Select Page

How to Deflate a Soccer Ball

Why do you need to know how to deflate a soccer ball? For one, transporting a deflated soccer ball is more convenient to take than an inflated one. Every soccer player knows this smart trick and the reason why is obvious, a deflated ball can easily fit in your luggage or backpack. Whereas, an inflated ball occupies much space when you try to carry it and might not fit in your carrier.

classic ball

The most common way on how to deflate a football is with a needle and ball pump. If you are in a bind and have none of these in your hands, don’t fret. There is another possible way. You should look for a pen or a paperclip or any other sharp object. It can also remove the air from the soccer ball. However, bear in mind that you only have to use these items during emergencies. The best method is still to use a needle or ball pump because it will protect the ball.

What’s Behind the Soccer Ball?

village soccer field

Like any other ball used in sports, every soccer ball’s airflow is controlled by a valve. This goes both ways, getting the air in and out of the ball. You can identify the valve through its rounded closure that’s visible on the surface of your ball.

How do you know that the valve is open? When the bore of the valve is positioned in a way that it’s aligned with the pipeline. That is when the valve is in an open position. At such a position, the air inside the ball can flow out easily. To close the valve, you can rotate it 90 degrees. At this point, the bore is vertical to the flow, locking the valve, preventing air from getting through.

The body of the valve is made to handle the frequent wearing of the bore. That is why it’s fashioned from steel. Some of the high-end soccer balls have nickel plating for more durability. It is also important to note that soccer balls have dual valves to facilitate air travel from the inlet going outside.
Remember this. When you are removing the air from the ball, you have to be careful not to puncture the ball’s inner bladder. Also, don’t make a bigger valve hole when you are using the needle.

Guide on How to Deflate a Soccer Ball

mitre ball on grass

You have two ways to take the air out of a soccer ball, and we will be discussing here the following methods:

  • How to deflate a soccer ball with a pump and needle
  • How to deflate a soccer ball without a needle

How to Deflate a Soccer Ball with a Pump and Needle

kid doing tricks

The most recommended and probably the best option on how you can deflate a soccer ball is using a pump and needle. It can take out the air from the ball without damaging the internal bladder. It’s done using a needle adapter. You will also be needing coconut oil or water, and of course, a buddy on hand. Here are the steps to do it

1. Locate the valve on your soccer ball. It is easy to see this because it is made from durable silicone and visible on the outside panel of the ball

2. You will be using the same pump that you used with inflating the ball. The first step you need to do is to wet the tip of the needle of the ball pump. Some dip the needle in water, while others use coconut oil. The purpose of this is to slip the needle into the valve quickly

3. With your stronger hand, inject the needle gradually and firmly into the valve until you hit the bladder pipeline. Do not jam the needle into the bladder too hard, or you may damage the pipeline. You’ll know when you have hit the right spot because the air will start to release from the interior bladder

4. With a hand steady on the ball and continuing to extract the air. Ask your partner to gently squeeze the ball on both sides using their hands until the soccer ball is flat. Tell them to do it gently and not force the air out as it will damage the bladder. While doing this, don’t change the angle of the ball until it deflates

5. Gently detach the needle and store the pump and the ball.

How Do You Deflate a Ball Without a Needle

toddler loving the game

This method may not be the best way how to take air out of a soccer ball, yet you can use it when a needle and a pump is not available. During emergencies and you have no access to a needle and pump, a paper clip or a pen is good enough. Here are the steps on how to deflate a ball without a needle.

1. Check the thickness of the pen or paper clip and make sure that it is smaller than the diameter of the valve. Otherwise, you might be endangering its integrity, and worse, damaging it. Wet the tip with water or coconut oil before inserting it on the valve.

2. Insert the end of the pointed object into the soccer ball through the valve. Just like in the needle and pump method, you have to hold the ball firmly and apply a little pressure until you are in the pipeline and notice the air inside the soccer ball is coming out.

3. Have your buddy squeeze the air out with both of their hands with consistent pressure while you are holding the paper clip or pen in place. When the ball is flat, gently remove the tool and store the ball as desired.


Soccer balls do not come cheap, and to prolong their life, you need to take care of it. One way is by being able to know how to deflate a soccer ball before storing it. There are two effective means to successfully remove the air from the ball, by using the traditional pump and needle method or by using a paper clip, pen, or any pointed object that could gently penetrate the valve. By knowing how to employ these methods, your soccer ball will keep its shape.