How To Clean A Baseball (5 Solutions!)

During a baseball game, it is possible for a baseball to acquire a lot of filth and debris, or even get dirty, muddy, or wet.

Even when exercising extreme care and caution, it is still very unlikely that your ball will stay clean forever.

Over time, you may notice your baseball become looking less and less like it did when you first got it.

Of course, the more you use your baseball, the more dirty it becomes.

However, that does not necessarily have to mean that your baseball will need a replacement for a new one.

Instead, you can take certain steps to make sure your ball returns to its optimal condition.

So what if you think that it is time to give your baseball a good cleaning?

How do you go about it?

Let’s look at a few different ways on how to clean a baseball to restore it to its optimum condition once again!


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One method of cleaning the leather of your baseball that has acquired scoff marks and become dirty is by using an eraser.

This particular method is a simple one and requires only a short period of time.

In addition to that, it is very inexpensive and will not require special means or resources.

It is, however, a cleaning method meant for baseballs which are not extremely dirty. It will work well on a baseball that just needs a slight or minor clean up.

A muddy or wet baseball will need some other, more intense means of cleaning.

To clean your baseball, use a simple store bought eraser which you would use to rub out written mistakes.

Make sure it is a white eraser. If it was in any other color, it would have a good chance of staining or tinting your baseball.

Begin by drying the surface of your baseball from any moisture or liquid.

Now use your eraser to rub every part of your baseball, rotating the ball as you go.

Keep doing this until you see the dirt or staining starting to come off. Make sure to get every part of the ball.

This includes the threads, where a lot of dirt often collects.

The eraser should rub off visible staining off the leather and the ball should start becoming lighter or brighter again.

Magic Eraser

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As an alternative to a regular eraser, try using a magic eraser. This will work better on more stubborn stains or dirt patches.

To begin with, wet the magic eraser under the tap. Squeeze out the excess water and repeat the same actions as with the regular eraser.

Avoid the threads altogether, as the magic eraser will most likely be too abrasive for them.

Dish Washing Liquid And Warm Water

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For very dirty baseballs, or ones that have not been washed for a long time, use some dish washing liquid and warm water.

This method is a universal one and can come in handy in cleaning a variety of different objects.

It will not only help with refreshing the ball, but also make it look much cleaner and brighter.

The dish washing liquid can be of any type. However, if you are worried about damaging the leather, try using a milder dish washing liquid like Dawn.

Use a dish sponge to wash the baseball with the dish washing liquid and warm water.

If your baseball is very dirty, you can use a toothbrush or a dish washing brush that isn’t too harsh.

Scrub the baseball in circular motion for few minutes in order to get the dirt, stains, and debris off.

Remember to take a measure of caution around the threads to avoid pulling them or breaking them.

Rinse off the baseball and leave it to dry thoroughly in the sunlight or place it near a heater.

This is simply to make sure the baseball does not become damaged after being saturated with water.

Bleach Diluted With Water

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You may find that your baseball is simply more discolored and dull than dirty.

In this case, bleach diluted with water could be the key to a brighter and whiter baseball.

This method will remove old, stubborn stains and will restore your baseball to its former state.

Additionally, the bleach will sterilize your baseball, especially in the case where the ball is handled by many people.

This method will help get rid of all the bacteria that has accumulated on the surface of your ball over time.

For carrying out this particular method, you can use a type of bleach such as Clorox to help remove staining and discoloration.

On the other hand, if you are worried about damaging the leather of the ball, try using a gentler, non-chlorine bleach.

Dilute a quarter to half a cup of bleach in a cup of warm water.

Use a cotton pad or any old toothbrush that you can find to scrub away at the stains and discoloration on the ball.

Stay away from the threads of the ball. The bleach will only change the color of and may damage the threads.

Stain Removal Laundry Detergent And Warm Water

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Full up a basin with warm water and add about half a cup of stain removal laundry detergent.

An example of this may be OxiClean.

Place your ball in the basin and let it sit there for about 5 to 10 minutes. When this time passes, take your baseball out and use a microfiber cloth to wash the baseball.

The warm water and laundry detergent will have lifted any major stains off or will make it much easier to remove them.

Dip the cloth in the laundry detergent and warm water solution. Rub the cloth in circular motions where there are stains or dirt marks visible on the ball.

As an alternative method, you can also use a nylon bristle brush instead of the microfiber cloth.

However, do not go too hard on the ball with the brush to avoid damaging it. Be careful around the threads.

Check if your ball has become brighter in color and if any visible stains faded.

If not, place it for another 5 to 10 minutes and then scrub at the ball again after the time is up.

Rinse your ball off and then leave it to dry properly.

Baseball Cleaning Machine

Video: “How to Clean Dirty Baseballs – The Oyster Baseball Cleaning Machine!”

There is actually a special baseball cleaning machine designed for the effective cleaning of baseballs.

This method may be expensive, but it allows you to clean a large amount of baseballs at once. It makes the process of cleaning them much simpler and a few hours.

If you have a bunch of particularly dirty, muddy, or used baseballs, then this method is ideal to clean them.

To start off with, collect a group of baseballs which gave a similar quantity of dirt on each one of them.

Now place the recommended amount of baseballs in the container of the machine. Add a baseball cleaning compound into the machine as needed.

You can add a few pieces of this compound which can be bought online. These can sometimes last for a few washes until they are completely used up.

Run the machine for as long as is necessary. For baseballs which are slightly dirty, set the timer to about an hour.

For baseballs which are moderately dirty, set the timer to at least two to three hours. If your baseballs are very dirty, you may need to set the timer toe longer.

They may require around three to six hours to clean. For extremely dirty and stained baseballs, leave the machine running overnight.

When the time is up, check of the bells are clean. They should be, but in the case where they are stop dirty, put them in for a few hours extra of cleaning.


Now that you know how to clean a baseball, choose the method which best suits you. Though each method is effective, it all depends on how dirty your ball is.

A slightly dirty or stained ball can be cleaned easily with a regular eraser and in no time at all.

A more dirty one may require some stronger products. These products can be ones such dish washing liquid or laundry detergent.

One meant for stain removal is the best for stained baseballs, or even bleach diluted with water.

On the other hand, if you constantly need to clean a larger amount of very dirty baseballs, you may want to invest In a baseball cleaning machine.

Although costly, this method saves you all the work and is perfect for very filthy balls.

Whatever the method you are using, always be wary of the threads, which can be pulled or broke very easily. In addition to that, be mindful of autographs.

If you have a signed ball with an autograph, do not put bleach anywhere near it.

Also, do not use a magic eraser near the autograph. A magic eraser is quite abrasive on the ball and will remove the signature.

Paul Hall
Paul Hall

Hello, I’m Paul, a 45 year old passionate baseball fan and the owner of this website. I hope my article could help to answer your questions.

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