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How to Clean a Bowling Ball?

How To Clean A Bowling Ball - bowlingview

Cleaning your bowling ball is essential for maintaining its appearance and performance. If you’re wondering how to clean a bowling ball, this guide will provide you with everything you need to know.

Firstly, whether you’re a seasoned bowler or just beginning, you might not realize how accumulated lane oil, dirt, and wax can negatively impact your game.

This guide will walk you through the simple steps to clean and polish your ball at home and show you how to deep clean it when needed.

Understanding Your Bowling Ball

Before we dive into the cleaning process, let’s get to know the bowling ball better. Understanding the bowling ball’s surface will help you to effectively clean your ball without warping the ball.


The Surface of Your Bowling Ball

The surface of your bowling ball is made up of tiny pores. These pores create friction on the lane and collect lane oil, dust, and dirt.
When these impurities build up, they can alter the ball’s performance, causing it to lose its hook potential. Therefore, keeping your ball clean will help maintain your ball performance.

Daily Cleaning: Wipe Your Bowling Ball After Each Use

One simple way to clean your ball is by wiping it after each use. This daily cleaning prevents lane oil and wax from seeping into your ball’s pores.


Materials Needed for Daily Cleaning

  • A microfiber towel

Steps to Follow for Daily Cleaning

  1. Take your microfiber towel and lightly wipe the surface of your ball. This removes most of the surface lane oil.

  2. Don’t forget the finger holes of your ball. Oil and dirt can accumulate there as well, affecting your grip.

Following this easy routine after each game keeps your ball in great shape for a long time.

Need to purchase a microfiber towel or a bowling ball cleaner? Click here

Simple Weekly Cleaning: Clean Your Bowling Ball At Home

If you’re an avid bowler, a regular deep clean of your bowling ball, every week will be beneficial.

Materials Needed for Weekly Cleaning

  • A clean towel or clean rag
  • Warm water
  • Dish soap

Steps to Follow for Weekly Cleaning

  1. Fill a bucket with warm water. It should be enough to submerge your entire bowling ball.

  2. Add a bit of dish soap to the water. Stir until it is well mixed.

  3. Gently place your ball in the bucket. Never drop it, as it might damage the ball or the bucket.

  4. Let the ball soak for about 15-20 minutes.

  5. Use your clean towel to gently scrub the surface of your ball, ensuring to clean the finger holes thoroughly.

  6. Finally, rinse your ball with clean water and pat it dry with a clean towel.

Note: never soak your bowling ball too long, as this might warp your ball.

Another interesting read> Does the Myth of Do Bowling Balls Float Hold True?

Monthly Cleaning: Deep Clean Your Bowling Ball

If you are part of the United States Bowling Congress or a local bowling league, your bowling ball may get dirty more quickly, necessitating a monthly deep clean.

Materials Needed for Monthly Cleaning

  • Bowling ball cleaner (Simple Green or rubbing alcohol can work)
  • A clean microfiber towel

Steps to Follow for Monthly Cleaning

  1. Generously spray the bowling ball cleaner all over the ball’s surface.

  2. Using your microfiber towel, thoroughly scrub the surface of your ball.

  3. Ensure you also clean the finger holes, which can accumulate substantial oil and dirt.
  4. Once you’ve cleaned the bowling ball, dry it using a clean, dry microfiber towel.

Note: Always check the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning your bowling ball.

How do I properly clean the finger holes on my bowling ball?

Materials Needed:

  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Cotton Swabs

The finger holes often get overlooked in the cleaning process. Here’s how to clean them:

  1. Dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol.
  2. Gently clean the insides of the finger holes.
  3. Use a dry cotton swab to dry the holes.

You might be tempted to soak your bowling ball for a more thorough cleaning. But hold on. Here’s a golden rule: never soak your bowling ball. It can warp your ball, permanently damaging it.

Read Also completed a review for the > Best Bowling Balls for 2 Finger

When To Visit a Pro Shop

Sometimes, despite regular cleaning, your bowling ball might require more TLC. In that case, it’s time to take your ball to a pro shop.

They have a ball spinner that provides an even deeper clean. Remember, maintaining a clean ball can prevent you from buying a new ball frequently.

Related article> 3 Best Bowling Ball Rejuvenators – Ultimate Guide for 2023.

Tips to Keep Your Bowling Ball Clean

  • Use a ball cleaner after every few games to keep the oil from getting into the ball.
  • If your ball is mostly dry after cleaning but still looks oily, let it air dry overnight.
  • Try to avoid the ball return. This is a high oil and dirt area and can quickly make your ball dirty again.

Popular Bowling Ball Cleaners:


Product Name Manufacturer Key Features Use Cases
Monster Tac Remove All Ball Cleaner Monster Bowling Gear Removes dirt and belt marks, USBC approved For reactive, urethane, and particle bowling balls
Storm Reacta Clean Storm Bio-degradable, citrus-based, USBC approved For all types of bowling balls
Powerhouse Energizer Ball Cleaner Ebonite Alcohol-based, removes oil and dirt, USBC approved For all types of bowling balls
Neo-Tac Hook It Bowling Ball Cleaner Neo-Tac Water-based, removes oil and dirt, USBC approved For reactive and particle bowling balls
Motiv Power Gel Clean Motiv Bio-degradable, citrus-based, USBC approved For all types of bowling balls


Please note that “USBC approved” refers to products approved by the United States Bowling Congress for use during competition. 

All types of bowling balls refer to urethane, reactive resin, plastic/polyester, and particle (proactive) balls. Always remember to follow manufacturer’s guidelines for the best results and longevity of your equipment.


Properly cleaning your bowling ball maintains your ball’s performance and extends its lifespan. With a little time, a few cleaning supplies, and the right knowledge, you can easily clean and maintain your bowling ball at home.

Lastly, Just remember, your bowling ball is also part of your team, and taking good care of it will undoubtedly lead to many more strikes on the lane. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Keeping your bowling ball clean is an important part of maintaining its performance and prolonging its lifespan. To help bowlers learn how to properly clean their bowling balls, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions about the cleaning process.

A: There are several cleaners specifically made for bowling balls that you can use. You can also use household products like rubbing alcohol, simple green, or dish soap.

A: As we showed in the post above, you can clean your bowling ball at home. You need the right tools and cleaning materials to do it right.

A: The best way to clean a bowling ball is to use a ball cleaner or a cleaning solution designed for bowling balls. You can also use simple green or rubbing alcohol. Ensure to properly clean the finger holes and the surface of your ball.

A: You can use dish soap to clean your bowling ball. Just make sure to dilute it with warm water and use a soft cloth to wipe down the ball’s surface.

A: To remove oil from the bowling ball, place the ball in a bucket filled with hot water and bowling ball cleaner. Leave it there for 20 minutes, then dry it with a soft cloth and let it air dry.

A: Yes, you can clean your bowling ball with rubbing alcohol. Use it in moderation and wipe the ball with a soft cloth afterward.

A: Cleaning your bowling ball regularly can improve its performance. A clean ball will have a better grip on the lane and will hook more efficiently.

A: To keep your bowling ball in good condition, clean it regularly and store it properly. Avoid extreme temperatures and keep the ball in a bag or case when not in use.