We’ll dive into how to clean golf clubs the fast but right way, covering everything from the club head to the golf club grips. You don’t need expensive tools or professional services to keep your clubs in top-notch condition.

With a few simple steps and some insider tips, you can restore the shine and grip of your clubs, enhance your game, and extend the life of your equipment.

Drawing from over 20 years of golfing experience and thorough research, we’re here to guide you through a straightforward cleaning process that will save you time and safeguard the quality of your clubs.

how to clean golf clubs

Importance of Cleaning Golf Clubs

Dirty clubs can seriously affect your game, from reducing spin and accuracy to messing with the distance of your shots. From my experience, it can lead to more than 10 yards of distance lost from dirty irons and much less backspin on wedges. Some shots with dirty club head faces come out as “flier,” which reduces normal ball to iron face friction, reducing spins and running over the green. This small habit can have a big impact on lowering your course handicaps.

Importance of Cleaning Golf Grips

Keeping your golf club grips clean is crucial for maintaining optimal performance on the course.

Clean grips offer improved traction and control, reducing the risk of slipping during your swing. This not only enhances your overall control but also extends the lifespan of the grips by preventing the buildup of oils, dirt, and sweat that can degrade the material.

Additionally, clean grips improve comfort and boost your confidence, knowing your equipment is in excellent condition. Regular cleaning is a simple, cost-effective way to ensure your grips and game remain in the best shape possible.

How to Clean a Golf Club, Golf Grips and putter

How to Clean Golf Clubs (Things Needed & Step-by-Step Process)

Before you start, make sure you have the right tools for the job. Here is the list:

  • Soft Bristle Brush
  • Dishwashing liquid (I like to use Car Wash Soap)
  • Warm Water
  • Microfiber cloth (ones used for car washes)
  • Dry Towel
  • Water Bucket
  • Hair Dryer

Cleaning golf clubs at home is simple yet complicated in a way. Here is the action plan to do so.

1. Prepare Your Cleaning Solution

  • Fill your water bucket with warm water.
  • Add a few drops of dishwashing soap or car wash soap. Car wash soap is gentle and effective, making it an excellent choice for preserving the finish on your clubs. I personally use Rain-X Spot Free Car Wash Soap.
Rain-X-Spot Free Solution

2. Soak and Scrub the Club Heads

  • Dip the soft bristle brush into the soapy water.
  • Gently scrub the club heads to remove dirt, grass, and grime. Pay extra attention to the grooves where dirt accumulates the most.
  • For irons and wedges, you can soak the head in the solution for a few minutes to loosen tough debris. Do not soak woods, hybrids, or drivers, as water can damage their materials.
  • Do not soak the irons or wedges over the hosel, as glue may lose its integrity and detach over time.

3. Clean the Grips

  • Wet the microfiber cloth in the soapy water.
  • Thoroughly wipe down the grips. The microfiber cloth is excellent as it’s soft, absorbent, and effective at picking up dirt and oil without being abrasive.
  • Once every few times, I use a toothpaste and toothbrush to remove debris or oil on the grips. Some may say I am overdoing it, but my coach from high school taught me this technique.

4. Rinse with Care

  • Use a clean, damp cloth to rinse the club heads and grips gently. Make sure to remove all soap residue.

5. Dry Thoroughly

  • Use the dry towel to wipe down the clubs and grips, ensuring they are completely dry.
  • Use a hair dryer in a cool setting for any hard-to-reach areas or to speed up the drying process. This is especially useful for drying the grips and any nooks around the club heads.
How to Clean golf club. drying golf club with hair dryer

6. Final Touches

  • For a polished finish, give the clubs a final wipe with a dry microfiber cloth.
  • Inspect the clubs to ensure all parts are dry and clean.
  • Check for any dents or damages on the golf club shafts.

7. Store Properly

  • Once all clubs are clean and dry, store them in a cool, dry place. Proper storage prevents rust and keeps your clubs in ready-to-use condition.

How to Clean Golf Clubs (Drivers, Fairway Woods, and Hybrids)

When it comes to golf club cleaning, particularly the driver, woods, and hybrids, I adopt a slightly different approach to ensure they stay in peak condition without damage.

The key difference lies in the method of applying moisture during the cleaning process. Unlike irons, where soaking in water can be part of the cleaning routine, with drivers, woods, and hybrids, it’s crucial not to soak these clubs.

The reason is simple: the materials and construction of these golf clubs are more susceptible to water damage, which can affect their performance and longevity.

Instead, I use a wet towel to clean the club heads carefully. This method allows me to control the amount of moisture that comes into contact with the clubs, minimizing the risk of water seeping into the head or shaft and causing damage.

By dampening a towel with a mixture of water and mild soap, I can gently wipe away dirt, grass, and other residues from the surface of the clubs. This ensures that they are clean without exposing them to excessive moisture.

After all the golf clubs are cleaned, apply the same method of drying them using a dry microfiber cloth and hair dryer in a cool setting to remove any moisture from the club head completely.

I take additional steps to examine golf club shafts carefully, as most of my longer clubs have more brittle shafts (carbon fiber) and need extra care.

How to Clean A Putter

Cleaning a putter is simpler if you are not creating big divots or putting chunks of dirt on it. Use a wet towel to soften and remove any debris or dirt on the club face, and finish off with a dry cloth to dry out the club head.

Regular Club Maintenance

Regular maintenance of your golf clubs ensures they perform well and last longer. It’s essential to incorporate maintenance routines before, during, and after field play to keep your clubs in top condition.

Before gameplay, quickly ensure your clubs are clean and in good condition. This can prevent any surprises or issues once you’re on the course.

During gameplay, it’s wise to lightly clean or wipe down the club heads and grips as needed, especially if they become dirty or wet. This can help maintain grip and control for each shot.

Here are a few products to consider in your golf bag:

After field play, take the time to thoroughly clean your clubs, checking for any wear or damage. This post-play cleaning is crucial for removing any substances that can corrode or damage the clubs over time, ensuring they’re ready for your next game.

Golf Club Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

When cleaning your golf clubs, certain mistakes can do more harm than good, leading to potential damage that could affect your game. One common error is using a metal brush to clean the clubs.

Metal brushes can scratch and damage the surface of the clubs, especially those with delicate finishes. Always opt for a soft bristle brush to safely remove dirt without harming the club head.

Another significant mistake is neglecting maintenance altogether. Regular cleaning and maintenance of your golf clubs are essential for preserving their condition and performance. Neglect can lead to the buildup of dirt, grime, and moisture, causing corrosion, wear, and decreased effectiveness on the course.


Don’t make the cleaning game ruin your gaming day. Cleaning is not as difficult as you think. A consistent maintenance schedule will ensure your clubs remain in prime condition, ready to perform at their best whenever you hit the course.

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Clean Golf Clubs

How often should I clean my golf clubs?

It’s best to clean your clubs regularly, ideally after every round of play. This helps to remove dirt, grass, and other debris that can affect your club’s performance. For a more thorough cleaning, including the grips, doing so every few weeks or as needed based on usage is recommended.

Can I use household cleaners on my golf clubs?

Sticking with mild soap and water for cleaning your clubs is safest. Household cleaners can contain chemicals that might damage the finish of your clubs. Avoid using harsh solvents that can degrade the grip material for the grips.

Is it okay to soak my clubs in water for a deep clean?

You should avoid soaking your clubs, especially wood and drivers, as prolonged exposure to water can damage the glue and materials. Irons can be briefly soaked to loosen dirt in the grooves, but always dry them thoroughly afterward.

How do I clean my golf club grips?

Use a soft cloth or sponge, warm water, and mild soap. Gently scrub the grips to remove dirt and sweat buildup. Rinse with a damp cloth and dry thoroughly. Regular cleaning will maintain grip performance and extend their lifespan.

What’s the best way to dry my golf clubs after cleaning?

After rinsing your clubs, use a dry, soft towel to remove moisture. You can use a hair dryer in a cool setting for hard-to-reach areas, especially in the grooves or around the grip. Ensure the clubs are completely dry before storing them.

How can I prevent rust on my golf clubs?

Keeping your clubs dry is key to preventing rust. After playing in wet conditions or cleaning your clubs, make sure they are thoroughly dried before storing. Storing your clubs in a dry, controlled environment can help prevent rust development.

Are there any tools specifically designed for cleaning golf clubs?

Yes, there are tools like groove cleaners specifically designed to clean the grooves on your club heads. Soft bristle brushes and microfiber towels are also excellent for keeping your clubs clean without causing damage.

Can you use WD40 to clean golf clubs?

Using WD-40 to clean golf clubs is not recommended. While WD-40 is known for its wide range of uses, from lubricating to preventing rust, it’s not designed for cleaning golf clubs. The chemicals in WD-40 could potentially harm the club’s materials, especially the grip’s rubber or synthetic materials, and leave a residue that could affect your grip and the club’s performance.

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