How To Clean Baseballs – 4 Best Methods

Have you ever wondered if Baseballs are cleaned when dirty? If yes, this article is specifically meant for you as we welcome you to learn how to clean baseballs.

As for those who may be surprised that Baseballs do get cleaned, understand that when Baseballs are used in games, they are subject to various stains from:

  • Mud
  • Scuffs
  • Dirt
  • Grass

More so, a baseball can be stained from autographs. Sometimes, a player’s name can be etched into its white leather.

However, irrespective of the stain and how it got to the baseball, you should keep reading, as there are plenty of ways to clean it.

We also have an article on cleaning catchers gear, if you were looking for one.

How to clean baseball? Best 4 methods

In learning how to clean baseballs, you can use specific tips and tricks to make that dirty baseball look clean and fresh within minutes.

You can choose diverse methods; however, you can learn how to clean baseballs by washing them with a dish sponge, warm water, and dishwashing liquid. Here, you can use a toothbrush or dishwashing brush if the baseball is dirty.

But ensure that the dishwashing brush is gentle. You will be scrubbing the baseball in a circular motion for some minutes. A few minutes will be enough to remove the item’s debris, dirt, or stains.

And if you do not want to ruin the baseball, you can create a solution comprising dish detergent and dilute bleach. Nevertheless, some of the methods you can try when learning how to clean baseballs are:

How To Clean Baseballs _ Methods
How To Clean Baseballs _ Methods

Method One: Making use of an eraser

For those unaware, a pencil eraser may look ordinary, but it will amaze you to note that it can remove most of the stains on white leather. These stains include scuffs and grass stains.

You can even rub dirt away from the entire surface with the eraser, but you will need a bigger eraser to clean the whole ball. You are using standard erasers made from vinyl, art gum, and even rubber.

It would be best if you got an eraser that is white or free of all intense colors. This is because an eraser with bright colors may end up rubbing off on the ball.

It can worsen the mark you were trying to get rid of initially. Interestingly, this particular method should be used only when dealing with baseballs with autographs.

More so, this method should not be used on wet stains as it will only end up spreading the stain. Instead, brush away any excess liquid using a moist paper towel, then wait till it dries.

Nevertheless, you can learn how to clean baseballs with an eraser by:

Gripping the ball by its seams

Having to grip the ball by its seams will assist in preventing oils or dirt from getting into your fingers since you will make some smudges on the baseball as you clean it.

More so, ensure you wash your hands before you start.

Rubbing the eraser on the dirty spot

You are to press the eraser against the ball’s surface, then rub the eraser back and forth all over the spot you want to clean. Finally, rub it all over the spot, in the same manner, you would use the eraser on your paper.

This motion must be repeated till the moment the marks or dirt disappears.

Method 2: Using a baseball cleaning machine

Are you aware that a baseball cleaning machine was created to clean baseballs? Well, now you know!

While the second method is pretty expensive, it lets a person simultaneously clean a huge amount of baseballs. And as expected of machines, it makes the job simpler and completed within hours.

It does not matter if your baseball is dirty, used, or muddy; this method will help clean them. You will need to take on some baseballs with almost similar dirt.

Place these baseballs on the machine’s container, then add a baseball-cleaning compound. When this is done, run the machine for as long as needed.

Although, if your baseballs are just a bit dirty, you can set the timer for about one hour. If the baseballs are moderately dirty, setting the timer for roughly two to three hours will do.

And if the baseballs are very dirty, the timer will need to be set for as long as three to six hours. However, some people may leave the machine overnight for more effective cleaning.

Once your timer is up, you will check if your baseballs are finally clean. If they are not, you can place them in the machine once more for extra cleaning.

Method 3: Using bleach

You can make use of bleach when seeking ways how to clean baseballs. But first, you need to make a solution of dish detergent and dilute bleach.

In making this solution, you will have to fill your glass halfway with warm water. Then, add a similar amount of subtle dish detergent before adding a capful of bleach.

When you have added everything, you should stir your solution, and it is possible to use some other leather-safe solvents to create it. These leather-safe solvents are rubbing alcohol, hairspray, and white vinegar.

The process of using bleach to clean baseballs entails the following:

Dampening a cotton swab with bleach

It would help if you dipped the cotton swab’s tip into your prepared bleach solution. Then, use an old rag or paper towel to squeeze the excess. The reason for this is that you only need enough to moisten the surface of the baseball lightly.

Using an old toothbrush or any other scrubbing tool capable of holding water is safe.

Wiping the dampened swab over the stain

You are to rub the end of the swab with bleach all over the ball’s surface. It should be done a few times until you see the stain disappear.

It must be done carefully so that it does not get in contact with any stamps or seams on the ball. If the bleach touches the red stitches on the seams, they will have it discolored.

Bear in mind that this bleach solution will end up removing any stamps you scrub over your ball.

Wiping the bleach off the ball

To get this done, you must moisten a cotton ball or towel with clean tap water. You can choose to wipe down the whole ball or only the part you bleached.

Doing this a few times would be best because all residual cleaning solutions must be removed.

Towel the baseball dry

If you got the baseball wet, you should not let it air dry. The reason is that air drying will lead to warping and cracking of the leather. So, to avoid this, rub your baseball with a dry and clean towel.

Method 4: Water and drill brush

This fourth method you can try when seeking how to clean baseballs involves using water alone with a drill brush. After that, you need a cheap drill brush or a brush set.

Then, add water to a rectangular plastic bin that may be bigger than a shoebox. You can use dish gloves or wash your hands before picking up the ball. And when you pick up the ball, pick it by its seams.

In doing this, you will avoid adding your fingerprint to the dirt on the ball. You are to place the drill so that the brush stays in the water while the drill stays steady in one hand.

The ball should be positioned in pitch position before turning the drill on. Your grip will slacken, so the ball will subtly rotate while dirt and grime are pulled off it.

You can change the direction of the ball pitch while allowing the cleaning to commence.

Pick the best pitching machine for baseball and softball from our review.

Caring For Your Autographed Baseball

Now that you know different methods on how to clean baseballs, do you know how to care for your autographed baseball?

Well, some of the tips we can let you in on are:

Avoid overhandling the baseball

For adults, this might be easy, but for kids, it may most likely be difficult as they will be excited about their autographed baseball.

Nevertheless, you must ensure that the sharpie or ink has dried completely on the ball before you allow anything to touch it.

While ballpoint pen signatures tend to last decades on baseball, the truth is that if it is not carefully handled, they can get smudged.

Monitor the temperature

The temperature is critical because humidity or hot environments can result in the signature running.

And it is not an excellent concept to keep the ball in a place where the temperature will exceed seventy-five degrees or fifty percent humidity.

For this reason, tossing it in a box locked away in your attic will serve you no good. And do not place it in your basement, as basements tend to get damp. Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Where can I keep my autographed baseball?

The best place to keep all autographed balls is in dark yet cool environments that shield them from light sources.

If you never knew, sunlight and even fluorescent light will affect the inked signatures since ultraviolet rays are known to break down color pigments.

How can I get my old baseball cleaned?

This article has some of the best methods to help you get the job done. First, however, you can use water and dish soap, then ensure the soap residue is rinsed thoroughly.

Does MLB throw all dirty baseballs away?

When baseballs get dirty, MLB ensures that some are used during batting practice and some are carried to minor leagues.

Will my baseball get bleached if I use bleach solution?

While it tends to bleach, it is advisable to apply the solution only on the part with the dirt. Then, keep using it till the dirt begins to disappear.


We have successfully provided you with all the details you need to know on how to clean baseballs. So read through and choose the method you can carefully follow.

Read how to clean the inside of a baseball glove from us.

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