Can You Clean Golf Balls In The Dishwasher Or Washing Machine?

Can You Clean Golf Balls In The Dishwasher Or Washing Machine?

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No one likes dirty golf balls, and more importantly, dirt and grime on a golf ball aren’t good for your game or the longevity of the ball. Regular cleaning increases the lifespan of any golf ball, and it helps you achieve longer and more precise shots when you play.

The dimples on a clean golf ball are not obstructed by dirt and, therefore, deliver less drag for more distance and better airflow for precision shots. Hence, you should clean your golf balls after every match and prevent them from getting dirty or scratched.

When it comes to cleaning golf balls, one of the most asked questions is, “Can you clean golf balls in the dishwasher or washing machine?”.

Let’s answer this question with some detail and discuss alternate methods for cleaning golf balls that may come in handy for beginners.

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Can You Clean Golf Balls in the Dishwasher or Washing Machine?

Yes, you can conveniently clean golf balls in the dishwasher or washing machine. Most avid golfers opt to clean large numbers of golf balls using a washing machine. They simply unload dozens of golf balls at a time and set the machine as though they are doing regular laundry.

However, when you clean golf balls in the dishwasher, you need to ensure that your golf balls are placed in the tooling area and nowhere else. This prevents the excessive impact of your golf balls, which may damage them during the wash.

Moreover, you should avoid washing dishes with your golf balls because the golf balls may easily pick up dirt, grime, or grease from the dishes. We recommend using the dishwasher if you want to wash fewer balls, whereas if you have 50 or more golf balls, you are better off using a washing machine.

Depending on its size, a washing machine can clean hundreds of golf balls at a time. The convenience of cleaning multiple golf balls in the dishwasher or washing machine makes it a far better option than a dedicated ball washer for most avid golfers.

While the ball washer may give better results, the excess time and effort required for cleaning golf balls in it simply aren’t worth it for regular golfers. Moreover, any stains left on your golf balls after cleaning them in the dishwasher or washing machine can be easily removed by rubbing them out. The wash cycle makes leftover stains weaker and easier to remove by hand.

But what if you aren’t a veteran golfer with dozens of golf balls to clean?

Alternative Cleaning

If you are a beginner without a dedicated golf ball cleaning machine or simply don’t have enough dirty golf balls to warrant a wash cycle in the washing machine or dishwasher, you can opt for manual alternative cleaning methods.

When cleaning a golf ball manually, all you need is some dishwashing liquid, a brush, a small sponge, cloth, or hand towel, and some warm water. You want to start by mixing some dishwashing liquid in warm water to create a cleaning solution for your golf ball.

Just remember to use minimal dishwashing liquid to keep a low detergent content in the solution. Using less detergent helps prevent harsh chemicals from negatively impacting the coating on your golf ball. For the same reason, it is best not to mix different detergents together in your solution.

Depending on how dirty your golf ball is, you may or may not need to use a small, soft brush to remove tough stains. However, if there are no tough stains, it is best to use a small towel, cloth, or sponge to clean your golf balls.

Cleaning using this method ensures you do not damage the coating, scratch, or corrode the golf ball surface in any way. A soft toothbrush is perhaps the best thing to use to remove tough stains from your golf ball. It is small enough to precisely target stains and dimples on your golf ball while soft enough not to scratch the surface.

Simply dip the ball in your cleaning solution and gently use the toothbrush to remove tough stains. Once the tough stains are out, you can wipe down the ball using a soft cloth, sponge, or hand towel to remove the remaining dirt.

Then rinse the ball and gently wipe it down with a dry, clean cloth. While rinsing, make sure that there is no soapy residue or solution left on the golf ball.

For light stains, you can practice this alternative cleaning method without the use of a brush or toothbrush. Often, golfers may use a ball cleaning solution or a stronger detergent mixed in warm water and leave their golf balls in it for a few hours to break down the tough stains.

This makes it easy to remove tough stains without scratching or harming the surface of their golf balls before they rinse and dry. Some golfers may also use a vinegar or ammonia solution for the same process.


If you have dozens of dirty balls, your best bet is to clean golf balls in the dishwasher or washing machine. However, alternative methods work just as well, but they require more time and effort. Besides these alternative cleaning methods, some others use baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, bleach, and other harsh chemicals.

While they can clean your golf balls, we do not recommend them because they can lead to scratches and damage the surface of your golf balls.

Large or deep scratches can reduce the effectiveness of your swing, whereas small scratches don’t make an impactful difference in the performance or quality of your golf ball. This is why you shouldn’t worry too much about small scratches.

Try the mentioned methods, and you will surely increase your golf balls’ life and eliminate any issues that come with dirty golf balls like misalignment, low ball flight, and increased drag.

Matt R.

Hello, My name is Matt and I'm the founder of Just Golfin'. This site is all about one thing... GOLFING!

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