How to take care of your footbag

Before you start using your brand new footbag, there’s a couple of things you should know. Since footbags are made to be kicked, they are quite durable, and if you don’t abuse them, they will serve you for a long time. Still, if you don’t know how to take care of them properly, their lifespan will be much shorter and their condition will detoriate more quickly.

The first thing you should remember, is that while kicking your footbag is what it was made for, excessive force might prove to be too much for it. It is perfectly fine to kick the bag high in the air with a flashy jumping trick, but don’t go overboard. If you are thinking about having a contest with your friends about who can kick your bag the hardest into a nearby spot on the wall, I would ask you to use your soccer ball instead.

Second important thing, that a lot of players forget about, is that professional footbags really don’t like being scraped against hard surfaces. It wears down the fabric and will cause holes to appear over time. Not to mention the panels will start looking rough and jagged, instead of nice and smooth. This means that you should avoid picking up the bag from the ground using your feet only. You can see it often in hacky sack circles – someone will drop the bag, and instead of picking it up with his hand, he will scrape it with his shoe against the other shoe to put it on the toe area. This can quickly ruin your footbag, so please make sure to avoid it.

footbag scraping

You wouldn’t want to be in that footbag’s place, right? Source: “Reindeer Games” http://vimeo.com/5727828

If, by any chance, your footbag gets wet (for example by landing in a puddle), the best course of action is to let it dry first before attempting to kick it again. While water will not damage the fabric, it is important to know, that wet seams will become softer, and more prone to stretching. If you don’t want to turn your footbag into an eggbag, make sure to avoid kicking it when it’s wet. Another piece of advice that will let you avoid stretching your bag is to make sure you don’t store it in a tight place, where it will stay squished for a long periods of time. Your footbag likes to be free, so when it’s not in your pocket just let it rest on a desk, or another flat surface.

How to wash your footbag

What to do when your footbag becomes dirty? Well it’s not really something you can avoid, but the solution is easy. You simply need to wash it. The recommended way to do it is to use cold water to preserve colors, and clean the bag with regular hand soap. First, rinse your bag in the water, then apply a moderate amount of soap and start gently rolling the bag between your hands.

washing a footbag

Rinse your footbag in cold water

 

It’s important that you don’t scrub against the fabric. Simply roll the bag and squeeze it (don’t use a lot of force) until you manage to work the soap into the bag. After a few moments of washing your footbag, rinse it again. Make sure that when you squeeze the water out, it is able to flow through the seams, and not through the fabric. This way you won’t damage the panels. Repeat the process until the water that comes from the footbag is clean.

rinsing a footbag

Rinse your footbag carefully.

 

Now your footbag looks like it’s brand new! After you are done, make sure you don’t put your footbag directly on any sort of hot surfaces (like radiators). First dry it off with a towel (without using too much force or rubbing against the fabric). Then let it dry in room temperature, and if you want to speed up the process, gently massage it in your hands from time to time.

drying a footbag

Use a towel to dry off your footbag.

 

How often should you wash your footbag? It depends on how often you play with it. If you kick every day, washing it once a week should be enough. But if you notice that your bag has accumulated a lot of dust and grit, don’t hesitate to do it right away.

clean footbag

Looks brand new!

 

If you use the advice provided above, your Haniabag will remain in a great condition for a long time. Thanks for reading, and have a lot of fun kicking!

hanna mickiewicz