When was the last time you cleaned your golf clubs? If you’re a newcomer or just picked up a fresh set of clubs a few weeks ago, it’s time to consider maintaining your equipment. The reality is dirty clubs limit your in-game performance.
A small bit of dirt on the clubface or stacked in the groove of the insert is all it takes to throw off your shot. Cleaning your golf clubs doesn’t take long, and you’ll find it improves your game. This post walks you through a step-by-step method for cleaning your clubs.
How To Clean Golf Clubs – Preparation
- 1 How To Clean Golf Clubs – Preparation
- 2 How to Clean Golf Clubs – Irons and Wedges
- 3 How to Clean Your Driver, Hybrids, and Fairway Woods
- 4 How to Clean Golf Club Shafts
- 5 Wrapping Up – Build Good Club Maintenance Habits
Before you start, you’ll need to prepare the following.
- Standard dish soap
- Soft bristle brush
- Bucket of warm water
- Kitchen scourer
- Dry towel
- Carnauba wax
- Polishing cloth
Pro tip: We advise against washing your clubs in the sink. Do it in a bucket outside.
How to Clean Golf Clubs – Irons and Wedges
1. Soak to Loosen Tough Dirt and Grime
If your irons have mud on them, soak them in the bucket with a light soapy solution. Don’t add too much dish soap; it leaves a sticky feeling to the club, even after rinsing. Use a diluted solution and let the water soak into the dirt.
Submerge the clubhead up to the hosel and let it sit in the water for two or three minutes. Try not to get water past the hosel, or it creeps into the shaft, causing rust and corrosion.
2. Inspect the Clubhead
After soaking, inspect the grooves in the club head. Look at the clubface to ensure all the dirt is gone from the insert. If you have a cavity back club head design, check if dirt is hanging around the inside lip.
The clubhead’s grooves control the ball’s spin on impact with the clubface. Make sure they’re clean to receive the best performance from the club at your next four-ball or the driving range. If there’s any dirt lodged in the clubhead, repeat the soaking process and use a soft-bristled brush, like a toothbrush, to clean it.
3. Inspect the Grip
When cleaning the grip, make sure you don’t have a specialized grip coating, or you might wash it off. Some grips are meant to give a tacky feeling to the player to enhance their control over the club. Washing this coating may cause damage to it. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning your grips.
4. Rinse and Dry It Off
Rinse the clubhead clean with fresh water and dry it off using a towel. If you have a set of bare stainless steel clubheads, use some metal polish to give them a showroom shine. Finish with a shot of WD40 to the clubhead and work it around the hosel to provide anti-corrosive protection.
How to Clean Your Driver, Hybrids, and Fairway Woods
Don’t use scrubbing brushes or scouring pads for cleaning the clubheads as they may scratch or damage the finish. If you encounter a stubborn piece of dirt, use a spray bottle with some bicarbonate of soda and scrub it out using a microfiber cloth to lift the stain.
How to Clean Golf Club Shafts
Club shafts are relatively easy to clean and don’t require much maintenance. Clean it off with a damp microfiber cloth if you get dirt on the shaft. Maintaining your club shafts is important. We recommend giving a light spray of WD40 along the shaft every quarter and working it into the club shaft and head to ensure it has protection against corrosion.
If you notice any corrosion while cleaning, you can use some steel wool and WD40 to remove the rust spots. It’s common for water to enter the hollow steel shaft between the hosel and clubhead.
If it rusts and corrodes the structure, the clubhead could break away from the shaft when contacting the ball during your swing. The lubricant protects the steel, preventing corrosion and damage to the structural design and integrity of the club head, hosel, and shaft.
Ensuring active preventative maintenance of your clubs makes them last longer, and you’ll enjoy more games from the time they spend in your golf bag. Steel shafts are easy to clean, but graphite and carbon fiber shafts require care too. Fortunately, there is less of a rusting risk with composite shafts compared to their steel counterparts.
Wipe them down with a damp cloth, and use some carnauba wax to lubricate and protect the shaft, instead of the WD40 you use on the steel shafts of your irons. Clubs with graphite shafts are more prone to scratching. Therefore, it’s important to give them a separate hole in the golf bag and to prevent them from clashing when transporting them.
Constant scratching of the paint and polyurethane coatings on the shaft will expose the graphite material underneath, leading to damage and a reduction in performance on the tee or fairway. After cleaning your long clubs, cover them with clubhead covers to prevent scratching the clubface. It’s advised to replace the cover after each shot when you’re on the course.
Wrapping Up – Build Good Club Maintenance Habits
Clean your clubs after each session with a brief wipe-down. Carry a cloth with you on the course and get into the habit of wiping your clubs down after each shot before returning it to the bag. Most golf bags have a ball towel on the side, and you can use that to get your clubs a quick wipe down after each shot.
We recommend against using lemon juice and vinegar in clubhead cleaning because these products may damage the plastic and urethane components of the club head. By keeping your clubs clean, you increase the service life they offer, maintaining performance on the course and at the driving range for years to come.