When you first get your bowling ball home, we’re sure it shined brightly and performed consistently. But over time, the grime and oil from the bowling lanes begin to add up, and the time comes to clean your ball.
The bowling ball cleaner you use can either enhance or hamper your bowling ball cleaning session. That’s why it’s essential to get your hands on the best bowling ball cleaner money can buy. Don’t know which one to get?
There are several options, and we’ll introduce the best bowling ball cleaners in this article. Let’s get right into it!
- 1 Best Bowling Ball Cleaner (Commercial)
- 2 Simple DIY Bowling Ball Cleaners
- 3 Bowling Ball Cleaner for Deep Cleaning: Hot Water Method
- 4 What Is the Best Cleaner for Bowling Balls?
- 5 Can You Use Isopropyl Alcohol to Clean Bowling Balls?
- 6 How Often Should I Clean and Polish My Bowling Ball?
- 7 Does USBC-Approval Really Matter?
Best Bowling Ball Cleaner (Commercial)
The first tier of bowling ball cleaners is commercial bowling ball cleaners. These solutions are specifically designed for cleaning bowling balls and are sold online or in-store. They aren’t household items you repurpose into bowling ball cleaners.
Cleaners like these can work for virtually every bowling ball, but they are best suited to bowling balls that tend to soak up more lane oil than others (reactive balls, for example, cut through the oil).
Now that you have a basic understanding of commercial bowling ball cleansers, it’s time to get into some of the best ones on the market.
- Best Bowling Ball Cleaners: Focus on commercial cleaners like Lane Ghost, Pyramid Monster Tac, and Tac Up for effectiveness and ease of use. They’re suitable for all bowling ball types and are USBC-approved.
- DIY Cleaning Options: Alternatives like rubbing alcohol, Windex, diluted ammonia, baking soda, and a mix of Simple Green and alcohol offer affordable, simple solutions for home cleaning.
- Usage and Application: For commercial cleaners, spray and wipe with a microfiber towel. DIY methods vary, but generally involve applying the cleaner, wiping, and air drying.
- Customer Reviews: Pay attention to customer ratings and reviews for insights into effectiveness. Most commercial cleaners have high ratings on Amazon, indicating customer satisfaction.
- Regular Cleaning Importance: Clean your bowling ball after every game to maintain performance and appearance. Deep cleaning and polishing should be done monthly, depending on usage.
Lane Ghost Bowling Ball Cleaner is top-of-the-line when it comes to bowling ball cleaners. You can find it on Amazon for less than $15 for an 8-ounce bottle of the spray (at the time of this writing). According to the manufacturer, the product does these three things:
- It makes lane oil disappear
- Removes scuffs
- Fades belt marks
This matte spray cleaner is formulated to work for all bowling ball types, including polyester, reactive resin, urethane, and particle proactive. And as a bonus, it’s also American-made and USBC-approved.
To use this bowling ball cleaner, you’ll simply spray some of the solution on the part of the bowling ball you want to clean, wait a few seconds (5 to 10), and then wipe the ball with a clean towel. If you purchase the spray from Amazon using the link above, you’ll receive a microfiber towel in addition to the spray.
Often, the best indicator of quality is good customer reviews. And this bowling ball cleaner has lots of them. The product has earned a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with more than 3,000 total reviews.
It’s safe to say that this bowling ball cleaner is the real deal.
However, not all customers were satisfied with the product. Some state that the spray gets used up too fast, and others complain that the cleaner didn’t work as advertised.
But, by and large, people are overjoyed with this cleaner, stating that it’s the best bowling ball cleaner they’ve ever used and that it’s a must-have for any bowler.
Another great bowling ball cleaner to consider is the Pyramid Monster Tac bowling ball cleaner.
It’s been well-received by the bowling community for its effectiveness and ease of use. The manufacturer of this cleaner claims that it destroys oil and removes belt marks, which is on par with what the previous ball cleaner is claimed to do. It’s safe for all bowling ball types and is manufactured in the U.S.A.
Note: This particular bowling ball cleaner is a little more expensive than others on this list. It costs about twice as much as the Lane Ghost cleaner. Some may not notice this at first, but you pay the same amount for half the product.
To use this bowling ball cleaner spray, you’ll spray it on your ball and then wipe it off. It’s that simple. If your ball has picked up a lot of oil and needs a more thorough clean, let the spray sit on the ball for 10 to 30 seconds or so to cut through the grime.
Be sure to use a clean towel to wipe away the cleaner.
This is one of the highest-rated bowling ball cleaners on the market. And that’s evidenced by its 4.6 out of 5 star rating on Amazon. It has a total of 1,800+ ratings with more than 70% of them being a full 5 out 5 stars.
The happiest reviewers state that this bowling ball cleaner is the cleaner that every bowler needs. Some have been using it for a while and wouldn’t dream of switching to another cleaning product.
Those who aren’t too keen on this cleaner (very, very few people) state that it doesn’t work as well as advertised or gets used up too quickly. Others had problems with the packaging.
Rounding out our top 3 commercial bowling ball cleaners is Tac Up. It’s known in the industry to clean like a charm, ensuring predictable rolls and an easy cleaning process.
This particular bowling ball cleaner was manufactured for use on all bowling balls and can handle just about any cleaning job. It’s also USBC-approved, like the other bowling ball cleaners on this list, and can be used in ball spinning systems.
What’s interesting about this bowling ball cleaner is that it’s manufactured by a company that’s been around for 30+ years and has made other types of cleansers. Some of the company’s other products include car soaps and degreasers.
If you want to get the most out of your Tac Up bowling ball cleaner, spray the formula directly onto the bowling ball and let it sit for up to 10 seconds to do its magic. After 10 seconds have passed, you’re ready to wipe the ball clean.
This bowling ball cleaner has a very good reputation in the bowling sphere, and it shows through its Amazon ratings. The bowling ball cleaner has earned a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, with more than 600 total ratings. A surprising 78% of ratings are a perfect 5 out of 5 stars.
In studying the reviews, we find that negative reviews are few and very far between. Only 2% of reviews are 1 or 2 stars. The rest are 3 stars and higher, with 89% of reviews being a 4 or 5.
The most satisfied customers state that it’s an excellent bowling ball cleaner that keeps their bowling balls looking great and restores their traction. This leads to better performance on the lanes.
Simple DIY Bowling Ball Cleaners
Simplicity is key for many bowlers, and so is affordability. If you like the sound of that, consider one of the DIY bowling ball cleaners below.
Alcohol and a Microfiber Towel
If you’re not up for buying a dedicated cleaner for your bowling ball, that’s totally fine. You don’t have to if you have rubbing alcohol at home. Alcohol can very quickly break down any oils on your ball so you can easily wipe them away.
To avoid any issues, we recommend following the below instructions to the letter:
- Get yourself some rubbing alcohol and a microfiber towel. Not just any towel will do.
- Dispense some rubbing alcohol onto your towel, and then wipe the ball down with the towel. Rub in circular motions and take extra care on heavily oiled areas and marks.
- Allow the ball some time to dry in the open air, and you’re ready to bowl.
Need to clean your bowling ball in a pinch? Windex may be the bowling ball cleaner you need. It’s potent and effective at removing anything the lanes can dish out. Just spray it onto your ball, wipe it clean with a microfiber towel, rinse the ball with hot water, and you’re done.
Though Windex may not be as potent as some commercial bowling ball cleansers, many bowlers swear by it.
Ammonia (diluted to 50% concentration) is a USBC-approved bowling ball cleanser. Remember that using undiluted ammonia on your bowling ball could result in damage to your coverstock, not to mention the smell and inhalation dangers.
So, be sure to dilute the chemical before wiping your ball down with it. You can rinse the ball with clean water after wiping it down with the ammonia, and don’t forget to allow the ball to air dry afterward.
Baking soda is a great spot cleaner for when you have stubborn oil stains on your ball. To give it a try, dispense some baking soda into a bowl, add water, and stir to form a paste.
Spread the paste on your bowling ball, wait a few minutes, and then wipe the paste away. As you might expect, you won’t use this method all the time – only in special situations where other methods don’t work effectively.
Simple Green and Alcohol Spray
Many bowlers are turning to Simple Green and alcohol to keep their bowling balls clean. This combination of cleansers is enough to pull oil from all coverstocks to give your ball new life.
People love this combination because it’s easy to make and costs less than most commercial bowling ball cleaners. Here’s how to use this method:
- Gather your materials: You’ll need Simple Green (which you can find at most department stores and online for cheap), alcohol, hot water, and a microfiber towel.
- Make your cleaning spray: To make your spray, combine equal parts Simple Green, alcohol, and hot water. Put all the liquid into a spray bottle and shake to mix.
- Spray the mixture straight onto your ball, and then use the microfiber cloth to wipe away the grime.
- Allow the ball to air dry, and you’re good to go!
Bowling Ball Cleaner for Deep Cleaning: Hot Water Method
Would you rather skip the alcohol and store-bought cleansers? Then, perhaps the hot water cleaning method is the right one for you. This method requires you to dunk your bowling ball in a hot water solution to draw out all the oil.
It’s not that simple, though. Here are the steps you’ll need to follow:
- Gather all your supplies: You’ll need clean towels, a large 5-gallon bucket, hot water (of course), waterproof tape, a microfiber towel, and dish detergent.
- Prep your ball: Wipe the ball off with a microfiber towel to remove any dust or excessive stickiness. Doing so will allow the hot water to get to where it needs to go. Then, use waterproof tape to cover all of the finger holes to prevent water from getting into them.
- Make the hot water solution: To make the solution you’ll be dunking the bowling ball in, fill the bucket up halfway with hot water (135 degrees or less), add a few teaspoons of detergent, and then fill the bucket with more hot water until it’s about ¾ full.
- Soak the bowling ball. Lower the bowling ball into the hot water solution. Let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes. If your ball is extremely oily, it may be best to leave it in closer to 30 minutes. Ensure that the entire ball is submerged; if not, add more hot water.
- Scrub the bowling ball. Use your towel to scrub away oil and residues. Take your time with this step and use some elbow grease.
- Rinse and dry the bowling ball: After scrubbing the ball, you’re ready to rinse it. Use straight tap water for rinsing. Then, dry the bowling ball with a clean microfiber towel (not the one that you used earlier). It’s extremely important to dry your bowling ball thoroughly. Don’t leave any moisture behind. Then, leave the bowling ball out in the open to finish drying.
This is a good bowling ball cleaner for when you have extra time on your hands and really want a deep clean.
For more information on DIY bowling ball cleaners, read this article.
What Is the Best Cleaner for Bowling Balls?
The best bowling ball cleaner for you will depend on the ball you’re working with, how dirty it is, and more. So, there’s no universal best cleaner to go out and buy.
When choosing a cleaner for your bowling ball, you’ve got to choose what’s best for you and your equipment. We’ll share several cleaning methods and the situations they are best used in.
Can I Use a Microfiber Cloth on a Bowling Ball?
Absolutely, you can use a microfiber cloth on a bowling ball, and it’s actually the best towel choice in general for bowling balls.
Microfiber cloths are gentle on the ball’s coverstock and can effectively remove dirt, oil, and lane residue without causing any damage. However, it’s essential to make sure the cloth is clean and free from any abrasive particles that might scratch the ball’s surface.
Can You Use Isopropyl Alcohol to Clean Bowling Balls?
Yes, you can use isopropyl alcohol to clean bowling balls, and many do.
Isopropyl alcohol, often known as rubbing alcohol, is an effective choice for cleaning bowling balls. Its quick-drying nature and ability to break down oils make it efficient for removing the bowling ball’s surface grime, lane oils, and belt marks.
To use it, simply pour a moderate amount onto a clean microfiber or cotton cloth and gently wipe the ball surface. This method is especially handy for a quick clean between games.
However, remember that while it’s good for cleaning the surface of the ball, deep cleaning or rejuvenation might require specialized products or a visit to a pro shop.
How Often Should I Clean and Polish My Bowling Ball?
Regular cleaning and polishing are essential parts of bowling ball maintenance, and they’re essential if you want your ball to look and perform its best. Your ideal ball cleaning and polishing frequency will depend on how often you play, the conditions of the lanes, and more.
But here are some general guidelines:
- After Every Bowling Game: It’s good practice to give your ball a quick wipe-down with a microfiber towel after each game to remove the lane oil and prevent it from soaking into the ball. That’s why it’s ideal to keep your bowling ball bag stocked.
- Deep Cleaning: If you play frequently, like multiple times a week, consider deep cleaning once a month. This might involve taking your ball to a pro shop for an oil extraction process or using a home-based method, like the “hot water” technique.
- Frequency: Bowling ball polish is another item you’ll want to pick up. It’ll reduce your ball’s friction with the lane, resulting in better rolls. It also makes your ball shinier. You don’t need to polish your ball as often as you clean it. Most of the time, you can get by with a monthly ball polishing. But in some cases (with heavy use), you’ll need to polish it more often.
Does USBC-Approval Really Matter?
While “USBC-approved” may sound like a fancy credential, it basically signifies that a bowling ball cleaner meets the United States Bowling Congress’ standards for safety and performance.
If you’re a competitive bowler or particular about maintaining your bowling balls, opting for a USBC-approved cleaner can offer some peace of mind; it’s been vetted for both its efficacy and its impact on your ball’s material.
However, these approved cleaners can come at a premium price. So, is the USBC-approval essential? Well, it boils down to your needs and the level at which you’re bowling. For casual bowlers, a non-approved cleaner with good reviews can be sufficient.
But if you’re in leagues or tournaments, playing it safe with a USBC-approved cleaner might be worth the extra bucks.
So, there you have it – some of the main bowling ball cleaners to keep your bowling ball maintenance intact. And don’t forget about bowling ball polish. Most of the time, it’s good to choose a heavy duty cleaner for home use and a lighter cleaner to keep in your bowling bag. You may also be able to find bowling ball cleaners at your local bowling alley in a pinch.
We hope you found all the information you were looking for, and we wish you the best as you work to keep your bowling ball clean.
Kira Byrd, a Certified Fraud Examiner, holds a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. With a passion for bowling from her childhood, Kira has poured her expertise and personal experiences into creating and nurturing Bowling For Beginners. Kira’s mission is to meet new bowlers where they are and guide them toward consistently achieving higher scores. With a focus on skill development and strategic techniques, she empowers readers to take control of their game and unlock their true potential.
Bowling For Beginners embodies strict editorial integrity, ensuring reliable and unbiased information. Kira’s commitment to delivering valuable insights and practical strategies is reflected in every article. Here’s an explanation of our editorial policy and how we get money.