Cleaning your bowling ball regularly helps you remove dirt, oil, and other contaminants that can build up on the surface of the ball over time.
By keeping your bowling ball clean, you’ll prevent those unplanned skids that lead to gutter balls. This is because the dirt and lane oils affect the ball’s performance by reducing its overall hook and reaction ability. Therefore, if you are having problems throwing a strike, you should consider cleaning your bowling ball.
While there are various commercial bowling ball cleaners available, they can be quite expensive and often contain strong synthetic compounds. That’s why you can choose to use inexpensive homemade bowling ball cleaners to clean your ball. With that said, let’s look at the best homemade bowling ball cleaners that would keep your ball in the best condition and ensure you get the most out of it.
Why Choose Homemade Bowling Ball Cleaners Over Commercial Ones
Various benefits come with using homemade bowling ball cleaners over commercial ones. Some of the reasons you might choose to use homemade cleaners include:
- Homemade cleaners are often less expensive than commercial cleaners because they need ingredients that are readily available at home or cheaper to buy.
- Homemade cleaners often use natural ingredients which are gentler on the ball.
- You’ll have control over the ingredients to use which makes it easy to customize them depending on your specific cleaning needs.
- Unlike commercial cleaners that contain harsh chemicals, homemade cleaners are more environmentally friendly.
Best Homemade Bowling Ball Cleaners
There are various ingredients in your home that you can use to make your cleaning solution. These ingredients often make great cleansers that you can use to clean your bowling ball. Here are some of the best homemade bowling ball cleaners:
Liquid Dish Soap and Water
Liquid dish soap and water are effective in de-greasing your bowling ball and removing dirt. You can use dish soap and water to clean your ball by:
1. You should seal the finger holes of your ball using waterproof tape. This helps ensure that water doesn’t enter through the gaps.
2. Fill a bowl with warm to hot water
3. You can then add a few drops of dish soap to the water
4. Apply the mixture to the ball using a towel and gently scrub it
5. Take the ball out of the water and clean it thoroughly using a microfiber cloth.
6. You can then dry it in the open air
Lemon juice and water
Another simple but effective homemade bowling ball cleaner is a mixture of lemon juice and water. Lemon juice is effective in removing lane oil from your bowling ball without ruining its surface. You can use lemon juice and water to clean your bowling ball by:
1. Add half a cup of lemon juice to a bowl of warm water
2. Mix it thoroughly
3. Soak a towel into the mixture and wipe it on your ball
4. After cleaning the ball, dry it with a microfiber towel
5. You can then let the ball dry in direct sunlight.
Vinegar and water
Vinegar is another ingredient popularly known to clean just about anything including bowling balls. You can choose to soak your bowling ball in the vinegar solution, but it’s advisable to soak a cloth into it and use it to clean the ball. You can do this by:
1. Pour 1 cup of vinegar into a large bowl of warm water
2. Soak a cloth into the mixture and use it to clean the ball
3. You can also use a spray bottle to spray the mixture on the ball.
4. Dry your ball with a microfiber towel.
You should not worry about the powerful smell as it dissipates after the ball dries. Bowlers should also keep in mind that vinegar can be harmful to some types of bowling balls. Therefore, it's best to check the ball’s care instructions before using vinegar as a cleaning solution.
Heavy Duty Homemade Bowling Ball Cleaner
In some cases, your bowling ball may be too dirty that the solutions discussed above may not be effective. Therefore, you’ll need a more heavy-duty cleaner and a deep clean. Some of the effective heavy-duty homemade bowling ball cleaners include:
Alcohol is the best ingredient to deal with the heavy oil stains on your bowling. However, you should be careful when using alcohol as it may damage your ball’s surface. Some of the precautions you should take when using alcohol as a cleaning agent include:
- Never soak your bowling ball in alcohol. This is because it can damage its surface or cause it to warp.
- Ensure you clean the ball in a well-ventilated area to avoid breathing in the alcohol fumes
- Check the ball’s care instructions as some balls cannot be cleaned using certain types of alcohol.
- If the strong alcohol smell is too much, wipe down the ball with a damp cloth to remove it.
To clean your bowling ball with alcohol, put some on a clean cloth or microfiber towel and wipe it on your bowling ball. Alcohol will easily remove dirt and oil from the ball’s surface.
Alcohol, simple green, and water
A mixture of simple green, alcohol, and water is the most effective way of cleaning your bowling ball. All you have to do is mix equal amounts of the ingredients in a bowl, soak a clean cloth into the mixture, and rub it on your ball.
After a few minutes, you can wipe off the mixture using a damp cloth and dry the ball using a clean microfiber towel.
Precautions to Take when cleaning Your Bowling Ball
While the above methods are effective and safe, it is important to take several precautions when cleaning your ball. Some of the things to keep in mind include:
- Avoid using harsh chemicals on your ball as they could ruin the ball’s cover stock
- Never use abrasive materials as they can scratch the ball's surface.
- Avoid using high-pressure water or air to dry the ball, as this can weaken the coverstock and cause it to crack.
- Never use heat to dry your ball as the high temperatures can damage the ball
- Also, it is important to dry the ball after cleaning it, so it does not pick up dirt or dust.
- Never submerge your bowling ball in liquid. It could absorb it damaging its interiors, and the finger holes.
- Clean the ball in a cool, shaded area to avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or excessive heat.
- Avoid cleaning your ball using a washing machine. The high temperatures and harsh chemicals can damage your ball.
Q. Does rubbing alcohol hurt a bowling ball?
Over time, the repeated use of isopropyl alcohol on your bowling ball can have a drying effect, causing the ball to become brittle and more likely to crack, affecting its performance. While it may effectively kill viruses on the surface, it can ultimately harm the ball's ability to perform optimally in the long term.
Q. How do I make my bowling ball shiny?
To make a bowling ball shine, you can use a bowling ball cleaner or polisher specifically designed for this purpose. These cleaners typically come in a liquid form and can be applied to the ball with a cloth. Follow the instructions on the cleaner's label and buff the ball with a clean cloth until it has the desired shine. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials, as they can damage the ball's surface.
Q. How do you restore the surface of a bowling ball?
Resurfacing a bowling ball requires sanding discs, water, a polisher, and polishing pads. The pads should be placed in the palm of your hand and used to remove surface material as necessary. The required abrasive discs can be purchased from Red Label Abrasives.
Cleaning a bowling ball at home is a simple process that requires the right ingredients. Using the above homemade bowling ball cleaners can help you maintain the ball's performance and prolong its lifespan. You can start with the ingredients that you already have until you get the results that you desire. It is important to note that you should avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials when cleaning your bowling ball as they can damage the coverstock. Bowlers can try out the various approaches discussed above when keeping their bowling balls clean.