How To Clean Tennis Balls? | Complete Guide & Pro Tips 2024

Are your tennis balls losing their color under the dirt? Or are your tennis balls collecting pet hair? Just Clean them! 

Washing the tennis balls will not affect their performance if not done correctly. And we’ve got you covered with the ultimate guide on how to clean tennis balls

How to clean Tennis Balls?

Whether you want to restore the color of your tennis balls or say goodbye to stubborn pet hair, there is a quick and effective method for you. 

Revive your tennis balls quickly in 10 minutes or less with two easy methods: by hand or using a washing machine. 

The manual option includes an all-natural approach as well. This simple cleaning guide is perfect for sports lovers and pet owners alike. 

So, let’s find out some useful cleaning tips that’ll make the tennis balls look brand new! 

Best Ways To How To Clean Tennis Balls

Whether you want to clean tennis balls for your pet or your sport, these methods will do the job. In tennis, a little maintenance goes a long way. Both of these methods take only 10 minutes or less!  

Cleaning Dirty Tennis Balls with Hands

Tennis balls tend to accumulate dirt and grime after a few rounds on the court. Or it could get slimy as it stays in your pet’s mouth. 

Clean Dirty Tennis Ball

No worries! Refreshing them is easy with a straightforward DIY method using items commonly found at home. This is your Hands-On Cleaning Guide for tennis balls:

What You’ll Need:

  • Warm water
  • White vinegar
  • Dishwashing soap or laundry detergent
  • Bucket or sink
  • Rag or sponge
  • Towel

Method 1: Homemade Tennis Ball Cleaner Solution:

  1. Mix the Solution: Combine water and white vinegar in a bucket or sink.
  2. Soak the balls: Put the dirty tennis balls in the mixture for about 30 minutes.
  3. Scrub: Use a sponge or rag to scrub away any dirt.
  4. Dry: Air-dry in the sun, rub with a dry towel, or use a hairdryer (set it at low heat).

Method 2: Using Dishwashing Soap Or Laundry Detergent

  1. Prepare the Soapy Solution: Fill a bucket or sink with comfortably warm water.
  2. Add Soap: Use mild dishwashing soap or laundry detergent; a little goes a long way.
  3. Soak and Scrub: Let the tennis balls soak for 30 minutes or longer for extra dirty ones. Scrub with a rag or sponge to eliminate stubborn dirt.
  4. Rinse and Dry: Rinse the tennis balls with warm water. Air-dry or use a low-heat dryer for about 15 minutes.

Note! Certain chemicals can pose risks to your pets. If you need a chemical-free way to clean tennis balls by hand, opt for the first method; however, if you have a chemical-free detergent, that works well too. 

No need to go through the trouble of making homemade vinegar solution if you use tennis balls in sports—just follow the second method.

Washing Tennis Balls in the Washing Machine 

Throwing tennis balls in the washing machine is the most easy method. Just grab a pet-friendly detergent if you have a tennis ball for your pet. 

Cleaning Tennis Ball in Washing Machine

We don’t think you should do laundry with them; just clean them separately. It doesn’t take much time or effort. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Stick to cold water in the washing machine to avoid ruining your tennis balls. 
  2. Set the machine to the same low setting you use for regular laundry.
  3. Skip the Spin Cycle! Don’t spin your tennis balls, as it’ll cause warping and issues with your washing machine. 
  4. Just use regular laundry detergent and put it in small amounts only.
  5. Get them out and dry. Either use the lowest heat setting in the dryer for about ten minutes or let them air-dry in the sun.

Can You Put Tennis Balls In The Dryer?

Tennis balls in the dryer can speed up drying. You can use the dryer if you need a tennis ball in an emergency. 

To reduce static, toss them in with bulkier items like towels or jeans. 

But here are some things you have to know:

  • Watch out for the rubbery smell in your dryer. Put them in with your bulkier clothes to avoid any strange odors.
  • Keep an eye on those neon dyes from new tennis balls, especially if they are of lower quality and are not colorfast.
  • Drying tennis balls in a dryer can get pretty noisy. So, brace yourself for that racket.
  • Always keep the heat setting low to keep your tennis balls in top-notch shape.

Will Washing Affect Tennis Ball Bounce?

No, it doesn’t! Cleaning them won’t affect their performance unless there’s a hole. Balls without pressure (pressureless) keep their bounce, while pressurized ones gradually lose pressure once you open the can. 

Worried about consistent bounce? If your tennis balls need cleaning for consistent bounce, you can manually clean them using your hands. Also, for people using the washing machine, ensure you take out your pressurized tennis balls quickly. 

This helps prevent them from getting cold and losing their balance. 

Note! We suggest using clean balls for practice rounds and regular matches but not for serious competitions. Or it could negatively impact your playing style and skills.

Importance Of Tennis Ball Maintenance 

Let us help you find out why the cleanliness and maintenance of your tennis balls is crucial. 

These points are readable regardless of the use of a tennis ball. Let’s get into it: 

  • Keeping It Budget-Friendly 

Cleaning and reusing tennis balls saves you money and ensures you can keep enjoying the game without breaking the bank. 

Tennis is a great sport, but those balls can add up. Also, if your dog drools on the ball, you don’t have to throw it away. Just clean it!

  • Prolonging the Lifespan 

Typically, tennis balls have a lifespan of weeks, depending on how often you play. 

Keeping them clean and in good shape can extend their life. That means more rallies and fewer trips to the store.

  • Good Hygiene 

Beyond just the balls, cleaning them regularly has a good effect on your tennis gear. 

Maintaining clean tennis balls from your bag to your outfits and ball canister helps keep everything fresh and odor-free. 

Not to mention, clean balls save your dog from any dental issues. 

  • Being Environmental Friendly 

By cleaning and reusing your tennis balls, you can contribute to a cleaner environment. 

This way, all of us can reduce waste and the release of harmful gases in our everyday lives.

  • Know When to Keep or Replace

While cleaning helps, tennis balls do have a finite lifespan. Recognize when it’s time to retire a ball–heavy stains, reduced bounce, shredded coating, or a ball that feels too soft are clear signs it’s time for a replacement.

Final Words

As we wrap up the top safe ways how to clean tennis balls, remember it’s all about your hygiene and good value for the money. Don’t just throw them in the trash! You can make your pets happy as well. 

We promote a lifestyle that’s both fun and responsible. By keeping your tennis balls in good shape, you are contributing to a cleaner environment. 

This small effort pays off big and ensures your game is always at its best!


Can I toss tennis balls into the laundry with clothes?

No, putting tennis balls in the laundry with clothes is not recommended. That is primarily for hygiene, as the tennis balls may accumulate dirt. There’s also a risk that the colors from the tennis balls could bleed onto your clothes.

Can you bleach tennis balls?

No, don’t use bleach. It won’t work well for cleaning your new training balls.

How can I keep tennis balls in top shape and stay as good as new ones?

You can store them in PressureBall or Wilson Triniti Tennis Balls. They’ll stay bouncy like new ones until the felt wears out!

What’s the lifespan of tennis balls?

An opened can of tennis balls lasts about 2-3 weeks, even without playing. Other factors like how much you play, temperature, and moisture can affect this.

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