How To Clean Golf Balls

How To Clean Golf Balls

In most parts of the world, winter golf is often going to mean a muddy golf course and therefore dirty golf balls. Even in the summer, a deluge of rain might mean that your golf ball starts to get covered in mud and grime.

What is the best way to keep your golf ball squeaky clean and when are you allowed to?

Why Should You Clean Golf Balls?

A golf ball can become covered in dirt, grass, and other debris after being used a few times. This can impact the performance of the ball and make it more difficult for the golfer to control. It is important to clean your golf balls on a regular basis to ensure they perform optimally and help you improve your game.

Golf ball manufacturers spend a lot of time and effort designing the size and pattern of dimples on a golf ball for a reason. The more dirt you have on your golf ball the more likely the flight of your ball will be affected.

It will also make it a lot easier for you to spot any surface damage. Significant damage to the ball’s cover can change the ball flight in unpredictable ways.

Even when you are putting a dirty ball can cause problems. just one grain of sand getting between the clubface and ball could deflect it enough for you to miss the hole.

Cleaning Recovered Balls

Do The Rules Of Golf Allow A Golfer To Clean Their Ball?

Yes, the Rules of Golf allow a golfer to clean their ball. The golfer is allowed to clean their ball at certain points in the round. Before teeing off on each hole you can clean your ball. If you are lucky you will find a ball washer on each tee box. If not just dampen the corner of your golf towel and wipe your ball on that.

Once you reach the green you can mark your ball and clean it.

If the course or competition organizers have introduced lift, clean and place or preferred lies then you can mark the ball on the fairway clean it and then replace it within 6 inches, not nearer the hole.

par aide ball washer
Par Aide ball washer

How Often Should You Clean Your Golf Balls?

How often should you clean your golf balls? It depends on how often you play and how dirty they become. If you are playing in the summer then it’s unlikely you will be picking up much mud although you should still remove any bits of grass, sand or dirt that your ball picks up once you reach the green and are able to clean it.

If the course you are playing is muddy then you will probably need to clean your ball at the start of every hole and once you reach the green.

Once you’ve finished playing it’s probably worth cleaning any balls that you used or found during your round.

To wash multiple golf balls that are only mildly soiled you can use warm water and a towel. If the dirt is more entrenched then you might need some mild soap. Rinse them well and dry them before putting them back in your golf bag. If your balls are extremely dirty, you may need to soak them in a solution of warm water and white vinegar for a few minutes before washing them with dish soap.

Can Golf Balls Be Washed In A Washing Machine?

I don’t suppose there’s any technical reason why you can’t wash golf balls in a washing machine. I probably wouldn’t do it though since they will tend to make a hell of a racket while being washed.

Can Golf Balls Be Washed In A Dishwasher?

Golf all can be washed in a dishwasher although I’m not sure I would want to do it myself. I’m not sure I would want all the dirt and chemicals you find on a golf course being run through a dishwasher that was going to have two clean my plates and utensils later.

Does A Scuff Mark Affect the Quality Of A Golf Ball?

It all depends on how big the scuff mark is and how seriously you take your golf. If you’re a low handicapper then you’re going to notice issues with the flight of your golf ball much more than a big or high handicapper would. Professionals, for example, will change their ball almost every hole for even very slight scuff marks.

Should I Use Bleach To Clean Golf Balls?

I think it is unlikely that your golf ball will get so dirty during a round that you need to soak it in bleach in order to clean it! However, a weak solution could prove useful in cleaning up any really dirty golf balls that you find on the golf course when detergent might not get the job done.

One of my golfing buddies tends to spend a lot of time collecting balls on the course while he’s waiting for groups in front of him. Once he gets home he will drop them all in a bucket of watered-down bleach overnight to soak.

He will then wash them off the next day and perhaps give them a bit off a brush. For the most part, they look pretty good.

Personally, I would use dish soap or vinegar as they are not as dangerous to handle. However, I usually don’t bother picking up really mucky golf balls on the course.

If you are using bleach, hydrogen peroxide or ammonia then make sure you follow the safety instructions on the container. Usually, that means using gloves.

When Can You Clean Your Golf Ball During A Round Of Golf?

Under normal circumstances, you can only clean your ball before you tee off on the hole. Once the ball is in play you shouldn’t pick the ball up again until you reach the green. Once you are on the putting green you can mark your ball and clean it.

If course conditions mean that the ball is likely to pick up mud you may find the golf club or competition committee will institute lift, clean and place rules. This means on closely mown areas you will be able to mark and clean your ball to remove any mud.

Can Hydrogen Peroxide Be Used To Clean Golf Balls?

Hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean golf balls. This can be an effective method for really stubborn stains. Rinse the golf balls in hydrogen peroxide and then rinse them in water. Wash the golf balls in a mild soap and water solution.

How Do Professionals Keep Their Balls Clean?

Professionals don’t need to worry about dirty golf ball for several reasons.

  • They get their golf balls for free so they can start with the new ball on every hole if they wish.
  • They usually play in the best conditions so the ball doesn’t usually get all that dirty.
  • They employ a caddy to look after their equipment. It is his job to clean the golf balls.

Is It Possible To Clean Golf Balls At Home?

It is possible to clean golf balls at home. You will need warm water and dish soap. Start by adding the golf balls to some soapy water. Scrub the golf ball with a soft brush to dislodge the dirt. Rinse the golf balls with clean water. Finally, dry them with a clean towel.

If you have really stubborn stains then you might need to resort to vinegar or something stronger.

How Do I Remove Pen Marks From A Golf Ball?

Assuming that dish soap hasn’t managed to shift it then you might need to resort to something like nail polish remover or acetone which will probably do the trick.

In all honesty though is it really worth it? You need to be able to identify the ball when you play so why not use the marks the previous player put there.

How To Clean Golf Balls: Conclusion

Keeping your golf balls clean during the round is important if you want to play your best golf. If you like to collect used golf balls on the course then using a cleaner like white vinegar or diluted bleach should help you get your golf balls as clean as possible.

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