How to Clean Golf Balls

How to Clean Golf Balls

At some point in their career, all golf players have hit their balls off-course. They’ve landed in the grass or mud. After you retrieve them, they can be covered in dirt and grime. It can be tempting to throw them away. But these balls still have a lot of life in them, as long as you clean them properly. So, how should you clean a golf ball?

There are a few methods you can use. You can put the golf balls into the dishwasher, in the utensils section. The high-pressure water jets and steam work to remove dirt and debris, though there is a chance the balls could be damaged. The most popular method is to fill a bucket with warm, soapy water and leave them to soak for a few hours.

Spending a few minutes cleaning your golf balls will restore them to their former glory. Plus, removing the dirt and grime will allow you to improve your accuracy, giving you an advantage on the green. Keep reading to learn some easy ways to clean your golf balls at home.

Small Amount of Dirt

If the dirt on the ball isn’t too severe, you can wipe it down with a cloth. You can easily do this on the course, between shots. This should wipe away most of the dirt, though a small amount might still be trapped in the dimples.

wipes dirty golf ball

Cleaning off Mild Dirt

After a game, you will need to spend a little more time cleaning the golf balls. There are a few methods you can use to spruce up your balls before your next game.

The easiest option is to put them into a bucket with warm, soapy water. Here are the steps you will need to follow during this process:

  1. Create the soap mixture. You’ll need to fill a bucket with warm water. Then, add a few squirts of dishwashing soap. Use a mild concentration, so you don’t damage the paint coating around the ball.
  2. Leave the balls to soak. You can leave them for one to two hours.
  3. Wipe them down. After leaving the balls to soak, you should wipe them down with a towel. Any remaining dirt should slide off. If you are still having problems, you can put them back into the solution for another one to two hours.
  4. Adding bleach. If the balls are still looking a little worse for wear, you can add bleach. This will restore the whiteness of the ball. Make sure to dilute it. Use a water to bleach ratio of 4:1. This will ensure that you don’t damage the coating on your golf balls.
  5. Wait for them to dry. Once again, leave them to soak for a few hours and wipe them down with a towel. Then, you will need to wait for them to dry in the sun. If you put them away while wet there is a chance that they will attract mold.

There is another option for cleaning golf balls that have a mild amount of dirt. You can put them into your dishwasher. Though this can sound a little unusual, it will be effective. There are a few things to keep in mind during this process. First, you’ll need to put the balls in the utensils tray. Make sure to space them out, so the jets of water will hit them from all angles.

It might take a few washes before the balls are clean. You might need to rotate them between cycles. Don’t put any utensils in the dishwasher at the same time. Once you are finished, you can wipe them down and wait for them to dry. Then, you can put them into your golf bag.

However, a word of warning before you put your golf balls into the dishwasher. Sometimes, the heat can cause some slight corrosion. This is most common in lower-quality balls. If you spot this, you will need to wash them in a bucket, using the method described above.

Tips for Cleaning Balls That Have Been in a Water Trap

Where you find the golf ball has a big impact on the type of damage that has been inflicted on it. For example, if you find it in the woods, you’ll be dealing with a little dirt. Maybe, there will be some moss growing on it.

However, when you get balls from a water trap, they will be covered in algae. This is a sticky substance that might be trickier to dislodge. Here are some tips you can use to get balls in this condition clean:

  • Use denture cleaning tabs. Once you have put the golf balls into a bucket and added the dishwashing liquid, you might want to add some denture cleaning tabs. Though it sounds unusual, the fizzing bubbles will help dislodge any dirt or algae that is on the balls.
  • Get a soft-bristled brush. A toothbrush is a good way of getting into the grooves on the golf balls and getting rid of any remaining dirt. Do this on one ball at a time. Once you’ve done this, wipe them down. If needed, you can put them back into the solution later.
  • Create a cleaning mixture. If the algae are still attached to the golf balls, you might need to make a cleaning solution. You can do this by combining baking soda and a small amount of water. This should form a paste. You can use a toothbrush to spread this over the golf balls.
  • Put the balls in the bucket before adding the water. When you add the water through a hose, you can use the pressure to help dislodge dirt.

If you are still having problems, you can try applying more cleaning paste then putting the balls back into the bucket. When dealing with balls that come from a water trap, it’s important to be patient. It can take a while before you start to see results. You will often need to put it into the bucket multiple times.

Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Golf Balls

In many cases, it will be fairly easy for you to clean a golf ball. It just takes a little elbow grease and a lot of patience. But there are some common mistakes that you should seek to avoid. These include:

  • Leaving the balls in the cleaning solution too long. Ideally, you should leave the balls in a cleaning solution for one to two hours. You shouldn’t leave them for more than six hours at a time. If you do, there is a risk that you will damage the coating of the ball. This can negatively impact your performance on the green.
  • Not checking for damage. Just because a ball is clean doesn’t mean that it is fit for use on the golf course. If the outside coating has been damaged, the trajectory will be more unpredictable.
  • Clean them as soon as possible. If you clean the balls when you get home, the mud will still be relatively fresh, so it will be easy to remove. But if you leave the mud to dry, it will become solid and harder to dislodge.

Final Thoughts

Whether you are trying to salvage golf balls you’ve discovered, or want to keep your balls in good condition, learning the right cleaning procedure is important. There are many options that you can use, from popping them in the dishwasher to cleaning them in a bucket. As long as you have the patience and determination, you can get your golf balls back to peak condition.

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