How To Clean Golf Balls

how to clean golf balls

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Reading Time: 6 minutes

Cleaning golf balls is one of the tasks that all golfers have to do.

They tend to get dirty during the game. In many cases, the balls fall into sand traps, water traps, and ponds. A dirty ball can hinder your game. Many golfers have a bad habit of putting off the cleaning of golf balls and this practice is very harmful to them.

In this article, we are going to discuss different possible situations on how your golf balls can get dirty and how to deal with them.

The main things we would be discussing include;

  • Best way to clean golf balls
  • How to do it effectively at home
  • Cleaning golf balls recovered from ponds
  • Cleaning golf balls with permanent marker ink
  • Cleaning golf balls with scuff marks

We would also be discussing

  • The effect of bleach on golf balls
  • Whether it would be wise to use a washing machine or dishwasher to clean
  • The effect of scuff marks on golf balls
  • Using hydrogen peroxide to clean them.
  • Best method to Clean Golf Balls?

How To Clean Golf Balls At Home?

Are you cleaning golf balls by yourself at home?

This is relatively easy but might take some time. The things you will need are

  • Dish washing liquid or mild soap
  • A bucket
  • A bristle brush (nylon bristle)
  • Hot water
  • Bleach
  • Protective gloves (should be worn before starting)

This method is for a small number of golf balls and easy to clean dirt. In case you want to remove tough dirt, you can replace the dishwashing liquid with either household Ammonia or white vinegar.

1.      You have to pour hot water into the bucket. The amount of hot water should be enough to cover all the dirty balls.

2.      Add the required amount of dishwashing liquid or soap. Ideally, you can mix the dishwater liquid with water before adding it to hot water,

3.      After adding the dishwashing liquid to the hot water, you should give it a whirl. It is done to ensure that the liquid is equally distributed.

4.      Now put the golf balls into the water. Make sure the balls are completely covered. Let them rest for around half an hour. It is would ensure that the ball removes the surface strain and the crusted dirt.

5.      After half an hour, you should take the balls one by one and clean them using a nylon bristle. The reason for choosing this kind of bristle is to protect the ball. If you use an iron bristle, you would damage the balls’ outer core.

6.      After cleaning the golf balls, rinse them to remove the soap and dirt residue.

7.      Throw the dirty water from the bucket. After that, you should rinse the bucket to ensure no dirt and soap remains in the bucket.

8.      Now pour hot water into bucket water again. Remember, the water must be enough to cover the balls.

9.      Add around half a cup of bleach to the hot water.

10.  Place the cleaned balls into the bucket and let them soak for another half an hour. It is done to remove any discoloration that the ball may suffer. Another reason for soaking the balls in bleach is to sterilize them. The bleach would remove any algae or fungus from the golf balls.

11.  After half an hour you should use a dry towel to wipe each ball individually. It would allow you to check them. You must check the balls one at a time. By doing this, you can ensure every ball is properly cleaned.

Cleaning Golf Balls Retrieved From Ponds?

The problem with golf balls recovered from ponds is that they tend to be discolored. Also, they can be covered with pond scum. Before you can use them, you have to clean them. The best way to clean these balls is to put them into a dishwasher. However, remember to avoid the detergent. The purpose of putting them in the dishwasher is to separate the good balls from the bad ones.

In the dishwasher, the hot water would affect the bad balls making them completely waterlogged. The golf balls that are not affected can be used. In case the golf balls are not clean enough, you can clean them. To do this, you should place them in some bleach. Let the balls soak for some time.

Remember that bleach can affect your skin. That is why you should use protective gloves when you are taking the balls from the bleach. Afterward, we are going to discuss the possible effects of using bleach to clean your golf balls.

Cleaning old Golf Balls?

Irrespective of whether the golf balls are brand new or used you can use the method we have mentioned above. In the case of used balls, you would have to deal with permanent marker writing of the balls. Also, in some cases, you have to deal with scuff marks. Below we are going to discuss ways of dealing with them. Further down in this article, we are going to discuss the possibility of cleaning golf balls in bulk.

Cleaning Permanent Marker Off Golf Balls?

Many golfers tend to mark the golf balls using permanent markers. It is to help them identify their ball. The problem with these markings is that they do not go away. If for any reason you want to get rid of the markings on your golf ball then all you’ll need is a nail polish remover. You have to pour some nail polish remover on some cotton. Then rub the cotton on the ball. The marking will be gone.

Many of you might be wondering what to do if you do not have any nail polish remover. No need to worry you can use carburetor cleaner. It has the same effect as the nail polish remover. Once you have removed the permanent marker prints on the golf ball, you can use them as your balls.

Is Bleach safe to use on Golf Balls?

Unless the ball is already damaged, bleach will not have any negative effect. Bleach is considered the best whitener in the business. You can soak your golf balls in bleach and use a brush to scrub them. This will help you make the balls white while dealing with discolored balls. However, you must remember to avoid using wire mesh. These wire meshes would damage your ball.

In addition to the whitening effect, bleach can help you sanitize your golf balls. We have mentioned before the bleach will deal with any algae or fungus, that might be present on the ball. 

Is it Safe to Clean Golf Balls Using Either a Washing Machine Or Dishwasher?

Yes, you can put your golf ball into a dishwasher or washing machine. It has been seen that many people use washing machines to clean golf balls in large numbers. There have been instances where people used washing machines to clean hundreds of balls.

Some players use their dishwashers to clean their golf balls. This method helps to clean golf balls that are not very dirty. The method allows you to clean a large number of balls without needing to scrub and dry them individually. If you find balls are not sufficiently clean, then you have to scrub them clean.

Removing Scuff Marks Off Golf Balls?

You can remove scuff marks by scrubbing them using a nylon scrub brush. The scrub has to be soft, as using a hard scrub brush can cause damage to the ball. After this, you can use a magic eraser sponge to complete the job.

Using this method to clean does not guarantee that you get the scuff marks off the ball. However, it can guarantee that the surface is evened. You might ask “why should we remove the scuff mark from the golf ball?” There is a reason as you would find out below.

Do Scuff Marks Affect Golf Balls?

This question does not have a direct answer. The effect depends on the kind of scuff mark present on the ball. If the scuff mark is small, then it will not affect the player’s game. Unfortunately, if the scuff mark is big then it would affect the player’s game.

There have been cases where the golf ball has become unplayable due to a large scuff mark. In extreme cases, the scuff marks can damage the ball permanently. That is why you should never play golf with a ball that has severe scuff marks on it.

Cleaning golf balls in huge numbers?

Cleaning golf balls in bulk is the only option if there are plenty of golf balls to clean. There are two ways that you can clean golf balls in bulk. The first way is to clean them using a washing machine. As we have mentioned before people have cleaned hundreds of golf balls this way. The important thing you must remember is that you must not add the detergent. It is due to the possibility of the detergent harming the balls.

Another way of cleaning them in bulk is by placing them in your dishwasher. This method allows you to clean golf balls in bulk. Like in the case of a washing machine, you must not put the detergent.

Both methods can help you clean golf balls in bulk, but they cannot guarantee that the balls will be clean. These methods can be used only if the dirt on the golf balls is very little and you are short of time.

In case you are not satisfied with the result, you should start cleaning them by hand. It will take less time as most of the dirt would have been removed by the washing machine or dishwasher.

How to clean golf balls with hydrogen peroxide?

Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent chemical. It can be used to clean the dirt of golf balls. The advantage of using this chemical is that you do not need to scrub the balls. All you have to do is soak the ball in the hydrogen peroxide, and the dirt will fall off by itself.


Cleaning golf balls is important, and using a dirty ball can affect a player’s game. In this article, we have discussed several ways you can clean your golf balls and get them to top shape.

Bookmark this page so that you can always get back to it and you will be able to handle any dirt that comes your golf balls’ way.

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