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How To Deflate a Soccer Ball

Soccer balls require air to properly play the way they should. Putting a needle into the ball and pumping it up is about as straightforward as can be, but what if it actually needs to be deflated for one reason or another?

This is a guide on how to deflate a soccer ball for a variety of reasons. Maybe the plan is to pack the ball in luggage, or store it away for a while. Others need to deflate it a bit since there is too much air inside currently.

 It might seem like a fairly simple process, but not doing it the right way can damage the ball and not allow people to use it the way it should later on. These are the two ways to handle all that air.

With a Pump & Needle

This is always the recommended way to deflate a soccer ball. It is designed to go into the ball just right, and the air will be released gradually for the most control. There’s also the fact that people can put air back into the ball if too much is let out.

First things first, locate the valve that’s on the soccer ball. Traditionally, it’s pretty easy, as there will be a little bit of silicon material that is exposed. Manufacturers do a very good job of blending it in as much as possible so that it does not affect play, but it’s pretty easy to spot after a little searching.

Use the pump and needle that is normally reserved for inflation to help with deflation. The tip should be moist so it goes in easily without putting too much stress on the silicon part of the ball. Some people will just put a bit of water on the tip, or even lick their fingers to then grab the tip if they have nothing else around.

The trickiest part here is putting the needle in and getting it to the point where it hits the bladder pipeline. Don’t slam the needle into the ball as hard as possible, because that could end up doing damage. It should go in slowly so that nothing is compromised. Doing this with one hand while the other is holding the ball close will provide the most amount of control.

Once the needle hits that bladder pipeline, there should be a way to tell if the air is releasing from the bladder. Either it will make a faint sound, or the ball will start to shrink in a person’s hands.

It’s not going to be super fast, which is good news for people trying to control the air pressure as much as possible. If it’s going too slow, there is a way for the ball to be squeezed so that air comes out a little bit faster. Don’t do it too hard or too quickly, or it could end up damaging the ball.

The best part about using a pump and a needle is that this works for small adjustments, or deflating the ball completely. Some people might just be looking for some small changes to the ball instead of deflating it for storage. After everything is done, take the needle out and store everything in preferably a climate-controlled area.

Without a Pump & Needle

There are certain times where a person might not have a pump and a needle readily available to use. While that’s always the ideal way to handle the air pressure in a ball properly, there are alternatives. The size of the needle is what a person should keep in mind when looking for alternative solutions.

That means using a pen, paper clip, or something else that is relatively the same size. It will help with the deflation, but obviously not something that will help with putting air back in.

With this method, it’s extra important to use some type of moisture on the tip to prevent any damage. Also, check to make sure that the thickness of the equipment is pretty much the same size. Something too big will permanently damage the valve, while something too small might not make any impact.

Once everything is ready to go, put the end of the makeshift tool into the valve on the soccer ball. Make sure to hold the ball near the valve so that everything is as controlled as possible. Go slowly at the beginning until the pipeline is hit, and air will start to come out automatically.

The same rules apply as with a pump and needle, as a person can squeeze the ball to get the air out faster. Be patient instead of trying to rush through it with a makeshift tool, as it will preserve the life of the ball in general.

After everything wraps up, make sure to remove the tool from the valve and put it in storage. As long as the valve bounces back and doesn’t look deformed in any way, this method shouldn’t do any type of permanent damage.

Why Being Safe & Gentle Matters

While a soccer ball is pretty durable, it still pays to be as safe and gentle as possible. The inside of the soccer ball can be a little delicate, and the last thing a person wants is to lose their ball because of a deflating mishap.

Everything is closed pretty tightly on the ball when a pump and needle is not in use. This is done by design, and if that area is loosened up any, it could need constant air put back in to work.

Ultimately, everyone wants to have as durable of a ball as possible. Deflating a ball might seem like a pretty easy process, but it needs to be done right, just like anything else. It always pays to have a pump and needle around for inflation or deflation, so think about investing in one now instead of waiting until it’s too late.

Using a paper clip, pen, or something else is in no way a long-term solution. Eventually, a person will also need to put air back into the ball, so it will only help so much in the end.