Does Water Ruin Tennis Balls?

You’ve probably heard that keeping tennis balls in a can of water will ruin them. But is this actually true? We did some research to find out.


Water definitely has the potential to ruin tennis balls. If a ball is left in water for an extended period of time, it can cause the felt to deteriorate and the ball to become misshapen. Additionally, if a ball is left in water that is too hot, the heat can damage the felt and make the ball less bouncy. However, if a ball is only exposed to a little bit of water, such as when it rains during a match, it should not have any significant impact on the ball’s performance.

What Happens to Tennis Balls When They Get Wet?

When tennis balls get wet, they can absorb up to 40 times their weight in water. This can cause the ball to become heavier, softer, and bouncier. The increase in weight can make the ball hard to control, and the change in bounciness can make it difficult to predict where the ball will go. In some cases, water can even cause the ball to dissolve.

The waterlogging effect

When a tennis ball gets wet, its bounce changes. The waterlogging effect is the process that causes this to happen.

The bounce of a tennis ball depends on two things: the amount of air inside the ball and how much the ball compresses when it hits the ground. Water affects both of these things.

The air inside a tennis ball is under pressure. When a ball gets wet, some of that pressure is released and the ball becomes less bouncy. This is because water takes up more space than air, so it occupies some of the space inside the ball that would otherwise be filled with air.

Water also makes the balls feel heavier because it adds weight to them. This is why you often see players wringing out their wet balls before they serve. By removing the water, they make the balls lighter and easier to hit with power.

The hardening effect

When a tennis ball gets wet, the felt fibers that line the outside of the ball start to absorb water. As the fibers absorb water, they swell and begin to stiffen. This process is called hydroscopic swelling. The more water that the fibers absorb, the stiffer they become.

As the felt fibers on a wet tennis ball stiffen, they start to compress the air inside the ball. This can have a big effect on how the ball bounces. A tennis ball with a lot of water in it will bounce lower than a dry tennis ball because it is being compressed by the swollen fibers.

The hardening effect of water on tennis balls is temporary. Once the felt fibers dry out, they will return to their original state and the ball will bounce normally again.

Does Water Really Ruin Tennis Balls?

Many people believe that water ruins tennis balls, however this is not true. Tennis balls are designed to withstand moisture and weather conditions. Water can actually improve the performance of a tennis ball.

The short answer

The short answer is that it does, but not immediately. If a ball is left sitting in water for too long, it will absorb enough water to change its composition and affect its playing qualities. Depending on the type of ball, this can happen in as little as 24 hours.

For example, a tennis ball is made of rubber with a felt covering. When you compress a tennis ball, the felt pushes back against your hand and the rubber inner core compresses and then rebounds. This gives the ball its characteristic springiness.

Water causes the rubber to swell and absorb some of the felt covering. This makes the ball softer, so it doesn’t bounce as well and doesn’t have the same “springiness.” The effect is not permanent, however. Once the ball dries out, it will return to its normal state.

The long answer

It depends on how much water they are exposed to and for how long. If they are only exposed to a small amount of water, they will not be ruined and can still be used. However, if they are exposed to a large amount or if they are left in water for an extended period of time, they will be ruined and will need to be replaced.

How to Keep Your Tennis Balls Dry

If you’ve ever wondered whether or not water ruins tennis balls, the answer is yes and no. Water can damage the synthetic fibers of the ball, causing them to break down and affecting the ball’s bounce. However, if you let the ball dry completely, the damage will be minimal and the ball will be as good as new.

Use a ball canister

If you want to keep your tennis balls in pristine condition, it’s important to keep them dry. Water can ruin tennis balls, making them mushy and difficult to bounce. If you’re playing on a wet court, or if it’s raining, use a ball canister to protect your balls. This will keep them dry and ready for action.

Use a ball clip

If you don’t have a can of pressurized ball clip, you can still keep your tennis balls dry by using a regular ball clip. To do this, simply unscrew the top of the ball clip, take out the inner coil, and stretch it over the opening of the can. Then, screw the top back on and you’re ready to go!

Use a ball tube

A ball tube is a great way to keep your tennis balls dry and in good condition. Simply put your balls into the tube, seal it up, and store it in a cool, dry place. You can also use a ball tube to transport your balls to and from the court.

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