Cleaning A Bowling Ball At Home: Need-to-know basis

Maintaining your bowling ball in excellent condition can greatly benefit your gameplay, safeguard your investment, and increase your chances of a flawless score. However, cleaning it correctly can be quite daunting – how do you ensure proper cleaning, what products should you use, and where do you begin?

Keeping your bowling ball in pristine condition is key to elevating your game, safeguarding your investment, and maximizing your chances of a perfect score.

Thankfully, we have all the guidance you need to clean your bowling ball at home. Let’s get started!


Things You Should Prepare

Cleaning a bowling ball is an important part of its maintenance to ensure optimal performance on the lanes. Here are the things that you’ll need to clean your bowling ball effectively:

  • Bowling Ball: This should be the obvious starting point, as you’ll need the ball itself to clean it.
  • A clean rag or cloth: This will be used to wipe down the surface of the ball and remove any dirt or debris.
  • Rubbing alcohol: This is a key ingredient for cleaning the ball as it helps to dissolve any oil or residue that may have accumulated on the surface.
  • A towel: You’ll need a towel to dry the ball after cleaning and prevent any moisture from affecting its performance.
  • A toothbrush with soft bristles: Use this toothbrush to clean the inside of the ball’s holes, ensuring they are free from any dirt or buildup. It’s important to choose a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid scratching or damaging the ball.
  • Ball wax (optional): Some bowlers like to use ball wax to maintain the ball’s surface and provide extra grip on the lanes. It’s not necessary for basic cleaning, but it can be a helpful addition.

5 Steps To Clean Bowling Balls

Before embarking on the cleaning process for your bowling ball, it’s crucial to ensure that you have all the necessary equipment ready. Start by gathering the items listed above. Once this step is complete, you can proceed to the subsequent instructions below.

Step 1: Remove Dirt From The Surface

To begin the process of cleaning your bowling ball, start by removing any visible dirt from its surface. This includes dust, dirt, and other debris that could potentially cause scratches. It’s important to be thorough in this step, ensuring that anything that may harm the ball’s surface is removed.

For this task, you can use a cloth or rag soaked in warm water. Gently glide it over the entire surface of the ball, taking care to clean it effectively.

Step 2: Wash The Surfaces Of The Holes With Rubbing Alcohol

Once you’ve gotten rid of the dirt on your bowling ball, go ahead and use some rubbing alcohol to get rid of any remaining residue. Dip the cloth into the rubbing alcohol and gently wipe the entire surface of the ball. 

Make sure you cover every inch, including the seams, and don’t forget to clean the inside of the holes as well, going as far as you can.

Step 3: Dry It Off Using A Towel

After washing off the dirt and grime, you will need to make sure the ball is completely dry before proceeding to the next step.

This means finding a suitable place to carefully position the ball, away from any moisture or dampness, allowing it to air dry naturally. Gently rubbing the ball dry with a soft cloth or towel will help expedite the drying process, ensuring that no moisture remains.

Once the ball is thoroughly dried, you can take an extra precautionary measure by wrapping it in a clean towel to keep it protected.

Step 4: Brush Out Any Remaining Grime And Debris

Once you’ve dried out your bowling ball, it’s time to give it a good brush down to get rid of any remaining grime and debris. Don’t worry, it’s easy!

Grab a cloth or rag, just like before, but this time, let’s use a slightly stiffer bristled brush, like a toothbrush. Gently go over the entire surface of the bowling ball, making sure to brush out all those small nooks and crannies that might have been missed earlier.

Why is this step important, you ask? Well, drying with a towel or cloth can sometimes leave behind traces of lint or threads, and a gentle brushing will help to remove them.

Step 5: Finish By Waxing The Surface (Optional)

Once you have completed the cleaning process for your bowling ball, consider applying a thin layer of wax to the surface. This will not only enhance its shine but also provide an added layer of protection against wear and tear.

It is important, however, to exercise caution and use only a minimal amount of wax. Excessive waxing can lead to slipperiness while rolling the ball down the lane.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your bowling ball lasts longer and performs optimally.

Another Way To Take Care of Your Bowling Ball

In addition to regular cleaning and maintenance, there are supplementary measures you can take to uphold your bowling ball’s optimal condition. These steps include:

Avoid Excessive Heat

When you’re storing your bowling ball, it’s important to avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures. High temperatures can cause cracks and fissures to form on the surface of the ball. These cracks can lead to even more serious issues, like splitting and breaking the ball completely.

Here’s what you should do: find a cool, dark spot to store your ball. This will help prevent any deterioration of the surface, especially if it accidentally gets wet while exposed to sunlight.

Keep The Ball Clean

Just a friendly reminder, it’s super important to clean your bowling ball regularly to keep it performing at its best. Don’t forget to clean both the outer and inner parts.

To get rid of all that dirt, dust, and debris buildup, start by soaking the ball in warm water. Give it a good rinse under running water until it’s nice and clean. Then, make sure you let it air dry completely before you store it.

Take good care of your bowling ball and it’ll reward you with top-notch performance!

Use A Soft, Non-Abrasive Cleaner

To ensure proper maintenance of your bowling ball, consider using a commercial cleaner instead of simply rinsing it with hot water. 

However, be cautious in your choice of cleaner. Some cleaners may contain abrasives that can potentially scratch and damage the ball’s surface. Instead, opt for a cleaner specifically formulated for bowling equipment, which is free from abrasives and safe to use. This will help preserve the ball’s finish and keep it in optimal condition. 

For more information on how to spin a bowling ball, check out this comprehensive guide.


Do Not Store Balls In A Plastic Bag

If you plan on storing your bowling ball in a plastic bag, it’s important to be aware that the bag’s material can have an impact on the ball’s appearance. Plastic bags often contain chemicals that can discolor and fade the ball’s surface. To keep your ball in optimal condition, it is recommended to either store it in an open container or wrap it tightly in a soft cloth.

Proper storage of your bowling ball is essential to prevent it from coming into contact with moisture, humidity, or excessive heat. These factors can cause damage to the ball, diminishing its value for money and negatively impacting the quality of your game, as well as your overall score and chances of success.

Wax Your Ball Regularly

While not strictly necessary, it is highly recommended that you wax your bowling ball at least once every two years. This regular maintenance helps to preserve the integrity of the ball, ensuring that it continues to perform at its best.

To remove old wax from your bowling ball, you can try using a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Gently rub the area where the wax was applied, and you’ll find that the old wax comes off easily. Of course, there are other methods you can explore, such as using a specialized bowling ball wax remover for a more thorough cleaning.

Waxing your ball offers multiple benefits. Not only does it keep your ball looking new and shiny, but it also improves the grip and feel when rolling. This can make a significant difference in your overall performance on the lanes. If you are an avid bowler planning to hit the lanes frequently, it is highly recommended that you keep your ball properly maintained and give it the care it deserves.

Taking the time to maintain your bowling ball will not only extend its lifespan but also enhance your overall bowling experience. So, make it a habit to wax your ball regularly and enjoy the improved performance and longevity it brings to your game.



Bowling balls are something that not only you use, but you also have to know how to maintain them so you can maintain the performance and longevity of the bowling ball. If we don’t use them anymore, we can still do some things with old bowling balls.

With some of the ways mentioned above, you can easily maintain your bowling balls and help you stay confident in every game, achieving high scores in every situation. 

Rate this post