Cleaning A Bowling Ball At Home: What You Need To Know

Keeping your bowling ball in tip-top condition can help you to improve your game, protect your investment, and boost your chances of a perfect score.

Knowing how to clean your ball correctly, however, can be something of a challenge – how do you know you have cleaned it properly, what should you use, and where should you start?

Cleaning A Bowling Ball At Home: What You Need To Know

Fortunately for you, we have put together everything you need to know to clean your bowling ball at home – let’s get started!

What Do I Need To Clean A Bowling Ball?

The first step that you need to take is to gather the ingredients that you need to clean your bowling ball. There are a few must-have items, and these include:

  • Bowling Ball
  • A clean rag or cloth
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • A towel
  • A toothbrush with soft bristles for the inside of the holes – make sure that the bristles are as soft as possible to reduce the risk of damage to your ball.
  • Ball wax (optional)

Cleaning Your Bowling Ball: The Steps

Before you begin cleaning your bowling ball, you will need to ensure that you have all of the necessary equipment ready, so the first step is to gather the items we have listed above. Once this is done, then you can move on to the next steps below.

Step 1: Remove Dirt From The Surface

The first step in cleaning your bowling ball is to remove any obvious dirt from the surface of the ball. This includes dust, dirt, and other debris which could potentially scratch the surface of the ball, so you want to make sure that you remove anything that looks like it might cause harm.

Use a cloth or rag and warm water, and gently go over the surface of the ball.

Step 2: Wash The Surfaces Of The Holes With Rubbing Alcohol

After removing the dirt from the surface of your bowling ball, you now want to wash away any remaining grime using rubbing alcohol.

Simply dip the cloth into the rubbing alcohol, and wipe the entire surface of the ball. Make sure that you cover every inch of the ball, including the seams, and also the inside of the holes as far as you can reach.

Step 3: Dry It Off Using A Towel

After washing off the dirt and grime, you will need to dry the ball thoroughly before moving on to the next step.

This means that you will need to place the ball in an area that is free of moisture, and where you can safely place the ball to gently rub it dry.

When you are finished drying the ball, you will need a towel to wrap around it while you are working.

Step 4: Brush Out Any Remaining Grime And Debris

Once you have dried out your bowling ball, you can now brush out any remaining grime and debris from the surface.

Again, you will need to use a cloth or rag initially, but this time you will also want to use a slightly stiffer bristled brush, such as a toothbrush, to gently go over the entire surface of the bowling ball, making sure that you brush out any small nooks and crannies that may not have been covered during the previous steps. 

This step is necessary because drying with a towel or cloth can leave behind traces of lint or threads, and gentle brushing will help to remove these.

Step 5: Finish By Waxing The Surface (Optional)

Finally, after you have cleaned your bowling ball, you should wax the surface of the ball if you wish.

This will give the ball a nice shine and will protect it from further wear and tear, helping to ensure that your ball lasts for longer, and performs properly.

If you do decide to wax your bowling ball, be sure to only apply a very thin layer of wax since too much wax can actually cause the ball to become slippery when rolling down the lane.

How To Care For Your Bowling Ball

Cleaning A Bowling Ball At Home: What You Need To Know

In addition to regular cleaning and maintenance, there are other steps that you can take to keep your bowling ball in the best possible condition, and these include:

Avoid Excessive Heat

When storing your bowling ball, avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures. This is because high temperatures can cause cracks and fissures to form on the surface of the bowling ball.

These cracks can eventually lead to more serious issues, such as splitting and ultimately breaking the ball.

You should also store your ball in a cool, dark location. This is because light exposure can cause the surface of the ball to quickly deteriorate, especially if it gets wet while exposed to sunlight.

Keep The Ball Clean

As mentioned earlier, it’s important to regularly clean your bowling ball, and this includes both the exterior and interior of the ball.

In order to get rid of any dirt, dust, and debris that has built up over time, you will first need to soak the ball in warm water, then rinse it under running water until all of the excess liquid has drained away.

Next, you will need to allow the ball to air dry completely before placing it back into storage.

Use A Soft, Non-Abrasive Cleaner

If you choose to use a commercial cleaner instead of just rinsing the ball with hot water, make sure that you use one that is specifically designed for bowling balls.

Some cleaners contain abrasives, which can scratch the surface of the ball, and damage its finish. Instead, look for a cleaner that contains no abrasives, and that is formulated to be safe for use on bowling equipment.

Do Not Store Balls In A Plastic Bag

If you plan to store your bowling ball in a plastic bag, be aware that the material used to create the bags can affect the appearance of the ball. Plastic bags often contain chemicals that can discolor and fade the surface of the ball. It is recommended that you either store your bowling ball in an open container or wrap it tightly in a soft cloth.

It is essential that you store your bowling ball in the proper place so that it does not come into contact with moisture, humidity, or excessive heat – all of these can cause your ball to become damaged, which reduces your value for money, and can have a negative impact on the quality of your game – as well as your overall score and chances of success.

Wax Your Ball Regularly

While not strictly necessary, it is recommended that you wax your bowling ball at least once every two years. This helps to preserve the integrity of the ball and ensure that it continues to perform well.

The easiest way to remove old wax from your bowling ball is by using a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Simply rub the area where the wax was applied, and the old wax will come off easily. However, if you prefer to use a different method, you may want to consider using a bowling ball wax remover.

Waxing your ball will help to keep it looking new and shiny, and it will also improve the grip and feel of the ball when rolling. If you are planning to bowl frequently, it is recommended that your ball is always kept properly maintained and that you take good care of it.

Final Thoughts

Bowling balls are very durable items, but they do require some care and attention in order to maintain their performance and longevity.

By following the tips outlined above, you can help to prevent problems from occurring, and extend the life of your bowling ball – as well as boost your chances of bowling a perfect score with each and every game thanks to a ball that is in peak condition!

Drew Kaufner