How To Clean Golf Clubs The Right Way

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You might have enviously looked at your friends’ golf clubs, or a random set of clubs at the golf course, and wondered “how do they get them looking so clean?” Cleaning your golf clubs can not only make them look better, but it can also improve your game.

If the grooves on your golf club are caked with dirt, you will not be able to control your golf ball as well compared to clean grooves. Even a dirty face outside of the grooves can negatively affect how the ball rebounds off the club face.

Golf clubs can be a big investment, and as such, they should be well taken care of so they can last longer and retain a higher resale value.

In this article, we’ll give you the correct way to clean all the clubs in your bag. Of course, there are several different methods for cleaning golf clubs, but the ones we’ll cover here are, in our view, the easiest and most effective.

Cleaning Irons

Bucket of water

Golf irons can be cleaned the old-fashioned way. You will need:

  • a soft-bristle brush
  • a towel
  • a bucket
  • warm water
  • soap or dishwashing liquid

Fill the bucket with warm water and add about three teaspoons of soap or dishwashing liquid to the bowl. Put the club heads in the water and leave them there for around five minutes.

Then, take the irons out one-by-one and use the soft-bristle brush to remove the dirt. Get into the grooves of the club head and give them a really good clean. You can also use a toothbrush or even a golf tee to get into the grooves.

Give the irons another rinse, and once they have all been washed, dry the clubs with a towel. This is an important step, as leaving your clubs wet could result in rust buildup, which can give the clubs an unsightly appearance and reduce their resale value.

The video below demonstrates how to clean golf clubs using a bucket of soapy water and a brush:

Cleaning Woods & Putters

Bristle brush

Drivers and fairway woods should be cleaned in a mostly similar fashion to irons. However, because their heads contain different metals, they should not be submerged in water as this could damage them.

Instead, dip a towel or soft-bristle brush into a bucket of warm water with some soap or dishwashing liquid, and clean the dirt off the club. Make sure to get in the grooves and wipe the crown and sole as well.

Putters can also be cleaned this way, as they should only need a quick wipe down.

While the grooves of your woods aren’t as important as your irons, it is still important to keep them clean to maximize performance and avoid any lasting damage.

Cleaning Grips

Towels on a rack

Many golfers overlook their grips when cleaning their clubs, but it is an important step which shouldn’t be missed. The grips of a golf club can accumulate dirt and wear down over time, making it more and more difficult to get a good grip on your club.

To clean your grips and prolong their life, you can simply wipe them down with a damp cloth after you play. Make sure that the cloth isn’t too hot as this may damage the grip.

For an even more thorough cleaning, you can dip a soft-bristle brush into warm soapy water and scrub the grip on all sides. Then, rinse the soap off the grip and use a towel to pat it dry.

Removing Rust On Clubs

If your golf clubs have succumbed to rust, a homemade remedy is to use vinegar.

WD-40 can also be effective at removing rust, but be careful if you have any specialist finishes on your golf clubs as WD-40 could remove it. WD-40 isn’t recommended to use on drivers or fairway woods.

To remove rust, add some vinegar or WD-40 to a cloth. Rub it on the rust spot and surrounding area, and try to remove any residue. It is important to do this slowly and carefully, as you do not want to cause any more damage.

Optional Undertakings


If you really want to make your golf clubs shine, you can apply some chrome or steel polish to them.

If you are doing this, rub the polish in gently, leave it for around a minute, and remove it. Make sure that you remove all of the polish when you are done.


Toothpaste on a toothbrush

Toothpaste has been used for years to clean silver, and it turns out they work well for golf clubs too. Toothpaste can be used to remove minor paint scratches.

Power Washing

Some golfers have tried to power wash their golf clubs.

While this seems like a quick way of doing the job, it should be approached with caution as the power of the water could damage your clubs, and it isn’t an efficient use of water.

Additional Tips

Specialty Cleaning Supplies

There are some specialist golf cleaning solutions and accessories on the market. For example, you can buy specialty bristle brushes for cleaning your golf clubs.

However, you can clean your clubs at home at minimal cost and with basic supplies. An old toothbrush or any soft-bristle brush should be able to do the job just as well.

Cleaning During The Round

While you are on the golf course, it is a good idea to give your clubs a quick wipe-down after each shot. Clipping a small towel to your golf bag makes this quite easy.

If you are waiting to hit a shot, you can even use your golf tee to remove mud and dirt from the grooves. While this won’t negate the need to give your golf clubs a good dedicated cleaning as described above, making an effort to maintain your clubs between shots can prolong their life and give you as much grip around the greens as possible.


As you can see, cleaning your golf clubs is very straightforward and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.

If you establish a regular golf club cleaning regime, it can be a much easier task to keep your golf clubs looking and performing better for longer. And the more often you clean your clubs, the better.

Thanks for reading this article. If you have any questions about cleaning your golf clubs, be sure to drop a comment down below.

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  1. David Maestas October 17, 2022
  2. Ginmint May 16, 2023

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