How To Clean Golf Clubs (Little-Known Hacks)

I just love getting a solid strike on a ball. But a solid strike almost always includes getting some dirt and grass hyper compressed on your club. After watching your ball land a good distance on the fairway all day, it’s now time to turn my attention to cleaning my expensive clubs after a round of golf. But how do I need to clean my golf clubs and what do I need to do it? 

Typically, you will need:

  • big plastic bucket
  • some hot water
  • dish soap
  • a soft plastic brush
  • soft towels or a dry cloth for drying
  • good “old-fashioned” elbow-grease

If you need more details, I have you covered. Read on and I’ll provide you with the necessary directions on how to get your golf clubs to look like new.

How do you properly clean a golf club?

Grab a bucket large enough to soak all your dirty golf clubs in. Before you start, keep in mind that this process is best done outside so you don’t end up with dirty water all over your kitchen or bathroom floor.

If the weather outside is too cold or wet, then splaying a bit of old newspaper on the ground can help keep the inside of your house clean while you scrub your clubs.

Next, fill up that bucket with warm, clean water and two tablespoons of soap or dishwashing detergent. Swish the mixture around using your hand until you notice bubbles.

Then, stick those dirty golf clubs in and wait for around 5 minutes to soak. Doing this will help loosen any dry grass or dirt stains, making it easier to clean later.

Once that’s all said and done, grab a soft plastic or nylon brush (such as a toothbrush or any soft-bristled brush), dip it in the soapy water mixture, and begin scrubbing.

Give each groove extra attention with the appropriate tools, as clearing them out will help you increase control golf ball spin the next time you’re out on the course. The more surface area the grooves have to hit your ball with, the better.

The last thing you’ll need to do is dry off all the clubs you cleaned. Leaving them to drip-dry can allow rust to form, leaving you with another problem.

Use a microfiber cloth to wipe off all the excess lukewarm water, as well as any remaining dirt. For the best results, dry from top to bottom.

If, for any reason, you don’t have an adequately-sized bucket available, your bathroom or kitchen sink can do the job just fine. In addition to some old newspapers (or if you don’t have any available), I’d recommend using some old towels and/or rags to keep any indoor surface areas clean.

How do you polish (or finish) golf clubs?

Now that you have your clubs clean and shiny, I’m willing to bet you want to keep the chrome that way for a long time to come. If you haven’t cleaned your golf clubs already, do so. It’s important in the polishing process.

Experts recommend that you use a specialty metal polish to achieve that sparkling shine.

This way, you’ll avoid any chemicals that are too abrasive, some of which can strip the club of its weight, hindering overall golfing performance. You can also use alternative steel polishes, but make sure you use one that will do more good than harm.

With a polishing cloth and metal polish on hand, apply a pea-sized drop onto the cloth.

Even with specialty brands, steel polish can be quite strong, so you don’t need much.

Next, rub the polish over the metal parts of your club. If your skin happens to be sensitive to the chemicals you’re using, wear gloves while you do all this.

Wait for a minute to let the polish soak in (unless the directions on the tube tell you to wait longer than that). After waiting, wipe it all off with a separate polishing cloth (or at least, a soft clean cloth). You’re done!

What about cleaning and polishing specific clubs like metal woods or a wooden golf club?

The directions for other kinds of golf clubs are not that different, with a few exceptions. The earlier steps you read will help clean irons, but not clubs that are used for driving or wooden ones.

For metal woods, the one difference between cleaning this type and regular irons is to avoid soaking it in water. Scrub the dirty areas of the club in such a way that you don’t get them too wet. Dry off as necessary.

Wooden clubs are much more sensitive to scrubbing than just about any other club, and should only be wiped down with a soft cloth soaked in warm water. Like with its metal cousin, dry it off, but gently.

What about other conditions, like rust and scratches?

Ah, we can’t forget about other things besides dirt and grass. Nature is relentless with golf clubs, no matter how often you use them, and will, in time, gain a dirty appearance that you can’t simply wipe away.

For rust, try using a bit of WD-40. However, we also can’t forget that you need to clean your rusty clubs properly first.

The directions for this process aren’t that different from the ones mentioned earlier, only that you use generic cola and a bit of acetone as well.

I have to warn you, though, that scratches should only be buffed out if they are minor. Buffing out any deep cuts may cause your club to lose a bit of mass, affecting the club’s performance.

However, if the scratches are small, you can buff them out with the help of a dremel kit. The key thing about this is, the earlier you buff out the minor stuff, the better.

Cleaning Golf Grips…

Do this frequently. You can find a handy guide here. Too much hand sweat can accumulate over time and ruin the grip, but at least it can be removed with a simple warm and wet cloth.

Again, like with the metal parts, the whole club will need thorough drying to get rid of any remaining moisture.


Golf clubs are expensive and cleaning them regularly will help them last. It’s important to keep them looking new and shiny, especially since they’re used every single day.

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