Our experts obsessively test and recommend the best of golf

3 Million Annual Readers >

2,300+ Products Tested >

300+ Reviews Completed >

How to Clean Golf Clubs: A Detailed Guide

Routinely cleaning your golf clubs guarantees that your clubs perform at their highest level.

Most golfers don’t understand that with a bit of hot water, some dishwashing liquid, and a quick wipe of a wet rag, they can easily keep their clean golf clubs at the top of their game.

Here’s a brief how-to clean golf clubs guide to help you clean your golf clubs efficiently, allowing you more time to focus on improving your game.

Materials for Cleaning Your Golf Clubs

Warm Soapy Water

Start by filling a bucket with a few inches of warm water, then take a small amount of dishwashing liquid and add it to the water. Next, gently stir the soap with the water, allowing it to mix for cleaning golf clubs. Be careful not to fill the bucket with too much hot water because we won’t submerge the club heads into the bucket.

Small Towel

A moistened towel can easily wipe away dirt from a grip or remove grime and impacted soil from the grooves. Ensure you do not dampen the entire towel because having a dry side to the rag will help remove all moisture.

Soft Bristle Brush

A soft bristle brush can quickly clean your clubs by removing dirt from the grooves of the hitting area. If you don’t want to spend the money on a new brush, an old toothbrush will work just fine.

How To Clean Your Golf Irons

Out of all the clubs in your golf bag, if there’s one specific golf club that needs the most cleaning attention during a round, it is certainly irons.

With up to a dozen grooves along the hitting area of the iron, they need the help of different cleaning methods during and after a round to remove the remaining dirt that can negatively affect performance.

For maintenance cleaning, dip the iron in a bucket with warm soapy water for a few seconds, then gently scrub with a soft brush (even an old toothbrush works). Finally, remove all grime and moisture with a dry rag.

During your round, keeping the grooves clean with a brush or wet towel allows you to easily maintain high levels of rotation to control your golf ball.

Pro-Tip: Resharpening Your Iron Grooves

If you want to take the restoration of your irons to the next level, you can get a tool for just a few bucks that will resharpen your grooves to increase ball spinning. A groove sharpener is lightweight, easily attaches to your golf bag, and works well on your irons or wedges.

How To Clean Your Golf Woods and Putters

Your woods and putters should require the least maintenance since they are usually protected by headcovers on and off the course.

Metal woods don’t need much maintenance, but the occasional cleaning along the grooves with a soft dry brush will keep the club in pristine condition. During travel and while riding in a cart, headcovers will keep your gear top-notch for the club’s life.

Putter heads don’t need much cleaning since they stay out of the sand and dirt, but the grip needs your attention a couple of times during a round. Wiping down the putter grip keeps it free from the dirt your hands might transfer to it during each round.

Pro-Tip: Keeping Golf Clubs Clean

I’m always floored at how many amateur golfers don’t keep their clubs clean on the course, especially with regard to their irons.

As a rule, make sure you clean out the grooves of your clubs anytime you come into contact with dirt or sand.

Yes, you should not have to clean your driver during a round, but fairway woods can accumulate dirt if you ground your club during a shot, so check after each swing to maintain performance.

A damp cloth, such as the golf towel attached to your bag, will easily restore dirty grooves to their original condition to impart maximum spin on the golf ball.

How To Clean Your Shafts And Your Grips

Shafts don’t need to be cleaned often since they don’t collect dirt, but you need to ensure that moisture does not set in along the junction spots where it can get trapped and attack the shaft via rusting. Taking a damp cloth to wipe down the shaft, followed by a dry towel, is all you need to do to keep a shaft clean for the golf course.

Grips, on the other hand, need your constant attention since they are areas where your hands come into contact with the club. During a round, you can clean your grip by taking a damp towel and wiping down the rubber after each swing before putting it back in the bag.

Pro-Tip: When You Need to Replace Golf Club Grips

If you are a casual golfer, the rule of thumb for replacing your golf club grips is every 40 rounds or two years. However, if you play frequently, a grip can become slick after roughly 40 rounds causing the club to slip in your hands and creating inconsistency, so you’ll want to monitor the condition as you get close to that threshold.

Additional Tips

golfer cleaning golf club

How to clean rusty golf clubs

Rust can absolutely damage the long-term health, so it remains an important step to dry off your clubs after cleaning. Leaving moisture along the junctions where the shaft and club head meet and on the face increases the possibility of rust flourishing along your golf clubs.

If you have rust on your clubs, you can remove it by filling a bucket with lukewarm water and dishwashing liquid. Let the club head soak for a few minutes, then take a cloth or soft bristle brush and wipe away the rust.

A more natural approach for removing rust involves vinegar with a healthy amount of lemon juice. Letting the club head soak in this mixture for five minutes will allow you to easily remove rust from the club head.

How do you clean and make golf clubs shiny again?

If you find that your club heads don’t have that original shine, you can restore it by taking chrome polish after thoroughly cleaning your clubs and polishing the club heads.

You can use an old rag or towel to apply the polish, making small circles with the polish along the steel to restore that shine that will sparkle in your golf bag. After you use the polish, let it dry for a few minutes, then come back with a clean rag and repeat buffing the area with small, tight circles to boost shine.

Conclusion

When you clean your golf clubs regularly, you help protect the performance of each golf club, prevent the possibility of rust buildup, and hold the resale value of your prized set.

And there’s no reason not to keep your clubs clean as the process outlined in this article doesn’t demand much of your time. Once every few months, periodic cleaning assures you’ll never take dirty clubs to the course.