How to Clean Your Bowling Ball at Home

How to Clean Your Bowling Ball at Home

It’s always a good idea to clean your bowling ball regularly while you’re playing. But often, that’s not enough. Some people notice that after a few games, their bowling ball doesn’t perform as well as expected. You might notice this yourself, after maybe 20 games played at AMF.

What you should understand is that your bowling ball is just like any other piece of sports equipment. It needs some regular maintenance from time to time. You have to clean it regularly, since bowling balls generally end up with a layer of dirt and oil on it after each time you play. The oil and dirt layers on the ball keep the bowling ball from acting as you’d want it to.

The good news is that it’s not all that difficult to clean the bowling bowl properly at home. Here are the steps you need to take.

Wipe Down the Bowling Ball

Start with a good microfiber towel to clean the bowling ball. A soft brush might also suffice, though you may have to be careful you don’t scratch up your bowling ball.

Rub the towel thoroughly all over the ball surface, so you can rub out the layers of dirt and oil. Make sure you also rub on the sides of the finger holes.

Cover the Finger Holes

You’re going to use some water later, so that means you need to cover the finger holes with some waterproof tape. While the water itself shouldn’t do any damage to the bowling ball, the detergent can really cause some problems if it dries up in there.

It might change your release, or the detergent can cause some skin irritation. And it might get a bit difficult to get rid of the detergent when it lodges up in the finger holes.

Get Your Cleaner

Your best bet here is to buy a bowling ball cleaner that’s specifically designed for bowling balls. Some of these cleaners only require you to spray the stuff on to the ball before you wipe the ball down.

Others might be a detergent formula which you have to mix in with hot water. The water has to be hot, because cold water isn’t as effective in breaking through the oily surface.

Whichever bowling ball cleaner you get, just make sure you follow their label directions. And also make sure that the cleaner is right for the type of material in your bowling ball, whether it’s reactive resin, urethane, or plastic.

Immerse the Bowling Ball

If you got the cleaner with hot water mix, then you have to leave the bowling ball in the hot water for about 20 minutes. Obviously, the water level should be enough to submerge the bowling ball completely.

Don’t leave the bowling ball in the detergent water for too long, as that might damage the ball surface. Also, turn the bowling ball over at the 10-minute halfway mark. That way, you keep the oil from setting into the bowling ball again.

Take It Out

Set the bowling ball on a soft fabric. Use that microfiber again to pat the ball dry. Then you can air-dry the ball so it’s completely dry afterwards.

If you’re done and you’re not complete satisfied with the cleanliness level, then you just have to repeat all the steps. But only do this if you actually feel oil still sticking on the ball surface. Again, too much detergent may damage the bowling ball.

Additional Tips

  1. Rub down the bowling ball with the microfiber towel after every game.
  2. Use the detergent after every few games.
  3. Maybe one or twice a season, get your ball professionally cleaned. A pro can do a much better job, and this is great if you’re a serious bowler!

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