Should You Soak A Bowling Ball? [And How To]

Bowling balls are no different from other sports equipment because they need maintenance and care to get the most out of them. You may have seen online recommendations to soak your bowling ball, but should you do it? First, let's see if this is a safe thing to do and, if so, how often it should be done.

Soaking your bowling ball can help remove any oil, dirt, or grime built upon the surface. This can be beneficial if your ball starts to feel sticky or tacky and should be done every 50-75 games. To soak your bowling ball, follow these steps:

  1. Cover finger holes with waterproof tape.
  2. Fill a bucket with hot water.
  3. Add a few drops of dawn dish soap [optional].
  4. Soak bowling ball for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Dry bowling ball with a microfiber towel.
  6. Store bowling ball in a cool, dry place.

By cleaning your bowling ball regularly and taking care of it, you will be able to get the most out of it and enjoy your time on the lanes. This article will discuss why it is essential to soak your bowling ball. In addition, we will answer other frequently asked questions about cleaning your bowling ball, so read on!

Blue bowling ball and aranged pins ready for a game, Should You Soak A Bowling Ball? [And How To]

Why you should soak your bowling ball

Bowling is a fun sport because anyone can play, regardless of age or physique. However, it is important to take good care of your bowling ball if you want to succeed in this sport.

Deep cleaning your bowling ball doesn't need to be done frequently, but you should at least give it a good soak every 50 to 75 games. This will help remove any oil, dirt, or grime built upon the ball's surface.

The reason is that bowling lanes have oil applied to them daily to help reduce the friction between the ball and lane. However, this oil can build up on your bowling ball over time, making the ball react differently when you throw it.

a stocks of a bowling ball in a bowling alley

In addition, if your bowling ball is starting to feel sticky or tacky, this is a sign that it needs to be cleaned. Again, soaking your bowling ball is the best way to clean it and eliminate any unwanted build-up.

To deep clean, your bowling ball, cover the finger holes with waterproof tape. Then fill a bucket with hot water and add a few drops of Dawn dish soap. Adding dish soap is optional, but it will help lift the oil from the bowling ball and yield better results.

Finally, soak your ball for 20-30 minutes before drying it with a microfiber towel. 

Be sure to store your bowling ball in a cool, dry place when you're not using it. This will help prolong the life of your ball and keep it in good condition.

If you are still unsure about soaking your bowling ball, contact the company that made your ball for more specific instructions.

How should you store your bowling ball?

Ideally, you want to store your bowling ball in a cool, dark place when you are not using it. This will help prolong the life of your ball and keep it in good condition for as long as possible.

Some people store their bowling balls in padded bags that protect them from scratches or dents. However, if you don't own a bowling ball bag yet, you can wrap it in a soft towel before placing it in a drawer or closet.

Just avoid storing your ball in direct sunlight or a too hot or humid place. These conditions can damage the surface of your ball and affect its performance.

For example, avoid storing your bowling ball in your vehicle, attic, basement, or garage. These areas can get too hot or cold, which can cause the ball to crack or break.

If you are not sure where to store your bowling ball, ask a professional at your local pro shop for advice. They will be able to help you find the best storage solution for your ball. In addition, you might be able to store your ball in the shop in exchange for free maintenance or repairs.

Can you soak your bowling ball in alcohol?

While rubbing alcohol is a popular way to clean the bowling ball between games, you should never soak your ball in alcohol. This is because the alcohol can break down the ball's plastic cover and cause the ball to crack.

Instead, you can put some rubbing alcohol in a microfiber cloth and gently wipe the surface of your ball. This can help remove excess oil or dirt built upon the ball's surface.

Depending on how oily your ball is, you may need to wipe it down with a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol every few games. You can also mix the rubbing alcohol with water to make a spray which you can use to clean the ball by spraying it on and wiping it off with a microfiber cloth.

a boy cleaning a bowling ball to keep it ready for any game

Should you polish your bowling ball?

It is not always necessary to polish your bowling ball, but you may find that it helps improve the ball's performance. If you are an avid bowler and compete in leagues, polish your bowling ball every 15-18 games.

To polish your bowling ball, apply a small amount of polishing compound to the surface using a soft cloth or microfiber towel. You can then gently rub the paste into the ball until you have nice even coverage.

Once the ball is coated in polish, let it sit for a few minutes so the polish can work its way into the pores of the ball. Then, use a clean towel to buff the ball until it shines.

When should you resurface your bowling ball?

If you notice that your ball is starting to get dents or scratches, or if it just seems like it's not performing as well as it used to, you may want to consider resurfacing the ball. You can do this around every 60 games or before each season.

Most bowling centers offer this service for a small fee. Bring your ball in and ask them to resurface it. They will use a machine to sand down the ball's surface and then apply a new coat of polish.

This can help restore the ball's original shine and give it new life. Generally, resurfacing is pretty quick and easy, so you should be able to pick up your ball later that same day. Expect to pay around $10-$30 for this service.

a disply of bowling ball going through the pins

Can you put a bowling ball in the dishwasher?

There is an ongoing debate on whether or not you should put a bowling ball in the dishwasher. Some people say that you can use this method to clean and disinfect your ball, while others insist that it will damage the surface of the ball and cause it to crack.

It is not recommended to put your bowling ball in the dishwasher. This is because the high temperatures and harsh detergents can damage the ball's cover and cause it to break down.

If you decide to put your ball in the dishwasher, use a gentle cycle with a mild detergent. You should also avoid using the heated, dry setting, further damaging the ball. After the process is complete, let the ball air dry completely before using it again.

When should I get a new bowling ball?

a green bowling ball

How long a bowling ball will last will depend on a few factors. First off, how often do you play? If you are an avid bowler and play in leagues several times a week, you will likely need to replace your ball every few years.

If you only bowl for fun now and again, your ball may last much longer [5-10 years]. It also depends on how you care for your bowling ball. If you regularly clean and polish your ball, it will likely last longer than if you store it in places where changing temperatures or sunlight can damage it.

In general, you should replace your bowling ball when it shows signs of wear and tear, such as cracks or dents. You may also want to get a new ball if you notice that the cover is losing its original shine.

Some pros will recommend that it is an excellent time to get a new ball when the logo is no longer legible. But, ultimately, how often you replace your ball will depend on your budget and whether or not you want to invest in the latest technology.

So if you're wondering when you should get a new bowling ball, the best answer is: when it no longer gives you the performance you need.

In conclusion

Blue bowling ball and aranged pins ready for a game

So, there you have it! These are just a few things to keep in mind when caring for your bowling ball. By following these simple tips, you can help extend the life of your ball and ensure that it performs its best every time you hit the lanes.

Made it to the end? Here are other bowling ball related articles you might find helpful:

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

How Cold Can A Bowling Ball Get [Will It Crack?]

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

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Oliver Robertson

    I didn’t know that bowling balls can be soaked and that it can help remove oil, dirt, or grime. I have always been struggling to keep my ball clean but this piece is an eyeopener.

    Thanks a zillion 🙂

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