How to Clean Bowling Ball at home ( Step By Step Guideline)

How to Clean Bowling Ball at homePeople often complain that their bowling bowl is not performing well after a few games. This usually happens after 20 to 50 games. Bowling ball like any other sport’s equipment needs to be proper care. You have to know how to clean bowling ball in a proper way. It is essential to clean bowling balls after a short interval of time as the balls tend to get a layer of oil and dirt on it. This covering of oil on the ball stops if from performing the way it is supposed to. As the layer of oil gets old, the balls start losing their grip on the lanes. That means the ball is not living up to it is full potential and that it is time for a ball bath.

There are quite a few ways to clean your bowl. You can clean bowling ball at home super easy, or you could take it up to your alley. There are also a few commercial cleaners available in the market that you can get. However, you can just as easily clean your ball with the already present ingredients in your pantry. We are here to help you with this little DIY project. Let us discuss the best way to keep your ball shinning at all times!

How to Clean Bowling Ball at home ( Step By Step Guideline)

You can easily clean the ball at home by using just a few things. The process is a little time consuming but very effective. Here are the steps to clean the ball at home:

Lets take a look of how to clean bowling ball.

  1. Close off the finger holes

    First of all, clean out your ball with a microfiber towel or a soft brush to remove any dirt on it. Thoroughly rub the towel or brush or whatever you are using all over the surface to ensure that you remove all the dirt from the nooks and corners. Rub it on the sides of the holes so that you get all the dirt over there as well. Make sure the towel you are using it is a microfiber towel.Rub the ball with towel

  2. Cover the holes with tape

    cover the holes with waterproof tape. You can use any waterproof tape, or You can buy this from your nearby local store or online. This step is very important because you don’t want any water or detergent to sweep through the holes. The water is not very damaging even if it does go inside the holes, but the detergent can cause some serious damage. It would be very hard to remove it once the process is complete and will cause irritation on your skin.Cover holes with tap

  3. Prepare the cleaner

    You can buy any ball cleaner from the store that you find suitable. Essentially it is not important to mix the cleaner with water. But if you are looking to deep clean the ball, make sure to mix the cleaner with hot water so that all the oil can be absorbed in it. Warm water is necessary because cold water will not break through the oily surface, and all your hard work will go to waste. Make sure to follow the instructions on your cleaner packaging while doing this step.prepare cleaner with water

  4. Immerse the water in the ball

    After getting the mixture ready, place your ball into water. You should ideally leave in the ball for 20 minutes. Make sure to change sides of the ball regularly to avoid oil setting on your ball again. Do not leave in the ball for longer duration because your surface can get damaged if it exposed to cleaners for a long time.Immerse the water in the ball

  5. Pat dry the ball

    Once you feel that the ball is clean, take it out of the water and set it on a soft fabric. Use a microfiber towel again to pat dry the ball. Using a soft microfiber towel is very important here because it will ensure complete cleaning without damaging the surface of the ball. When the ball is almost dry, you can remove the tap and dry it again so that there is no moisture left. You can air dry the ball at room temperature. Make sure you can use your hands softly to avoid any scratches or lines while cleaning.

  6. Repeat until you are happy

    You can repeat all these steps to clean your ball if you feel that your ball is still not completely clean. Only do it if there is oil still stuck to the surface. Otherwise, we would recommend cleaning the ball after a few games.

Additional Tips to Clean your ball

· Cleaning after every game

Cleaning the bowling ball after every game does not allow any spot or dirt in your ball. Always wipe off your ball after a game so that you rub off the dirt and oil that was built up after the specific game. This will keep your ball in a relatively clean estate, and then when you use the hot water and cleaner’s method, you won’t have to work much. Your ball will be a good condition already as you would have cleaned right after a game.

· Professional help

While this may seem like an expensive option, it could be beneficial at times. Your nearby local gaming alley could clean the ball better than you could. Get it cleaned from the club once or twice a season so that it is not very heavy on the pocket and your ball still looks as clean as new.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are most common methods to clean the bowling ball?

The most common way to clean a ball is with commercially available ball cleaners which are usually available with spray bottes. Other ways to clean bowling balls are with rubbing alcohol or using the hot water method. You can also use a ball cleaning machine that you can access from any sports shop. Or you could just take your ball to a professional. All these methods are equally efficient and will leave all parts of the ball squeaky clean including the holes. You can use either of these methods that you feel is the best according to the level of dirt on your ball.

2. How do you clean a bowling ball with Dawn?

I already mentioned the full cleaning process in detail. The cleaning process with Dawn is slightly different from that. I am telling you the process in brief. 
1. Clean your bowling ball with microfiber towel so that there is no dirt
2. Cover the ball’s holes with duct tape.
3. Fill your bucket with hot water.
4. Add 3 tablespoons Dawn dish detergent and mix with hot water in the bucket. 
5. Place your bowling ball into the water-filled bucket and make sure it is completely covered with water.
6. Rub your bowling ball with your hands gently so that every inch of the bowling ball is not untouched.
7. Let the bowling ball leave ideally for 3 to 4 minutes
8. Take out your ball from bucket and wash it with hot tap water
9. Fill your second bucket with hot water
10. Place your ball into the second bucket filled with hot water. 
11. If you see any soapy water left, that means you need to wash out again and again with hot tap water until there is no soap left.
12. Then wipe your ball with microfiber tower, and when your ball is almost dry you can remove the tap.
13. As the coverstock may absorb the water, let it air dry for a couple of days to dry completely.

3. Can you clean a bowling ball with Windex?

Yes, you can. Windex is the best bowling ball cleaner in the market right now. The cleaning procedure is same. You can follow the above-mentioned cleaning procedure with Windex cleaner.

4. Can you wash a bowling ball in the dishwasher?

Yes, you can wash the ball in the dishwasher. But the process of cleaning is slightly different. In brief, I am telling the process for you. Place the bowling ball in the dishwasher bottom rack. Use the liquid dishwashing detergent. Then Pour the mix into a dishwasher. Run the dishwashing machine for one cycle. If you want to know the detailed process, click here.

5. Is rubbing alcohol effective in ball cleaning?

Rubbing alcohol just removes excess dirt, oil, and belt marks from your ball. You can not deep clean your bowling ball with rubbing alcohol. So I can say rubbing alcohol is not effective for deep cleaning. If you need a deep clean, you can follow the procedure as mentioned above.

6. Can you clean a Bowling Ball with Nail polish Remover?

While some people find success with non-acetone nail polish remover as a cleaner, you should never use acetone in any form on bowling ball. The harsh chemicals can cause premature damage of your ball. Nail polish is also not approved by USBC for ball cleaning. I have discussed many cleaning methods for you. You can choose either of them.

7. how often should you clean your bowling ball?

Generally You should clean your bowling ball after every bowling session. But if you mean bowling ball deep clean, You should go for it after 20 to 50 bowling games.


You should care for your ball regularly and ensure that your ball stays on the top condition at all times. Dirty balls can affect your game and kill the mood. At least clean the ball with a microfiber towel after every game so that it cannot get extremely dirty and remove the oil after few games played. And so that you can get away with cleaning your ball once or twice in a season! Here you can see a video tutorial about cleaning. Good luck!!


I’m an aspiring bowler with an immense love for bowling. I started playing the game at a very early age and it’s been an integral part of my life ever since.

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