How To Clean Golf Balls At Home

Golf balls have to go through a lot in the yard. You beat them with clubfaces, they’ve to withstand every other terrain including muds, and whatnot. No wonder why golf balls get dirty that soon and now you’re ought to learn – how to clean golf balls.

You, however, deserve a pat on the back as you’ve understood the necessity of clean balls and are willing to put effort behind it. It’s a shame that many golfers do not take their golf balls seriously and overlook the necessity of a clean golf ball for a perfect shot.

The maximum effort they’re willing to put is to rub the ball with a towel or on their pants and think they’re good to go. These are mostly those golf players that keep wondering by the way the balls occasionally behave even after hitting the perfect shot.

But the fact is having a clean ball is highly important for the shot to be as expected. Golf balls are designed with dimples and the given ergonomics for a reason, but the stuck up dirt can ruin that advantage and make your ball perform below par.

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That’s why every golfer needs to take the cleanliness of the golf ball into account seriously and put effort behind it. If you are already on the same page with me and eager to learn how to clean golf balls in the home properly, here it goes –

How To Clean Dirty Golf Balls

How To Clean Golf Balls

Before we get into the process, let’s gear up. Here’s the list of things are we’re going to need in this process – 

Dishwashing liquid

It is quite easily available in every household. The reason behind choosing dishwashing liquid as one of the cleaning agents is it is mild for golf balls and we do not want to harm the paint coating of the ball.

White Vinegar

White vinegar is an acidic agent that is relatively harmless. It is an environmentally safe material and inexpensive at the same time.

Household Ammonia

Ammonia is a great cleaner for many household areas – floors, shelves, walls and so. The magic of ammonia works on golf balls too.


I often get asked – “how do I make my golf ball white again”, and here’s the answer. Bleach is the ultimate whitener. A shining white golf ball looks so aesthetically pleasing and we’re determined to keep the balls pristine white.

Soft-bristled brush

Toothbrushes could have hard, medium, and soft bristles. We want a soft-bristled one for our job.


Dishwashers are great to give a bunch of balls a mild wash at once. When you have balls with light dirt, that’s when it’ll come in handy.

However, a gentle reminder is that you should not experiment by mixing the chemicals. Individually they’re great cleaners but we have no intention of finding how they’ll work together regarding cleaning in this tutorial. These are reactive chemicals and might behave not as expected if mixed.

Process of cleaning for Light Dirt

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Can you put golf balls in the dishwasher? Yes, you can.

  • Load all those mildly dirty balls into the utensil chamber. 
  • Put the usual dishwashing detergent to clean the balls softly.
  • When you’re cleaning golf balls with a dishwasher, do not put utensils at the same time trying to be efficient. 
  • Clean the balls twice with the dishwasher. The balls are expected to be cleaned within these two cycles.
  • Take a dry towel and soak the water of the clean balls.

Process of cleaning for Moderate Dirt

  • Take a bucket and put the balls into it. Fill it up with mild-warm water to up to 75%.
  • Add a few bottle caps of bleach, ammonia or white vinegar into it. Do not put multiple cleaning agents at once.
  • Let the balls rest in the solution for a couple of hours.
  • Rinse the balls with clean water afterward and soak the water with a dry towel. The cleaning agent will take out all the dirt so the balls will shine.
  • You can keep the balls under the sun for a while to completely dry them up.

How to Clean Dirty Golf Balls Quickly 

What is the best way to clean golf balls in the case of Difficult Dirt?

Some dirt won’t go by itself even if soaked in a cleaning agent solution. When golf balls get into water hazards, they tend to have slimy growth, sticky substances, etc. onto them. People often ask me, how to clean golf balls from ponds? There’s one extra step from the above one –

  • Make a paste of baking soda and water. Dip the toothbrush into the paste and rub it onto the places of the ball where stubborn dirt is. 
  • Take one ball at a time and repeat the process to take that stubborn dirt out first.
  • Now, like the process above, make a solution with warm water and any of the cleaning agents and put the balls into that.
  • Rinse the ball afterward and dry them up with a towel to get a clean and fresh ball.

Few Tips I wanted to share

-Put the balls into an empty bucket first and then fill the water with a garden hose, instead of making the solution first and then putting the balls into those. The water pressure and water itself helps to dislodge a lot of dirt.

-You should not let the balls rest in any of the above solutions for more than 6 hours. That can damage the coating of the ball and change the flex.

-Try to clean the balls as early as possible of them getting dirty. When you procrastinate, the job gets harder as the dirt will dry up and stick the balls. It’s harder to get rid of them then.

-When you dry the golf balls with a towel one by one, try to have a close look on them to check if there’s any permanent damage or something like that which makes the balls not suitable for use. 

Wrapping up ‘How to Clean Golf Balls’

Having a clean golf ball is one of the pre-requirement of hitting the crispiest shot. If you don’t want to let your amazing shot go in vain just for some dirt sticking over the ball, cleaning the balls often would be a wise choice.

Also, cleaning the balls frequently helps to lengthen their lifespan, so you could save a good amount of money by not having to buy new balls often. And coming in 2020, it is our responsibility to reuse and recycle materials for the sake of the environment.

Why would you keep your golf balls dirty then?