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How to Clean Golf Clubs: Maintain Them Like a Pro

Stop letting dirty golf clubs ruin your game, instead learn the best way to clean golf clubs.

Cleaning golf clubs is important. Not only are golf clubs an expensive investment, but keeping them in good shape makes a huge difference in how well you can play the game. So today, we’re discussing the best way to clean golf clubs so you maintain your equipment like a pro.

Key Takeaways

  • Cleaning golf clubs improves performance and maintains their condition.
  • To clean club heads, use a mixture of warm water and dish soap, then scrub with a toothbrush or soft-bristled brush.
  • Clean golf drivers with a soft cloth and soapy water without soaking them, as they can be easily scratched.
  • Maintain grips by cleaning them with soapy water and a cloth, then rinsing and drying thoroughly.

Do Clean Golf Clubs Make a Difference?

Dirt interferes with the contact between the club and the ball. Your grooves produce friction when they make contact with the ball. This produces the needed spin for consistent ball flight and distance.

This is why the condition of your golfing equipment matters and will affect the quality of your game.

Best Golf Club Cleaning Solution

You can make a golf club cleaner for your golf clubs using dish soap and water.

Pour just enough warm, but not hot, water into a bucket to cover your club heads. Add 2 or 3 teaspoons of dish soap. Mix the solution until the dish soap has dissolved into the water. It’s as simple as that.

Now that you have an effective cleaner, let’s look at how to clean your golf clubs.

How to Clean Golf Clubs

You can use this method to clean your golf irons and heads using the cleaning solution above.

  • Time: 20-30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Beginner

What You’ll Need

  • Plastic bucket
  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • A toothbrush or soft-bristled brush
  • Tee
  • Towel

1. Make Cleaning Solution

Make the cleaning solution mentioned above. If you missed it, here it is again.

Fill the plastic bucket with just enough warm water to submerge your club heads but not enough water to reach beyond the hosel. The warm water may cause rust spots that will damage the shaft. Add 2 or 3 teaspoons of dish soap to the water.

2. Soak Club Heads

Immerse the dirty club heads in the water and let them soak for 5-10 minutes. This will loosen the dirt on the heads. If the heads are filthy, you may need to allow them to soak for 15-20 minutes.

3. Clean Club Heads

Remove the club heads one by one from the water. Use an old toothbrush or soft-bristled brush to scrub the club head. Make sure you scrub the back, front, and bottom of the head.

Gently scrub the grooves with the toothbrush as well. You may need to use a tee to remove stubborn dirt. Inspect the grooves carefully to make sure that all the dirt has been removed.

Pro Tip

You can use toothpaste to deep clean your irons. Add some plain white toothpaste to the brush and then scrub your irons with it. The tiny particulate abrasives in it will react with the dirt and help to clean your clubs.

4. Rinse and Dry Club Heads

Rinse the club heads under running water. Be careful that water doesn’t get on the shaft or grips of the club.

Dry the club heads with a towel. Don’t allow them to air dry as they might rust.

How to Clean Golf Drivers

Cleaning golf drivers and woods require a different method of cleaning than wedges and irons. Drivers are more easily scratched than other golf clubs, so don’t use a brush.

Also, soaking these types of clubs may cause the shimmer and shine of the club to be damaged by the abrasive properties of soap.

  • Time: 10-15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Beginner

What You’ll Need

  • Bucket
  • 2 clean cloths
  • Soft foam brush

1. Make Cleaning Solution

Fill a bucket with warm water and add 2 or 3 teaspoons of dish soap to the water. Mix the water until you have a soapy solution.

2. Clean Drivers

Dip the drivers and wood into the soapy water. Then use a clean cloth to gently wipe the drivers clean.

You can use a soft foam brush to carefully scrub the drivers if the drivers need to be scrubbed. Don’t use stiff brushes or wires as you may scratch your clubs.

3. Dry Drivers

Use a clean and dry cloth to thoroughly dry off your club heads.

How to Clean Wooden Clubs

Wooden clubs are older and more fragile than other clubs. Do not dip these clubs into the water and definitely don’t scrub them with a brush. Here’s how to properly clean your wooden clubs.

  • Time: 10-15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Beginner

What You’ll Need

  • Bucket
  • Soft cleaning cloth
  • Clean and dry towel

1. Clean Clubs

Fill a bucket with warm water. Dip your cleaning cloth into the water to dampen it. Wring it out so it’s not dripping wet.

Wipe your wooden club head with a damp cloth to remove all of the dirt. Rinse the cloth as needed.

2. Dry Clubs

Use the towel to thoroughly dry your club heads after they’re clean.

How to Clean Shafts

The shafts of a golf club will need to be cleaned using a damp cloth to wipe away all the grime on them. Dip the cloth into slightly warm water that doesn’t include any soaps or solvents. They’ll damage your shafts.

Wipe the shafts with a damp cloth until the dirt and grime are removed. Then make sure to dry the shafts with a towel or soft dry cloth to prevent them from rusting.

How to Clean Grips

The grips of golf clubs are slightly tacky to help you grip the club. In addition, the grips have an adhesion on the backside to keep them attached to the golf club. Soaking the grips may damage the traction or cause the grips to become unstuck from the golf club.

  1. Start by preparing your cleaning solution in a bucket. Fill the bucket with warm water and add 2 or 3 teaspoons of dish soap.
  2. Dip a cloth into the soapy water. Use the damp cloth to scrub away the dirt, mud, and gunk on the grips. You can also use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub any grime that’s difficult to remove.
  3. Rinse the grips under warm running water. Make sure the water isn’t hot unless you want to risk loosening the grip’s glue.
  4. Finish by drying the grip with a clean and dry towel.

You’ll want to make sure that you clean the grips at least once a month.

How to Polish Golf Clubs

You can use wax, metal polish, or car wheel polish to polish your golf clubs. Make sure that the clubs are clean and dry before you begin. Polishing your clubs will help to prevent rust from developing.

  • Time: 5-10 minutes
  • Difficulty: Beginner

What You’ll Need

1. Clean Golf Clubs

Before you begin polishing your golf clubs, make sure that you have cleaned and dried them first.

2. Apply Polish

Use one microfiber cloth to apply the polish to your golf clubs. Let the polish sit on the clubs for a minute or two.

3. Buff the Clubs

Buff your clubs with the other microfiber cloth until the clubs shine.

How to Clean Golf Club Rust

Do your best to keep your golf clubs clean and dry. This will help to avoid developing any rust on them. However, sometimes golf clubs will develop rust. Here’s how to remove it from your clubs.

  • Time: 1 day
  • Difficulty: Beginner

What You’ll Need

  • Plastic bucket
  • Distilled water
  • Vinegar
  • Cloth or towel
  • Soft-bristled brush or toothbrush

1. Soak Head

Mix distilled water with vinegar by pouring 1 gallon of distilled water into your plastic bucket, followed by adding 1 cup of vinegar. Place your rusty golf club head into the mixture and let it soak.

Periodically, check to see if the rust will scrub off with a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush. If not, continue soaking your golf club head. You will likely need to let it soak between 1 hour and 24 hours before you’re ready to move on to the next step.

2. Scrub Your Club

Use your soft-bristled brush or toothbrush to gently scrub the head of your golf club until the rust is removed.

Quick Tip

If needed you can use soap steel wool pads such as SOS Pads to remove the rust. However, you will need to be careful not to scrub too hard as you’ll scratch your clubs.

3. Rinse Club

Rinse your club under running water. Then use a soft cloth or towel to thoroughly dry your club. This will help to prevent rust from occurring in the future.

Golf Club Maintenance and Storage Tips

Golf clubs are an expensive investment. Here are some tips to help you maintain the golf clubs properly at home so that they will last for years.

  • Store your golf clubs inside at room temperature. Excessive heat will loosen the glue that holds the grips and heads in place.
  • Don’t leave your golf clubs in the trunk, especially during the summer. The trunk may become extremely hot.
  • Dry your clubs after use. This will prevent your clubs from developing rust on the shafts.
  • Carry a golf towel with you so that you can wipe your clubs off throughout the round.
  • Use head covers on your heads. These will prevent your clubs from being damaged.
  • Use a golf bag to carry your golf clubs safely.
  • Find a storage closet to store your golf clubs for winter. The cold outdoors or in the garage may damage your clubs.
  • Polish your clubs regularly.


Can I Use Windex To Clean My Golf Clubs?

Yes, you can use Windex to clean your golf clubs, especially the grips. Spray the grips with the Windex. Make sure you rinse and dry the grips after spraying them with Windex as the ammonia in the cleaner will dry out the grips.

Can You Use WD-40 on Golf Clubs?

Yes, you can clean golf clubs with WD-40. It’s an excellent product to use when you need to remove rust. However, make sure that you don’t use it on a club that has a special coating or finish as the club may be damaged. Also, don’t use WD-40 to clean wedges or irons.

First, you will need to clean the golf club with a cleaning solution made by adding 2 or 3 teaspoons of dish soap to a bucket of water. Once the club is clean and dry, spray a small amount of WD-40 on the head. Quickly wipe the club with a clean towel or cloth. Don’t allow the WD-40 to remain on the clubs too long, nor do you need to scrub.

Can You Use Steel Wool on Golf Clubs?

Yes, you can use steel wool on golf clubs to remove any rust. Dampen the steel wool soap pad and then gently rub it against the rusty areas of the club until the rust has been removed. Make sure that you avoid scrubbing too hard or too long.

Can You Use a Magic Eraser on Golf Clubs?

Magic Eraser can be used on golf clubs to remove any scuff marks.

Can I Use Turtle Wax Chrome Polish on Aluminum?

Yes, you can use Turtle Wax Chrome Polish. It’s safe to use on any metal surface including aluminum, chrome, copper, and brass.

Can You Clean Golf Clubs With Alcohol Wipes?

You can clean golf clubs with alcohol wipes. It is a powerful cleaning agent that removes stubborn stains from the shaft of your favorite clubs.

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About the Author

Sara Dennis

Sara Dennis is a coffee-loving freelance writer, homeschool blogger, and mom of six kids. In her free time, Sara loves reading books and researching more efficient and effective ways to keep a clean house, homeschool her children, and blog better while making a home for her large family.