How to Deflate a Soccer Ball: Fast and Easy (2024)

How do you deflate a soccer ball? Ask any soccer player, youth or professional, or soccer coach who travels a lot or who has a lot of training gear and equipment what is easier to carry around, an inflated soccer ball or a deflated soccer ball?

The answer should be pretty clear and there are a few reasons why players or coaches may want to learn how to deflate a soccer ball properly. For example, this skill can be useful if you need to create more room and store a lot of soccer balls somewhere, if you need to create space inside your soccer bag, or if you just need more space while you travel.

In this blog, I will be covering tips and everything else you need to know about deflating a soccer ball.

How to Deflate a Soccer BallImage by Michael Jay

The Best Way to Deflate a Soccer Ball

The best and most common way to deflate a soccer ball is by using a ball air pump inflation needle. For this, you don’t necessarily need the soccer ball pump itself, but you do need the inflation needle.

The ball pump can be used if you want to inflate the ball, but it is not necessary to deflate the ball. To deflate a soccer ball using an air needle it does not matter if the needle is in the ball pump or not.

This is because most, if not all, pumps will allow the air to escape if the needle is inside the ball and you are not pumping air in. Here are the simple steps to deflate your soccer ball with an air needle.

  • Find the ball’s valve opening
  • Lubricate or moisten the tip of the needle
  • Gently insert the needle slowly inside of the ball’s valve opening
  • Apply pressure gently and slowly push on to the ball so that you hear a small hissing sound, which is the noise of the air coming out of the inner bladder.
  • Finally, keep the inflation needle inside of the ball until all the air comes out and it gets to the desired level of deflation you are looking for.

How to Deflate a Soccer Ball

Image by Guillaume de Germain

Alternative Ways to Deflate a Soccer Ball without An Air Pump Needle

The best way to deflate a soccer ball is with a needle and I recommend using only a needle. This is why it is very important to have a reliable soccer ball pump, as well as extra needles, inside of your soccer bag so you are ready in case your balls ever get flat.

There are some alternative methods you can use to deflate a soccer ball if you do not have a ball pump, but these should only be used if you absolutely have to. To deflate a soccer ball without a needle you can use a sharp object such as a straightened paper clip, a ballpoint pen, or anything similar to force open the valve.

  • First: find the ball’s valve opening
  • Second: insert the paper clip/pen only enough to open up the air valve
  • Third: apply gentle pressure to the ball and squeeze the ball without too much force so that you help all that air come out of the ball

If you use any of these items be careful and do not stick them too deep inside the valve as you risk damaging the inner bladder pipeline.

How to Deflate a Soccer BallImage by Hal Gatewood

Why Putting Your Soccer Ball in The Fridge Won’t Deflate It

We’ve all heard some wild myths about deflating soccer balls before and one of the most popular myths suggests that putting a soccer ball inside of a fridge will help deflate the ball due to the slow-moving cold molecules.

Even if this theory does sound logical this method does not work and if it were to work it would take way too long. You are much better off purchasing a soccer ball pump and saving your time instead of leaving your ball inside of a fridge.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you deflate a soccer ball without a pump?

Yes, there are ways to deflate a soccer ball without a needle or without a pump, but that is not advised as using different objects, such as a pen or paper clip, can cause internal and permanent damage to the ball.

Can you take soccer balls inside of planes when flying?

Yes, you can take soccer balls inside of planes when flying either on your carry-on luggage or checked luggage, but make sure to double check with the company you are flying with. Deflating you soccer balls is the best way to bring them inside of a plane.

What type of balls can you inflate with a ball pump?

Using a ball pump is one of the best ways to inflate any type of ball including:

How can I learn more about the game?

To learn more about soccer the most important thing is to join a team and play the game as much as possible. If possible, analyze high level games as much as you can and your own games as well by recording them with a soccer camera. Also read soccer books, listen to podcasts and interviews watch soccer documentaries, as well as some movies, tv shows, and anime.


In conclusion, knowing how to deflate soccer balls is one of the most important parts of being a player, a coach, or a parent of a youth soccer player because this will help free up a lot of room inside of your traveling and equipment bags.

In this blog, I covered everything you need to know about deflating a soccer ball, from tips on how to best deflate a soccer ball, to alternative methods in case you don’t have an air pump, although those should only be used if you absolutely have to.

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