How To Clean Golf Balls? Make Them Brand New – Again!


If you think golf players are meticulous about keeping their golf clubs clean, you should see them when it’s time to wash their golf balls.

After all, the balls take the hit and withstand all kinds of dirt, terrain, and weather. Plus, a clean golf ball can endure more hits, fly further, and be twice as effective as a dirty one.

Since golf balls can be pretty pricey, you’d like to read this guide on how to clean golf balls and stop tossing them in the garbage.

How To Clean Golf Balls?

photo source: istockphoto

Regular golf players know how important it’s keeping your golf equipment in top-notch shape.

And this includes timely cleaning of the golf balls you play in every weather possible, especially a rainy one — gotta scrub that mud off them.

Cleaning Light Dirt On Golf Balls

The best way to get rid of some light dirt stuck on your golf balls is by using a dishwasher.

Follow these steps:

  • Use the dishwasher’s utensil compartment to fit the balls.
  • Pour the usual dose of dishwasher detergent you use when setting the machine on a normal cycle.
  • Once set – adjust it to a medium cycle for thoroughly cleaning the balls.
  • When the cycle is done, get them out of the machine and dry them with an older piece of cloth.

* Remember that the hot water and dishwashing detergent mixture work only on balls that require minimum cleaning.

Also read: How many dimples on a british golf ball?

Cleaning Moderate Dirt On Golf Clubs

Moderately dirty balls are best cleaned when in batches. You’ll need to soak them well for the grass, mud, and other dirt to fall off.

Here’s how you can do that:

  • Consider getting a bucket whose size matches the number of golf balls you want to put in.
  • Now, fill half the bucket with warm water and pour a cup of vinegar. If you don’t have any, you can use ammonia or bleach.
  • Leave the balls inside for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Drain the water from the bucket and use pressure water to clean the balls. You’ll notice that the cleaning ingredients have taken down most of the dirt.
  • Wipe the balls using some older towel and put them somewhere sunny for faster drying.

Cleaning Heavy Dirt On Golf Balls

photo source: tcpalm

Nothing ruins the effectiveness of a golf ball like rainy weather and muddy golf courses. But rain and heavy mud have nothing on the good old elbow grease, a.k.a. polishing.

Follow these steps and learn how to polish your golf balls correctly:

  • Fill the bucket with warm water and vinegar and place the balls inside.
  • Let them soak for an hour to get rid of the stubborn slime and mud.
  • In the meantime, make a paste using water and baking soda. You can easily rub the paste into the balls’ dimples. For more efficient cleaning, use a stiff brush.
  • If there is any leftover dirt on the balls, use some pressure water.
  • Use an older cleaning towel to dry the golf balls before you place them in a sunny spot.

Removing Pen Marks On Golf Balls

Some golf balls have pen or marker spots on them; this is usually the case with used balls. However, washing them out is easier than you think. All you need is some acetone-based nail remover.

Check these steps on how to use the acetone-based remover with golf balls:

  • Rinse the golf balls nicely to remove whatever dirt is on them.
  • Before you use the acetone, ensure they’re dry from the rinsing. Use a towel to be 100% sure.
  • Find some cotton and dab it in acetone. Now start wiping the ball until the pen marks are no longer seen.

* In case there’s paint on the balls, try using paint thinner.

  • Once you wipe off all the pen marks, wash the balls with dishwashing soap. In the end, with a cloth or towel, wipe them dry.

There you have it — clean, fresh-new-looking golf balls ready to ace a hole.

Also read: Things and facts to know about golf

Caution: Things to Avoid When Cleaning Your Golf Balls

These are the things you must avoid while cleaning golf balls:

Acidic Chemicals

Strong acidic chemicals can permanently damage your golf balls. For example, you don’t want your balls to be with flat, almost invisible dimples. This is precisely what you’ll get by using harsh chemicals.

Being in Water For Too Long

It’s one thing to have your golf balls soaked in from twenty minutes to one hour, but anything beyond that is too much.

If you forgot them in the water, the result would be waterlogged balls. And one thing’s for sure – you won’t get the desired effect when you hit it on the golf course.

Don’t Leave Them Long in the Sun

We mentioned that after cleaning the balls, it’s okay to be left under the sun. This is good only if it’s for a short while. Extended sun time will severely damage their outer shell.

Stiff Brushes

Using a stiff brush to remove stubborn dirt or mud is one thing. However, a stiff bristles brush will contribute to numerous tiny scratches on the ball’s surface. Eventually, the ball will lose its flight range because of them.

Undiluted Bleach

Bleach and a little water can help your golf balls regain that shiny bright white look again. However, the secret is to use bleach which is not diluted, if you want to avoid permanent damage.

Buying a Ball Washer

Ball washers are helpful when on the golf course; however, they come with a price tag. And, not all golf players have storage for it to take it out on the course. Moreover, not everyone can afford to buy one too.

Why would you splurge on something like that when there are so many DYI methods you can use at home?

Bottom Line

Cleaning your golf balls on time will get you an improved driver head – golf ball contact and get your balls to fly greater distances.

These are just a few of the many benefits you’ll enjoy by keeping them clean.


Can you wash golf balls with an ultrasonic cleaner?

Yes, you can wash golf balls with an ultrasonic cleaner. This type of cleaner will help your balls get back their primary playing quality by using an intense yet gentle way of cleaning.

In what do you soak golf balls to clean them?

The usual liquids you soak balls to clean them are dishwashing detergent, vinegar, warm water, or hydrogen peroxide.

What is the best way to clean used golf balls?

We’ve mentioned all possible ways about how to clean golf balls, but the method that’ll work best depends on how dirty the balls are.

From dishwashing to warm water soaking and vinegar/ acetone cleaning – all are excellent cleaning methods.

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