girls stands with golf club and cleanes it

How To Clean Golf Clubs [The Best Way]

Cleaning is an ungrateful task. We usually spend a long time doing it, we have to get our hands dirty, there are specific products for each service type… I don’t think anyone enjoys cleaning, yet we all have to do it.

Sadly, things aren’t different for cleaning your golf clubs. I clean my drivers after each day at the course because I’m used to it, so I have a thing or two to teach you. Believe me, there are ways to make it easier. I’ve spent over 20 hours testing various cleaning methods and products to bring you this comprehensive guide on how to clean your golf clubs.

A Quick Note About the Club Cleaning Process Before We Get Started

Club heads don’t have the grooves by chance. They are designed to hit the ball with a special effect, so it’s essential for the golfer to keep them clean. The more dirt is stuck to the club head, the worse it’ll perform.

However, there is more to know when it comes to clean golf clubs. You have to clean your grips with just as much attention. After all, you don’t want the club to slip away right when you’re going for an eagle, right?

Setup and Prepare Your Area

First of all, choose a large room, like a garage, and choose a calm day for this. I know, cleaning your golf clubs isn’t meditation, but that helps. If you do everything carefully, you won’t have to redo it right away.

Like with any other product, cleaning your golf clubs becomes a delicate task because we don’t want you to damage the clubs. They’re just too expensive for that. But don’t worry; I’m here to help with this mission.

What will you need to clean your golf clubs?

Warm water and a soft bristle brush alone go a long way. However, the best way to clean your golf clubs is by adding soap, dishwashing liquid, or even toothpaste. Those products have cleaning agents that will help.

Last, but not least, keep a towel nearby. Whatever golf clubs you want to wash, you have to dry them in the end. If you forget that step, you can help rust build up on the club heads. That will become heavy damage.

Steps to Cleaning Your Putter

Now that you have prepared your room for this task, I’m going to move on to the actual process of golf club cleaning. The next thing to keep in mind is that there are different golf clubs and different materials.

In this topic, I’m going to divide my recommendations according to that. It’ll be up to you to investigate the club types you have, so you’ll be able to identify which procedure is the best way to clean your golf clubs.

How To Clean Your Golf Irons

The first step is to fill a bucket of warm water and add the cleaning product. Then, dip the club head in that water and let it rest for a couple minutes. That will soak the mass of dirt and, as a result, make it softer.

Once you take the club out of that water, use a soft bristle brush to gently remove as much dirt as you can. After that step, use a toothbrush or even a golf tee to clean the grooves. Don’t add too much strength to it.

The first step should be done only once. You may repeat the second one as much as you need to. Just be careful not to scratch the club head’s grooves. Once finished, all you have to do is dry the club with a towel.

How To Clean Your Golf Woods

Woods and putters are made of different materials, so we have to follow a different procedure if you want to keep them clean. Basically, we can’t submerge them in warm water because that could damage them.

Having that said, you can solve the issue by simply dipping a towel or that soft bristle brush in the same water and cleaning your golf clubs with it. Make gentle and repetitive movements just like in the other case.

When you do that, it’s important to get in the grooves and wipe the club’s crown and sole too. After you are done, don’t forget to dry the golf club. Leaving water on woods for a long time may cause lasting damage.

Steps to Cleaning Golf Grips

Remember when I wrote that cleaning is an ungrateful task? One of the reasons for that is the fact that you need to clean all parts of your golf clubs. In this case, the heads aren’t enough: let’s move on to their grips.

In short, dirt can accumulate on them too, and they are going to wear over time. The dirtier they become, the harder it’ll be for you to get the grip you need. That is a huge problem because it harms your accuracy.

How to clean golf club grips

In this case, the best way to clean golf club grips is with a damp cloth or a towel. You can simply wipe your club grip after you play golf. If you make that a habit, there will always be minimal dirt for you to remove.

As you can see, this is quite easy to do. You can use that soft bristle brush to go deeper on the grooves if you need but, again, that shouldn’t be an issue. Just make sure the grips won’t touch water that is too hot.

After you finish that club cleaning process, you know what to do: dry everything. Get a towel and pat the regions you got wet so there will be no water residue left. This is an important step, yet easy to overlook.

Removing Rust On Clubs

Don’t worry, I’m not here to scold you. I’m sure that having a rusty golf club to deal with is bitter enough. If you let things reach that point, the only thing we should do is move forward and work on removing that rust.

I’m serious about this topic because letting your golf clubs rust is one of the worst things you could do to them. They’ll simply never perform on the course as they used to, and their resale value will sharply drop.

How to clean rust

A homemade resource you can try is vinegar. You can pour a little on the rust spot and rub it with a cloth. Make sure to use gentle movements, so you won’t cause more damage. That should remove the rust spot.

Some experts have also used WD-40 instead of vinegar. While they claim it to effectively do the job, when applied with a cloth, it can also remove any specialist finishes your club may have. Please keep that in mind.

Either way you try, you’re going to use liquid products on your golf clubs. So I’m sure you know what to do next: dry everything before storing. Sadly, I’ve only had good results trying those solutions on small spots.

Additional Ways To Keep Your Clubs Performing Well

In this topic, the best advice I can give you is to make club cleaning a routine. I always do it when I come back from the golf course. This way, my golf clubs spend as little time dirty as possible. But that’s my case.

I’d recommend you to analyze your routine when you play golf, so you can find what time works the best. But I’ve already covered that. Let’s jump to other ways in which expert golfers keep their golf clubs clean.

Polishing golf clubs

This is for golfers who truly want to keep their clubs clean and shiny. If that’s what you want to do as well, be careful. You can apply chrome or steel polish to them, of course, but make sure to use a small amount.

The next step is to rub the product with gentle movements, so you can cover all the grooves without the risk of scratching them. In a way, the procedure is similar to when you are simply cleaning golf clubs.

Last, but not least, you know it: after leaving the product work for a minute or two, remove it. Pay close attention here because you need to remove everything. Once you do that, step back and enjoy that look.

Power Washing

Clean golf clubs are essential for good practice yet keeping them clean is ungrateful as I’ve mentioned. Some golfers have tried to make this task easier by using a power washer to apply water at high pressure.

Does it remove dirt? Yes, it does. Is it quick? Yes, it is. Now, will I recommend it to you? No, I won’t. Using high-pressure water jets like those can easily damage your clubs in many ways, especially at their grooves.

Another important point is that power washing consumes insane amounts of water. We can justify this tool on heavy duties like washing an entire wall. To clean golf clubs, though, it’s just a big waste of good water.

What is the best way to clean old golf clubs?

Many experts defend using toothpaste and I agree with them. Yes, the same cream you use to brush your teeth. It has cleaning agents that have always worked well with silver and with the metals on club heads.

If you choose to use it, make sure to apply and remove it just like the steel polish I mention above. In this context, toothpaste can be useful for you to remove minor paint scratches from the head of your golf clubs.

Mistakes Golfers Make When Cleaning Golf Clubs

The worst one, by far, is not doing so. Leaving your clubs dirty makes cleaning harder and damages them over time. Not drying them after cleaning is just as harmful to your golf club because of the water residue.

Another important mistake is to clean them with a hard brush. While it may remove dirt more easily, it’ll also scratch the surface of the head. In the end, your clean golf clubs will perform as badly as if they were dirty.

Final Thoughts on How to Clean Your Golf Clubs

Now that you know everything about club cleaning, it’s time to put that knowledge to practice! I’d say you could start by cleaning your clubs right now, even if you don’t plan to go to the golf course anytime soon.

This way, you can make a list of what products you’ll need to buy, and you can even practice the cleaning procedures as I’ve recommended. I hope I could help you keep your clubs clean and shiny for you to use!

Most Frequently Asked Questions about Golf Club Cleaning (FAQ)

Now that I’ve covered the topics that came to mine when talking about how to clean golf clubs, I want to dedicate some paragraphs to your questions. Yes, questions I’ve been asked by readers and fellow golfers.

How Often Should You Clean Your Club Heads and Grooves?

Preferrably, as soon as possible once they get dirty. I always clean mine right after I come back from the golf course. The less time your clubs spend dirty, the less damage they’re prone to have in the long run.

How to clean golf clubs on the course?

I recommend you keep a towel nearby. This way, you can quickly wipe down your golf club right after each use. You can use a golf tee to remove dirt from the head’s grooves. Making that a habit is easy, believe me!

How to Properly Store Clubs After Cleaning and Between Uses

The goal here is to keep them away from other substances. Not only dirt, but also humidity; water buildup will lead to rust sooner or later. The best way to do so is keeping your clubs protected from the elements.

If you have a closet where to store them, for example, that should be enough. They’ll only be exposed to dirt again during your next golfing practice, so you won’t need to do anything before that time comes.

What is the Best Type of Cleaning Brush for Golf Clubs?

Hands down, the soft bristle brush. This way, you can control all movements with your own strength while knowing that it won’t scratch your clubs. Then again, make sure this soft brush is clean before every use!