How To Clean Golf Grips: Cleaning and maintenance guide

Cleaning your clubs and golf balls is something we should all do regularly, but when was the last time you cleaned your golf grips?

Since this is your only contact with the club, a sound grip is essential to a great golf swing, in which case everyone should know how to clean golf grips.

It only needs to be done once a year, and if you come from a cold weather climate, doing it in the Spring can be therapeutic.

Showing up to the course with shiny and tacky grips could be a big help in getting you to play better or at least focus on one of the other million things you need to worry about in golf.

So if you’re looking up ‘how to clean golf grips’ and you want to make sure you’re doing it right, look no further! Keep reading to find out how to clean golf grips properly!

how to clean golf grips. A number of brightly coloured golf grips next to a hole with a ball inside.

How to Clean Golf Grips: Things You’ll Need

Prepare your workstation at the beginning because if this is your first time cleaning your grips, you may get a little wet.

We don’t want you getting water everywhere and irritating everyone in your house. This process is made easier if you can do it in the kitchen, not in the doghouse.

Using the sink is your best chance of keeping your space clean; this is more cumbersome than cleaning your golf balls.

If you can’t use your kitchen sink, then two buckets and a source of water will do just fine.

a golfer holding their club on a clean grip

Regular dish soap is all you need. There is no special grip cleaning solution, and if you find a company claiming this, please let me know so I can review them and see what’s so special about it.

Ensure the soap you use is dish soap and not dishwasher soap.

You also need at least one towel for drying, but I recommend having two towels on hand. One towel can get wet very quickly and also dirty.

Depending on how soiled your grips are, you might need one to help get the caked-on grime off.

If you have a firm-bristled brush like something you would use to clean a toilet bowl, then grab that as well—not the one from your bathroom, though; get a new one.

Summary

  • Sink or two buckets
  • Dish soap
  • 1 towel minimum
  • Scrubbing brush
a golfer preparing for a shot

Step-By-Step Instruction on how to clean golf grips

Follow these steps to ensure you learn how to clean golf grips right the first time. Grips are made to be tacky, and that includes dirt and debris. Take the time now to be diligent with a proper cleaning program.

1. Gather Your Materials

As I mentioned, get your workstation set up and ensure you’re in an area where a little bit of spilled water won’t hurt.

Don’t do this on the carpet. The kitchen, laundry room, basement, or outside are the best locations and offer easy clean-up.

a golfer hold their club behind their back

2. Prep Your Grips

Many people don’t worry about their putter grip as a superstition; they don’t want to wash off any good luck they’ve built up.

But that’s all it is, a superstition. You can clean any putter grip with this same routine.

Use one of your towels to wipe off any dirt or debris that is still on them from your last round. This will help the soap penetrate deeper and make your grips shine.

Bonus Tip: If you have cord grips, you can use sandpaper because the cord itself is so durable. This will really help breathe new life into old cord grips.

3. Let Them Soak

Fill one of your water buckets or sink with warm water and dish soap. Mix it in until you have a good few inches of foam on top. If you don’t, then add more soap.

Ideally, you want all your grips to soak together to save time, but if you can’t fit them all, one at a time is fine.

This is a crucial step because it will help loosen all the oils, dirt, and grime that has adhered to your grips. The older your grips are, the longer they should soak.

For those who clean their grips once a year, letting them soak for 10 minutes is plenty.

a golfer helps a young golfer with their golf grip

4. Rinse Off

Giving your clubs a preliminary rinse here will remove the first layer of dirt.

You don’t have to be too diligent with this step, and some may even choose to skip it. If your grips are over five years old and you’ve never cleaned them, I highly recommend this step.

5. Time To Scrub

The soap has done all it’s going to do at this point, so to really bring your grips back to life, you’re going to have to work for it a bit.

Using your brush, scrub up and down the grip from top to bottom. Slowly rotate it to get all sides.

If you use a Tour Velvet style, don’t scrub too hard, the outer layer is quite soft, and you don’t want to take any chunks out.

a golfer holds her golf grip in the air and watches her ball after a shot.

Important Notice: Do not use this technique on Winn grips. They use a different material that will get ruined if you soap and scrub, don’t do either. See here for Winn grip maintenance.

Scrubbing firmly and efficiently is the only way to remove stubborn oils. You won’t be able to see the oils, and you won’t know if you’ve done it correctly until they are fully dry.

Spend the time now to do a thorough job so you don’t have to do it again until next season!

6. Soap And Rinse Again

Scrubbing doesn’t always remove the oil and dirt, but it does loosen it. By soaping and rinsing again, you ensure that all foreign debris is off your grips.

You don’t have to let them soak again; just a quick dip and rub down in the soap, and a rinse with the fresh water to remove all the soap, dirt, grime, and bad shots.

a golfer with a clean golf grip at the apex of his backswing.

7. Towel Dry

Now for the best part of how to clean golf grips, use your second towel, dry off any excess water, and admire your work.

This is the time to inspect with an eagle eye because if you see any missed spots, you can let it soak for a while longer.

Your grips don’t have to be bone dry—unless you’re on the way to the course right away— so just lean them up against the wall or hang off the edge of a table.

Please do not put them back in your bag. This will take much longer to dry, and the moisture could affect anything else in your bag or your bag itself.

How to clean golf grips: FAQs

a golfer helps a young golfer with his golf grip while two more young golfers watch

Which golf grips stay the cleanest?

The golf grips that stay the cleanest are the black ones. Typically, this rubber is firmer than others, and it also hides dirt and debris as well.

Golf Pride’s Multi-Compound grips are among the most popular for performance, durability, and inclement weather; they also look great for a long time.

Can you clean your grips at home?

Yes, you can clean your golf grips at home. This process is easy and takes less than 30 minutes. You can clean your clubs at home in your kitchen, garage, basement, or backyard if you have the supplies and space to do so.

And if there are any other golfers in your home who want to know how to clean golf grips, you can keep your workstation ready for them too!

How Can I tell when golf grips need to be replaced?

You can tell when golf grips need to be replaced by looking at the high-wear area.

Under your left thumb is a common location for your grip to wear down; for lefties, look under your right thumb. This area is under high stress during each swing so ensure you always have good traction here.

a golfer helps another golfer with their golf grip

Can you clean Winn grips with soap and water?

No, you cannot clean Winn grips with soap and water. They are made with a very different compound that should not be wet at any time.

If you must clean them, simply dampen a towel and address the areas that need it most. It’s also advisable to keep these grips out of the rain.

How to clean golf grips: Conclusion

Many people will overlook this article, but if you’ve read this far, I hope your next step will be cleaning your grips. Knowing how to clean golf grips can save strokes on your game but also maintain the integrity of your grips, so you don’t need to replace them as often.

Don’t neglect this simple annual chore. Your grips will never let you down and will always look professional and fresh as a daisy.

Now You’ve learned how to clean golf grips, learn how to be your own caddy!

Photo of author
Clint has been active in golf since he was very young. He graduated from the Professional Golf Management Program at College Of The Desert in Palm Desert, CA before turning pro shortly after. Upon moving back to Canada he has been certified with the PGA of Canada where he was the Head Teaching Professional at one of Toronto's busiest academies. Now as a golf writer, he is happy to share his knowledge when he's not out playing with his family and friends.

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