Bowling is an activity that does not require much maintenance. When you do decide to invest in your bowling ball, you will need to clean it from time to time to keep it in good condition. Even though bowling is an indoor sport, your ball can still get dirty. It will not get covered in mud, but it will get oil on it with every throw you take. If you let oil accumulate on your ball, it will be more challenging to generate friction on the lane and get it to hook. Because of how heavy they are, cleaning it can be a tricky task. Here are the most effective methods to keep your bowling ball in pristine condition and get the most out of it.


You will need just a few supplies to clean your bowling ball correctly. A microfiber towel and ball cleaner are all you need. You can use household cleaners you already have like window cleaner, rubbing alcohol, or even dish soap. Many professional bowlers simply use a bucket or sink filled with water and a few drops of a cleaner. Just make sure the water you use is not boiling hot, as it can break down the ball’s material or even cause it to crack.


Allowing the ball to soak in water for some time will help draw some of the oil out of the coverstock. You should also cover the holes with tape so that the ball does not become waterlogged. Remove the tape and let the ball sit for a while when done soaking. That way it will be ready to when you need to use it next. You should notice that your ball has more friction against the lane now, giving you better control of your throw.

Some bowlers swear by using their dishwasher to clean their bowling ball. If you decide to do this, make sure your dishwasher does not get too hot or risk damaging your ball.

This type of in-depth cleaning only needs to be done every few months. But, it would be best if you still gave your ball a quick wipe with a towel between shots, especially on your first throws. That way you are continually removing oil before it builds up too quickly, reducing the number of full cleanings it needs.

The frequency you will need to clean your ball will also depend on lane conditions. Since drier patterns do not have as much oil, it will take more bowls for your ball to build up oil on it.

If you simply do not have the time to clean your ball or find it worth it to pay to have it cleaned, your local pro shop should be able to take care of it for you. They will have professional equipment like rapid ball spinners, polish, and pads to get the job done quickly and effectively. Moreover, on top of cleaning your ball, they can configure their system to optimize your ball for the specific lane conditions you face the most.

Purchasing your very own bowling ball is an investment you will want to keep protected. Towelling off your ball between shots is excellent preventative maintenance, but every once in a while you should thoroughly clean it. Ask us about cleaning your bowling ball the next time you stop by Bowl BC. Our experts can also show you ways to improve your game as well.