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How to Clean a Bowling Ball


Excess oil on a bowling ball can change its responsiveness characteristics on the track. In fact, it often makes him lose his grip, which can compromise the success of your shot. However, you can easily remove this oil if you spend a little of your time and some household products. With these products, you can clean the ball at home or have it cleaned in a specialized shop and with the help of an oil extraction machine.

Method 1 of 3: Clean a bowling ball at home

1. Avoid the accumulation of oil on the ball

This will make cleaning easier. It will be easier to clean if the oil is still fresh. Therefore, clean it after every game to keep it in good condition. Try to always have a special towel in your bowling equipment and change it every time you play so that the oil accumulated on the fabric is not transferred to the ball at the next cleaning.

  • In principle, the towel you will use should be a lint-free microfibre cloth. These kinds of cloths will protect the finish of the ball. In addition, the threads and pieces of fabric will not rub on the ball, and thus influence your throw.
  • For better results and more accurate throws, pass the towel each time you throw it. During a long game, it is best to exchange it with a cleaner towel in the middle of the game.

2. Moisten a cloth with isopropyl alcohol

As soon as you finish playing, friction with the track will heat it. This heat will open the pores and allow you to better clean it. With a little alcohol, you can clean it, so use it sparingly. Wet the cloth then clean the entire surface of the ball.After cleaning with the alcohol-soaked rag, take a dry part of the towel or some other (clean) towel to clean the remaining moisture on the surface.

3. Clean it regularly

The longer the oil stays on the surface, the more likely it is to penetrate deeply and become more difficult to remove. This means that it will stay clean longer if you clean it every time you play. This way, you can save a lot of money on professional cleaning services and be able to play it more consistently.

Method 2 of 3: Thoroughly clean a bowling ball at home

1. Wait until you have used it a lot

It is usually experienced players and professionals who use the oil extraction machine who use this type of deep cleaning. In fact, it removes the oil that has been absorbed deep into the pores after several games. The number of parts you should do before deep cleaning will depend mainly on how often you are used to playing and the condition of the tracks on which you do it.

  • If you play frequently on oily tracks, you can remove the oil from the ball after every 50 parts. But if the tracks are cleaner, you can wait up to 70 to 100 parts before cleaning the ball deep.
  • When you notice that the ball’s reactivity characteristics start to change on the track, it is probably time to do some deep cleaning

2. Cover the holes of the ball

Use a waterproof tape to do it. If the water gets into the finger holes, it can affect its performance. Apply tape to the holes and smooth it so that it is flat and there are no gaps in the ribbon. To make sure the water will not get into the holes, use an extra piece of tape per orifice

3. Fill a bucket with warm water and immerse the ball in it

Since the oil is lighter than water, it and the dirt that accompanies it will rise to the surface of the ball when it is soaked in hot water. So that the water has enough time to penetrate the pores, you have to let soak the ball for about twenty minutes

4. Remove the ball

Then remove the ribbon and dry it. After she has finished soaking, it should be largely clean. Leave the tape in place to prevent water on the surface from driping into the holes, and use a clean, lint-free cloth or towel to dry it. When it is largely dry, you can remove the tape and dry it again to remove moisture

Method 3 of 3: Use an oil extraction machine to clean a bowling ball

1. Bring the ball to a specialty store

Even if you are a professional bowler, it is unlikely that you have such a machine to clean your balls. However, you can find some in stores selling bowling. The machines are composed of a water tank that heats up to open the pores of the ball and eliminate deeply rooted fat

2. Ask a store employee to clean it up

This service is usually not expensive. The fact of having it cleaned and polished by a professional guarantees a complete cleaning. In addition, this one will be able to signal you the damages that you might not notice

3. Plan to do something while you wait

The time it will take for cleaning can vary, but in general, it can take about an hour and a half. If you have a spare ball, you will have enough time to go to the nearest bowling alley to play some games. Otherwise, while you wait you can go shopping, do homework, read a book or play a portable game console. This way, you will not be bored during the cleaning.

4. Bowling like a champion

Now that your ball is clean and polished, it should have the responsive characteristics it originally had on the track. Continue to clean it with a towel after the throws and after each match to keep it in good condition


  • Avoid using cleaning products that could damage the ball. Search the Internet for a list of cleaning agents suitable for bowling balls.
  • Avoid putting the ball in any machine. Indeed, there are machines that can make the ball has an outer layer of glaze. In addition, they can sometimes cause permanent damage.
  • Wear a face mask when applying isopropyl alcohol. The product releases poisonous gases in contact with the oil that can be harmful to health, especially if you clean the ball in a poorly ventilated area.

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