Whether you get an inexpensive, bargain ping pong ball or a high-quality, professional standard ball, there will come a time during play that everyone faces the same issue – they deny the ping pong ball!
Whether this be accidentally standing on the ball, squashing the ball between the paddle and table, or just some general damage that could occur while playing, there’s always going to be a time when you’re down to your last ball and get a dent in it – essentially making it unusable…
In this article, we’ll therefore show you how to undent a ping pong ball quickly and easily. These tips require no special equipment and you can use everything you already have in your household.
How to Undent a Ping Pong Ball?
The best way to remove dents from a ping pong ball is to place your ball in a cup of boiling water.
The boiling water will heat the air inside the ball and increase the air pressure. The increased air pressure will naturally cause the internal air to expand.
Ping pong balls are made from a hard plastic and one of the key benefits of plastic is that it’s moldable. By modifying the temperature of the ball, you can use some strategies (mainly involving heat) to force the ball to return to its original shape.
There are several methods for undenting ping pong balls, like using a hairdryer and a lighter. However, the quickest way to remove dents from ping pong balls is by using a hot water method.
#1 Hot Water Method to Undent Ping Pong Balls
The hot water method is the easiest way to remove dents from your ping pong ball. The pressure inside the ping pong ball increases because of the heat. When the air pressure rises high enough, it will remove the dents from the ball.
Boiling water is dangerous because you can seriously burn yourself. You should always wear long sleeves when using any method involving hot water. Oven mitts are also suggested to protect you from water burns.
Required items for the hot water method include:
- An electric kettle or another boiling device
- A mug
- A spoon or pair of tongs
- Your dented ping pong ball
- Oven mitts (optional)
- Long sleeves (optional)
Step 1: Boil the water
Boil at least three cups of water in an electric kettle. An electric kettle can boil water in less than one minute. They are also the most accurate way to pour boiling water because they are already in a pourable container.
Step 2: Pour Water in a Cup
Carefully pour the boiling water into a medium-sized cup. Use a mug or another cup that can withstand high temperatures. Pouring water in a cup decreases the temperature significantly. Additionally, manipulating the ball inside the kettle would be impossible.
If you have oven mitts, wearing them while pouring can decrease your chance of burning yourself.
Step 3: Put the Ball in the Cup
Place the dented ping pong ball in the cup. Be careful not to drop the ball from too high or touch the water directly. At this time, the water will be burning hot. The chances of burning yourself are extremely high.
Step 4: Push the Ball Down
Use your spoon or tongs to gently submerge the dented ping pong ball underwater.
Completely submerge the ball underwater. If you are using a spoon, it can be helpful to flip the spoon upside down to cup the ball.
As you submerge your dented ping pong ball, be careful not to splash yourself with boiling water, or you can burn yourself badly. Never use your fingers to push the ball underwater. The scalding hot water will burn your skin.
Step 5: Examine and Remove the Ball
After letting the ball resurface slowly, spin it gently with the utensil you used to submerge it. Confirm that all dents are gone before removing the ball using either your spoon or tongs. Never use your fingers to remove the ping pong ball.
Step 6: Let the Ball Dry
Place the ball on a heat-resistant surface for a few minutes to dry. Avoid plastic surfaces, or they may melt.
If there are no dents on your ping pong balls, you are done! Pour out your water and safely clean up all materials.
#2 Hairdryer Method to Undent Ping Pong Balls
The hairdryer method is a reliable way to remove dents from ping pong balls. Using the hair dryer’s heat setting on your ping pong ball can increase its internal temperature and create expansion.
Required items for the hairdryer method include:
- A towel or oven mitt (required)
- Dented ping pong ball
Step 1: Get Ready
In one hand, put the ball in the towel. Position the ball so the dent is clearly facing you. In the other hand, hold the hairdryer, already plugged into an outlet.
Step 2: Turn the Hairdryer On
Turn the hairdryer on heat and aim it at the ball. Begin heating the ball and wait for the ball to expand. If your hand gets hot, turn the hairdryer off and give yourself a break. It might be worth exchanging your current towel for a thicker towel.
Step 3: Let the Ball Cool Off
After the ball no longer has a dent, place the ball on a heat-resistant surface to cool off. Be cautious not to place the ball on wood or plastic to avoid warping and melting.
#3 Lighter Method to Undent Ping Pong Balls
The lighter method is the trickiest method to remove dents from your ping pong ball. It is also unreliable and sometimes dangerous. You cannot always guarantee that the lighter method will work.
Required items for the lighter method include:
- Dented ping pong ball
Step 1: Position Yourself
Hold the ball at least one inch above the top of the lighter’s flame. Hold the ping pong ball with the dent facing upwards. Hold the ball with your fingers far from the flame.
Step 2: Light the Lighter.
Hold the ping pong ball above the lighter carefully as you light the lighter. Wait for the dent to undent.
Accidentally standing on a ping pong ball or smashing it with too much force and denting the ball are common occurrences when playing the game. Before you throw away your balls because they are no longer usable, it’s good to know that you can remove dents from ping pong balls.
How to remove a dent in a ping pong ball? To undent a ping pong ball, you need to use a heat source. A heat source will build internal air pressure inside the ball forcing it to expand and naturally remove any dents. The best methods to use are a cup of boiling water, a hairdryer, and towel, or a lighter.
By using any of the above methods, you can quickly and easily remove any dents in a ping pong ball. Just keep in mind that each time you dent a ball, the structure becomes weaker and the ball loses some of its effectiveness. With repeated dents, the ball will either eventually break or become unusable due to the weakened structure.
Warning – These methods all involve the use of heat. Therefore, they should never be done unattended without adult supervision. Caution and safety equipment is advised when attempting any of the methods listed above.