How to Repair a Leaking Volleyball

Four people playing volleyball on beach

When you love volleyball enough, the equipment takes on greater meaning. You develop relationships with the court, the net and, most importantly, your ball. Volleyballs don't last forever, especially when they take a pounding on a daily basis. But you can fix a leaky volleyball using an inexpensive can of automotive tire sealant. An inflation needle screws right into the sealant's hose, making the job convenient. Just protect yourself as the liquid rubber hardens.

Stick a sports ball inflation needle into the volleyball to take air out of it. Reduce the air inside the ball to about 50 percent of its capacity. Remove the inflation needle.

Protect yourself by putting on safety glasses and protective gloves. Automotive tire sealant is toxic in liquid form and the rubber it becomes can bind with skin.

Screw the inflation needle into the port on the automotive tire sealant. Insert the needle back into the volleyball and squirt a small amount of sealant into the ball. The ball will inflate with the pressure of the sealant.

Roll the volleyball around to get an even coating of liquid rubber on the inside of the ball. Some liquid sealant may squirt through the leaks on the ball. Immediately wipe the liquid away using a paper towel.

Remove the inflation needle from the can of sealant and insert it into your ball pump. Inflate the volleyball while continuing to wipe away any sealant that bubbles through. Remove the needle and continue to roll the ball for an even coating of sealant on the inside.

Squeeze, bounce or hit the ball while listening and looking for signs of a leak. If the leak persists, deflate the ball a bit and squirt more sealant inside; then check for leaks again. Eventually, the liquid rubber sealant will harden on the inside of the ball creating a new barrier and giving your volleyball renewed life.


Dispose of the paper towels immediately after fixing your volleyball. Do not let the sealant dry on any surface outside of the ball. The liquid will form into rubber and you'll be forced to remove it with mineral spirits.