Stop: Read This Before Throwing Away a Dented Ping Pong Ball

Ping pong balls aren’t known for their strength and durability. In fact, they actually have to me made incredibly light to be considered “legal;” otherwise, they simply won’t have the same effect on the playing field. As a result, they are susceptible to denting and damage through normal use and wear. Using a ping pong ball too many times will likely result in some minor nicks and dings. The good news, however, is that you might be able to salvage those dented ping ping balls with a little bit of work; here’s how:

#1 – Lighter

The first method that we’ll cover here involves the use of a lighter. Hold a dented ping pong ball with a long pair of tongs and place a lighter underneath it for about 30-45 seconds, or until it expands outwards. Be sure the flame is far enough away so that it’s not burning the bottom of the ball, but instead it should be placed a couple inches away. The heat will travel inside the ball where it causes the air to expand and hopefully push out the dent. It’s a simple and effective way to fix dents in a table tennis ball.

You can even use the lighter method to impress some of your friends and family members. Chances are they won’t expect the dents to come out simply by placing a lighter under the ball. It’s a simple and easy-to-perform trick that anyone can do, regardless of your skill level in the sport.

#2 – Boiling Water

Another simple and effective way to remove dents from a ping pong ball is to place it in a pot of boiling water a for a couple of minutes. Since ping pong balls are made from plastic, they won’t suffer any damage from the hot water surrounding them. Instead, the hot water acts in a way similar to the lighter – it raises the temperature of the air inside the ball, causing it to expand outwards and eventually “pop” the dent out.

If you decide to use this method for fixing dents in your table tennis ball, make sure you take the balls out as soon as they are fixed. While sitting in a pot of boiling water for a couple minutes probably won’t cause any serious problems, prolonged exposure to the heat can melt the plastic away. Once you notice the dent has popped out, use a scooper or pair of tongs to pull the ball out.