I want to put new felt on tennis balls. But first, how do I get the old felt off?

I tried heating up the felt to 305C using a soldering gun. I started at lower temperatures before that. The adhesive may have started to melt, but the felt started to burn. This wouldn’t be a problem in some situations, but smoke is a problem in this situation.

I placed one overnight in acetone, thinking that could break down the adhesive. Some of the yellow dye came off the tennis ball, but no adhesive.

I placed one in 5%HCl as well. Again, no luck.

Somewhat useful information can be found in a 3 minute How it’s Made video on Youtube. https://youtu.be/ovalwd7VZLU

These are tennis tennis balls, not dog tennis balls, not practice balls. I have to clarify because some cheaper balls use a cheaper adhesive.

It’s possible this is a silicone adhesive as opposed to some other kind of adhesive, which is part of the problem!

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You try scoring it and just pulling it off? $\endgroup$ Sep 15 at 0:22
  • $\begingroup$ I'm trying to remove the felt but keep the tennis ball in a "ball" shape. I'm trying to remove the felt from the silicone ball, not cut the ball in half. $\endgroup$ Sep 15 at 10:50
  • $\begingroup$ Try hydrogen peroxide. There are lots of answers out there to remove glue. $\endgroup$ Sep 24 at 22:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Try using NMP or diglycolamine. NMP eats through all resins and diglycolamine amazingly eats through silicone vacuum grease as well $\endgroup$ Sep 27 at 3:05


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