Cleaning and Maintenance for Bowling Balls

The Best Way To Maintain Your Bowling Balls

Bowling balls have become very expensive. I am amazed at how many bowlers will not spend the extra couple dollars and the little bit of time it takes to care for that expensive bowling ball.

Routine cleaning will not only prolong the life of a bowling ball, but also maintain its performance. It really is a very simple process.

The first thing I recommend is the use of a microfiber towel or BowlersMart ball shammy. Unlike a terry cloth or loomed towel, a microfiber towel has channels in the fibers that literally act like a squeegee on your bowling ball. Shammies are similar to a shammy that you would use on your car to get the residual water off after washing it. Discover how to detail interior of car, keep reading. After reading Car Interior Cleaning you’ll learn to keep your car’s interior looking great without lots of work. It’s not necessary to fully detail the inside of your car each time you wash it. Ideally you should use a either before each delivery. Simply place the towel in one hand, put the ball in same hand on top of the towel, and spin the ball around a couple times. It will get any residual oil and dirt off the ball before your delivery.

What Bowling Ball Cleaners Should I Use

After bowling your practice, league, or tournament session, I recommend using a cleaner made specifically for bowling balls, like Max Tack bowling ball cleaner. This should be the first thing you do before you leave the center after bowling and not the following week before bowling. If you wait until the next time you bowl, the oil and dirt will then have time to absorb in to the pores of the ball, greatly affecting its performance.

Please do not use any chemical solvents like acetone or rubbing alcohol. These products greatly affect the chemical makeup, components called plasticizers, which make your ball hook.

How Often Should I Take The Bowling Ball Into The Pro Shop For Maintenance?

Even with personal routine maintenance, you should take your bowling in to your local pro shop technician to have it professionally cleaned. If you bowl league once a week, and practice a couple games during the month, taking the ball into the pro shop once a month is sufficient.

Ask the pro shop to put the box finish (the box finish can be found on all manufacturers websites or the pro shop technician can look this up for you) back on the bowling ball, then polish if the ball is a polished ball, THEN clean. You should clean last to get out any residual slurry or particles from sanding to get the ball back to the box finish.

The final ball maintenance I recommend is a complete resurface. This should be done at approximately every 100 games or so. A complete resurface is when the pro shop technician takes down the outer cover of the bowling ball, thoroughly removing all oil, dirt, minor scratches, and track wear out of the bowling ball. This is really like getting a fresh set of tires on your car.

I hope this helps you better understand how and why it’s important to clean and maintain your bowling ball. If there are any topics or questions you have or would like me to cover, please feel free to email me at [email protected]

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7 thoughts on “Cleaning and Maintenance for Bowling Balls

  1. Gene Weight says:

    Mr. Gaines,

    I am completely frustrated on how to get my swing back in line. It is truly a pet peeve and I am constantly working on it. I am out of Reno and have work with Mike Snellbaker and Todd Thompson. I have developed my game to a more modern style, but I can’t seem to stop from tucking my swing back behind my hips and right shoulder blade. I am completely open to suggestions.

    Gene Weight

    • John Gaines says:

      The main reason the swing gets behind the back is a result of the push away not being straight. If the push away goes to the right towards the 10 pin ( for a right handed bowler), it can result in the backswing getting behind the back. Make sure your ball and arm are lined up with the seam of your shirt at the armpit. Then make sure to push straight over your right (first step in 4 step, second step in 5 step approach) foot as you start your approach.


    • John Gaines says:

      There are several cleaners available on the market. All manufactures have their own cleaners. Storm Reacta Foam, Powerhouse Power Wash, Brunswick Remove All, Motiv Power Gel Cleaner, and Tac Up just to name a few. biggest thing is making sure you clean each and every time you’re done bowling.


  2. John f says:

    Regarding your comments on ball maintence is spot on. I have used a ball for about a year and noticed it was dying on the back end. So my pro shop used the new detox equipment to get the oil out which I had a ton removed. Then resurfaced to box specs per manufacture motiv. Wow the results were like day one. Spend the $25 bucks.

  3. Shannon says:

    This is the same way I do my regular ball maintenance and cleaning. Just as with most things, regular cleaning will mean a lot in the long run. I even have a specific cloth for each balls, though that’s more of a superstition than a real neccessity. 🙂

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