How To Bake A Bowling Ball [And Why]

If your bowling ball isn't hooking as it should, then it may be time to bake it. But what does that mean, and how do you do it? We did some research to find out. Let's check out the answer below.

Baking a bowling ball refers to the process of removing oil from the bowling ball. Over time, bowling balls soak up oil from the lane, which can cause the ball to lose its hook. To regain the hook, bake or deoil the bowling ball using one of the methods below every 50 to 75 games:

  • Hot Water Bath
  • Dishwasher
  • Hairdryer
  • Space Heater
  • Hot Car
  • Pro Shop

Regular maintenance is important for your bowling ball because it helps your ball perform at its best. In this article, we will discuss why you should bake your bowling ball and explain different methods you can use. Also, we will answer other frequently asked questions about bowling balls, so read on!

Bowling strike hit with fire explosion, How To Bake A Bowling Ball [And Why]

Baking A Bowling Ball And Why You Should

Whether it's the bowling lanes, shoes, or bowling balls, they all need maintenance to last and perform their best. For example, bowling lanes have oil applied to them to help preserve the wood and keep the lanes smooth. Unfortunately, although this oil is beneficial for the lanes, it's not so great for your bowling ball.

Over time, this oil will seep into your ball and cause it to lose its hook. This is because the oil makes the ball more slippery, which prevents it from gripping the lane properly. So, this is where baking a bowling ball comes in, as it's one of the best ways to remove oil from your ball and restore its hook.

You can use several different methods to deoil your bowling ball, from using a hot water bath to your car on a hot day. Of course, some are better than others, but we will discuss all the methods below.

Maintenance and maintenance of the bowling lanes with automatic machines by skilled technicians.

Hot Water Bath

One of the easiest and most popular methods for baking a bowling ball is a hot water bath. All you need for this method is a bucket of hot water, Dawn dish soap, and waterproof tape.

First, cover the finger holes with waterproof tape. Then, put a few drops of the Dawn dish soap into the hot water and submerge your bowling ball completely in the water. Let the ball soak for about 30 minutes, making sure it is immersed completely at all times.

Spin the bowling ball every few minutes to help the oil come out. Once the 30 minutes are up, remove the ball and dry it off with a towel. If your bowling ball still has oil on it, repeat the process.


You can also bake your bowling ball in the dishwasher. With this method, you'll need to cover the finger holes first with waterproof tape. Then put the dishwasher on a regular cycle but turn off the dry heat option.

Some bowlers use a mild detergent, while others only use hot water. If you choose to use detergent, make sure it doesn't contain bleach or other harsh chemicals. Once the cycle finishes, remove your bowling ball and dry it off with a towel.


If you have access to a hairdryer, you can also bake your bowling ball by blowing hot air onto it. Be careful with this method, as it's easy to overheat your ball which will cause it to crack.

To use this method, place the ball on the ground and wave the hairdryer back and forth over the entire ball. Make sure you hold the hairdryer a few feet away from your bowling ball; otherwise, you'll risk overheating it.

You will see oil coming out of the ball as you're blowing hot air on it. As the oil release, wipe it off with a towel. This process will take some time, so be patient and don't forget to keep waving the hairdryer over your ball.

Space Heater

Similar to using a hairdryer, be cautious not to overheat your bowling ball using this method. First, find a space heater and turn it on to the lowest setting.

Then, place your bowling ball a few feet in front of the space heater and wait for the oil to seep out.

Continue to keep wiping the oil off with a towel until your bowling ball is free of oil.

Hot Car

This isn't the best method, but it can work if you don't have any other options.

All you need to do is place your bowling ball on the hood of your car on a hot day. Then, wait for it to get hot enough to release the oil. Make sure you don't leave your bowling ball in direct sunlight, because that could cause it to crack or warp.

Once the ball starts releasing oil, keep wiping it off with a towel until all the oil is gone. The tough part about using a hot car is that you can't control the temperature.

Temperatures over 140 degrees Fahrenheit can ruin your bowling ball so be careful.

Pro Shop

The best method is to talk to your pro shop to see if they're willing to deoil your ball. However, not all pro shops are equipped to do this, so it's important to check before trying any of the methods above.

This is the most expensive but safest option. If you have the money, it's worth taking your bowling ball to a pro shop and letting them deoil it for you.

Can I Put A Bowling Ball In The Oven?

It's not the best idea to put a bowling ball in the oven. While it will release the oil, it can also cause your ball to crack or warp. Also, you need to wipe off the oil as it's released, which can be difficult if your oven is inside a kitchen.

Not only will you risk getting burned, but you will release oil into your oven. Therefore, it's best to avoid this method and look for more effective ways to deoil instead.

An upclose view through the front of the inside of an empty hot operational household oven with a glowing element and metal rack

Do Bowling Balls Wear Out?

It depends on how often you bowl and what type of ball you use. Some bowling balls are designed to last for a long time, while others need replacement more regularly.

If your ball shows wear-and-tear, or it's not gliding as smoothly down the lane, it may be time to get a new one. Don't forget to look for cracks, dents, or other inconsistencies that may negatively impact your game.

Bowling balls are designed to last for several years when they're cared for properly. Store your bowling balls in a cool, dry place, wipe off any oil or dirt that may accumulate on the surface, and avoid contact with harsh chemicals.

Can You Fix A Cracked Bowling Ball?

It depends on the type and severity of the crack. If your bowling ball has a minor crack, you might be able to fix it yourself by getting a repair kit or using a sealant.

However, if your ball is severely cracked or has a large fracture, you will probably need to take it to a pro shop for repair. It's important to fix the crack as soon as possible because it could compromise the integrity of your ball, leading it to break completely.

It may simply be time to replace your bowling ball. But, before you throw it in the garbage, there are some things you can do with an old bowling ball. Let's take a look.

Bowling ball. Crack due to long period kept in store.

Donate it

One option is to donate your old bowling ball to a local youth bowling league or a thrift store. It's a great way to give back to the community and help anyone getting started in the sport.

Recycle it

If your bowling ball is in good condition, you could recycle it. Many recycling centers accept used bowling balls and will either repurpose or donate them to another organization.


It would surprise you what you can do with an old bowling ball! Use it for everything from planters to home decor. You could sell your old bowling balls online or at a local craft fair, which is another great way to repurpose them.

Sell it

If your bowling ball isn't in good condition or if you just want to upgrade your equipment, you could sell it online. Before selling it, make sure that your bowling ball is in good working order and doesn't have any major flaws.

There are many ways to repurpose an old bowling ball. If you're not sure what to do with yours, ask your local pro shop or recycling center for suggestions.

Final Thoughts

Bowling alley. Focus is on background.

Baking or deoiling your bowling ball is the best way to remove oil from the surface. However, be cautious when using dry heat because it can cause your ball to warp or crack. If you're not sure how to proceed, take your ball to a pro shop for help.

Made it to the end? Here are other articles you might like:

Why Does My Bowling Ball Hook Too Much?

How Often Should I Clean, Sand, Or Resurface My Bowling Ball?

Why Does My Bowling Ball Bounce?

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