Is Golf Ball Washing Worth It?  Explore The Dirty Truth

Amateurs and professionals alike, golfers understand the importance of a clean golf ball for optimal performance on the greens. However, the question lingers is golf ball washing really worth the effort and performance? 

In short, the answer is a resounding yes! Washing your golf balls can have a significant impact on their performance. Golf ball washing can be worth it if you want to maintain the appearance and performance of your golf balls. Clean golf balls can provide better spin and distance, which can improve your game.

In this blog post, we delve into the dirty truth surrounding this age-old practice and explore whether it truly makes a difference in your game. 

Benefits Of Washing Golf Balls

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The cleanliness and maintenance of golf balls play a crucial role in enhancing your game. Discover the numerous benefits of regularly washing golf balls to improve their performance and extend their lifespan.

Increased Aerodynamics

Washing golf balls eliminates dirt, grass, and debris that can accumulate on the surface. Clean balls have a smoother profile, reducing air resistance and enabling better ball flight for longer distances.

Enhanced Spin Control

Dirty golf balls can lose their grip on the clubface, resulting in reduced spin and accuracy.

Washing them removes any contaminants that hinder the interaction between the ball and the club, allowing for improved spin control on approach shots and greenside shots.

Improved Visibility

A clean golf ball is easier to spot on the course, especially in challenging conditions such as low light or amidst foliage.

Optimal visibility helps you track the ball’s flight, locate it quickly, and maintain a steady rhythm in your game.

Consistent Feel and Response

Dirt, mud, and grass clippings on the surface of golf balls can affect their feel and response upon impact.

Washing them restores their original texture, ensuring consistent feedback and a predictable bounce off the clubface.

Prolonged Durability

Regularly washing golf balls helps remove dirt and grime that can gradually deteriorate the ball’s outer layer.

By keeping them clean, you can extend their lifespan, saving you money on replacements while maintaining consistent performance.

Improved Putting Accuracy

A clean ball rolls smoother on the greens, allowing for better control and accuracy in putting.

Removing any dirt or residue from the ball’s surface ensures a true and reliable roll, giving you a competitive edge on the greens.

Prevent Contamination

Golf balls often come into contact with various substances on the course, including chemicals, pesticides, and fertilizers.

Washing them eliminates potentially harmful contaminants, keeping you safe and reducing environmental impact.

When Washing Golf Balls May Not Be Worth It?

Golfers often strive to keep their golf balls in pristine condition, believing that a clean surface will enhance their performance on the course.

However, there are instances when washing golf balls may not yield significant benefits.

The Condition of the Golf Course

If the golf course you play on has muddy or wet terrain with a high chance of dirt and debris sticking to your golf balls, washing them may not be worth the effort.

Dry and Dusty Conditions

In dry and dusty conditions, where the golf course is prone to sand traps and dusty patches, cleaning your golf balls may seem futile as they will quickly accumulate dirt again.

Limited Time

If you have limited time between rounds or you’re in a hurry to get back on the course, spending precious minutes washing golf balls might not be the best use of your time.

Frequent Water Hazards

If the golf course you’re playing on has numerous water hazards and you often lose golf balls in them, it might not be worth washing every ball, as you’ll likely lose them again soon.

Lower-Quality Golf Balls

Using lower-quality or recycled golf balls you don’t mind getting dirty can save you time and effort, as you won’t need to clean them thoroughly after each round.

Personal Preference

Ultimately, whether to wash golf balls or not is a personal preference. Some golfers enjoy the ritual and believe it improves performance, while others find it unnecessary and prefer to focus solely on their swing.

Different Methods Of Golf Ball Washing

Keeping your golf balls clean is essential for maintaining optimal performance on the course. Here are several effective methods for washing golf balls and keeping them in pristine condition

Water and Soap

  • Fill a bucket or sink with warm water and add a few drops of mild dish soap.
  • Place the golf balls in soapy water and use a soft brush or cloth to scrub away dirt and stains gently.
  • Rinse the balls thoroughly with clean water and allow them to air dry before using or storing them.

Golf Ball Washer

  • Invest in a golf ball washer, which is specifically designed for cleaning golf balls.
  • These devices typically consist of a container filled with water and bristles that agitate the balls as they are rotated.
  • Simply place the golf balls in the washer, turn the crank, and allow the bristles to remove dirt and debris.

Mesh Bag Method

  • Place the golf balls in a mesh bag or laundry bag that can be securely closed.
  • Immerse the bag in a bucket or sink filled with warm, soapy water.
  • Gently agitate the bag to ensure thorough cleaning, then remove it from the water and rinse the balls with clean water.


  • Check if your golf balls are dishwasher safe (usually indicated on the packaging or manufacturer’s website).
  • Place the golf balls in the utensil compartment or a mesh bag on the top rack.
  • Use a mild detergent and a gentle cycle, avoiding high heat or intense settings.

Ultrasonic Cleaner

  • Utilize an ultrasonic cleaner, which employs high-frequency sound waves to clean objects.
  • Fill the cleaner’s tank with water and submerge the golf balls.
  • Activate the cleaner, and the sound waves will dislodge dirt and grime from the balls.

Additional Tips To Follow When Washing Golf Balls

Keeping your golf balls clean is crucial for maintaining their performance on the course. Here are some extra tips to ensure your golf balls stay in top condition

Use Warm Soapy Water

  • Fill a bucket with warm water and add a small amount of mild dish soap.
  • Stir the mixture gently to create a soapy solution.

Scrub Gently with a Soft Brush

  • Dip a soft-bristled brush into the soapy water.
  • Gently scrub the golf ball’s surface, removing dirt and debris.

Pay Attention to the Dimples

  • Focus on cleaning the dimples on the ball, as they affect its aerodynamic properties.
  • Use the brush to get into the crevices and remove any dirt trapped inside.

Rinse Thoroughly

  • After scrubbing, rinse the golf ball under running water to remove any remaining soap residue.
  • Make sure to rinse off all the soap, as it can affect the ball’s performance.

Towel Dry or Air Dry

  • Pat the golf ball dry with a clean towel to remove excess moisture.
  • Alternatively, leave the ball to air dry naturally in a well-ventilated area.

Inspect for Damage

  • While cleaning, inspect the golf ball for any signs of damage, such as cracks or cuts.
  • Damaged balls should be discarded to maintain consistent performance.

Use a Ball Washer

  • Consider investing in a golf ball washer, a handy device specifically designed for cleaning golf balls.
  • These machines provide an efficient and thorough cleaning, saving you time and effort.

Frequently Asked Question

You may wonder if investing time and effort into washing your golf balls is truly worth it. To address this common concern, here are some quick, clear, and to-the-point FAQs about golf ball washing:

How Does Washing Golf Balls Improve Their Lifespan?

Regularly washing your golf balls helps maintain their condition and extends their lifespan. Removing dirt and stains prevents deterioration of the ball’s surface, ensuring optimal performance and durability over time.

What’s the Best Way to Clean Golf Balls Effectively?

To clean golf balls effectively, start by filling a bucket with warm water and mild soap. Gently scrub each ball using a brush or sponge to remove dirt and stains. Rinse thoroughly and allow them to air dry. Avoid using abrasive cleaners that may damage the ball’s surface.

Does Washing Golf Balls Impact Their Performance?

Washing golf balls does not significantly impact their performance as long as you use gentle cleaning methods.

Avoid excessive scrubbing or harsh chemicals, which could affect the ball’s cover or compression. A gentle cleaning routine maintains performance without negative consequences.

Are There Any Alternative Methods to Clean Golf Balls?

Aside from traditional hand washing, some golfers use ball-washing machines available at driving ranges or golf courses. These machines use high-pressure water jets to clean multiple balls simultaneously. 

While convenient, be cautious to ensure the machine doesn’t damage the balls or compromise their performance.


Golf ball washing is unquestionably worth it. The dirty truth is that clean golf balls perform better, providing greater accuracy and distance. 

By maintaining their pristine condition, golfers can optimize their game and enhance their overall experience on the course. Don’t overlook the power of a squeaky-clean golf ball!