How to Restore a Grip to a Leather Basketball

    Step 1

    Set the ball down on a flat surface. Press one hand on top of the ball so it does not move when you are cleaning it; wipe the ball down with a clean rag. Move the rag over the entire surface and remove all visible dirt and other debris.

    Step 2

    Add dish soap and water to the rag and press the rag into the grooves along the basketball. These tough-to-reach places can be filled with dirt and other debris, so they must be cleaned thoroughly to help restore the grip on the basketball.

    Step 3

    Pour leather cleaner onto a new rag and wipe it carefully on the surface of the basketball. Move the rag back and forth in a circular motion until the entire area has been covered with the cleaner. This cleaner will get rid of the grease and other grime that dish soap and water could not.

    Step 4

    Dry off the leather basketball thoroughly with a clean rag. Run the rag over the basketball until all the leather cleaner has been removed from the surface. Grip the basketball with either hand and check to see that the original grip has been restored.


  • You can spray wood polish on your leather basketball once a month. This will help keep the leather looking new and keep your basketball from getting dirty in the future. Let the wood polish sit overnight.

Things Needed

  • Clean rag
  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Leather cleaner
  • Wood polish

About the Author

Alexander Callos began writing in 2005 for "The Lantern" at The Ohio State University and has written for various websites, including Bleacher Report, Top Ten Real Estate Deals and Columbus Sports. He has published articles for CBS Sports, SI.com and other websites. He graduated in 2007 from The Ohio State University with a bachelor's degree in public affairs journalism.