When Do Tennis Balls Go Bad?

When Do Tennis Balls Go Bad?


Every tennis player needs to have good-quality balls so that they can get the best performance throughout the match. But it is impossible for your balls to last forever. So when do balls go bad? If you are still confused, this article will give you more details.



The balls go bad

The lifespan of any ball might depend on whether it is used for recreation or competition. Normally, it can be usable for 1 to 3 years. In case you take care of your products carefully, they are more likely to maintain their quality for longer.

If you use a ball for recreational play, it can last for about a month. Meanwhile, these products that are used in any professional match might turn bad after 1 to 3 hours of constant play.

Tips to know your balls expire

You can determine the condition of your products via some outstanding signs as below:

  • Sound: If it is dead, it might make a quite strange sound compared to the good ones. When you hit a good-quality ball, you can hear the “whack” sound. However, it would sound weaker and more hollow with the bad balls.
  • Bounce: You should switch into another ball if your in-use balls lose their bounce. The old balls will not be as bouncy as the new ones at the same height.
  • Squeeze: Squeezing is a great method to test whether your products turn bad or not. If the balls are still in good condition, it is hard for you to squeeze. But the dead products are very easy to be squeezed into your hand.

What should you do with your old balls?

Instead of throwing them away, you can keep your old products to reuse in the many following ways:

  • Doing laundry: Putting about 2 or 3 products inside the dryer can make your clothes dry out faster. These can help you to scrub any stubborn stain on your stuff as well.
  • Being a laptop holder: You can have your ball cut in half and then, place them on the corner of your laptop.
  • Cleaning floors: It is helpful for you to use them to remove any dust on the floors, even in the hard-to-reach areas.
  • Cleaning pool: With a special structure, these products can absorb oil in order to keep the water inside clean.



How can you preserve your tennis balls?

  • Avoid storing them in extreme hot or cold
  • Keep them clean
  • Some suitable places for storage such as the laundry room, closet, or garage.
  • Check its condition regularly

Is it ok to leave tennis balls in a car?

Once you have your balls opened, they can be damaged by the heat in your car. That is because the temperature might cause some changes in the air pressure.

Why can you keep tennis balls in a fridge?

In most professional tournaments, they often store non-used products in the fridge instead of leaving them outside. The constant temperature of the fridge might minimize the air outflow of any ball. So it can remain the quality of the balls as long as possible.

Does cold weather ruin tennis balls?

Unfortunately, these products will not function well if you keep them in the cold for so long. The low temperature might make them less bouncy compared to the normal ones. All gas molecules inside a ball can contract against the cold weather, thus leading to the weak reaction of the balls once hitting the ground.

How do you sanitize your tennis balls?

  • Get a small container of warm water
  • Put all your products inside the container
  • Use a soft sponge to scrub your products
  • Rinse the scrubbed balls in the clean water
  • Let them dry out


It is impossible for any ball to have an indefinite lifetime. Typically, it can last for one year or maybe longer under careful protection. You can check the condition of your products through their sound, bounce, or squeeze.

Further Reading

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Dixon John

Tennis blogger - amateur

My dad taught me to play when I was just 14-15 years old and for the last 7 years, I’ve practiced it with all my passion…

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