Can You Use Car Polish On a Bowling Ball?

can you use car polish on a bowling ball

The simple answer is yes you can use car polish on a bowling ball, but it is not good or recommended. Instead, it is better to use a bowling ball specific polish.

When it comes to bowling it is very important that you keep your bowling ball in good condition. One of the best and easiest ways to do this is to keep it polished. Polishing your bowling ball will help to remove any small lumps and bumps that appear on the ball and to help it roll smoothly along the bowling lane.

However, you can’t simply polish your bowling ball with just anything. You need to be careful and know what you can and cannot use. Here we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about polishing a bowling ball.

Can You Polish a Bowling Ball With Car Wax?

The first thing to note is that there is a big difference between wax and polish. Although they both aim to do essentially the same thing (smooth and shine the object) they do so differently.

Car wax will leave behind a protective layer of wax on the bowling ball. Car polish on the other hand is slightly abrasive. This will remove small scratches as well as produce a nice shine.

So, can you polish a bowling ball with car wax? The answer is no, you can’t! This is because on the surface of your bowling ball there are pores that will absorb the wax from the car wax. The wax will then clog these pores on your bowling ball and negatively affects its performance on the bowling lane.

This is because the wax will make the bowling ball perform much like a plastic bowling ball. So, if you have a particularly expensive resin ball then it is certainly best to avoid using car wax as you can ruin your ball. It will no longer have a decent amount of grip and friction against the lane.

What Can I Use to Polish My Bowling Ball?

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The main thing to avoid when you want to polish your bowling ball is wax (for the reasons outline above). However, you can still use almost any type of polish or rubbing compound. This is because they have a fine grit and will actually smooth out your bowling ball by rubbing away the scratches and bumps on its surface rather than simply coating it in a smoothing layer of product.

We recommend using a bowling ball specific polish like this one by Brunswick. It’s the same polish used at the Brunswick bowling ball factory and will work on reactive, urethane and plastic bowling balls.

Regularly Clean Your Bowling Ball

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If you find that you need to polish your bowling ball often then you may need to clean your bowling ball more often. The best thing that you can do is to clean it regularly, this will prevent the need to constantly polish it.

The best way to do this is to wait until you have finished a game of bowling. At this point, the bowling ball will be warm thanks to the friction of being thrown down the bowling lane. This heat will open up the pores on the ball’s surface. 

You should apply a very small amount of bowling ball cleaner to the bowling ball’s surface (use it sparingly) and rub it over the entirety of the ball using a soft cloth such as a microfiber cloth. This will ensure that your ball is kept clean and will eventually reduce the amount that you need to polish out dirt and scratches.

Click here to check the current price and availability of Lane Ghost Bowling Ball Cleaner on Amazon.

What Happens When You Polish a Bowling Ball?

The aim of polishing a bowling ball is to reduce the wear and tear of the bowling ball’s coverstock (the outer layer). All of the throwing, the impact of hitting the lane and the pins can damage the outer layer and cause nicks, scratches and even dents in your ball.

It is important to reduce these as much as possible so that the ball rolls smoothly and freely without interruptions. The best way to do this is to polish it. Polish uses grit (there are higher and lower grits depending on what you need) which will gently and carefully wear away the surface of the bowling ball in order to smooth it out. 

Doing this will reduce the bowling ball’s friction. If you notice that you are playing on a bowling lane that is particularly dry then you will want to have less friction between your bowling ball and the surface of the lane as this will help it to roll better as well as improve its overall performance. Any added friction from the conditions on the lane can negatively affect your throw.

How Long Does Polish Last On a Bowling Ball?

When you initially purchase a bowling ball it will come with a polish already on the surface from the factory. This particular polish can last anywhere between 6 and 12 games. 

How long the polish on your bowling ball is not a set time limit. In fact, it will depend on many different factors. For example, if you use a high-grade polish designed specifically for polishing bowling balls then you will find that it lasts a lot longer than using ordinary polish. 

Similarly, the conditions that you play on can affect how long your bowling ball’s polish will last. If you always play your bowling games on a lane that is kept well-oiled and in good condition then your polish will last longer as there will be less friction between your bowling ball and the lane itself.

However, if the lane that you are playing on is particularly dry then this will cause more friction between the ball and lane, rubbing off the polish in the process.

Final Thoughts

Polishing your bowling ball is an important part of equipment maintenance. It will help to keep your ball in good shape, allowing you a better throw down the lane.

You should make sure that you only use polish and never wax as this will seep into the pores in your bowling ball and reduce its effectiveness. So, if you have an expensive bowling ball be very careful.

If you are unsure about exactly which grit of polish to use on your ball talk to an expert for their advice.

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