How to Clean Your Golf Balls to Make Them Look Brand New

There’s just something sensational about hitting a brand new golf ball. Wouldn’t it be great if you could find a way to clean all your used golf balls without having to buy an expensive ball washer?

In this article, we’ll show you how to clean your used golf balls to make them look brand new. This will help you save a ton of money throughout an entire golf season!

 

4 Ways to Clean Your Golf Balls and Get Them Looking Squeaky Clean

There are a bunch of different methods to clean your used golf balls. Here is a list of the most effective ways to do it.

1. The Soap and Water Method

One of the most tried and true ways to clean up your used golf balls is the good old-fashioned soap and water method. Here’s a quick guide on how to employ this technique.

  • Take a bucket and fill it with warm water and dish soap
  • Soak a washcloth into the water and soap
  • Squeeze the washcloth to rinse off the excess water
  • Scrub each golf ball to remove any gunk or heavy dirt
  • Once the washcloth gets too dirty, soak it back in the bucket of the soapy mixture before scrubbing any other golf balls
  • If the washcloth isn’t getting out the heavier stains on your golf balls, try scrubbing them with an old toothbrush
  • Thoroughly dry each golf ball with a clean towel before putting them back into your golf bag

 

2. The Soaking Method

If scrubbing your used golf balls with soap and water just isn’t cutting it, try using the soaking method. 

Fill a bucket with hot water and add in a cleaning agent like white vinegar or ammonia. It’s best to do this outside if possible since both of these products have a really strong scent that could be unpleasant for some people in your house.

Put all of your used golf balls into the bucket and let them soak in the hot water for at least 30 minutes. After enough time has passed, dump the golf balls into another bucket filled with clean water. If you happen to notice any sand or debris still stuck in the golf balls, try using a brush with gentle bristles to remove these particles.

After thoroughly cleaning each ball, dry each one off with a clean towel. Voila, your golf balls should look brand new! You can let them dry out in the sun for a few minutes if you like.

 

3. The Dishwasher Method

Did you know you can put your used golf balls into the dishwasher to clean them? I’ve done this a few times and it works wonders!

Load the 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. You can also put the golf balls into a mesh bag and stick them on the top or bottom rack of your dishwasher.

Next, fill your dishwasher with dishwashing liquid until the slot is full. Select the presoak option on your dishwasher to help the dishwashing liquid sink into the golf balls. Run a regular cycle.

If your golf balls had a lot of dirt or mud on them, it could take two or three cycles in the dishwasher before they are completely clean. This is completely normal and nothing to worry about. Dry the balls off with a towel or let them air dry outside for a few minutes.

The dishwasher method is by far the quickest and easiest way to clean your dirty golf balls. It’s so nice to have a golf bag full of clean golf balls. All it takes is a few dishwasher cycles.

 

4. Use Nail Polish Remover

This method may get you into trouble with your wife or girlfriend, but it works great for removing stains from your used golf balls.

Do you know how some golfers use a sharpie or a permanent marker to mark up their golf ball before a round on the golf course? This may help them identify their ball during a round, but the ink can be difficult to remove from the dimples.

Luckily, a little bit of nail polish remover is all you need to get your golf balls looking brand new again. If you don’t have any nail polish remover, some acetone will do the trick as well. It’s best to use some gloves while doing this to protect your hands.

Take a cotton ball and dip it into the nail polish remover or acetone. Now try to scrub away the sharpie marks with firm strokes. The marks should come off after a few swipes.

 

6 Things to Avoid When Cleaning Your Golf Balls

While any of the four methods we listed are great options for cleaning your used golf balls, there are some things to avoid. For example, several cleaning agents on the market can cause a high level of corrosion, which would ruin your used golf balls. Here are some things to avoid when cleaning your golf balls.

1. Acidic Chemicals

While some chemicals are gentle enough to not damage golf balls, watch out for anything that is too acidic. For example, any kind of rough chemical could smoothen out some of the dimples on the golf ball. That would severely affect the ball’s performance on the course, which is what you don’t want to happen.

2. Sitting in Water Too Long

While it’s okay to let your golf balls soak in warm water for at least 30 minutes, don’t let them sit for too long. You don’t want your used golf balls to become waterlogged. This would also affect how they react when you hit them during a round of golf.

3. Leaving Them in the Sun

It’s perfectly fine to let your golf balls dry out a little bit in the sun after you’ve cleaned them. However, don’t leave them outside baking in the hot sun for several hours. Extreme heat can cause damage to the golf balls’ outer shell.

4. Stiff Brushes

It’s okay to use a brush to clean your extremely dirty golf balls. However, make sure that you don’t use a brush with stiff bristles since this will add lots of scratches to your golf balls. Even little scratches can affect a golf ball’s distance and ball flight.

5. Undiluted Bleach

When cleaning your golf balls, never use undiluted bleach because it will cause damage. Bleach can help make your old golf balls a pearly shade of white again, but remember to add some water to it. A little bit of bleach goes a long way!

6. Buying a Ball Washer

Ball washers are great to use when on the course. However, most ball washers are very expensive and lots of golfers don’t have the extra space to store one at their homes. There are too many cheap home remedies out there to waste lots of money on a commercial golf ball washer.

 

Mike Noblin

Mike has been involved with sports for over 30 years. He's been an avid golfer for more than 10 years and is obsessed with watching the Golf Channel and taking notes on a daily basis. He also holds a degree in Sports Psychology.