How to Clean Golf Clubs: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide

Do your clubs need a little TLC? Perhaps those grips are a little grimy? There’s nothing better than playing with clean golf clubs that look like they are new.

Proper maintenance of your clubs can enhance performance and prolong their lifespan, ensuring you get the most out of your investment. In this post, we will delve into the intricacies of the proper cleaning of golf clubs by covering a comprehensive step-by-step process.

So get out those cleaning supplies and get ready to learn how to clean your golf clubs.


Step 1: Gather the Necessary Supplies


Before you start to clean those dirty golf clubs, you’ll need to gather some supplies.

Using appropriate cleaning tools will make the process of cleaning clubs more efficient and help protect your clubs from damage.

Here are some must-have items for effectively cleaning your golf clubs:

  • A bucket or container: Fill this with warm water and a mild dish soap solution to create an effective yet gentle cleaning agent for your golf club heads.
  • A soft-bristle brush: This is ideal for removing dirt and grime from various parts of the club without causing scratches or other damage. A toothbrush can work as a substitute if needed. Avoid using wire brushes, as they can harm your clubs’ finish.
  • Groove cleaner or old toothbrush: These tools are perfect for getting into those hard-to-reach grooves on the clubface, ensuring optimal ball contact during play. You may also use a plastic tee in place of these tools if necessary.
  • Towel or cloth: Use this item to dry off each part of the golf club after washing them thoroughly with water and soap. Microfiber towels are recommended due to their high absorbency properties. Avoid using a wet towel.
  • Golf Club Wax (optional): Applying wax after cleaning protects against rust while enhancing shine and appearance.


Step 2: Remove Dirt and Grime

To remove dirt and grime from your golf clubs, follow these steps:


Cleaning the Club Head

1. Dip a soft-bristle brush into the soapy water.


2. Gently scrub away any visible dirt from both sides of the golf club head, paying attention to the grooves.

brush 2


3. Rinse off any remaining soap residue under running water or dipping it back into another container filled with clean water.


Do not submerge your clubs fully in water, as this could damage their ferrules (the small ring that connects the shaft to the clubhead).


Cleaning The Shaft

  1. Wipe down each shaft with a damp cloth soaked in soapy water, covering all areas where sweat or oil might have accumulated from handling them during play.
  2. Rinse off any soap residue under running tap water or use another damp cloth dipped in clean water for this purpose.


Cleaning The Grip

1. Wet a cloth with warm soapy water and wring it out, ensuring it’s not too saturated to avoid damaging the grip material.

2. Gently scrub the entire surface of each grip in a circular motion, paying particular attention to any areas where dirt has accumulated or become embedded into its texture.


3. Rinse off soap residue by wiping down your clean golf club grips with another damp cloth soaked in clean water – again, make sure not to saturate them excessively, as this can cause damage over time.


Step 3: Clean the Grooves

Once all the mud, dirt and grime have been removed, focus on cleaning the grooves of your golf clubs for improved spin and control. The grooves play a crucial role in providing spin and control over your shots, so keeping them clean is essential for maintaining optimal performance on the course.

To effectively clean your club’s grooves, follow these simple steps:

  1. Select an appropriate tool: You can use a specialized groove cleaner or even an old toothbrush to get into those tight spaces. A golf-specific groove cleaner will often have both bristles and sharp points designed specifically for this purpose, making it easier to remove stubborn debris.
  2. Create a cleaning solution: Mix warm water with mild dish soap in a small container or bowl. This mixture will help break down any remaining dirt or grime without damaging your clubs.
  3. Dip your tool into the solution: Make sure that whatever tool you’re using is dampened with plenty of cleaning solution before starting on each groove.
  4. Clean each groove thoroughly: Use firm pressure as you scrub along each groove from heel to toe (the direction they are cut). Be careful not to scratch or damage other parts of the club head.
  5. Rinse off excess soap and debris: Once all grooves have been cleaned, rinse them under running water until no more suds remain. Gently wipe away any remaining soap or debris with a moist cloth.

While cleaning your golf clubs, pay attention to the grooves on both golf irons and woods.

For irons, you’ll want to focus on the scoring lines that run across the golf club face. These are responsible for generating spin and control when striking the ball.

There will be fewer grooves on fairway woods, such as your driver, but they still play a role in controlling your shots off the tee or from long distances. Cleaning these grooves is just as important as with your irons.

Consider using a groove sharpener if you’re struggling with particularly stubborn dirt or debris lodged in your club’s grooves. This tool can help restore worn-down edges and remove any remaining buildup without damaging your clubs.


Step 4: Dry the Clubs

After thoroughly cleaning your golf clubs, dry them off properly to prevent any potential damage or rusting. Drying your golf clubs clean is easy and can be done using a clean towel or cloth.


Drying the Grip

The grip is where you hold onto your golf club during swings, so ensuring it’s completely dry will help maintain its tackiness and provide better control over your shots.

Simply wrap a clean towel around the grip and gently squeeze while sliding it up and down until all moisture has been absorbed. Consider replacing worn-out golf grips often for optimal performance on the course.


Drying the Shaft

To keep your shaft in top condition, take another clean area of the towel and carefully wipe down its entire length from top to bottom. Ensure not to miss any spots, as water droplets left behind could lead to corrosion over time if neglected regularly.


Drying Club Heads & Grooves

  1. Irons: For iron heads, use a separate section of the towel (preferably one that hasn’t been used yet) and firmly press against both sides of each face before moving onto grooves with more precision by folding them into smaller sections if needed.
  2. Woods: When drying woods like drivers or fairway metals, use only soft materials since their surfaces tend more towards delicate finishes, which scratch easily under rough handling.
  3. Putters: Lastly, putters should also be dried carefully by wiping down their faces with a clean towel. Pay extra attention to any intricate designs or engravings that may collect water.


In addition to drying your clubs after cleaning them, wipe them down after each round of golf. This will help maintain their cleanliness and prolong the life of your equipment. A great tip is to keep a high-quality golf towel attached to your golf bag for easy access during play.






Avoiding Moisture Damage

To prevent moisture damage from affecting the performance and lifespan of your clubs, always store them in a cool, dry place when not in use – such as an indoor closet or garage.

Avoid leaving them inside car trunks for extended periods since heat and humidity can cause your golf club grips to deteriorate faster than usual.

Additionally, investing in quality headcovers for woods and putters will provide extra protection against potential dings or scratches while being transported between rounds on carts at courses where bumpy terrain might pose risks otherwise unnoticed without proper precautions taken beforehand.


Step 5: Apply Club Wax (Optional)


Maintaining your golf clubs doesn’t end with just cleaning them; applying club wax is an optional step to ensure they remain in top condition and perform at their best. Using club wax can protect the club’s surface, reduce wear and tear, and enhance performance by promoting smoother ball contact.


How to Properly Apply Club Wax

  1. Clean Your Clubs: Before applying any wax, ensure that you have thoroughly cleaned your clubs as per steps 1 through 4 in this article.
  2. Dampen a Soft Cloth: Dampen a soft microfiber cloth with water so that it is slightly wet but not dripping. This will help spread the wax evenly across the surface of your clubs without causing damage or scratches.
  3. Add Wax: Using a clean applicator pad or another section of your dampened cloth, apply a small amount of club wax onto it – a little goes a long way. Remember to use the wax sparingly, as applying too much can cause buildup and negatively affect your club’s performance.
  4. Apply Wax to Club: Gently rub the wax onto the surface of your club head in a circular motion, ensuring that you cover all areas evenly. Be sure to avoid getting any wax on your clubs’ grip, shaft, or grooves, as this can make them slippery and difficult to handle during play.
  5. Buff Your Clubs: After allowing the wax to dry for about five minutes (or according to product instructions), take another clean section of your microfiber cloth and gently buff away any excess residue until you achieve a smooth finish with no streaks or smudges.


Wrapping It Up – How to Clean Golf Clubs

Clean clubs

A well-maintained set of golf clubs is essential for optimal performance on the course. Regular cleaning and inspection of your clubs help you maintain a consistent game and extend your equipment’s lifespan. Following this step-by-step guide, you can ensure that your golf clubs shine and are always in top condition and ready for your next round.

By cleaning and inspect your clubs after each round or practice session, you can catch any potential issues early and address them before they become bigger problems.

Remember that taking care of your equipment is just as important as practicing your swing or perfecting your putting technique. So next time you’re getting ready to hit the links, take a few extra minutes to give your clubs some TLC.

We hope you found our article How to Clean Golf Clubs helpful. If you’re an avid golfer like us, subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest tips, reviews, and guides from Humble Golfer. Plus, you’ll be automatically signed up for our free monthly giveaway!



Picture of Amir


Amir is a passionate weekend golfer with a love for the sport. He's always testing out new gear and exploring new courses, while also constantly learning and improving his game. As a true student of the sport, he's dedicated to sharing his knowledge and experiences with other golf enthusiasts.

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