You may need to deflate your basketball because you accidently overinflated it and it became way too bouncy, or because you want to store it or transport it.
Whatever the reason is, there is a way to deflate the ball safely and without damaging it by puncturing the bladder or breaking the needle in the valve.
How to deflate a basketball without a pump
You need to use your special inflation needle to deflate your basketball. Make sure that it is the correct size for your ball. Locate the ball’s valve. Usually, it is located in the center, over or under the laces. It is a small hole in the middle of a narrow rubber circle.
Spit on the needle or use water to dampen the inflation needle for easier insertion.
Point the inflation needle perpendicularly to the valve. Gently push it in the valve and push until you hear the air coming out with a hissing sound.
Help the deflation process by squeezing your ball gently. When you reach the desired deflation size, gently and slowly pull out the inflation needle.
How to deflate a basketball without a needle
To deflate a ball without a pump or an inflation needle, you could try an alternative method.
Make sure you clean the ball with a damp cloth, especially if there is residue on it.
Make place on the top shelf of your refrigerator, place a dishcloth on the shelf and place the basketball there. Since air shrinks when it is cold, the ball will deflate. Just keep checking the deflation rate of your ball periodically. You can leave it inside if you want to fully deflate it too.
How to deflate a basketball with a sewing needle
You can try deflating your basketball with an ordinary sewing needle or bobby pin, but make sure it is lubricated with water or saliva, and that it is not too thick as to puncture the rubber bladder of your ball. You can also use an unfolded paper clip or even a match to allow some or all of the air out of your basketball, in case you don’t have an inflation needle.
We would though highly recommend that you purchase one, so that inflating and deflating of the basketball can be done safely. They are cheap, and usually they are universally sized. If you have doubts about the size, you can take your ball to the store with you and ask someone there for assistance.
Remember, the better care you take of your basketball, the longer it will last and serve you. Don’t play on the street with even if you have bought one of the best indoor basketballs because you will ruin it quickly. Remember, the street type has more durable surface.
To help keep your basketball for longer, you should keep in mind that it must be kept in room temperature, not outside under the bright hot sun or the freezing cold temperatures. Air expands in the heat and condenses in the cold.
You should also never leave the ball overinflated. Make sure it is inflated to the amount of air pressure recommended by its manufacturer. Also, you should clean it on a regular basis, especially if the basketball is used outdoors. Do not soak it, just use a damp cloth to wipe it after every game.
Make sure you use your basketball for the purpose it is intended and for the type of court it has been made, so that it will last longer.