Following on from our great article on the best bowling ball cleaner, we had lots of requests for how to actually clean your bowling ball. How can you do it safely and what do I need to clean it. First Rate Sports are going to run you through the ins and outs of what you need to do. As we touched on in our bowling ball cleaner article, your ball absorbs oil from the lanes in the pores of the coverstock. These pores are more open just after bowling due to the friction on the ball, so it is when they are at their most venerable. Also, belt marks from the ball travelling back to you after being bowled can occur quite easily, and frequently. Finally, the oil that builds up deep within the ball, can cause problems over time, but is not nearly as dire as it sounds.
Oil Inside my ball? How do I deal with that?
As with all forms of cleaning you can simply take your ball to the pro shop. These guys are top of their game and have the kit to effectively bake the oil from your balls pores, and completely restore the coverstock to being like new. One thing to say is that it can take a long time to build up a seriously damaging amount of oil inside your ball, as long as you take routine care of it. A visit to the pro shop should be viewed as a few times a year thing. Not a once a week experience. As with all forms of cleaning you can simply take your ball to the pro shop.
You can also use a technique called the immersion method to deal with this at home. It is not as effective as the pro shop but is obviously a lot cheaper. First you fill a bucket with Hot water, making sure it is large enough for your ball to fit in. Do not completely fill it though, as the ball will obviously cause the water level to rise considerably when it enters the bucket. Next it is important no water enters the finger holes on your ball, so tape it up with water proof tape, and make sure it is secure. Make sure it is well covered and very tight. Next immerse your ball in the bucket and leave for about thirty minutes. If your ball is not completely covered simply add a bit more hot water. As oil floats in water, it will literally start to draw the lane oil out of the pores of the ball. After you remove the ball, the oil will be clinging to the coverstock, so use a micro fibre towel to clean off the excess, before the coverstock pores reabsorb it.
Can The Pro shop do anything else for me?
Yes, they can do a much better job of polishing your ball and cleaning up the coverstock than you could hope to at home. As we said the pro shop should be a rare visit, but they do have great equipment. They have all different types of ball spinners and grit cloths, so they can offer you the finish you require on your coverstock to combat certain lane conditions and provide a specific type of finish.
If you are a serious bowler and wish to do this yourself you can purchase your own ball spinner. A great piece of kit for the serious bowler, you will never have a problem maximising your ball life, and also keeping it at a performance level simple hand cleaning would struggle to reach. Imagine a pro shop at home you can use every time you bowl, without the pricey bill or waiting time. We highly recommend the innovative Personal ball spinner. It is made form high quality durable materials and it well worth an investment if you are serious about your game. It can be a lot to fork out, but you more than get your value for money.
So How Often Should I Clean My Bowling Ball, and what do I need?
We advise cleaning it after every use. This will remove a lot of that lane oil, and the belt marks. Also, as we said earlier this is when your coverstock pores will be most open, and when the ball can let go of the oil it absorbed a lot easier. You will simply need one of our highly recommended bowling ball cleaners, and a micro fibre towel. We would advise having a few handy, so if one gets too oily you can dispose of it, and get a brand new one. The general preparation and maintaining of your surface is needed far more often than any baking or absorption to remove the oil from deep in the pores and is crucial to keeping your ball in top class condition. So do not neglect it. Simply apply our recommended liquid ball cleaner as much as required, and watch the micro fibre towel work in unison with the cleaner to cut through the oil and belt marks effortlessly. Finally, use a ball polish and separate cloth to apply the final finish to your coverstock, and keep your ball hooking and rolling at it’s very best.
First Rate Sports can not overstate how crucial and important bowling ball maintenance is. Ball cost a lot of money, and for small amounts, you can get more than enough equipment to keep it in top shape. After use is the most crucial time to clean your ball, but all our recommended cleaners are USBC approved for use before and during competition as well. Now hit the lanes!