You are currently viewing How to Clean a Urethane Bowling Ball: The Ultimate Guide in 2024

How to Clean a Urethane Bowling Ball: The Ultimate Guide in 2024

  • Reading time:9 mins read

Urethane bowling balls have become increasingly popular among bowlers in recent years, thanks to their exceptional performance and durability.

Unlike traditional plastic or reactive resin balls, urethane balls offer a unique combination of hook potential, backend response, and overall ball motion. However, to maintain the optimal performance and longevity of your urethane ball, it’s crucial to keep it clean and well-maintained.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive deep into the importance of cleaning a urethane bowling ball, the essential supplies you’ll need, and a step-by-step process to ensure your ball is sparkling clean and ready to dominate on the lanes.

Gather the Necessary Supplies

Before we begin the cleaning process, it’s important to gather the right supplies. When it comes to cleaning a urethane bowling ball, you’ll want to use specific products designed for this type of ball surface. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasives, as they can potentially damage the ball’s delicate urethane cover stock.

The essential supplies you’ll need include:

  1. Urethane Ball Cleaner: Look for a high-quality cleaner that is formulated specifically for urethane bowling balls. These cleaners are designed to effectively remove oil, dirt, and other contaminants without compromising the ball’s performance.
  2. Microfiber Cloth: A soft, lint-free microfiber cloth is the perfect tool for gently wiping down and drying your urethane ball. Avoid using paper towels or other abrasive materials, as they can scratch the ball’s surface.
  3. Damp Cloth: You’ll also need a clean, damp cloth to help rinse away any remaining cleaner after the initial application.
  4. (Optional) Urethane Ball Conditioner: While not strictly necessary, using a urethane ball conditioner can help maintain the ball’s performance characteristics and protect the cover stock over time.

By gathering these essential supplies, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle the task of cleaning your urethane bowling ball effectively and efficiently.

Step-by-Step Cleaning Process

Now that you have all the necessary tools, let’s dive into the step-by-step process for cleaning a urethane bowling ball:

1. Prepare the Ball

Start by removing your urethane bowling ball from your bag or storage rack. Gently inspect the ball’s surface for any visible dirt, oil, or residue. Take a clean, dry microfiber cloth and wipe down the entire surface of the ball, removing any loose debris or contaminants.

2. Apply the Cleaning Solution

Next, apply a small amount of the urethane ball cleaner onto your microfiber cloth. Be sure to use the recommended dosage as specified on the cleaner’s label. Gently rub the cleaner into the ball’s surface using circular motions, covering the entire surface area.

Take care not to apply too much pressure or scrub too vigorously, as this can potentially damage the ball’s cover stock. The goal is to gently and evenly distribute the cleaning solution across the ball’s surface.

3. Rinse and Dry

After allowing the cleaning solution to work for a minute or two, use a clean, damp cloth to wipe away any remaining cleaner. Be sure to thoroughly rinse the ball, ensuring that all traces of the cleaning solution have been removed.

Once the ball is rinsed, use a fresh, dry microfiber cloth to meticulously dry the ball’s surface. Gently pat and wipe the ball until it is completely dry and free of any moisture.

4. Condition the Ball (Optional)

While not an essential step, applying a urethane ball conditioner can help maintain the ball’s performance characteristics and protect the cover stock from wear and tear over time.

If you choose to use a conditioner, simply apply a small amount to a clean microfiber cloth and gently rub it into the ball’s surface, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow the conditioner to penetrate the cover stock for the recommended amount of time before wiping away any excess.

By completing these four steps, you’ll have effectively cleaned and conditioned your urethane bowling ball, ensuring it’s ready to perform at its best on the lanes.

Tips for Maintaining a Clean Urethane Ball

Cleaning your urethane bowling ball is an essential task, but it’s not a one-time event. To keep your ball in peak condition, it’s important to establish a regular cleaning routine and follow a few additional tips:

Establish a Cleaning Schedule

Ideally, you should clean your urethane bowling ball after every few games or whenever you notice a significant buildup of oil, dirt, or residue on the surface. This regular maintenance will help prevent the ball from becoming excessively dirty, which can negatively impact its performance.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

As mentioned earlier, it’s crucial to use cleaning products that are specifically designed for urethane bowling balls. Avoid using harsh chemicals, abrasives, or household cleaners, as these can potentially damage the ball’s delicate cover stock and compromise its performance.

Store the Ball Properly

When not in use, be sure to store your urethane bowling ball in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Exposure to extreme temperatures or humidity can cause the ball to degrade over time, so it’s important to keep it in a controlled environment.

Clean Before and After Use

It’s a good practice to give your urethane ball a quick wipe-down before and after each use. This helps remove any dirt or oil that may have accumulated during transport or your most recent game. By keeping the ball’s surface clean, you’ll help maintain its performance and extend its lifespan.

Consider Deeper Cleaning Techniques

For heavily soiled or neglected urethane balls, you may need to resort to more thorough cleaning techniques, such as using a ball spinner or even having the ball professionally resurfaced. However, these more intensive cleaning methods should be used sparingly, as they can potentially alter the ball’s performance characteristics if done excessively.

By following these tips and establishing a consistent cleaning routine, you can ensure that your urethane bowling ball remains in top condition, delivering exceptional performance and longevity on the lanes.

The Importance of Cleaning a Urethane Bowling Ball

Maintaining a clean urethane bowling ball is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Optimal Performance: Urethane balls are known for their unique ball motion and hook potential. However, when the ball’s surface becomes excessively dirty or oily, it can lose its ability to grip the lane effectively, resulting in decreased performance and inconsistency.
  2. Extended Lifespan: Regularly cleaning your urethane ball can help extend its lifespan by preventing the buildup of contaminants that can break down the cover stock over time. This, in turn, helps you get more mileage out of your investment.
  3. Improved Consistency: A clean urethane ball will provide more consistent and predictable ball motion, helping you achieve greater accuracy and precision on the lanes. This can be especially valuable for competitive bowlers or those seeking to improve their game.
  4. Hygiene and Safety: Keeping your bowling ball clean and well-maintained also helps maintain proper hygiene and safety. Accumulated dirt, oil, and bacteria can not only compromise the ball’s performance but also pose potential health risks, particularly in a shared bowling environment.

By prioritizing the regular cleaning and maintenance of your urethane bowling ball, you’ll be able to enjoy its exceptional performance, extend its lifespan, and maintain a consistent, reliable ball motion on the lanes.


In this comprehensive guide, we’ve explored the importance of cleaning a urethane bowling ball, the essential supplies needed, and a step-by-step process to ensure your ball is sparkling clean and ready to dominate on the lanes.

Remember, regular cleaning and maintenance are crucial for maintaining the optimal performance and longevity of your urethane ball. By following the techniques outlined in this guide and establishing a consistent cleaning routine, you’ll be able to keep your ball in top condition and enjoy the exceptional performance that urethane balls are known for.

If you have any additional questions or need further guidance on cleaning and maintaining your urethane bowling ball, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local pro shop or bowling equipment specialist. They’ll be happy to provide tailored advice and support to help you get the most out of your investment.

Happy bowling, and may your urethane ball always be in pristine condition!