Mend Your Busted Balls

That flat basketball or soccer ball that’s been sitting in your closet for the past few years won’t help you get back into shape in its current state. You always knew you’d repair it one day, and although today may not be that day you go through with it, at least it’s the one in which you find out how to do it.

Livestrong takes you through the process.

First, pump up the ball, fill up the tub and dip the ball in to determine the source of the leak. Keeping an eye on the area, pull out the ball, dry it and paint the point with a marker.

Here is where things get a little wild. Turn on an oven burner, then heat the edge of an old, dull knife. Then you slide the knife around the leak to melt the vinyl, sealing the hole.

If you don’t trust yourself around fire, you can always opt for injectable ball sealant.

How to Fix a Leak in a Basketball [Livestrong]


Edit Your Comment

  1. May contain snark says:

    I came to this article thinking it was about alimony.

  2. Cat says:

    Using injectable ball sealant on my busted balls just sounds wrong.

  3. MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

    Didn’t some ‘doctor’ in Florida just get in trouble for doing something like this?

  4. Platypi {Redacted} says:

    This seems like a pretty temporary fix to me, as the bladder inside wouldn’t be affected, right? Just the cover. Also, totally worthless for leather or other non-meltable surfaces. I guess if you had an emergency situation and you needed to have a ball for a few hours and you had a meltable ball or a toothpick, these tips could work, but I fail to see a whole lot of derived value for long term repairs here.

    Ball sealant would work better for long term repairs (I have used it), despite changing the weight and potentially the balance of the ball.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      I was about to mention the same thing, but the original article is specific to vinyl basketballs, not soccer balls or any other type.

      • Platypi {Redacted} says:

        True, it just seems goofy to me. Like something 12 year old me would have come up with (I had an idea to melt all the leftover soap slivers together and form a new bar from it. Luckily my mom stopped THAT idea).

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

        Hey, he wrote the article. You can’t expect him to do that AND get the facts straight at the same time.

  5. DariusC says:

    You can do the same by melting tape over a hole in an air bed to seal the leak or get a patch kit. Either way works. The problem with the ball melting is that you may weaken that area of the ball which can lead to future blowouts. Best to melt something over it rather than melting the ball.

  6. Hoss says:

    If you’re so careless to puncture a basketball, you’re not the type to take the time to fix it.

  7. shufflemoomin says:

    This only works on vinyl sports balls, which are by far the cheapest. Who goes to all this trouble for a sports ball they could replace for a couple of bucks?

    • caradrake says:

      I was thinking the same thing. I mean, saving money is great and all. But if you’re storing a ball that is busted, you’re creating clutter and wasting space. I’d rather toss it and buy another new cheap ball than keep a busted ball around for a few months before I finally feel up to a DIY repair project.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I’m guessing the advice is for fixing a cheap kid’s ball — One that’s prone to being popped, lost, or otherwise destroyed. It’s akin to gluing a GI Joe’s body to the pelvis instead of replacing the whole figure when the little rubber band breaks. Sometimes, “good enough” is just that and the quality of the ball doesn’t really matter when playing Four Square.

      Why use an old coffee tin to store nuts & bolts when you can just buy a Tupperware container for $3?

  8. rookie says:

    the fact that most balls of this sort are CHEAP has already been mentioned…
    my wife runs a local chapter of boys and girls club, and i get tapped to repair these all the time…
    how you may ask???

    super glue, one drop, be patient for ten minutes, kids are back in action…

    hot knives??? holy unnecessary crap, batman…

  9. dbaker0810 says:

    This method MIGHT work for a typical schoolyard kickball, but more than likely nothing else.

  10. Pigfish99 the randomly insane says:

    My balls are beyond busted reading this article. XD

  11. framitz says:

    Seal the hole by melting the vinyl. Obviously not worth the bother if the ball is such a piece of crap. Ball sealant will likely throw the balance off if not done perfectly.

    The good ones have a rubber bladder that holds the air. Depending on the ball it might not be repairable.