How To Clean A Golf Club

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Golf equipment can be quite expensive, particularly the clubs and drivers. To make sure you get the best value out of your clubs and they continue to perform for a long time, keeping them clean and well maintained is essential.

Golf clubs may seem relatively simple, and cleaning them might also appear relatively simple, however, they are actually precision tools that require a good standard of care and regular cleaning to keep them performing at their best and preserve their integrity and performance for as long as possible.

In this guide, we’re going to look at what you need to clean and maintain your golf clubs, and the steps to take to ensure they are as clean as possible.

What you need to clean your clubs

There are a few things you’ll need to give your clubs a real clean. It may be possible to give them a quick wipe with your towel while out on the course, some golf clubs may even provide cleaning facilities around the course. However, to give your clubs a good scrub, this is best done at home with your own equipment so you can make sure you get the best results possible.

You’ll need;

  • A bucket
  • Warm water
  • Dishwashing liquid or soap
  • An old toothbrush or soft bristled cleaning brush
  • A clean towel
  • Chrome or steel polish
  • A cloth or tissue

Before you start cleaning however it’s really important to make sure that you know your clubs, particularly the material the different parts of the clubs are made from.

This is because different clubs and materials will react differently to different cleaning solutions. It’s important to be aware of this to avoid damaging your clubs or not getting a very efficient clean on them.

There are slightly different steps and techniques to use for the club heads, the shafts, as well as the grips.

How to Clean Club Heads e.g Irons

Golf stand bag dividers

  1. First, fill up a bucket with warm water. Ideally, you want the bucket to be full enough to just about cover the club head when it’s inserted into the bucket. Make sure that the water is only slightly warm, and not very hot, as hot water could cause the clubhead to loosen and compromise the connection between the head and the club shaft which isn’t ideal! The ferrules that connect these two components are strong but can be affected by hot water.
  2. Next, add 2 to 4 teaspoons of dishwasher liquid or mild soap to the water and lather the water up so that the suds are well mixed.
  3. Make sure that any immediate and obvious mud is removed from the club using a tissue. Large clods that can be easily removed are best rubbed off before the club goes into the water to avoid making the water dirty and simply passing filth onto other clubs.
  4. Place your dirty clubs into the water for roughly 5 to 10 minutes, allowing them to soak. This will cause the dirt ingrained in the small gaps and microscopic elements of the clubhead to loosen and be removed much more easily. If your clubs need a deeper clean you can consider leaving them in the water for even longer, anywhere up to 20 minutes to really loosen up and filthy deeply ingrained within.
  5. Take the club out of the water, and use an old toothbrush (or similar soft bristled brush) to scrub any remaining dirt off the club. Pay particular attention to the club face, especially the grooves. Dirt in these areas can be hard to remove but after a long soak the brush should be easily able to remove even the most stubborn muck.
  6. Once the dirt is gone, run some clean water over the head to clean off any soap of remaining particles, but take care not to allow the water to run down the shaft or into the grip.
  7. Dry the club thoroughly with a towel to prevent rusting or discoloration.
  8. At this point, once fully dried you can apply some chrome or steel polish (depending on the club material) to brighten them up and make them look as good as new. Apply the polish in small circular motions for the best results.
  9. Remove the polish with a cloth or tissue to make sure no grease is left over as this can make the club slippery and affect its performance.

How to Clean a Metal Wood or Driver

These clubs are different from your irons and should not be submerged in water at all.

  1. Mix warm water and 2 teaspoons of soap into a bowl/bucket.
  2. Dip a small soft bristled brush or toothbrush into the water and carefully clean the clubhead ensuring that not too much water gets on the club or runs down the shaft.
  3. Once cleaned, dry thoroughly.

Can you use WD40 on golf clubs? 

Yes, if you find that your clubs have a little bit of rust on them, you can safely use WD40 to get it off. Simply apply some of the spray onto the affected irons or wedges and let it sit for five or so minutes. Then, take a dry cloth to wipe the WD40 off, before washing and rinsing the clubs.