How to Clean a Bowling Ball at Home: A Step-by-Step Guide

Introduction: The Importance of Cleaning Your Bowling Ball

Regularly cleaning your bowling ball is essential for maintaining its performance and longevity. Over time, dirt, oil, and lane debris can accumulate on the ball’s surface, affecting its grip and hook potential. By following this step-by-step guide, you can ensure that your bowling ball remains in top condition and performs optimally.

1. Gather the Necessary Supplies

Before you begin cleaning your bowling ball, gather the following supplies:

  • Mild dish soap or specially formulated bowling ball cleaner
  • Microfiber cloth or towel
  • Bucket or sink
  • Water (warm water is preferable)

2. Prepare the Cleaning Solution

Fill the bucket or sink with warm water and add a small amount of mild dish soap or a bowling ball cleaner. Follow the instructions on the cleaner’s label for the appropriate amount to use. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that may damage the ball’s surface.

3. Submerge the Bowling Ball

Place the bowling ball in the cleaning solution, ensuring it is fully submerged. Allow it to soak for 15-20 minutes. This will help loosen any dirt, oil, or lane residue that has built up on the surface.

4. Scrub the Surface

Using a microfiber cloth or towel, gently scrub the surface of the bowling ball while it is still submerged in the cleaning solution. Pay close attention to areas with visible dirt or oil buildup. Be careful not to apply excessive pressure or use abrasive materials that can damage the ball’s surface.

5. Rinse Thoroughly

Once you have scrubbed the ball, remove it from the cleaning solution and rinse it thoroughly with warm water. Make sure to remove all traces of the cleaning solution from the ball’s surface.

6. Dry the Bowling Ball

Using a clean, dry microfiber cloth or towel, carefully dry the bowling ball. Ensure that it is completely dry before storing or using it again. Moisture on the ball’s surface can affect its performance and lead to potential issues.

7. Polish the Surface (Optional)

For an extra shine and to restore the ball’s original luster, you can use a bowling ball polish or a specialized polishing compound. Apply a small amount of polish to a clean, dry cloth and gently buff the surface of the ball. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific polish or compound you are using.

8. Store Properly

Once the bowling ball is clean and dry, store it in a cool and dry place, away from extreme temperatures and direct sunlight. Consider using a bowling ball bag or a dedicated storage container to protect it from dust and damage.

9. Clean Regularly

To maintain optimal performance, make it a habit to clean your bowling ball regularly. Depending on how frequently you use it, a deep cleaning every 10-20 games is recommended, while a quick wipe-down with a microfiber cloth after each session can help remove surface oil and debris.


Cleaning your bowling ball at home is a simple yet important task that can greatly impact its performance on the lanes. By following this step-by-step guide and incorporating regular cleaning into your maintenance routine, you can ensure that your bowling ball stays in top shape, providing you with consistent results and enjoyment on the bowling alley.

Remember to gather the necessary supplies, prepare a cleaning solution, and scrub the ball’s surface gently. Rinse it thoroughly, dry it completely, and consider polishing the surface for extra shine. Store your bowling ball

properly in a suitable storage location to protect it from damage.

Regular cleaning and maintenance will not only extend the lifespan of your bowling ball but also enhance its overall performance. By removing dirt, oil, and lane residue, you can restore the ball’s grip and hook potential, allowing for more accurate shots and better scores.

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