Ball refurbishing

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Ball refurbishing
« on: July 01, 2011, 01:01:42 PM »
Hi all,

I'm still somewhat new to the foosball scene, just picked up a table about 6 months ago.  I purchased some of the 5 hour Tornado balls from this sight, but they're getting pretty worn already.  I know the local tourament director in my area sell foosballs and offers free life time refurbishing, but I didn't purchase mine from him. 

I'm wondering if anyone has advice on the best way to bring the balls back to newer condition?

Offline bbtuna

  • 1465
  • TS, Dynamo, Tornado, Warrior, & Fireball
Re: Ball refurbishing
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2011, 03:14:00 AM »
1.  soak in as hot water as you can get out of the tap, dish soap, and ammonia until water is cool
2.  drain and fill again with hot water and some more dish soap...water hot but not so hot you can't touch it (basicly rinsing the ammonia out)
3.  Get a 3M Green Pad (from grocery store or hardware)
4.  scrub each one carefully and set them aside until dry
5.  then use 40 grit sandpaper and carefully scrub the surface bringing up the nap

the soak and green scrub will make them look like new and they will play better but the sandpaper part is needed to bring the nap all the way takes some finesse to get a cut of sandpaper that will wrap around the ball about 3/4 of the way so you can cradle it in there, sort of like hugging it, otherwise you may create flat will be taking a little of the surface off which will be evident from the pink dust but you will also bring up a good nap with the 40 grit

there are ways to make tumblers which is what the person selling them in Texas did...there are any number of ways to do that most of which use a very coarse sandpaper...tumbling brings up the nap and makes much less dust but it is a major project to make a tumbler and if you only have a few balls its not worth the effort which starts up buying a used dryer...i will post or link you to one or more of these after I look for may be a day or two

just so happens I did 20 of these last week for a friend, which took a couple hours, and am doing 30 more of my own tonight...I have only 11 left to sand paer and its 2:13, what a fooser will do...I definately need to get a real life  :D


Offline bbtuna

  • 1465
  • TS, Dynamo, Tornado, Warrior, & Fireball
Re: Ball refurbishing
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2011, 02:15:08 PM »
this one is more about tumbling

there is a link in here to Phil's (other foos board owner) article in his foos Quarterly but the link is no longe any good....I will see if I can find that original article because it is the best detailed "how to" on building a tumbler using a dryer

this one about washing

a note about washing...putting them in the wash or sink as suggested here is fine and I have done that many makes them better but doesn't clean them nearly as well as the method I descibed above but its probably 85% but my method really cleans them to like new except for the oldest dirtiest balls

last note, if you don't sand them, they are pretty good and its much less work but if you sand them, you can get them so good you will be beside yourself

after reading these again, I will get some 24 grit and try that, i was wanting something more gritty than the 40 and this explains things

Offline bbtuna

  • 1465
  • TS, Dynamo, Tornado, Warrior, & Fireball
Re: Ball refurbishing
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2011, 08:38:29 PM »


if bleach and ammonia get together, even a little, it makes a deadly gas and can kill VERY fast...i have been within 6 feet of a bucket used to clean floors which already had ammonia and someone added bleach and we almost lost the person and even from six feet it started to take my breath away

make sure whatever soap you are using has no bleach...most BUT NOT ALL dish soap is free of bleach but some have bleach and it should be clearly stated on the bottle
« Last Edit: July 12, 2011, 09:52:05 PM by Arthur »

Offline foozkillah

  • 764
  • Sure Ain't A Livin'
Re: Ball refurbishing
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2011, 06:54:15 PM »
Here's something MUCH MUCH SIMPLER I've figured out for the tumbling:  USE WHAT YOU HAVE.

1. Get any 3 or more Folger's or Maxwell house used plastic coffee tubs (tons of these available).
2. Line and glue the inside of these with the same 60grit sandblaster sandpaper.
3. Since these are 37-43oz tubs.. you'll need 3 or these using fewer balls each tub (~ 3 per tub)
4. Get 3-4 old large sneaker/shoe boxes (cut out the bottoms if desired) to stack in a regular dryer.
5. Stack enough of these shoeboxes with the plastic tumbling tubs in them to match the dryer diameter.
6. You can easily use any combination of shims, rags, or foam,  to anchor tubs between the dryer fins.
7. Secure the holder assembly in your dryer.  Make sure you set the dryer to just air (no heat drying).

Voila! You have a removable (and dirt cheap) tumbler assembly to fit in any modern frontloader dryer.

I've seen some use those cutout plastic crates, trashed electronics packing foam, for the assembly. etc.
No old dryer needed, no ingenious crafting or cutting/chopping/welding/assembling....
Just stick the holder(if needed) and tubs in your everyday run-of-the-mill dryer for as long as you desire.

PLUS: If you do several sets of balls.. you could get away with just stacking the tubs and no holder or foam/paper
shims, even!  You could actually have a dozen, two dozen or more of these smaller coffee tubs (with some empty
if unnneeded) stuck between the standard 3-4 fins of your dryer.  I have actually also used 3X bigger plastic tubs
(potato chip versions of the coffee tubs) with more balls in them.  I used some rags to shim them snugly, is all.

Offline BradLaurine

  • 109
  • Fireball Table Soccer
Re: Ball refurbishing
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2011, 10:21:16 PM »
Comet/Ajax and a scrub pad for quick cleaning.

Tornado balls, as well as any of the balls that have a heavier amount of fuzz will collect more silicone, dust, dirt and fibers. This will mat the surface quickly and making the ball more slippery. The T ball is a very hard urethane ball and requires the fuzz to both slow the ball and make it more catchable.

Here comes the sales-pitch! If you are a recreational type player and not getting into a tour type event, try the Fireball ball. Easier to catch and stays cleaner much longer. Wears the same as a T ball. This ball has more options when shooting or trying to bank. for more information and sales or go to for sales.

Thanks, Brad