How To Clean Golf Balls?

There is a special feeling about putting a shiny golf ball on the tee as you are about to tee off. The same goes when lining up a putt.

Having a clean golf ball can help you perform better and get the most out of its technology.

This article will explain the importance of keeping a clean golf ball and different methods on how to clean them.

What Is The Best Way To Clean Golf Balls?

There are many different ways to clean a golf ball. People have different methods such as putting them in the dishwasher.

The easiest way to clean them is to fill a bucket with water and rub them with dish soap or car soap using a washcloth or towel. Doing this scrubs away the dirt on the stained golf balls. Using acidic cleaning agents risks damaging the outer cover.

For removing ink off golf balls, nail polish remover is a good option.

💡 Golfible Tip: If the golf balls are extremely dirty and the gunk doesn’t want to come off you can place them in a container with denture cleaning tablets.

How To Clean Golf Balls At Home?

A method I like to use at home is cleaning the balls in the sink with hot water. You can use an old toothbrush with dish soap to scrub off the difficult chunks of mud that like to stick on.

Another method is how I mentioned in the previous section involves using a towel with soap and a bucket.

Below is an example of how to easily clean golf balls.

How To Clean Golf Balls From Ponds?

Golf balls from ponds can be discolored or have pond scum all over them. Golfweek suggests putting the balls in the dishwasher without detergent. The hot water could damage some of the balls but those will be the water-logged unplayable ones.

The balls that remain in good condition will be the set you want to take to the course. If the balls don’t seem clean enough after dishwashing them, you can put them in a tub of bleach and let them sit for a few minutes.

💡 Golfible Tip: Take the balls out wearing protective rubber gloves so you don’t damage your skin and then rinse them with clean water.

If there is any debris left on them, they should come off with the scrub of a brush.

How To Clean Used Golf Balls?

Whether the balls are in mint condition or heavily used, all the methods mentioned in previous sections of this article work to clean used golf balls. If you need to remove scuffs there is a special section towards the end on how to get rid of scuff marks.

How To Clean Permanent Marker Off Golf Balls?

If you find a nice ball on the course and it has the initials of the previous owner written in sharpie, you’re probably going to want to remove them.

Using nail polish remover is a fast and easy way to erase the markings. Put the nail polish remover on a cotton ball and then rub over the area you want to be cleaned.

💡 Golfible Tip: Another way is to use a carburetor cleaner if you don’t have nail polish remover.

Will Bleach Damage Golf Balls?

Using bleach to clean golf balls will not damage them. If you were to use bleach and then scrub them with a wire brush, the hard wires would probably scratch and damage the balls.

Soaking the balls in bleach will get rid of the discoloration from used balls and also sanitizes the balls from algae or fungus that were in the pond. 

Cleaning golf balls with hydrogen peroxide

Using hydrogen peroxide is also an efficient way to make stained golf balls appear new. Using peroxide helps the dirt fall off the balls while soaking without having to scrub them.

Can You Put Golf Balls In The Washing Machine Or Dishwasher?

Some people load over a 100 balls into their washing machines and run the machine as if they were washing clothes.

This is an effective way to clean multiple golf balls without having to manually wipe or scrub them with a towel or cloth. It is okay to let the balls sit loose in the machine.

💡 Golfible Tip: If this method doesn’t get everything off the balls then try rubbing them after. The dirty particles certainly should have been loosened post-wash.

Other golfers load them into their dishwashers. If the drum of the machine is cheaply made, the repetitiveness of the balls hitting it could damage it. Using these methods will not damage the balls.

Below is an example of someone using a washing machine to clean balls.

How Do You Get Scuff Marks Off Golf Balls?

Many golfers believe that once a ball has been minorly scuffed that it is permanently damaged.

Cleaning the balls with a soft scrub brush and then using a magic eraser sponge can do the trick.

📋 Keep in mind: If it doesn’t completely remove the scuffs it should at least smoothen and improve them enabling your ball to be more playable.

Do Scuff Marks Affect Golf Balls?

Very minor scuff marks on golf balls should have little to no effect on the performance of the ball.

Large scuff marks can affect ball flight. It allows the air drag on the spinning ball to make contact with the damaged part of the ball rather than the non-scuffed area.


After reading this article you now know some of the most reliable ways to clean golf balls. Depending on your preference in terms of simplicity, labor level or wanting to use or not use a chemical such as bleach you can now make the dirty balls in your bag appear new.

Be sure to mention in the comments ways you have used to clean balls and if they worked.


Does water ruin golf balls?

Yes, golf balls that lie in water for an extended period get waterlogged. In fact golf balls that have been immersed in water for as little as 6 to 12 hours will not produce a normal ball flight. Golf balls that were immersed in water for 6 hours or more will still not perform the same as a golf ball that has never been in the water for a few hours.

How do I get my golf ball white again?

Golf balls can be made white again using a refurbishing process if they were damaged. If the balls are dirty from general play you can wash the ball at stations provided on the course. Acetone can also be used to get stubborn grit and grime removed from a golf ball without causing any negative consequences. To get rid of discoloration you can store the balls in a mixture of bleach and hot water for approximately 30 minutes.

Can you rub your ball on the green to clean it? 

The rules of golf allow you to rub your ball on the green to clean it provided you don’t use the opportunity to test the surface of the green. To avoid any problems it is recommended that you rather use a damp towel to remove any dirt off the golf ball rather than scraping the mud off the golf ball.

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Charl is a full-time writer who has been with Golfible since 2019. He is an avid golfer and tech enthusiast. When not writing, he tries to squeeze in a round of golf or escape to the mountains.

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