Should Golf Clubs Be Cleaned After Every Round? A Full Guide to Cleaning Your Clubs


Feb. 7 2024, Published 4:44 p.m. ET

Thorbjorn Olesen celebrates victory at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship  in Ras al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates
Source: Getty Images

Golf is a fun sport that creates a sense of community. You get to personalize your game by picking specialized balls or playing on courses that support the environment in your area. Eventually, the green will dirty your supplies, so learning how to clean golf clubs is crucial.

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Check out this guide to discover how to clean your trusted clubs. You’ll strategize budget-friendly ways to polish your golfing equipment so you can focus on other things that bring you joy.

Rasmus Hojgaard tees off on the second hole during Day Four of the Ras Al Khaimah Championship in Ras al Khaimah, United Arab
Source: Getty Images
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Wondering how to clean your golf clubs? Here’s the best way to get your golf irons clean.

Learn how to clean golf clubs by following these simple steps, adapted from MyGolfSpy. Once you get used to it, you can try fancier cleaning products to see what you like best.

1. Gather your supplies.

You’ll need to collect a few supplies to clean your clubs. Make sure you have these items on hand before you get started:

  • A bucket

  • A microfiber cloth or hand towel

  • A soft brush or sponge

  • Dish soap

  • A towel for drying.

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Golf ball and club on the putting green.
Source: iStock

Remember, you can clean irons and wedges with these supplies, but you’ll need to take extra steps to sanitize your grips. Leave those for later.

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2. Soak everything, then wipe them down.

MyGolfSpy recommends letting your clubs soak in a bucket of warm water with a tablespoon of cruelty-free dish soap for 10 minutes. Afterward, wipe them with a hand towel or microfiber cloth. Follow this by wiping the golf club’s shaft.

Note the dirt lingering in the grooves on each face or brand names on the crowns. You can use a soft toothbrush to remove the granules if they present a challenge. People learning how to clean golf clubs often rush these steps, but take your time. You’ll need the granules and grass particles to soften before you rub them away.

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Golf clubs in a caddy. Person reaching a hand into the caddy to pull out a club.
Source: iStock

3. Rinse and dry your clubs.

Next, MyGolfSpy says to rinse the bottom half of your clubs with fresh water, and then wipe them dry with your extra towel. Repeat as necessary if there’s any lingering dirt.

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4. Polish the grips.

Although your golf grips won’t come into contact with the green, you’ll still get microscopic particles in the grooves. MyGolfSpy recommends cleaning the grips regularly. You could use homemade cleaning wipes to kill the bacteria or an earth-friendly soap. If you need to remove dirt particles from rubber grips, you could use a dry brush made with tampico bristles to scrub and prevent damage.

Golf club on a putting green with a collection of golf balls.
Source: iStock
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You might think this step isn’t important if you play on polished courses. However, research shows that bacteria microbiomes thrive on golf courses to an unknown degree, per a 2021 study published in Agronomy. You’ll bring that bacteria home if you don’t wash your clubs.

Don't forget your golf shoes.

To wash your golf shoes, use a soft towel to wipe the outsoles and remove particles. Pour a tablespoon of the soap you used with your clubs into a bucket of warm water and dab your golf shoes to lift stains away.

Mesh shoes can also go in the washing machine on a gentle cycle — but do this with caution. No matter what your shoe materials are, let them dry completely, ideally in sunlight, before wearing them again.

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