Lacrosse balls that are played with are going to get dirty, and this can affect how long your lacrosse balls last. Any lacrosse player who has played with a brand new lacrosse ball knows that they don't stay that way for very long. Cleaning your lacrosse balls can help keep them grippy and ready to be played with instead of greasy and ready for the trash. Below are a few useful ways to clean lacrosse balls that may help your lacrosse balls last longer. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Cleaning Lacrosse Balls
There are multiple ways to clean lacrosse balls, and the method of cleaning will depend on what your lacrosse balls went through. Find the best method for how to clean lacrosse balls and you'll instantly see the difference.
Water: Mud, Dirt, Grass, & Clay
Playing on natural grass, or somewhat desert-like, field means your lacrosse balls are going to get very dirty. There's no way around getting your lacrosse balls dirty, except for never using them; and no one wants that. But the dirt, grass, and other elements of the ground will erode and get stuck within the surface of your lacrosse balls.
Some splashing of room temperature water on your lacrosse balls as a regular habit can get the dirt and other debris out of the porous surface of lacrosse balls and help retain that grippiness. Water is also the most gentle cleaning agent for lacrosse balls and occurs naturally within our environment. Just be sure to not waste water in this process and make the most out of what you take from the tap.
Bleach: Turf & Indoor
Turf and cement surfaces actually "burn" the surface of lacrosse balls the same way that it can "burn" your skin when you slide on them. Because the outside of lacrosse balls is supposed to be grippy, these burns get in the way because they break down that grippy surface.
Bleach is slightly corrosive, so it eats away at things when it touches them. Mixing 2 parts bleach with 3 parts water gives you a diluted balance that can be sprayed on lacrosse balls through an old cleaning bottle to give them that "brand new" feel again. Letting lacrosse balls sit in bleach will destroy them, so only use a dilute and gently spray the balls with a light touch of the mixture after a practice.
Sandpaper: All Playing Fields
This is one of the oldest lacrosse tricks in the book but also one of the very best. A gentle rubbing with some sandpaper on the outside of a lacrosse ball can fix a greasy lacrosse ball and make it "clean" once again. The real trick is to evenly rub the whole ball because this method is actually sanding down the lacrosse ball. If you do this too much, you'll effectively ruin the lacrosse ball and take away its ability to be legal for play. So just rub the surface enough to feel that grip of a new lacrosse ball and move on.