How to Clean a Golf Ball: A Step-by-Step Guide

One of the most important things to keep in mind when playing golf is that your ball needs to be clean.

You can spend a lot of money on new golf balls, but if you’re not taking care of them properly, they won’t last as long as they should. If you don’t clean your golf balls regularly, it will affect the distance and trajectory of your shots.

But how exactly do you go about cleaning a golf ball? Below are some tips that may help!

What are the advantages of a clean golf ball?

To get the best performance out of your golf balls, they will have to be clean. Dirty golf balls will not fly as far, which can make it challenging to hit your target.

You will also find that the impact on the ball will be more consistent on clean balls, making it much easier to add spin and touches of finesse to your game. Also, should you slice a golf ball into the long grass, a shiny one is much easier to find than a dirty one!

One final point to consider used golf balls are much cheaper than new ones. When you are just starting out, it can make sense to buy more affordable golf equipment. So buying second-hand balls and cleaning them is often an inexpensive way to have plenty of backup golf balls.

A dirty ball showing why it is important to know How to Clean a Golf Ball

How to clean a golf ball

While there are plenty of ball cleaners on the course, they rarely do an excellent job on dirty golf balls. This is why it is still essential to clean your golf balls at home before getting on the course. Here are some simple steps to follow.

Cleaning golf balls – what you will need

  • A cleaning bucket or tub
  • Warm water
  • Cleaning detergent (You can get a special golf ball cleaning solution, but a mild dishwashing liquid will also suit)
  • Something to scrub with, an old toothbrush or soft wire brush, works well.
  • A dry towel

Best way to clean golf balls

  1. Start by removing dried mud, dirt, and debris from the ball by rubbing it against a towel or scraping away with your fingernail.
  2. Fill your cleaning container up with warm water (best to do this outside in case you knock the bucket over and spill dirty water and ball everywhere. Not that I have ever done it. That’s a lie, I did do it once, not fun to clean up).
  3. Add your cleaning solution to the water. Use mild dish soap if you have an easy-clean, but you can use something stronger such as ammonia, white vinegar, baking soda, bleach, or even denture cleaning tablets can all be effective if you have really dirty balls.
    Obviously, do not mix these products, which is dangerous as bleach can react with other materials.
  4. Add your golf balls and let them sit for a few minutes. For more caked-on gunk, it may take longer, maybe for 15 – 20 mins.
  5. Once they’ve soaked, remove them one at a time and start scrubbing. The all the dirt should begin to come off, and you’ll be able to see the ball underneath.
  6. Be sure to pay special attention to the golf ball dimples.
  7. Repeat this process until your balls are clean.
  8. Rinse the balls in clean water to rinse any cleaning product off them.
  9. Wipe them with a dry towel while making one final look over to make sure they’re clean, then leave them to air dry a little longer.
  10. Remember to put your clean ball back in your bag, ready for the next round. You wouldn’t want to get to the golf course and realize all your golf balls are still drying!
Lots of clean golf balls

FAQ section

How can I make a homemade golf ball cleaning solution?

For basic washes, mild dish soap or dishwashing liquid should be more than enough. If your golf balls are looking for an extra deep clean, ammonia, undiluted bleach, and even vinegar can do it. Just never mix the chemicals.

How do I make my golf ball white again?

Fill a bucket with hot water and add in 1/2 cup of bleach. Allow the balls to soak for half an hour before giving them a rub with a sponge, draining, rinsing, and drying. Soaking should fix discoloration for most golf balls and, as a bonus, kill fungus or algae that may have been on it.

How To Clean Permanent Marker Off Golf Balls?

You can try dipping a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and use it to clean the ball or non-acetone-based nail polish remover. Using an acetone-based cleaner on the surface can discolor the white coating producing a yellowish tint.

Can golf balls be cleaned in a dishwasher?

You can get your golf balls nice and clean by tossing them in the top rack of your home dishwasher. I wouldn’t recommend it for balls with caked-on dirt or remove the rough stuff first. Also, it might not be a good idea to wash your dishes at the same time.

Can I put golf balls in the washing machine?

Yes, you can put them in a hot wash with a couple of towels to limit the rattling around, and they should come out looking great! If you have a mesh bag, it may be worth using that too. Disclaimer: This is a personal opinion, and I have done it a few times with no side effects, but there is, of course, an element of risk, and I accept no liability if your washing machine does break as a result.

Will bleach damage golf balls?

No, using bleach to clean golf balls will not damage them.

Final Thoughts

Many golfers will overlook the importance of having pristine golf balls, but it just takes a few minutes after each round to keep your balls clean and aesthetically pleasing.

While clean balls alone won’t get you on the PGA Tour, every little detail can help you improve your golf game and have a slight advantage over other golfers.

As always, please feel free to ask any questions or leave additional tips for our readers in the comments; what works for you?

Leave a Comment