Bowling ball cleaners don’t have to be fancy commercial products to clean your bowling ball and remove oil. By learning how to clean a bowling ball with Dawn, you can keep your ball clean every time you go bowling, and save a bunch of money in the process.
The Quick Answer
- Fill a 5 gallon bucket halfway with 140 degree water.
- Add @ 1 tablespoon (one good squirt) of Dawn and mix
- Cover the finger holes on your bowling ball
- Place the ball into the bucket
- Let the ball soak for 20 minutes (not more)
- Rinse the ball with clean water. Pat dry.
- For details and alternate methods read on.
A proper care and maintenance program is essential if used equipment is to survive and continue to deliver uninterrupted games. The same applies to bowling. A bowling ball is particularly susceptible to dirt, dust, and other particles because they are frequently in contact with them. Finding a solid bowling ball cleaner method is key.
What is the best way to clean bowling balls? Home cleaning methods are available for them, which can save money in the long run. Alternatively, bowling balls can be cleaned with cleaning treatments designed specifically for them. To prevent dirt and debris from being driven into the entire surface of the ball, wipe off your bowling ball regularly to prevent a dirt buildup. But if you’re more interested in DIY cleaning, keep reading for a solution to a good bowling ball cleaner.
Bowling Ball Cleaning Is Necessary
During bowling, you throw a ball down an oil-coated lane 60 feet long. The spongy surface of bowling balls creates different friction. This will eventually result in a lot of oil and grime getting trapped inside the tiny openings of the whole ball.
When there is excess oil and dirt embedded in the microscopic holes of your bowling ball, it will react differently than before. There may be a decrease in speed, a wrong grasp of the hook, or a wider margin of error. Your game can be adversely affected by oil buildup and dirt accumulation.
To avoid this issue, bowling.com recommends that you give your ball a good cleaning about every 6 games. Of course having this done at the bowling center can be costly. But don’t fret, there are several ways to clean your ball at home. Check out my favorite homemade bowling ball cleaner recipe below!
How To Clean A Bowling Ball With Dawn Dish Soap
In order to get back on the lanes as soon as possible, you should clean your bowling ball with dawn dish soap. Cleaning your bowling ball at home allows you to save money, and trips to the local pro shop.
In order to use dish soap or the hot water bath technique, only a few common household items are required. You will only need a large bucket of warm water, dish soap, a clean microfiber towel, and waterproof tape to thoroughly soak the bowling ball.
It is highly recommended that you deep clean your ball using Dawn dish soap. Using this liquid dish soap is a great way to remove oil saturation in hot baths due to its soft formula. There are many dish soap products on the market, but Dawn is the best, according to many people, including me.
- Boil hot water around 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour hot water into your bucket, filling it halfway. Waterproof tape can then be used to seal the finger holes in your ball in order to prevent water from getting in and ruining it. When you have filled your bucket with water, add some Dawn dishwashing soap. The last step is to throw the bowling ball into the cleaning solution.
- Let your bowling ball soak in the cleaning solution for 20 minutes. It’s important to keep in mind that if you go longer than 20 minutes, your bowling ball may warp. It is also important to rotate the bowling ball periodically during the soaking phase.
- Once the bowling ball has been in the water for 20 minutes, remove it and rinse with cold water. Pat the clean bowling ball dry with a microfiber cloth or dry towel.
Refill the hot water tank with new water and the same bucket-filling procedure after disposing of the used water.
- In order to clean a ball again, you can repeat the process as many times as necessary. Once you see that no oil rises to the surface of the water, you know it’s done. If there is still oily residue, you’ll need to clean again.
Alternative Methods For Bowling Ball Cleaners
If you don’t want to try the Dawn bowling ball cleaner recipe, never fear. Below is a list of homemade bowling ball cleaner recipes you can use instead. Remember, every bowling ball cleaner carries unique properties, so use with caution and read all instructions.
Rubbing Alcohol (isopropyl alcohol)
Using rubbing alcohol as part of your homemade bowling ball cleaner recipe is another great way to clean a bowling ball surface.
Keep in mind that you should never saturate your ball with rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) to avoid alcohol damage. You should wipe the surface of your ball with an alcohol-soaked microfiber towel or cloth, since this may assist in removing oil and debris. As long as you wipe it down immediately after spraying, you can spray a spray bottle directly on your bowling ball.
After cleaning it with a microfiber towel or cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol, wipe the entire surface dry with a clean towel to avoid damaging it. The surface may need to be scrubbed hard in order to be thoroughly cleaned using this technique. However, this prevents more oil from absorbing into the ball. A clean bowling ball may be wiped off with warm water after cleaning with rubbing alcohol, but it is not a requirement.
Using Simple Green as a homemade bowling ball cleaner is a great way to keep your bowling ball clean. Your ball will be degreased and any oil buildup on the coverstock will be removed by Simple Green. When you are playing a game at the bowling alley, or practicing at home, this is a great cleaning solution to use after each game or practice session.
A spray bottle can be used to clean the ball by mixing 1 cup Simple Green, 1 cup rubbing alcohol, and 1 cup water in order to make a solution.
Spray your ball with the mixture and wipe the remaining moisture with a clean microfiber towel after you have sprayed it. The two solutions listed above will both work well for cleaning your ball at home using either of these methods.
You should perform deep cleaning on your bowling ball every few months or as needed, depending on the condition of your ball. It is important to stay on top of proper maintenance so that it will last as long as possible and perform as well as possible.
A microfiber cloth can be used to wipe the surface of the bowling ball after lightly spraying Windex cleaning solution on it with a spray bottle. It is not recommended to leave Windex soaking on surfaces for an extended period of time (like the other cleaning products listed below). When you wipe off the Windex cleaner, use room temperature water (never hot tap water), just make sure the ball is completely dry before using it again.
When To Clean Your Bowling Ball
As everyone at the pro shop can agree, bowling ball maintenance is key.
Lane conditioner is designed to protect the lane surface from the friction that bowling balls cause during impact, especially on sharp edges. In turn, this will make the bowling lane surface more scoreable for the bowler and will prevent the lane from becoming dirty.
Known as a track of oil, you should remove excess oil as soon as possible. In order to avoid the oil absorbing into the ball’s surface, it should be done after each turn. In order to avoid further damage, it is best to deal with the oil as soon as possible.
There are times when it takes weeks to clean them, and there are times when it takes only a few games to clean a bowling ball. In addition, you should maintain the surface of your bowling ball regularly. No matter how smoothly your bowling ball rolls on a 500 grit surface, you must maintain a bowling ball properly. But luckily, you can clean a bowling ball at home easily.
Bowling Ball Care Tips
Whether you’ve played once, or about ten games, your ball will need to be cleaned at some point. Here are a few tricks to keep a pristine ball year after year.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals
The hooking ability of your ball may be compromised by aggressive cleaners such as acetone. It’s best to avoid using any harsh chemicals when bowling ball cleaning.
You should always read the directions if you plan to use commercial cleaners, like Purple Stuff. Most people believe that excessive cleaning is for the better, so they clean excessively. Excessive cleaning may compromise the bowling ball’s performance. But this isn’t necessarily always the case.
Make sure the commercial cleaners you use for your bowling ball at home have the seal of approval from the United States Bowling Congress.
Dry It Well
Using a microfiber towel, you can dry your bowling ball if it has any extra moisture. This type of cleaning cloth is popular since its fibers can absorb liquids seven times their weight. Further, you don’t have to worry about scratching your coverstock.
After wiping away excess moisture from washing your bowling ball, remove the tape with the finger holes pointing downwards. To ensure that it dries completely, let it sit for up to 24 hours.
Don’t let the sun shine on it while it dries. This may result in your ball being warped, or resulting in a faded or discolored ball.
How To Store a Bowling Ball
As soon as you’ve cleaned your ball, it’s important to keep it in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to use it again.
If you want to store your ball properly, you should never leave it in direct sunlight or in a hot car. As a result of the heat, your ball might warp due to the damage to the coverstock, affecting the ball performance.
There is an ideal temperature range for storing a bowling ball, which is approximately 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, you should steer clear of storing your ball in places where there is high humidity, such as a basement, if you want to keep it safe. Additionally, you should not leave your bowling ball in your garage or inside your car during the cold months so that it will not freeze. If the coverstock is kept at a temperature below 46 degrees Fahrenheit, the coverstock may crack.
There is no better way to store your ball than in bowling bags (available in easy removal convenient sizes) that you can keep in a closet or on a shelf in your house. These are likely available at your local pro shop, or even at a local bowling club. Alternatively, you can place your ball in a box and wrap it in a clean towel, if you don’t have a bag to store it in.
Before you bowl it is a good idea to take the ball out of storage and let it acclimate to the temperature of the lane so it will be as accurate as possible.
There are a number of ways in which you can store your ball in order to extend its life and improve its performance.
Frequently Asked Questions
My bowling ball seems to be smeared with oil. Why is that?
The lanes are oiled so that friction between the ball and the lane is reduced, which makes it easier for it to slide down the lane. As well as that, lanes are also oiled to prevent wear and tear on them in the long run. Nevertheless, there can be a build up of this oil on your ball, which can cause it not to perform at the highest level. When you bowl on a bowling lane that has just been oiled, you may notice a ring of oil on the ball after you have tossed a few balls on the lane.
There is no need to worry about this as lane oil is a normal situation, and the ball will not be damaged as a result. It is recommended that you wipe lane oil off before you start bowling your next game, however. It may be time for you to give your ball a deep clean if you notice that your ball has a lot of oil on it.
Cleaning Your Bowling Ball Bottom Line
When using these techniques, exercise caution.
Incorrectly cleaning your bowling ball and failing to follow the cleaning procedures may cause further damage. In order to achieve the most excellent strokes and scores, you need to use the appropriate methods to keep your ball in good shape.
Keeping your ball well maintained and clean of all belt marks, dirt, oil, and other nasties will ensure your ball lasts longer without replacement. Plus, your game may even improve! Just remember to avoid harsh chemicals, store your ball properly, and of course, take it out for a few uses before storing it away in between games. Have fun next game!
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Grainne Foley is a wife and mother of 2 great kids. During her 5 years of full time RV travel, Grainne learned to become very efficient at household chores, in order to make time for family adventures. Now, back in a house, she has continued to create tools and techniques to help others lighten the load of household organization and cleaning.