Should I Polish My Bowling Ball? [And How To]

Taking care of your bowling ball isn't just about increasing its lifespan but also improving your game. You probably know that you need to clean and store your ball correctly but do you need to polish it? And how do you do that? Let's take a look.

Polishing your bowling ball can do wonders for your game. A polished ball will have less friction with the lane, resulting in a better and more consistent roll. It can also help to improve your hook.

To polish your bowling ball, follow these steps:

  1. Start with a quarter of the bowling ball at a time.
  2. Next, apply a dime size of polish to a microfiber towel.
  3. Gently rub the towel in a circular motion over the ball's surface.
  4. Let it dry for 5-10 seconds.
  5. Wipe off any excess polish with a clean microfiber towel.
  6. Repeat this process until you've polished the entire ball.

Polishing your bowling ball is different than giving it a deep clean. This article will discuss the benefits of polishing your bowling ball and how to do so properly. In addition, we will discuss how to take care of your bowling ball so it lasts many years to come!

rack of old worn bowling balls, Should I Polish My Bowling Ball? And How To?

How to polish a bowling ball

If you are competitive bowling or striving to be one, you will find more to bowling than just throwing the ball down the lane.

Anyone can do that, but to become a great bowler, you need to understand all of the mechanics involved in bowling – from how to grip the ball to how to throw it to how your shoes can affect your game.

You also need to take care of your equipment. This means buying a good quality bowling ball and taking care of it. This means cleaning it, storing it properly, and – you guessed it – polishing it.

A polished bowling ball will have less friction with the lane, saving energy and a more consistent roll. If your ball isn't polished, you will find it will hook early and won't have the back-end action you were hoping for.

You should polish your bowling ball around every 15-18 games. If you are bowling more frequently, you may need to polish it more often.

To polish your bowling ball, you will need:

  • A clean microfiber towel.
  • An excellent quality bowling ball polish [ask your bowling pro for recommendations].

Start with a quarter at a time

When you polish your bowling ball, it is good to start with a quarter of the bowling ball at a time. This will help you not miss any spots and get an even coat of polish on the ball.

Apply a dime size of polish to a microfiber towel

Once you have your quarter of the ball ready, apply a dime-size amount of polish to a clean microfiber towel. You don't need a lot of polish; a little goes a long way. Next, rub the towel in a circular motion over the surface of the ball.

Let it dry for 5-10 seconds

After applying the polish to the ball, let it dry for 5-10 seconds. This will help the polish to set into the ball's surface.

Wipe off excess polish

Take the other side of the microfiber or use another towel if you have one handy and gently wipe off any excess polish on the ball. You don't want to leave any residue on the ball, which can affect your game.


Repeat these steps until you have polished the entire ball. You should now have a nice, shiny bowling ball that will help your game!

As you can see, polishing your ball is a simple process that doesn't take a lot of time. But the benefits are well worth it, of course, Your ball will last longer, but you will also see an improvement in your game. So next time you are at the bowling alley, don't forget to give your ball a good polish!

Now you know how to polish a bowling ball, but do you know how to take care of it? Read on to find out!

How to take care of your bowling ball

Your bowling ball is an investment, so you want to make sure you take care of it. This means storing it correctly, cleaning it regularly, and – as we discussed – polishing it. Let's look at the steps to ensure your bowling ball will last you many years!

Wipe it regularly

If you bowl a lot or are working to join leagues, having a microfiber towel with you during your games is good. After each game or practice, take a few minutes to wipe your ball with the towel. This will remove any dirt, oil, or grime built up on the ball during your game.

Since bowling lanes are oiled once to twice a day, your bowling ball will soak up some of that oil. And while it is good for the ball to have a little bit of oil on it, you don't want too much as it can affect your game.

If you notice an oil ring forming on your bowling ball, take a microfiber towel and give it a good wipe down. This will help to remove some of the oil and keep your ball from hooking early or later than you want. If the lanes are oily, you may need to wipe down the ball after every shot or frame. 

It is also important to wipe it down when you are done for the day before storing it in its bag.

Store it properly

When you are not using your bowling ball, be sure to store it properly. This means keeping it in a cool, dry place free from dust and sunlight. An excellent place to store your ball is in a closet or cabinet where it won't be jostled around.

Refrain from leaving your bowling ball in areas where the temperatures fluctuate, like in a car or garage. The change in temperatures will affect the bowling ball's coverstock and, over time, could cause it to crack or chip.

Bowling balls should stay in temperatures around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don't have a bowling ball bag, wrap your ball in a soft towel before storing it.

Cleaning your ball

In addition to wiping down your ball after each game, you should also give it a good cleaning every week. This will help remove any build-up on the ball and keep it in top condition.

To clean your bowling ball, start mixing 1 cup of Simple Green, 1 cup of rubbing alcohol, and 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Then, as mentioned above, start with a quarter of the ball and spray it down with the mixture.

Use a soft towel to wipe the ball down, being sure to get into all the crevices. You can also use an old toothbrush to help remove any build-up in hard-to-reach areas. Once you have wiped the ball down, rinse it off with clean water.

Deep cleaning

Lastly, around every 50 games, you should give your ball a good deep cleaning. This is similar to the cleaning process above, but you will want to let the mixture sit on the ball for a few minutes before wiping it down.

  1. To deep clean your bowling ball, start by taping the finger holes with waterproof tape.
  2. Then, fill a bucket with hot water [140 degrees Fahrenheit].
  3. Add a few drops of Dawn dish soap and mix it around.
  4. Submerge your ball in the mixture and spin it every few minutes to ensure all sides are clean.
  5. After 20 minutes, remove the ball from the bucket and rinse it off with clean water.
  6. Wipe it down with a microfiber towel and let it air dry before using it again.

How long does a bowling ball last?

How long a bowling ball will last depends on how often you use it, how well you take care of it, and the type of ball you have.

A bowling ball will last anywhere from 5 to 10 years. However, if you use your ball a couple of times a week, it may last beyond the 10-year mark.

However, if you use your ball several times a week or don't take care of it, it may only last five years.

The type of bowling ball you have will also affect its lifespan. For example, a lower-quality ball made with cheaper materials will likely not last as long as a higher-quality ball made with more durable materials.

Final Thoughts

rack of old worn bowling balls.

Who knew bowling balls were so high maintenance? However, this maintenance schedule is vital if you are serious about your game.

Taking care of your bowling ball help improve your performance, but it will also help prolong the life of your ball.

Wait, don't leave yet! Here are other bowling articles you might be interested in:

How Long Does A Reactive Resin Bowling Ball Last? [Compared To Urethane]

Can You Use Windex On A Bowling Ball?

5 Types Of Bowling Balls For Different Lane Conditions

Leave a Reply