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Household Items That You Can Use to Clean a Bowling Ball

What Household Items Can You Use to Clean a Bowling Ball

When you need to clean your bowling ball but don’t have anything specifically made to do the job like, you can use household items like Simple Green, windex, or rubbing alcohol.

Other products like car polish are a huge “no” to use when cleaning your bowling ball. Products like that contain a lot of oil that can cause more harm than good to your bowling ball. 

To find out which household cleaning products are best to use to clean your bowling ball, continue below!

Using Simple Green and Rubbing Alcohol to Clean Your Bowling Ball

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Many professional bowlers and non-professional bowlers like to take their bowling balls to local pro shops to have them cleaned. Still, if you are looking to save a trip and money, you can make your own cleaning solution with three simple ingredients. Not only is this solution inexpensive, but it is also eco-friendly and approved by the United States Bowling Congress (USBS). 

Simple Green Solution Recipe:

You combine the ingredients above and put them in a spray bottle. Then you will spray down the bowling ball and wipe the solution off with a microfiber towel. 

This method is suitable for a quick surface clean, but you may need to submerge your bowling ball in this same Simple Green solution for about 10 minutes if you want more dirt and oil removed.

Do not soak the ball for more than 20 minutes, as extensive soaking can cause the ball to warp. Ensure that you cover the holes on the ball with tape to ensure that no moisture gets into those pockets. 

Clean Your Bowling Ball Every 6 Games

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A good rule of thumb is to clean off your bowling ball every 6 games. In order for you to keep your bowling game at its tip-top shape, your bowling ball needs to be cleaned. In addition, proper cleaning measures are necessary to extend the lifespan of your bowling ball.

After playing numerous games, your bowling ball will have absorbed a lot of dirt and lane oil from the alleys. Oil build-up from the lanes can cause your ball to lose its grip, making it harder for you to hook it. 

If you are not interested in purchasing commercial products, you can use inexpensive household items to clean your bowling ball.

Did you know that most professional bowlers wipe down their bowling balls after each shot? Oil track is excess oil that is left on a bowling ball after a shot. When a lane is oiled too much, the amount of oil tracked on your bowling ball will greatly affect the way it rolls. Using a bowling ball wipe pad like this one after each shot can help keep excessive oil off of your bowling ball.

Using Alcohol to Clean Your Bowling Ball

If you are looking for a way to prevent large amounts of build-up on your bowling ball, you can wipe it down with alcohol after every game you play. 

The friction from the ball being thrown down the lane causes the pores of the ball to open up, making the alcohol easier to absorb and clean with. You can clean the bowling ball with a microfiber towel that has been dampened with isopropyl alcohol. Make sure to bring another microfiber towel to wipe away any excess moisture from the ball. 

Even though alcohol effectively removes dirt, oil, scuff marks, and grime, it is not meant to be a solution to soak your bowling ball in. Furthermore, if you soak your ball in alcohol, it could damage the ball. 

Clean Your Hands

Besides cleaning your bowling ball in between throws, you should also clean your hands. It is ideal to wipe your hands with a towel in between throws to keep skin oil and moisture at bay.

You can also take another towel to wipe out the finger holes to keep them clean from skin oil and dead skin. 

Can I Clean My Bowling Ball With Acetone?

It is not recommended to wash your bowling ball in acetone, especially if it is in a urethane ball. Any type of chemical solvents containing acetone are corrosive or abrasive, so they are not good to use for your ball. 

Can You Use Windex on a Bowling Ball?

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The US Bowling Congress has approved Windex to be used as a cleaner for your bowling ball. However, even though Windex is listed as a cleaner for your ball, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is an effective product to de-grease your ball. 

If you want to use Windex, you can use it as a product to use as a quick polish.

Is Car Wax Safe To Use On My Bowling Ball?

Car wax solutions are not ideal to use when cleaning your bowling ball. Car wax may make your bowling ball all nice and shiny, but the oils from the wax will clog the pores on your ball. If the pores are clogged, your ball won’t perform as well as it would without the mass amount of oil on its surface. 

If you have to use an automotive wax on your bowling ball, try to use a wax-free polish and has a fine particle grit. The grit in the product cleans out the oils and grime and gives your ball that added shine.

If you have some Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish or Turtle Wax Renew-X Rubbing Compound laying around your garage, you can use them to clean your bowling ball effectively. 

Cleaning a Bowling Ball With A Dishwasher 

A bowling ball can be cleaned in the dishwasher as long as the proper precautions are met.

  1. Cover the holes with tape
  2. Place the ball on the bottom rack of the dishwasher.
  3. You can either add soap or avoid using soap during the wash and rinse cycle. The hot water and agitation alone are good enough to remove and rinse the oil from the bowling ball. 
  4. Turn off the heat or dry cycle on your dishwasher. The dry cycle will cause uneven heating on your ball, which can lead to cracks.
  5. When the dishwasher is done washing, leave the bowling ball in the dishwasher for a few hours to cool evenly. 
  6. Once you remove the ball from the dishwasher, let it sit for at least 24 hours to ensure that your bowling ball is completely dry and cooled. 

Excessive Heat 

If you heat your bowling ball beyond the temperature that it can handle, it will damage your ball and can cause it to crack. There have been many people who have successfully cleaned their bowling balls and others who have not.

Even if you follow instructions step by step, you still may end up with a damaged bowling ball so use this method of cleaning your bowling ball with caution.  

Before you get started with this method, make sure to check the temperature of your tap water. If the temperature is over 140°F, then you will most likely damage your ball, and you will need to adjust the temperature of your water heater. 

Magic Erasers for Cleaning a Bowling Ball

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You can use a magic eraser to clean your bowling ball as long as you purchase and use the pad only type. The other types of magic erasers emit a foam filled with cleaners that may damage the ball. 

Final Thoughts

Cleaning your bowling ball with items around your house is excellent for quick cleaning fixes. However, if you are looking for a deeper cleaning, you can soak your bowling ball in the green solution or clean it with the dishwasher. 

There are many great alternatives to cleaning your bowling ball other than going to the pro shops to have it cleaned, but if you don’t want to take the trip or spend that extra money, you can use items around the house. 

Ensure that you take extra caution and care when cleaning your bowling ball to make sure that you are not doing more harm than good. 

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