How To Clean A Bowling Ball At Home [Inc. With Dish Soap]

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In order to get the most out of your bowling ball, you need to maintain it. While it may be expensive to take your bowling ball to a shop to have it cleaned or resurfaced, you can do some of this work at home. So let's take a look at how to clean your bowling ball at home.

You can use different solution mixtures at home to clean your ball, including store-bought cleaner. However, you can make your own bowling ball cleaner at home by using hot water mixed with the following solutions:

  • Dawn dish soap
  • Simple Green

There are several benefits to deep cleaning your bowling ball at home. In this article, we will discuss the at-home methods for cleaning your bowling ball. In addition, we will answer other frequently asked questions about taking care of a bowling ball, so keep reading!

pair of hands holding a bowling ball and polishing pad, How To Clean A Bowling Ball At Home - Inc. With Dish Soap

How To Clean A Bowling Ball At Home

The coverstock is the first layer of your ball that will interact with the lane. Therefore, it is important to keep this layer clean and polished so that it can provide the best possible reaction on the lane.

The coverstock of your bowling ball is made up of different materials depending on the type of balls you have, such as resin and urethane. No matter the type of coverstock, you should always use a gentle cleanser when cleaning your ball.

By deep cleaning your ball, you remove excess oil and dirt that can build up over time and cause your ball to not perform at its best.

You can use any of the following to clean the coverstock on your bowling ball:

  • Dish soap (Dawn, Ivory, etc.)
  • Simple Green
  • Ball cleaner

Like taking your bowling ball to a pro shop to have it cleaned, bowling ball cleaners can get expensive. So instead, you can save money by using hot water with a mixture of Dawn dish soap or Simple green.

Let's take a look at how to do this.

wiping bowling ball

Dawn Dish Soap

Dawn dish soap does more than just clean your dishes; it can also be used to deep clean your bowling ball. This method is to give your ball a deep clean after heavy use over an extended period of time.

  1. To do this, first, cover your bowling ball holes with waterproof tape.
  2. Next, mix a few drops of Dawn dish soap with 1 gallon of hot water in a clean bucket (140 degrees Fahrenheit).
  3. Once you have your mixture, place your ball in the bucket and let it soak for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Spin the ball occasionally to ensure that all areas of the ball are being cleaned.
  5. After the allotted time, remove your ball from the bucket and rinse it off with cold water.
  6. Now, dry your ball with a microfiber towel and store it in a cool, dry place.

You can repeat his process until no more oil rises to the surface of the water.

Simple Green

Simple Green is a popular all-purpose cleaner that can also be used to clean your bowling ball. Simple Green will degrease your ball and remove any oil buildup on the coverstock. This is a good cleaning solution to use at home after every few games or practice sessions.

You can mix 1 cup Simple Green, 1 cup rubbing alcohol, and 1 cup water in a spray bottle and use it to clean your ball.

Spray the mixture on your ball and wipe it with a clean microfiber towel. Either one of these solutions will work great to clean your bowling ball at home.

It is important to deep clean your bowling ball every few months or as needed. By taking care of your ball, you will extend its lifespan and performance on the lanes.

Does Rubbing Alcohol Damage A Bowling Ball?

While using alcohol is great for killing bacteria on surfaces, you should not soak your bowling ball in rubbing alcohol. 

Overusing rubbing alcohol will damage the coverstock on your ball and cause it to crack and peel over time. Avoid using too much rubbing alcohol or any other harsh chemicals on your ball.

How Do You Store A Bowling Ball?

Bowling balls on ball shelves

Once your ball is cleaned, you need to store it in a cool, dry place.

You should never store your ball in direct sunlight or in a hot car. The heat can damage the coverstock and cause your ball to warp.

The ideal storage temperature for a bowling ball is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. You should also avoid storing your ball in places with high humidity, such as a basement.

In addition, don't leave your bowling ball in the garage or in your car during cold months. Temperatures under 46 degrees Fahrenheit can crack the coverstock.

The best place to store your ball is in a bowling ball bag in a closet or on a shelf. If you don't have a bag, you can wrap your ball in a clean towel and place it in a box.

Be sure to remove your ball from storage and let it acclimate to the temperature of the lane before you bowl.

If you store your ball properly, it will last longer and perform better on the lanes.

How Often Should You Clean Your Bowling Ball?

While you don't need to deep clean your ball after every time you bowl, you should give it a quick clean after each session.

You should clean your bowling ball every time you bowl. This may seem like overkill, but it's important to remove the oil and dirt that gets transferred to your ball each time you bowl.

If you don't clean your ball after every session, the oil and dirt will build up over time and cause your ball to not perform at its best.

In addition, it is a good idea to use a microfiber towel in between each shot and after each game to wipe down your ball. This will help remove any oil or dirt that is on the surface of your ball and keep it clean between games.

By taking proper care of your bowling ball, you will extend its lifespan and improve your performance on the lanes.

cleaning bowling ball in bowling club

Why Is There Oil On My Bowling Ball?

Oil is applied to the lanes to help reduce friction and make the ball easier to slide down the lane. In addition, lanes are oiled to protect them from wear and tear.

However, this oil can build up on your ball and cause it to not perform at its best. If a bowling lane had just been oiled, you might notice an oil ring on your ball after you bowl a few games.

This is normal and nothing to worry about, as it won't harm the ball. However, it should be wiped off before you bowl your next game. If you notice that there is a lot of oil on your ball, it may be time to give it a deep clean.

When Should I Replace My Bowling Ball?

Typically, you should get 5-10 years of use out of a bowling ball if you take care of it. However, this can vary depending on how often you bowl and how well you take care of your ball.

If you notice cracks or damage to the coverstock, it is time to replace your ball. In addition, if your ball starts to lose its color or shine, it may be time for a new one.

When it's time to hang up your old ball and get a new one, be sure to donate it or give it to a friend. This way, you can help another bowler save money and reduce waste.

No matter how often you bowl or how well you take care of your ball, eventually, it will need to be replaced. However, properly caring for your ball can extend its lifespan and help you get the most out of it.

When you're ready for a new ball, be sure to research different brands and styles to find the perfect one for your game.

skittles and bowling ball on the playing field

How Often Should You Resurface A Bowling Ball?

You should resurface your ball every 60 games or so. This will help to keep the ball performing at its best and prevent damage to the coverstock. If you bowl in a league or participate in tournaments, you may need to resurface your ball more often.

Be sure to take your ball to a pro shop for resurfacing. This way, you can be sure that it is done properly and won't damage your ball. By resurfacing your ball regularly, you can extend its lifespan and improve your performance on the lanes.

In Closing

pair of hands holding a bowling ball and polishing pad

By regularly cleaning and resurfacing your bowling ball, you can extend its lifespan and improve your performance on the lanes. By using the tips in this article, you can keep your ball in top condition for years to come.

Want more articles on bowling? Here are others you might like:

How Long Does A Reactive Resin Bowling Ball Last? (Compared To Urethane)

5 Types Of Bowling Balls For Different Lane Conditions

Can You Use Windex On A Bowling Ball?

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