How to Clean Golf Clubs

You can’t be the next Tiger Woods if you golf with dirty clubs. It’s important to keep those wedges and putters clean. And there’s also the slightly less important fact that dirty clubs could affect your consistency, and ultimately, your score.

Supplies you’ll need

The supplies needed to clean your golf clubs are few as they are fairly easy to maintain. You’ll either need a cleaning kit that you can buy at most golf course’s pro shops or sporting good stores or you can be like a die-hard golfer and assemble one of your own.

Your do-it-yourself club-cleaning kit should contain:

  • Dish detergent (for hand-washing not the dishwasher)
  • A small, bristled scrub brush or a toothbrush you do not use on your teeth
  • A bucket, similar container or utility sink
  • A rag or towel

If you have a club-cleaning kit, it should contain a solution you can use to clean all parts of your club. You either wipe down your club with the materials provided or you dunk your club in a premixed and measured solution. Simply follow the directions on the package for how to use your kit specifically, since they are all slightly different.

However, for a more thorough cleaning of your club, you should follow the steps below. You can use these directions to clean just one club or save time and wash the whole bagful at once.

1. Run the water

Once you’ve assembled your cleaning materials, you should fill your bucket or container – or the sink if you’re brave – with about three inches of warm, but not scalding, water. (Think the temperature of tea when it’s safe to drink without burning your tongue.) This is very important. If the water is too hot it could warp or separate your golf club.

Once you’ve run the water, add a couple squirts of the dish detergent or any other mild soap. Stir the water and soap with your hands in order to achieve a good lather. Then drop the head of your golf club into the water, leaning the shaft against the edge of the container to prop it up. Be careful that only the head of the club is submerged, not the shaft or ferrule. If you have too much water, drain or dump some out quickly.

2. Let the club soak

Leave the head of your golf club in the water for about five minutes so that any dirt or debris will likely loosen or fall off. If your club is especially delicate, such as some varieties of woods, skip this step and just give your club a quick dunk. By soaking it in the water you could risk damaging it.

3. Scrub the head

After the club has set for a few minutes, you can scrub any remaining grit off of it with the toothbrush. You can also use a kitchen brush if that makes it easier for you, but don’t use anything too coarse that could scratch your club. Make sure to get all sides of the head when you scrub. If any rust is present, you can give it a good rubdown with a steel wool pad.

4. Rinse your club

You can rinse your club very easily. Just run the hose or the sink faucet over it. If you have a sprayer hose on the sink, this will make your job easier, but a normal tap should be fine. Be sure that you hold the head directly under the running water so that the other parts of your club don’t get wet or soapy as you rinse.

5. Dry the club and wipe the shaft

Once your club is thoroughly rinsed and you’re sure you’ve gotten all the dirt and debris off of it, you can dry it by using the rag or towel. While you’re drying your club, you can use the now-damp rag to quickly wipe the shaft and ferrule. This should be enough cleaning for these parts of the club.

Cleaning the grip

The grip of your club requires a different cleaning method because it should not be submerged in water due to the risk of damage. Also, due to the fact that it absorbs some of the oil from your skin when you hold the club, you definitely want to use the dish detergent in order to get the grease, so put any other soap you were using to the side.

To clean the grip, simply fill the sink or bucket with a couple inches of clean, lukewarm water and add a drop of soap again. Stir up the water like you did before. Next, dip a clean cloth or rag in the water and wring it out so that it remains fairly damp yet not dripping.

Lastly, wipe your grip with the damp rag or cloth. If any dirt remains, scrub the grip gently with the toothbrush or scrub brush you used to clean the club head.

If you’re short on time or just don’t want to run the water again, you can also give the grip a quick spray of a window cleaner, like Windex or Glass Plus, and just wipe it off.

Keeping your clubs clean

In order to minimize the amount of club-cleaning required, just wipe your clubs down with a damp cloth or cleaning wipe after each use. Then give them a good scrubbing after every couple uses, or after you throw them in the rough in frustration.

Happy putting.


  1. Brent says:

    What is the best way to remove scuff marks (ball marks) on the top face corner of your driver that was caused by a mishit?

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