How To Clean Golf Clubs: DIY Edition

You might be wondering why is it so imperative to keep your golf clubs clean and how you can achieve this. If you are, you’ve arrived at the right place.

Getting the dirt on your clubs will affect their performance, which will, in turn, influence your game. I’ve seen it happen on the golf course too many times; either the grooves were so filled with dirt that they no longer did what they’re supposed to or some of it would transfer to the ball and affect distance and precision.

That’s one of the main reasons I’ve decided to finally write this short tutorial on how to clean golf clubs. It’s a simple rule to play by – if you take care of them, they will take care of your performance on the course.

Gather Everything You’ll Need

Even though golf club cleaning kits can be purchased either online or in golf pro shops, there’s an easier (not to mention cheaper) way of keeping your golf clubs clean – a few household items are all you’ll need.

Before we get to the actual cleaning, let’s list the household items you’ll need in the process:

  • A bucket in which you will soak the clubs
    (Alternatively, you could clean your clubs in the bathroom or kitchen sink, but I recommend you go for the simple plastic bucket because that way you won’t be left with an additional mess to clean up afterward.)
  • Some dishwashing liquid, preferably mild
    If you don’t plan on soaking the clubs, use a bar of hand soap. Also, instead of dishwasher liquid, you can use cleaning solutions specially made for golf club maintenance; you can look for these products at your local golf shop.
  • Something to clean the golf clubs with – a brush with soft, thick bristles or an old toothbrush.
  • An old towel to dry the clubs afterward.

Step by Step Guide to Golf Club Cleaning

Here you’ll find five easy-to-follow steps (including some additional pro tips) that will guide you through the cleaning process and ensure your clubs stay at the top of their game for a long time.

Step One: Prepare the Cleaning Solution


Assuming you’re using the bucket, fill it with enough warm water, so only the club heads will be submerged and add a little washing up liquid into it to create suds.

Before continuing, consider placing the bucket in a bathtub, so that you could rinse them quickly later on.

Pro tip: Make sure the water isn’t too hot, or it might loosen up the ferrules and make the clubs less stable.

Step Two: Soak the Clubs in Warm Water


Put the clubs in the sudsy water so that only club heads are submerged; water shouldn’t even rise to the ferrules. You should let them soak in warm water for a few minutes – this will loosen up all the dirt in the grooves and make it easy to clean them later.

If you’re not sure how long to keep the club heads in the water, the general rule is around five minutes. However, in case you’re dealing with seriously dirty clubs, up to ten minutes of soaking might be necessary.

Pro tip: Never let your woods soak – you should quickly dip them in sudsy water, then clean them with a moist cloth and dry with a towel.

Step Three: Clean Out the Individual Grooves


That is where the brush comes into play. After the recommended soaking time, remove the clubs one by one and using a soft-bristled brush (or a toothbrush, that’s entirely up to you) and start cleaning the grooves on the clubface. Proceed to clean the back of the clubhead, and finish off by cleaning the top and the sole.

That is the crucial step in the cleaning process; make sure to remove all the dirt and debris built-up over time.

Step Four: Wash the Clubs Off


Once you’re done brushing, you should rinse the club heads thoroughly using cold water; that’s why I recommended placing the bucket in the tub. Once all the soap is washed away, check the grooves on each club head to make sure you cleaned them properly. If there is still some dirt left, use a toothbrush to remove it and rinse the club head again gently.

Alternatively, you could do this outside and wash the clubs using a garden hose.

Step Five: Dry the Club Head and Shaft with a Towel

You should never put the clubs back in your golf bag while they’re still wet. Using a soft, dry towel or any other type of cloth to wipe the club heads individually. Also, remember to go over the shaft with the towel; that way, you’ll make sure any stray drops of water or loose debris are removed.

Pro tip: Before putting them back to the bag, fully inspect each golf club; look for any signs of dirt or water you’ve missed.

One Last Thing

I hope you found this tutorial to be easy to follow and, most importantly, useful. Since we’re nearing the end of the article, I’d like to use this opportunity to emphasize once again the importance of keeping your golf clubs clean.

Debris build-up (especially in the grooves) can only affect your performance negatively, and I’m sure you don’t want that to happen – no one does. It doesn’t take much time, so remember to clean them regularly.

If you have any additional questions or just want to share your opinion on the subject and maybe even some tips you think will help your fellow golfers, feel free to leave a comment. And in case you enjoyed the article and found it helpful, consider sharing it with your friends from the golf course; they might find it useful as well!



Hi! I’m Patricia B. Domingo. I teach during the school year so that I can hit the links all summer long. My father put a golf club in my hand as soon as I could make a fist, and I’ve been in love with the sport ever since. I’m happy to share my knowledge of golf with you here

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