How to Clean Golf Clubs

Anyone can probably figure out how to clean golf clubs, but what are some of the best ways to go about it? 

TLDR – Too Long, Didn’t Read

  • During play, a dedicated towel and the occasional club brush work great. Dampen as needed.
  • Deep clean with warm soapy water, let them soak for 10 minutes, then use a soft bristle brush
  • Avoid harsh chemicals
  • Avoid overly abrasive tools
  • Avoid special marketed cleaning products for clubs, they are overpriced

Playing with a freshly cleaned set of golf clubs can bring some extra confidence.  Your clubs should always be relatively clean.  Keeping your grooves free of dirt will maximize grip on the ball.  Anything on the club can affect the outcome of your shot, so keeping them clean is important. This means touch-ups during a round and the occasional deep clean at home.   

I don’t know about you, but I’ll get distracted by those green smudges on my wedge when addressing the ball.  If I am not keeping my clubs tidy, it starts to mess with my head.  Certainly not making any excuses, I can flub a chip-shot just as well as anyone!!  But keeping them clean and removing any unnecessary thoughts before a shot certainly cannot hurt.   

Keeping Them Clean During Your Round

Personally, I always have a towel on my bag that is designated for wiping my clubs.  If I am using a cart and it has a club/ball cleaner, I simply use that and dry the club after each shot.  If I am walking, I will wipe down the club with my towel.  You can dump a little water on the towel if needed.   I also have a brush that I will pull out on occasion to clean out the grooves.  Anything with a point can be used for cleaning grooves during play as well, even a tee. 

Be careful cleaning grooves with metal, you do not want to damage them.

A small brush, a splash of water here and there and a towel is really all you need to keep them clean during a round.  Here is what I personally use, I don’t really have any “glowing reviews” to give either of them, but I also have no complaints.

Golf wedge with brush cleaning tool.
Green golf towel hanging from golf bag with a club being wiped clean.

There are tons of options here, but I think for the towel, having something that attaches to your bag is key.  I’ve had this towel for probably 15 years and don’t see it changing anytime soon.  For the brush, I don’t let it hang from my bag anymore.  Pulling the bag in and out of my truck actually broke the attachment.  It stays in one of my bag pockets now.  I like that it has both soft and hard (wire) bristles.  I also like the groove cleaner “spike”, but don’t actually use it very often. 

Best Way to Clean Golf Clubs

Alright, so let’s talk about how to clean golf clubs at home.  If you have a utility sink I’d recommend using that.  You could also use a mop bucket, or just do what I do and use the kitchen sink.  This may not go over so well with your significant other, so don’t say I didn’t warn you!

9 golf irons lined up in a sink, heads just covered with warm soapy water and a soft bristle brush.

I put a couple of inches of warm water and some mild dish soap in the sink.  I’ll line all of my irons up, soaking the heads under water for about 10 minutes.  I’ll pull one at a time, using a soft bristle brush to scrub the head over the open sink.  Scrubbing both front and back, paying close attention to ensure all grooves are completely clean.  Then I’ll simply rinse and dry with a microfiber cloth and drop it in the bag.  Repeat until you’re done. 

Wedge being scrubbed with a soft bristle brush.

Sometimes grooves can be a bit stubborn to clean with a soft brush. Let them soak a bit longer, or use something a bit sharp. But again, be careful not to damage the club or scrape any paint from the grooves (if they have it). A little patience goes a long way here.

Again, really nothing special here.  My grandfather, who worked as a golf smith for over 30 years shared these tips with me years ago.  Avoiding harsh chemicals is best. “Treat them well, and they’ll treat you well” – Big Jim…

Golf Club Cleaner

There are plenty of golf club cleaner products out there, including some iron polishing products.  Honestly, I’d stay away from these.  They are expensive for what you are getting. If you want to polish your irons or woods, that’s perfectly fine, but I’d simply stick to car polish.  You can pick up a bottle of NuFinish or any rubbing compound from Amazon for less than $10.  It’s pretty much the same stuff.  The “special iron polish” is about 3x more expensive and comes in much smaller portions.

I have tried a couple of other products, but find sticking to the towel and some water is more than sufficient on the course. 

Golf erasers, packaging and two unused erasers. One with white magic eraser side, the other with green scrub side.

One of the products I’ve tried recently are Golf Erasers.  They are about $15 on Amazon.  It’s basically a magic eraser with a scrub pad on one side.  They are marketed to hang on your bag and to be used mid-round.  These things work, but they get too gummed up with dirt when cleaning clubs.  I’ve tried them on my shoes and they do well.  They work best on a ball that you pull out of a pond.  Overall – I’d pass on these and won’t be getting them again.

Pro Tip – If you are one who collects balls from the local pond, use a magic eraser to clean them!!

Another product I’ve tried and would actually recommend, is a squeeze bottle brush.  I don’t have one myself, but play with a friend quite a bit who does.  They love it and they get great reviews on Amazon.  I’ve also tried it a few times and it works well. The course I play regularly has a club wash attached to their carts, if they did not have that, I’d pick one of these up.  Just do a search on Amazon for a Golf Water Brush and you’ll find plenty of options. 

Here are the items mentioned above for your convenience. Please note, these are affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.

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