How to Deflate a Basketball?

How to Deflate a Basketball

Your basketball must be inflated to play a basketball game, but sometimes, you need to deflate it.

Deflating a basketball is not common, but if the ball is over-inflated or you need to travel with it and don’t have much storage space, you need to deflate it.

To deflate a basketball, you will need a needle and a Pump. Find the needle hole on the ball. It is usually located on the side of the ball. Insert the needle into the hole and start to pump out the air. You may need to put some force into it, so be careful not to puncture the ball. Once all the air is out, remove the needle and store the ball.

If you know how to deflate a basketball, go ahead. If not, then you are at the right place. In this article, we are sharing different ways of deflating a basketball.

Different Ways of Deflating a Basketball

Ways Of Deflating
Deflating a Basketball

There are three ways of deflating a basketball.

Deflating Basketball
How To Deflate A Basketball
  1. By using an air pump and inflation needle
  2. By using Air Pressure Guage
  3. By using a paper clip
  4. By using Bobby Pin
  5. By using a pen

How To Deflate A Basketball With An Air Pump And Inflation Needle?

 Deflate A Basketball With Air Pump
Deflate A Basketball With An Inflation Needle

Using an inflation needle to deflate a basketball is the most common and the easiest of methods. Depending on the situation, you can either keep the air pump attached to the needle or remove the air pump. If your basketball is over-inflated and you need to deflate it a little, keep the pump attached. On the other hand, separate the pump and the needle if you need to compress the ball completely.

To deflate a ball using an inflation needle, make sure it is lubricated. You can either use water, gel, or any other liquid to make the needle wet. Next, insert the needle into the air valve of the basketball. Make sure you are pushing the needle in and not pushing the valve inside the basketball. As soon as you hit the bladder pipeline, you will hear the sound of air coming out of the ball.

If your only purpose is to deflate the over-inflated ball, keep the needle inside the valve for about two to three seconds. Get rid of the required amount of air and remove the needle. Next, bounce the ball to check whether the ball pressure is correct. Drop the ball from your chest height, and it should bounce back to your waist level. If it goes above, it means it is still over-inflated, and if there is less bounce, the ball is under-inflated.

However, if you need to remove the air completely, exert extra pressure on the ball with your hands or feet to get rid of the air completely and quickly.

After removing the air as per your requirements, take out the needle slowly and gently. Make sure you are only pulling out the needle and not the valve.

How To Deflate A Basketball With Air Pressure Gauge?

Deflate Basketball
Deflate A Basketball With Air Pressure Gauge
  1. Find an air pressure gauge. You can purchase one at most sporting goods stores.
  2. Locate the valve on the ball. It is typically located near the center of the ball.
  3. Insert the needle of the air pressure gauge into the valve and press down firmly to release air from the ball. Continue until you reach your desired level of inflation.
  4. Remember, it is better to err on the side of slightly underinflated than overinflated. This will help reduce wear and tear on the ball.

How to Deflate a Basketball Using Common Household Items?

Using a Bobby Pin

Deflate Basketball Using with Bobby Pin
Deflate a Basketball with Bobby Pin

It is easy to deflate a basketball using a bobby pin.

Find the small hole on the side of the ball. It is usually located near the valves. If you cannot find it, consult your ball’s manual.

Insert the bobby pin into the hole and twist it to make a bigger one. Doing this will release the air inside the ball and cause it to deflate quickly.

You may need to repeat this process a few times if the ball does not deflate completely on the first try.

Using a Refrigerator

 Use Refrigerator
Deflate a Basketball Using Refrigerator
  1. Remove the valve cap from the basketball and place the ball in the refrigerator.
  2. Close the door and wait for about an hour or until the ball is cold.
  3. Once the ball is cold, remove it from the fridge and press on it to release the air inside.
  4. Repeat this process until the ball is completely deflated.

Using A Paper Clip

Paper Clip
Using A Paper Clip To Deflate Basketball

A paper clip can also be used to deflate a basketball, but it is quite risky because there are chances you may puncture the ball from inside. If you don’t have an inflation needle, use a paper clip, but it is not recommended.

Before using a paper clip, make sure the diameter of the air valve is bigger than the thickness of your paper clip. Also, its thickness must be uniform throughout its length.

To start the process, make the paper clip as straight as possible and wet the end of the paper clip you want to insert into the valve. Next, insert that end into the valve slowly and gently. Hold your ball firmly and apply gentle pressure to hit the bladder pipeline. You will notice the air coming out of your ball.

To speed up the process, squeeze the ball with your hands. Don’t rush because your little negligence can damage your basketball. After making the ball flat, slowly pull out the paper clip for storage.

How To Deflate A Basketball With A Pen?

Deflate Basketball
Deflate A Basketball With A Pen

Another way of deflating a basketball is by using a pen. Always try to use ballpoints rather than gel pens because the refill or tube of a ballpoint is thinner as compared to a gel pen.

To begin the process, take the refill or tube out of the pen. Make sure it is not filled with ink. Dip the refill into any liquid for lubrication and then insert it into the valve. Apply gentle pressure while inserting the refill, and when you hear the sound of air leaking from the ball, stop inserting the refill and allow the air to pass out completely.

Squeeze the ball with your hands to remove the air quickly if you want to completely deflate the ball, like what you did in both the procedures mentioned above.

It may take a minute or two to deflate the ball fully, but eventually, all the air will be released. Once that’s done, remove the pen and seal the hole with your finger or a piece of tape. And that’s all there is to it!

Other Ways of Deflating a Basketball

Deflating Basketball Methods
Ways of Deflating a Basketball

If you don’t have an inflation needle and a paperclip or pen, you can still remove the air from your basketball by using the following tools or methods.

  • An air pressure gauge can be used to deflate the basketball
  • You can also use a bobby pin to remove air from your basketball as per your requirements
  • If not, placing the ball into the refrigerator would also help.

Why Should You Deflate Your Basketball?

Why to Deflate Basketball
Deflate Your Basketball


How To Deflate Overinflated basketball?
Overinflated Basketball

An inflated basketball is not only difficult to shoot, but it also can cause wrist and finger injuries. If you have an overinflated basketball, you will need to deflate it.


To Store Basketball
Where To Store Basketball?

Another reason to deflate the basketball is when it is not being used so that it will last longer. If a basketball is left fully inflated, the air inside will slowly leak out, and the ball will become flat over time.

What Pressure Should the Air Inside a Basketball Have?

Pressure of Basketball
Pressure Inside a Basketball

Most basketballs are inflated to 7-9 psi. To achieve a professional level of play, the ball should be inflated to between 8.5 and 9.5 psi. If the ball is too soft, it will not bounce as well and will be more difficult to control. If the ball is too hard, it may burst or become uncomfortable to grip and handle.

How Do I know if my Basketball Needs Deflating?

Basketball Deflating need
When Basketball Needs Deflating?

Take a look at the needle on the pressure gauge. If it’s pointing to the red zone, your ball is over-inflated and needs to be released.

If you’re unsure how much air to take out of your basketball, start by releasing about half of the air. You can always add more air later if needed, but it’s hard to put air back in once it’s out. Once you’ve released some air, bounce the ball a few times and see how it feels.


Learning to deflate a basketball is not as difficult as it may seem. Anyone can do it with the proper tools and a little know-how. So next time you need to let some air out of your basketball, don’t be afraid to try it.