How to Clean Golf Balls: A Complete Guide

Every golfer loves it when they look down at their club and see a fresh-looking golf ball. But it can be expensive to constantly purchase new golf balls, which is why you can save a lot of money by learning to keep your golf balls spotless.

The most proven method for how to clean a golf ball is to simply combine some hot water and soap with a washcloth. The dirt will ease off, leaving you with spotless golf balls.

But there are ways to clean your golf balls with less effort. Read on to learn all the details on how to keep your golf balls clean, so they’ll look good and last longer. 

How To Clean A Golf Ball: The Best Methods

Mature lady with golf balls

Warm Water With Soap – The Best Method

As mentioned, the most cost-effective and best way to clean golf balls once they get dirty is to mix up warm water with a little bit of soap and let them sit in the water for a bit. A minute or two should be sufficient to get the job done.

After the balls are good in the water after a minute or two, you can use a wet washcloth to scrub any stubborn areas after the balls have already been soaking in the water.

The best method for a mildly dirty golf ball might be to use a brush or a toothbrush to get those really sticky areas to the ball. If a washcloth and a toothbrush can’t get the job done, then you know that it might be time to get a new golf ball if you are a neat freak.

It really is a very simple, yet effective way to clean your golf balls that are dirty. Just be sure to do your due diligence before using a brush and soap that could harm your golf balls, so it doesn’t stop them from performing at their best.

The best steps for cleaning golf balls are:

  1. Mix warm water and soap in a container.
  2. Let the ball(s) soak in the water for a few minutes.
  3. Rub a washcloth gently so that the golf balls gently so that any mud, grass, or sand comes off.
  4. Brush the balls off if there are any areas that are very tough to get.
  5. Rinse off the golf balls and dry them and enjoy how clean they are.

Remember to always do your research so that you do not use soap or a brush that is not recommended and harms your golf ball and hinders its performance!

Read More: The Best Golf Balls

Golf Ball Washer

To save you from getting your hands dirty, you can take to Amazon to get hold of a portable golf ball washer which gets your golf balls spotless one by one. It also comes with a multi-variable brush, a strap, and a carabiner.

  1. Remove cap and add two drops of solution into the container
  2. Insert golf ball into compartment
  3. Move washer up and down to wash thoroughly
  4. Remove the ball and it’s ready to go

Use Your Golf Towel

The easiest and laziest way to quickly clean your golf ball is by using your a great golf towel like the Frogger Golf Towel. It can be accessed easily, and a quick scrub of the ball – like you would with your golf club – can get most of the mud and some dirt off the ball.

Of course, as it is such a quick method, and keeps your balls from getting more dirty as you go. For a quick step-by-step process:

  1. Take your golf towel off from your bag or take the ball to the towel
  2. Rub the ball for around 20 seconds
  3. Ensure you target the dirtier parts of the golf ball for longer and with more force

Choose a Caddy Splash Water Brush

A retractable water brush also does a great job at getting your golf balls nice and shiny again. Its primary feature is a head with nylon brushes of 7.5 inches and it can hold 4oz of water.

  1. Pour warm water and your choice of cleaning solution for a better finish
  2. Get your golf balls to hand
  3. Scrub away
  4. Place the water brush away, and you now have clean golf balls.

Use Vinegar

It is an effective way of cleaning golf balls using an accessible item as the vinegar will kill the bacteria on the balls. This is how to do it:

  1. Fill up your bucket with hot water
  2. Put the golf balls in
  3. Add one cup (around 237 ml) of vinegar to the bucket
  4. Let it soak for 15 – 20 minutes
  5. Remove the cleaned balls

Use Hydrogen Peroxide

An alternative to vinegar, if you don’t have it is to spend time cleaning golf balls with hydrogen peroxide.

  1. Fill up the bucket
  2. Add the golf balls
  3. Add one cup (around 237ml) of hydrogen peroxide
  4. Again, let it soak for around 15 – 20 minutes
  5. Then take out the clean balls

Use a Club Clean Ball and Club Cleaner

You could also purchase a Ball and Club Cleaner to do most of the work for you, which simplifies the process. It also comes with a bracket for your golf cart, and the section next to the ball part is used for cleaning clubs. To clean your golf balls, though:

  1. Insert cleaning solution 
  2. Place the ball in the hole
  3. Move the handle up and down to clean the ball
  4. Take the ball out, and off you go


You can also put your golf balls in the dishwasher, which won’t impact them. These are the steps to do so…

  1. Open dishwasher
  2. Put golf balls on the top shelf of the dishwasher and fill it up
  3. Put your tablet or powder in
  4. Start a normal washing cycle.

Washing Machine

Another alternative is to use the washing machine, and this won’t cause damage to the balls either.

  1. Put balls in a mesh bag for delicates
  2. Open washing machine
  3. Add cleanser and add balls
  4. Start normal wash

Read More: How To Clean Golf Gloves 

How Often Should You Clean Your Golf Balls?

You should clean your golf balls as often as the rules allow for the best performance. This means you can clean them before driving or putting. You can keep a golf towel, golf cleaner, or brush in your golf bag to make this easy. If your balls are only slightly dirty, you could clean them with a cleanser once a month. 

It is good to keep the dimples clean so that you can spin the ball as much as you want! Also, when the dimples are not clean, it could affect your distance also.

Read More: How To Clean Your Golf Bag

3 Main Things to Avoid When Cleaning Your Golf Balls

These are the three key elements to avoid when cleaning golf balls:

  1. When washing golf balls, make sure you don’t leave them in the water for too long as within several hours, they can become waterlogged.
  2. Avoid chemicals that could harm your golf balls and if you make a homemade golf ball cleaning solution, make sure it’s not too acidic.
  3. After washing the balls, don’t leave them in the sun to dry for hours when it’s really hot. During extreme heat, UV rays can damage the outer layer of the golf ball.


how to clean golf ball

Should You Clean All of Your Golf Balls the Same?

Again, all golf balls are different and may require a different type of cleaning.

Most golf balls are relatively the same and really do clean the same. Although there are different types of balls, you really can’t go wrong in this department. What works for you with one golf ball will most likely work with another brand or type of golf ball.

Can You Fix Cracks in Your Golf Ball?

The short answer is no, and the long answer is that it would be smarter just to get a new golf ball instead of trying to repair an old one.

Golf balls can be relatively inexpensive, so it would not be wise to repair them because your odds of success are small. 

How To Clean Golf Balls in Bulk?

When trying to wash golf balls – and a lot of them – in one go, you can do so many ways. You can use both the dishwasher and the washing machine. Alternatively, the most tried and tested way is to get a big bucket that can hold lots of golf balls and fill it with hot, soapy water.

How To Bleach Golf Balls?

If you are thinking of bleaching golf balls instead of polishing them, remember to use only a little bit and combine it with water. It will make them sparkling clean but don’t use too much bleach or undiluted bleach, as it could harm the balls.

How To Clean Golf Balls at Home?

To save you from heading to your golf club and using the golf ball cleaner, you can do it more effectively at home. You have many options, but the safest bet is to get soap which will act as a golf ball cleaning solution, and warm water. Let the balls soak before using a washcloth to clean them.

How Do Professional Golfers Clean Their Balls?

During a game of golf, a caddy’s role is to keep the professional golfer’s golf balls clean. When their golfer is on the green, they clean the ball. Golfers get given clean balls to use when they wish, which is usually every few holes.

What To Soak Golf Balls In To Clean Them?

You can soak your golf balls in many different options to make them clean again. The most common ones are detergent, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide. Though, there are full steps to take with each to ensure you’re cleaning golf balls in the right way.

How Do I Get My Golf Ball White Again?

There are many methods to return your golf ball to a white state. It must be cleaned and cleaned well. The most efficient way of doing so is by using hot water and soap, letting them soak then giving them a good scrub.

Do Golf Balls Get Ruined in Water?

Golf balls do not get ruined in water when you are washing them. You can wash your golf balls in water just fine without them getting ruined. If your golf ball is in a lake or water for several hours, it could get waterlogged. If you wonder how to clean golf balls from ponds, there are steps to take.

Is It OK To Wash Golf Balls in a Dishwasher?

In short, yes, you can wash your golf balls in a dishwasher. It is safe and will not damage your balls if they are of good quality. It is advised to put them in the top rack of the dishwater, though.

Is It Safe To Wash Golf Balls in Washing Machine?

There are many different ways of washing your golf balls, and the washing machine may not be the most common, but you can certainly do it. It is safe to wash your golf balls in the washing machine, and the best way involves putting them in a mesh bag for delicates with some cleanser.

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Nick is the founder of GolfSpan and an avid golfer. He's not quite a pro but has over 15 years of experience playing and coaching golfers worldwide. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience when it comes to choosing the right golf gear and finding the right setup for your game.

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