • Not place the ball for drying in direct sunlight. 

Storage of the ball

After the thorough cleaning a basketball, now you have to keep it where it remains safe from the outside environment and dirt.

Never place your basketball in direct sunlight as it damages the surface of the ball. Ball’s performance also hit rock bottom.

Place the ball in a well-ventilated and dry place where exposure to the outside harsh environment becomes low.

Wet or damp places also ruin the ball and the grip of the ball becomes second-rated.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I clean my basketball?

Cleaning a basketball is recommended after every use of the ball. So, the contaminants of dirt will be removed and can’t further affect the grip and performance of the ball. 

If your basketball is used on a regular basis, then you can give it a deep clean after every month. After cleaning, storing the basketball in a suitable and safe place is also important to increase the life span of the ball and performance also. 

Does cleaning affect the ball’s grip?

Cleaning a basketball does affect the grip of the ball. A dirty and smudgy ball lessens the grip of the ball as it becomes slippery because of mud. So, cleaning a basketball also increases the grip by removing all the mud and turning the ball into a new condition.

When to switch out the basketball?

The frequency of replacing the ball depends upon the times you use it or the intensity with which you use it. If your basketball is used in intensive games, then it’ll wear down soon and you have to replace it. 

If your basketball got holes, and cracks, and is worn out or its inflation becomes ruined, then you must have to replace your basketball. If not such a severe condition then cleaning a basketball will be okay to use it again.

Does dampness wreckage the basketball?

Yes, dampness or wetness surely can ruin your basketball if placed in it for a long time. On the other hand, severely high temperature also damages the basketball. So, it’s recommended to keep the ball in a dry cool environment. 


So, the final words are cleaning a basketball is essential for maintaining its performance and grip on the court. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, taking a few simple steps to clean your ball regularly can make a big difference in your game. 

So, grab a cleaner and get ready to take your ball to the next level! With a clean, well-maintained basketball, you’ll be ready to dominate the court and show off your skills. So, what are you waiting for? Start cleaning a basketball of yours today and see the results for yourself!

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