How To Fix A Popped Basketball

When it comes to basketballs, wear-and-tear is pretty common. Your basketball may itself spring a leak or have a valve leaking. Either way, you can fix a popped basketball at home. 

Start by identifying the problem. Look for a hole, a leaking valve, or a small puncture on your basketball. Clean the basketball with warm water to remove any dirt and debris from the surface. It will help you find the issue. 

Once identified, use a hot knife to seal the hole. You can also use a sealant or a needle to fix a popped basketball. Lastly, you can insert a small toothpick into the valve to close it. 

Although there are many kinds of basketballs, including rubber, composite leather, and synthetic leather basketballs, the way to fix them is pretty much the same. 

To know more about the process, continue reading ahead. 

Can A Basketball Be Patched?

Whether a basketball can be patched depends on its quality. However, if you have only a small leak, you can patch it up. Here’s how you do it; 

You can start by melting the hole shut with a knife. Next, with the help of a kit, patch it up. You can also resow the seam if it is broken. This will reseal it and make your basketball as good as new. 

However, if you don’t know how to patch it yourself, take it to a professional, or you will risk damaging your basketball beyond repair. 

How To Fix A Hole In A Basketball

Like with leaks, you can also fix a deflated basketball at home. Here are a few easy ways to do it. 

Option 1

  • Identify the hole in your basketball. 
  • Take a home knife, run it over an open flame and let it sit there for a while. 
  • When properly heated, place it gently over the top of your deflated basketball
  • Move it over the hole slowly and carefully to allow the basketball material to melt.
  • Place it aside for a few minutes to let it cool completely. 
  • Next, with the help of a pump, re-pump your basketball to an optimum level. This should make your deflated basketball as good as new. 

Option 2

If the valve is leaking or broken, you can try this second option. 

  • Get a wet needle and insert it into the valve. It will clean out any obstructions in the valve and ensure no dirt or debris is left. 
  • Next, pump the basketball to an ideal level.
  • Enter a toothpick into the valve, ensuring that only one-third of it is visible outside the basketball. This will secure the valve and make your basketball functional again. 

Option 3

The second option is a relatively easy one. It is also more efficient and has a high chance of success. 

  • Identify the hole in your basketball.
  • Purchase any suitable ball repair sealant, which usually comes with a syringe. 
  • Fill the syringe with the repair sealant and inject your basketball with it.
  • It will help fix any leak or hole instantly.
  • Once done, let your basketball sit for some time before you re-use it.

How To Repair A Composite Leather Basketball

A composite basketball is designed to be used in outdoor and indoor courts. On the other hand, rubber basketballs are only used outdoors, in your pools, or on your gravel. Balls in the latter category are relatively more robust and durable, which helps them hold their ground for longer. 

You can use a hot knife, a sealant, or a needle to repair the basketball for leaks and holes. However, if you have lost grip on your leather basketball, you can follow the below steps.

  • First, understand that the basketball loses its grip when used on the wrong surface frequently or in the dust a few times. So avoid these mistakes in the future. 
  • Deflate your leather ball a little. This will help you hold it firmly.
  • Soak a rag with some hot water and apply some dish soap. By applying small, circular motions, clean your basketball.
  • Use another rag to dry it. This will also remove any debris from it.
  • Apply leather cleaner to help achieve a perfect grip.
  • After cleaning the ball, use a knife, a kit, or some sealant to fix it if you find a hole. 

How To Repair A Rubber Basketball

Rubber basketballs are used very roughly. From their frequent exposure to dirt to extreme exposure on a concrete floor, rubber basketballs often need repair. But here’s how you can repair a rubber basketball that is not showing the optimum results.

  • Take a bucket of warm water and add some liquid soap to it. 
  • Use a clean and soft cloth, dip it in the mixture and use it to scrub the surface of your rubber thoroughly. 
  • You can do this in small sections to get the desired outcome. Apply extra force if you think your rubber basketball is not significantly damaged. 
  • Use another clean, dry and soft cloth to remove any dirt on the surface. 
  • When you have removed all the dirt, you can check for other repairs: leaking valves, holes, or punctures.

If there are other faults, use the above options to repair your basketball. 

Related Questions

How To Find A Hole In A Basketball

It can be difficult finding the exact place from where your basketball has been punctured, but here’s how you can find a leak or a hole in no time. 

  • Squeeze the basketball and listen closely for any sounds coming out of the hole. 
  • Submerge the basketball in water and look for any water bubbles coming out of the ball. It will indicate the hole. 
  • As soon as you identify the hole, make a small circle around it to know where to fix it. 

How To Repair A Synthetic Leather Basketball

To repair a synthetic leather basketball, you have to follow the same steps as mentioned for a rubber basketball. However, since the exterior of a synthetic leather basketball is relatively stiff, you may also grease or a leather cleaner to fix it. It will remove any nasty stains, dirt, or debris on the basketball. Thoroughly cleaning a basketball helps fix the grip. Moreover, it makes it easier for you to find a hole. 

Can You Fix A Punctured Basketball?

Yes, you can fix a punctured basket. All you need is to find the exact spot of the puncture before moving on to the next steps. 

Punctured, damaged, or dirty balls offer less grip and affect your performance. Follow the processes mentioned above if you want to fix your popped basketball at home. But regardless of what ball you use, always start with thoroughly cleaning it. This helps you identify and fix holes quickly. 


Keeping a basketball inflated is undoubtedly one of the most integral parts of the game. As defined throughout the article, there are several ways through which a popped basketball can be repaired and kept in use during the play. 

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