Intro: Old ping pong balls are susceptible to denting, and it’s because of the surface being damaged too often or too hard. Today, let’s compile all the ways to answer the age-old question “How to fix a dented ping pong ball?”, so you can continue your games without worrying!
How To Fix A Dented Ping Pong Ball?
When a ball is met with too much force, it might be dented. You will not have to examine the ball very carefully to notice that hollow spot, but you will have to fix it.
The basic principle of fixing a dented ping pong ball is to introduce heat to it, so the air inside the ball will expand and push on the dent. With that kind of pressure, your ball will be back into shape. However, you should avoid using a lighter or any direct heat source, or you will risk burning the flammable material. Here are a few methods you can try instead!
1. Use Hot Water
This method is a direct solution to the flammability problem we mention above with table tennis balls. We advise against using boiling water for this task to prevent any accidents. Aside from catching fire, table tennis balls can also melt when coming in contact with sudden high heat. With that in mind, let’s get down to business:
- Step 1: Bring about a cup’s worth of water to high heat. You can do this by putting the water into a pot and heating it up, or you can place a full glass into a microwave oven and set the microwave timer to 1 minute. Whatever floats your boat (or your table tennis ball)!
- Step 2: Carefully take the cup out, and put your dented ball(s) into the hot water. It will not take long for the balls to grow back to their original spherical shape. If you want to be even more efficient, you can press the balls down, so it receives more heat on its overall surface.
- Step 3: Remove the ball(s) from the hot cup with a spoon. If the water is hot enough to re-inflate your table tennis balls, it’s hot enough to burn your fingers.
2. Use A Hair Dryer
Here is another indirect heat source that will guarantee not to turn your ping pong balls into a puddle of plastic or a pile of ash. Here are the steps on using this beauty device to fix your dented balls:
- Step 1: Plug your trusty hairdryer in, and set it to medium heat or any settings equivalent to that. You will not need to go anywhere beyond that since we only need to heat up the ping pong ball’s surface.
- Step 2: Blow the balls with hot air at a distance. This allows the hot air to travel across the balls’ surface and heat it up evenly, instead of just on that one dented spot. Blowing the balls at 6-8 inches away can also prevent the ping pong balls from catching fire or melting.
- Step 3: Now, you will only need to wait for the air inside the ball to expand and push on the dented region. Even when the air inside the ball cools down, it will not retract and make the dent worse.
3. Use Any Other Heat Source
Outside of these two methods, you can also attempt other ways to indirectly apply heat to the table tennis ball’s surface. Leaving the balls in the noon sun can do the trick just fine, and the solution is especially effective when you want to fix multiple dented balls at once. You can utilize your patio or yard space for this!
Another way is to place the balls next to your stove while you are cooking. The heat from the stove will bring the temperature of the surrounding area up quite a bit, and that should affect the air inside your table tennis balls as well. Just pay attention to the balls and prevent them from getting too close to the stove’s flame or any of the hot cooking utensils, or they will be ruined.
If you use any other heat source, you must keep it at a distance. Course: PingpongPerfect
The basic mechanism of applying heat to the ball is to make the gas particles inside the ball’s hollow space move faster. The movement will force the gas particles to push on the ball’s surface from the inside, thus pushing the dent from the inside out. You may think that a gas particle cannot produce a lot of force, but there are countless particles in your balls.
If air particles can uproot a house in a tornado, they sure can fix the dents on your table tennis balls.
Using these methods, you can fix any and all balls that have unfortunately had their fair share of damage already. If you can’t squeeze it back to its original shape, you can introduce the ball to a heat source, and it will pop right back. That is the answer to “How to fix a dented ping pong ball?”