Can Golf Balls Be Washed In Washing Machine?

We all know the importance of keeping our golf balls clean and free from dirt and grass stains.

But can you wash golf balls in a washing machine?

The short answer is, yes, you can wash golf balls in a washing machine. However, the long answer is a bit more complicated, as washing machines are not designed to wash golf balls.

The best way to wash golf balls in a washing machine is to place them in a laundry mesh bag and then run a wash cycle by adding a small amount of detergent. With that said, washing golf balls in a regular washer is not a recommended practice.

Instead, wash them in a golf ball washer, or dishwasher, or hand wash them.

In this article, you will learn the best method for washing golf balls along with best practices.

Let’s dive right into it.

What is the ideal way to wash golf balls?

The best way to clean golf balls is to hand wash them. It not only gives you complete control over the washing process, but it is also an effective and efficient way to clean them.

You just need to wash them in soapy water while using a soft brush to clean them well. The last step is to air dry them naturally.

However, doing it incorrectly will reduce the lifespan of your golf balls and also increase the frequency of replacing them.

So, just be careful about the type of detergent you are using to clean them.

Try using vinegar to be on the safe side, especially if you are a regular golfer.

If you use too much detergent, it could damage your golf balls permanently and make them look dull.

The next-best option is to wash the golf balls in a golf ball washer (a machine designed specifically for washing golf balls) or a dishwasher.

Note: You should avoid washing golf balls in a regular washing machine whenever possible.

How to Hand-Wash Golf Balls?

Hand-washing is simple and does not require any prep work.

Before starting with the cleaning process, you need to have the base cleaner ready.

A base cleaner is a liquid or powder solution formulated to get rid of stains and dirt.

So, you can either use a ready-made cleaner or you can make one at home.

Here’s how you can make a homemade golf ball cleaning solution.

Homemade golf ball cleaning solution

You don’t need to be a scientist or a chemical expert to make a golf ball-cleaning solution.

Most of the items already exist in your kitchen.

Here is the list of items that can be used as a golf ball cleaning solution.

  • Vinegar: Can be used as a base solution to clean the golf balls
  • Ammonia: This is a great alternative to vinegar and is often used as a cleansing solution.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Can be used as a solution to pre-treat golf balls.
  • WD-40: This is a lubricant but can also be used as a solution to clean the stains.
  • Nail Polish Remover: This is a great alternative to WD-40 and hydrogen peroxide.

You can mix vinegar or ammonia with water to make a homemade cleaning solution. On the other hand, you can use hydrogen peroxide, nail polish remover, or WD-40 to treat or clean small areas.

Note: Do not mix vinegar with ammonia; only use one (either vinegar or ammonia).

Cleaning Golf Balls with Vinegar

Using vinegar to clean golf balls is easy, and you don’t need any special tools to do it.

All you need is a bucket or sink with hot water, vinegar solution, a towel, and a soft brush.

Once you have the above items ready, follow the below instructions carefully.

Instructions to wash golf balls with vinegar

Step 1: Rinse the golf ball

The first step is to rinse the golf ball under running water. This will assist to loosen the dirt and stains.

Step 2: Fill the bucket or sink with hot water

A cleaning ingredient, such as white vinegar or ammonia, can be added to a bucket of hot water.

If you don’t prefer home-based cleaning solutions, you can use dishwasher liquid instead.

Step 3: Fill the bucket with golf balls

The next step is to fill the bucket with hot water and soak the golf balls for at least 30 minutes.

Step 4: Brush the stains and dirt

Wear a protective glove and brush the stains and dirt with a soft brush.

This is where hand-washing has an edge over machine-washing. You get to work on the stains and dirt without any risk of damaging the golf ball.

Step 5: Rinse the golf ball

Next, rinse the golf ball under running water to get rid of any residual remains.

Step 6: Dry the golf ball

The last step is to air-dry the golf balls.

Are golf balls washable with soap and water?

Using just soap and water to clean your golf balls is not only safe but also highly effective.

To use this method, you simply need a bucket of hot water, protective gloves, dish soap, a soft brush or a cloth, and a golf ball.

Instructions to clean golf balls with soap and water

Step 1: Fill the bucket or sink with hot water

The first step is to fill up the bucket or sink with hot water.

Step 2: Add dishwashing liquid

Next, add a sufficient amount of dishwashing soap depending on the number of golf balls you want to wash, and mix it thoroughly.

Step 3: Soak the golf balls

Now, put the golf balls in the bucket or a sink and let them soak for a few minutes.

Step 4: Dip the Cloth

Take a cleaning cloth and dip it in the same water.

Step 5: Remove the stains and dirt with a brush

Brush the stains and dirt with a soft cloth or soft brush.

Step 6: Rinse the golf ball

Once you are done washing the golf balls, wipe them with a dry cloth.

Step 7: Air-dry the golf ball

The last step is to air-dry the golf balls.

How to wash golf balls in the dishwasher?

Golf balls can be easily washed in a dishwasher by placing them on the bottom rack of the machine or in the place where you generally put spoons and forks.

Additionally, you can also place the golf balls in a laundry mesh bag before putting them in the dishwasher.

With that said, this is not the best or recommended way of doing it. It is better to either hand wash them or use a golf ball washer.

Let’s take a quick look at the detailed process of cleaning golf balls in a dishwasher.

Instructions to Wash Golf Balls in the Dishwasher

Step 1: Pre-treat the golf balls

It is important to pre-treat golf balls before cleaning.

You can do this by adding a small amount of detergent to the soapy water. By doing so, you will be able to remove or loosen any dirt and stains from the balls.

Note: Do not use too much detergent or your golf balls will become damaged.

Step 2: Place the golf balls in the dishwasher.

Put the golf balls in the dishwasher.

They should ideally be placed in the cutlery drawer (the place where knives and forks are kept for washing).

Step 3: Add Dishwasher Liquid

The next step is to add dishwasher liquid to the dishwasher.

Just pour a sufficient amount of dishwasher liquid depending on the number of golf balls you have.

Step 4: Select the right wash cycle

To make sure that the dishwasher detergent gets into the golf balls, it’s best to use the pre-soak cycle.

Next, set the water temperature to hot.

Step 5: Run the wash cycle

Once you have set the right wash settings, hit the wash cycle.

Let the regular wash cycle run.

Step 6: Air Dry the Golf Balls

The last step is to air-dry the golf balls naturally.

Golf Ball Caring Tips While Washing

Here are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure that your golf balls last as long as possible.

Keep them away from Sunlight post wash

While golf balls are sturdy and can withstand sunlight, it’s not good to expose them to direct sunlight as soon as you are done washing them.

It can damage the outer shell and cause it to fade.

Air Dry Naturally

Once you are done washing, the best thing to do is to air-dry the golf balls naturally.

This will allow them to dry naturally, which will also help to preserve their color. You can also place the golf balls on a towel to dry. This helps to eliminate dampness as well.

Avoid using stiff or metal brushes

Using stiff metal brushes may impact the outer shell of the golf balls and amplify the wear and tear.

In fact, using a harsh brush can cause unnecessary scratches, thus affecting the ball’s performance.

Note: A golf ball’s distance and flight can be affected by even the smallest scratches.

Avoid unsuitable cleaning solutions

There are a lot of cleaning solutions on the market that are not suitable for golf balls.

So, when shortlisting a cleaning solution, make sure that it is compatible with the material of the golf ball.

To be on the safe side, you can always opt to use homemade cleaners or dishwashing solutions.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning a golf ball is not as overwhelming as it sounds. In fact, it is easier than your regular laundry routine.

Furthermore, you don’t need to wash them that frequently.

In most cases, simply cleaning them using a nail polish remover, hydrogen peroxide, or even WD-40 should suffice.

You only need to clean them once in a while, and that too if they are so dirty that spot cleaning is not enough.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you soak golf balls in water?

It’s not recommended to soak your golf balls for more than an hour as it can make them water-logged. Soaking them for 30 to 45 minutes should be sufficient to loosen the dirt and stains.

Do golf balls get ruined in water?

While golf balls can be washed in water, soaking them for extended periods and washing them too frequently may ruin them in the long run. As a best practice, clean the golf balls without using excess water. You can make use of nail polish remover or hydrogen peroxide to clean them.

How to clean golf balls using hydrogen peroxide or nail polish?

Simply take a piece of cotton and dip it in nail polish remover or hydrogen peroxide. Next, wipe the ball using the same piece of cotton. Once you are done cleaning, simply dip a soft microfiber cloth in water, wring it to get rid of excess water, and then wipe the ball.

Hemant Sarkar is a seasoned techie with a diploma in computer science and an impressive track record of over 15 years in dealing with speakers, kitchen appliances, and various home appliance-related issues. He is widely recognized for his exceptional expertise in repairing dryers and washing machines from all major brands. In addition to his appliance repair prowess, Hemant maintains engaging blogs on topics related to music and speakers. For any inquiries or assistance regarding appliances or tech-related matters, you can reach out to him at: hemant (at)