Bowling Ball: Storage and Cleaning

The conditions of the lane can wear on your bowling ball after a while. In order for you to be able to perform well consistently, your ball must be in good condition. There are a couple of ways to do this.

Where To Store

The first important step you have to take is to store your ball correctly. Bowling balls need to be stored in consistent, temperate temperatures to help them maintain their proper shape.

If the air is too hot, the ball will expand and eventually warp.

If the temperature is too cold, the ball will shrink, and eventually, it will crack.

Most manufacturers will not warranty bowling balls that have been subjected to extreme weather conditions. So don't leave the ball in your vehicle.

Many serious bowlers prefer to rent a locker at their favorite bowling alley to store their ball, since the temperatures in the alley will remain within safe parameters. If renting a locker is not an option for you, store your ball inside your house, someplace where you maintain a fairly constant temperature.

How To Clean

Another important part of keeping your ball in tip-top shape is to clean it regularly to remove an oily build up. There are a number of ways you can do this.

You can use rubbing alcohol to wipe down your ball after one or few games to remove any large oil deposits and any other residue (including polished or waxed finish).

Note you should only wipe down your ball with alcohol, and not soak it in the alcohol, as was previously the recommended bowling ball cleaning technique. Soaking your ball in alcohol will remove the paint.


One way to give your ball a good, all over cleaning is to simply place it in the dishwasher, using any detergent (good for cleaning oil and grease) on the market. Run the ball through a short cycle, so the heat does not have time to damage the ball.

If you don't have a dishwasher, you can fill a bucket with warm water using any detergent and let your ball soak for about 20 minutes. Do not let it soak any longer, or the heat may warp your ball.

After all cleaning routines, wipe your ball down with a dry, soft cloth.

Automatic Ball Cleaner

There are automatic ball cleaners available in most bowling centers. However, you're not recommended to use them to clean your own ball. Because they usually apply wax to the surface, causing the ball to skid longer than it did previously. However, you may want to use wax if you're looking for more skid on your ball.

Ball Cleaner

There are a number of ball cleaners (also known as ball polishers) you can buy on the market. They are a good investment for you because they are specially designed to clean your ball. However, they are not all created equal, and if you speak to ten bowlers, the odds are pretty good that you will get ten different answers as to which cleaner is the best on the market.

As a general rule, it is best to ensure that the cleaner is indicated for the kind of finish on your bowling ball, does not eat away at the ball's surface, and will get rid of any lane oil and dirt you may pick up during a game.

Or if you're just lazy, you can have your pro shop clean the ball for you.

>> Continue to: Bowling Ball Tips - Polishing & Sanding