How to Clean a Bowling Ball? (Home and Professional)

As with any sports equipment, a bowling ball needs to be kept clean for the best performance. Failure to keep the ball clean may adversely affect a player’s performance. Cleaning and maintaining your bowling ball are two basic things that all players should do. The bowling ball itself is very expensive and you need to take care of it to make sure you are getting the best value for your money. You can clean your bowling ball by yourself or it can be done at a price in your local pro-shop. Many players complain that their bowling ball is no longer hooking or that they do not get the same reaction from the ball after 20-50 games. Usually, this happens due to the poor maintenance of the ball. As you bowl the oil and dirt absorb into the bowling ball. This oil and dirt will adversely affect the performance of the ball.

After each session of your game makes it a habit to clean your ball before keeping it in your bag. You can clean your ball by using some cleaner sprays and rub it with a towel. As mentioned above you can clean your bowling ball by following methods.

  • Professional Ball Cleaning Shops
  • Homemade Ball Cleaning Methods

How professional ball cleaning shops clean your bowling ball?

There are many different methods used in cleaning the bowling ball.

Oven Cleaning

  • Some pro-shops use a technique to clean the ball that bakes the oil out.
  • They use a special oven that maintains a temperature of 110 degrees by rotating and at the same time wiping the oil off the ball while baking.
  • This technique has a timer that allows the operator to select the desired time and maintain the required temperature to clean the ball.
  • The machine pushes out the hot air and rotates the ball slowly while the absorbent pad collects the oil residue. 

Other Cleaning Methods

Although cleaning through the oven is an expensive process, this is a very good way to keep the bowling ball clean. But there exists a second option that can save your money and that is the hot bath method. There are mixed reviews about its effectiveness. Some say it’s amazing, while others say it’s not very effective and the cleaning is not quite up to the expectation.

There are plenty of commercial bowling ball cleaners that are available in the market, which are worth investment for most bowlers.

Cleaning Bowling Ball at Home

More budget-conscious bowlers are always searching for homemade options. There is always a dilemma as to what should and should not be used at home to clean a bowling ball. One wonders if there is a lot of financial loss if this method is implemented in the house. So it is up to you to decide which method to choose at your own risk.   

How to clean Bowling Ball at Home?

Regular maintenance is important for the longevity of a bowling ball. With every shot of your game, your bowling ball is driven into more and more oil, taking more and more slick to its surface. There are many ways to clean a bowling ball at home with the tools used in your daily lives. There is no need to spend a lot of money and buy expensive cleaning products through any online shopping sites. 

Home Cleaning Methods

If you need to clean your bowling ball real quick and fast you can wipe the ball with alcohol and rub it with a microfiber towel. It helps to remove dirt, grease, and grime contaminants. You can also mix equal parts of alcohol and water in a spray bottle to make it an effective bowling ball cleaner.

However, for a through cleaning you can follow the step-by-step method as explained below:

  • Use the waterproof tape and cover the holes of your ball so that no water gets into the pores of your ball. Although water does not cause much damage to the finger holes, you may have some problems when soap or any other cleaner is left inside. It’s scary to remove and it can also cause some irritation in your hands when you throw the ball.
  • Fill the bucket with hot water around 140 degrees.
  • Add a few drops of dish soap to water and mix it with water until it produces froth.
  • Put the bowling ball in the water and wash thoroughly and spin it occasionally throughout the soaking process.
  • Rest the ball for 20 minutes so that all the dirt in the ball dissolves in the soap water. Proper dissolution of the dirt will make it easy to clean the ball. Basically, you can experiment from time to time to see how long you can soak your bowling ball for effective cleaning.
  • Take out the ball from the bucket. Once more wash it under the running water to remove the soap mixture.
  • Clean it by wiping it with the microfiber towel. After the drying process, your bowling ball should be left in a clean environment, and allowed to dry completely. 
  • Continue the process until you notice no dirt on the surface.
  • We advise you not to leave the bowling ball in the sun as it will ruin the overall integrity and balance of the ball.

Deep cleaning of your ball at home, is also known as extracting oil from the ball. This can be done after playing significant number of games. The number of games you have to wait for before an in-depth cleanup will depend on how often you play and the types of paths you play.

Some Additional Tips to keep in mind while cleaning your Bowling Ball

Now you understand the process of cleaning your bowling ball, here are some additional tips that you should pay attention to when completing your bowling ball cleaning process and they will help you a lot.

Cleaning Frequency depends on the path you play

If you regularly play on oily paths, deep cleaning is recommended for every 50 games. But restricted paths require less cleaning. On an average 75-100 games are recommended for these lanes. Also, focus on your bowling ball. If your ball is slowing down, it may be time for a deep cleaning

Local clubs cleans them better than you

While this may seem a bit expensive, the club will have technically innovative products that will clean your bowling ball in less time. This is a little bit expensive and it is not recommended to clean the ball every week, but once or twice a month will definitely benefit your bowling experience. The important thing is that the ball will be polished in this club and if you have any problem with scratches, this is the place to remove them and make the ball look as new as you once bought it.

 Make sure your products are approved by USBC

USBC is the body that regulates all the bowling in the US and they have a great opinion on the products that can be used for competitive purposes to ensure that everything always remains fair. Professional players need their balls and their additional equipment to be inspected and approved by USBC.

Regular home cleaning of ball saves you money

Cleaning the ball in the club may be too expensive if performed more frequently. Hence, it is recommended to regularly clean the ball in your home with your equipment and visit a pro-shop only for the thorough cleaning at one or two months frequency. Weekly home cleaning should be ideal for keeping the ball clean.

What are the benefits of Cleaning the ball?

The thorough cleaning of the ball have some benefits and it will reflect in multiple ways:

Good performance in games

With the clean ball, it is more reactive in the lane and it does what you exactly expect. If your ball is not clean it will affect your game and it might cost you in your competition. 

Better Durability

A clean bowling ball will last for a while. Most modern bowling ball cleaners not only protect the cover stock but also strengthen it and remove the scratches that affect your performance in the alley. 

Good Looking

When you clean your bowling ball the ball shines a little more and you look professional as a bowler.

Final Words

You need to follow a regular cleaning schedule for all your bowling equipment, especially if you use them regularly. If you clean your bowling ball surface by yourself and add some polish to the surface after you finish your session on the tracks, you will have more time before you need to go back to the pro shop. Maintaining your bowling ball is important not only to extend its lifespan, but it will also help keep your ball hooking like new. With proper care and maintenance, your ball will last for years.           

The cleaning process may seem intimidating but it’s the part of sports and if you want to excel you have to be more responsible and dedicate yourself to maintaining the cleanliness of your ball and make it as simple as possible for you.                                                                          

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