At, we get asked a lot of questions about soccer balls. One of the most common questions concerns how to safely deflate a soccer ball. There are plenty of reasons you may want to deflate a soccer ball; you’re storing your ball for the winter, you’re an equipment manager who needs to save space while your squad travels, or you’re a Hall of Fame quarterback who just needs a little extra grip in wet conditions (never mind, that’s a different sport). Of course, like everything else, there’s a right and a wrong way to do it. Here are our expert tips on deflating a soccer ball.

Using an Inflation Needle

The best way to deflate a ball is to use an inflation needle. It usually doesn’t matter if the needle is attached to a pump or not, since most pumps allow air to escape when you’re not actively pumping air in. First, find the valve opening. Then, wet the needle (or lubricate it with a gentle oil, such as coconut oil), and slide it slowly into the valve. Keep in mind that the alignment with the bladder pipeline may have shifted during play, and you might need to shake the ball with the valve facing straight down to get it to line up again. Press the needle into the valve, and squeeze the ball gently. You should hear air leaving the bladder, and soon, your ball will be deflated.

Using Something Else

You should always use a needle to deflate your ball. But say, you’re in line at airport security, and you suddenly realize you need to deflate your ball to fit into your carry-on luggage (hey, it has happened). You can use a paperclip, or pen to force the valve open. Usually, this is fine, but sometimes it can damage your valve. If your valve breaks and you need a new ball, fear not. carries the latest Nike® soccer balls, adidas® soccer balls, and balls from other top manufacturers.