How to Clean Lacrosse Balls

Extend a lacrosse ball's life by cleaning it after every use.
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Dirt, grime and general wear and tear can cause a lacrosse ball to become slick, or “slippery,” and lose its “grippy” surface. This renders the ball less dependable and more likely to slide from a player’s stick, with unpredictable results. Rather than throw them away, you can clean used lacrosse balls up and renew their grippy surfaces with a little elbow grease and a few household materials.

Cleaning Lacrosse Balls

    Fill a bucket with very warm water. Add a few squirts of degreasing hand dishwashing liquid. Stir the solution with your hand to combine the soap and water thoroughly.

    Rinse the lacrosse balls under warm running water to remove loose dirt and debris. Dump them into the bucket and allow them to soak for 10 to 15 minutes in the degreasing solution. This will make dirt, grease and grime easier to remove from the balls.

    Use a stiff scrub brush to scour the remaining grime from each ball.

    Rinse the ball under warm running water. Dry it thoroughly with a towel. Set it on a counter out of direct sun to air dry for a couple of hours. UV rays hasten the breakdown of lacrosse ball rubber, so avoid sun exposure whenever possible.

    Store the balls in a cool, dry location out of direct sunlight.

Renewing Lacrosse Balls

    Use fine-grain sandpaper to roughen the surface of a clean, dry lacrosse ball. Keep turning the ball in your hand to avoid wearing down any one spot excessively. This will help retain the ball’s original shape and size as the surface is renewed.

    Rub a clean, dry lacrosse ball on concrete or brick to abrade and renew its surface. Keep rotating it to keep from wearing too much ball surface away in any one spot.

    Roughen a clean, dry ball with a cheese grater to restore some texture to the ball. Turn it often to rub all surfaces evenly so that the original dimensions aren’t affected.

    Use a clean, dry rag to apply automotive rubbing compound to a clean, dry lacrosse ball. This mildly abrasive product is used to remove minor scratches and blemishes from automotive paint. Rub small dabs at a time into the ball’s surface.

    Things You'll Need

    • Bucket

    • Water

    • Degreasing hand dishwashing liquid

    • Stiff scrub brush

    • Towel

    • Fine-grit sandpaper

    • Concrete or brick

    • Cheese grater

    • Clean, dry rag

    • Automotive rubbing compound


    • Scrub lacrosse balls with degreasing hand dishwashing liquid and warm water after every use. This will prevent grime from building up on them and extend their working lives.

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