How to Clean A Golf Ball: 3 Easy Methods

A basket full of dirty golf balls placed for cleaning.

A clean golf ball flies further and straighter than a dirty one. Follow these tips to keep your golf balls clean during gameplay.

Golfers know that a clean golf ball flies further and straighter than a dirty one. Golf balls are designed to have a specific dimple pattern and smooth outer surface. Over time, the dimples on the golf balls can become less defined, and the surface can become less smooth, affecting the ball’s flight and path. Thus, it’s important to keep your golf balls clean so you can play your best game. 

We’ll give you the best methods and some tips on how to clean a golf ball using simple household items on a regular basis and also mention how to keep them clean during gameplay.

How to clean a golf ball

Any golf lover will tell you that there’s nothing quite like hitting a brand-new golf ball. Achieving that perfect shot is even better, but it all starts with the golf balls. Golf balls are carefully weighed and designed for proper aerodynamics.

A club connecting with a dirty ball can result in poor impact or backspin, negatively affecting distance, speed, and shot accuracy. Learning to clean golf balls can make a world of difference. Not to mention, it will save you loads of money in the long run.

From pond scum to stubborn dirt and large scuff marks, a lot can accumulate on your golf ball over time. How frequently you need to clean your golf balls will depend on how often you play and the type of terrain you’re playing on. In any case, it’s always good to have a cleaning routine for your golf balls. This way, you can be sure that they’re in top condition for your next game.

There are different ways to clean golf balls. We have listed four simple methods to clean golf balls. Read on and see which one works best for you.

A step-by-step guide to the bucket method (Simplest way)

Keeping your golf balls clean will not only help to keep them looking like new, but it will also improve their performance and extend their lifespan.

If you plan to clean golf balls at home, the bucket method is possibly the easiest method you can try.  Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning golf balls with a bucket and soap water:

  1. Start by removing any dirt or debris that is on the surface of the balls. A soft brush or cloth will do the trick.
  2. Next, fill a bucket with a soapy mixture of warm water and mild soap. Use a soft sponge or cloth to apply the solution to the golf balls, being sure to cover the entire surface.
  3. Allow the ball to soak in the bucket filled with this soapy mixture for 30 minutes before rinsing it off with clean, warm water.
  4. Finally, dry the ball with a soft towel or cloth.

A step-by-step guide to the dishwasher method (For Light Dirt off)

But the first question that arises in your mind when you read the heading is – Can we wash golf balls in the Dishwasher? But is it safe? Surprising as it may be, you can clean golf balls in the dishwasher! Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Load the used golf balls into your dishwasher (the best place for them is in the utensils compartment where you’d normally stuff your forks, knives, and spoons).
  2. Ensure you do not place any other utensils while washing the golf balls.
  3. Fill your dishwasher with dishwashing liquid until the slot is full.
  4. Select the presoak option on your dishwasher to help the dishwashing liquid sink into the golf balls.
  5. Run a regular cycle.
  6. Dry the balls with a towel or let them air dry if necessary.

A step-by-step guide to the hydrogen peroxide method

Hydrogen peroxide or Ammonia is an incredible cleaning solution. It’s color-safe, odorless, and non-toxic as well. You can use it to clean extremely dirty golf balls.

  1. Pour distilled water into a container and let all of your golf balls soak in the water.
  2. Prepare the cleaning solution that you are going to use for cleaning your golf balls.
  3. To prepare the solution, you have to mix 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide with 1 cup of distilled water. Ensure you use gloves when you clean your golf balls using this method.
  4. Soak the golf balls in the prepared cleaning solution for around 15 to 20 minutes. Don’t leave them in for too much time as it might damage the cover of your golf ball.
  5. Take them out of the solution and start rubbing with a soft brush or scrubber.
  6. Rinse the golf balls with distilled water and dry them with a soft towel.

A step-by-step guide to the Vinegar and Baking Soda method

White vinegar and Baking Soda are other substitutes that don’t harm the golf ball’s texture but clean them in one go. 

  1. Fill half of the bucket with warm or hot water, then add 1-cup vinegar to it.
  2. Now, soak the golf balls in this solution for about 20 to 30 minutes. 
  3. Take them out of the solution to see if the dirt has been removed totally.
  4. Make a paste of 2 tablespoons of baking soda and water. Rub this paste over the dimples of the golf ball to remove the leftover dirt.
  5. But, If minute dirt particles are still left, scrub them off using a hard-bristled brush to agitate the dirt.
  6. Rinse off the balls with the help of a pressure washer and then wipe them down using a cloth.
  7. Place them under direct sunlight for a while to dry.

Mistakes to avoid when cleaning your golf balls

Now that you have learned about the methods to clean golf balls, there are some things that should never be done when cleaning them as they could damage the golf ball and, eventually, affect your game.

  1. Don’t use a hard or metal bristled brush to clean golf balls as they may strip the outer layer of the golf ball, changing the dimple pattern and compromising the smoothness of the surface.
  2. Never use gasoline or similar harmful chemicals to clean golf balls. Not only are these chemicals bad for the environment, but they can also damage golf balls.
  3. Do not use a power washer to clean used golf balls either, as it can chip away the finish and outer layer of the golf ball. When cleaning golf balls, stick to using the methods mentioned above. This will protect the integrity of the ball, so you can keep playing your best game.


Golf balls are small, dimpled spheres made of icosahedral pentacontahedron that are used in the sport of golf. Golf balls are teed off on a teeing ground at the start of each hole or during play when they end up in a fairway. Golf balls must be cleaned before they can be hit. If it is not, the ball will not travel as far and will not have the same spin, making it more difficult to control.

As you must have understood by now, cleaning dirty golf balls is an extremely easy, no-fuss job if you know how to go about it. You can easily use the methods given above to clean golf balls at home. You will need very few things to clean a golf ball. Primarily water, soap, a brush, and a towel. By following the steps, you can ensure that your used golf balls are clean and ready for action. Make sure to avoid using acidic chemicals or hard brushes while cleaning since they can damage golf balls irreparably.

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