How to Clean Golf Grips?

Golf is a game of control and feel, where having a firm, tacky grip on your club can make all the difference. However, after numerous rounds, the grips on your clubs inevitably get coated in dirt, oils, and grime from your hands and the environment. Built-up gunk creates slippery grips that are difficult to hold properly during your swing. Fortunately, with some simple cleaning supplies and a little effort, you can easily get your grips looking and feeling fresh again. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about properly cleaning golf grips – why it’s important, what materials you’ll need, techniques for removing stubborn dirt, how often to clean, and tips for prolonging grip life so you can play with confidence.

Why Do Golf Grips Need Cleaning?

Golf grips are constantly exposed to dirt, sweat, oils, and other contaminants every time you play. With each swing, your hands transfer some of those substances onto the grips. Over time, this buildup can make the grips feel sticky, slippery, or generally unpleasant to hold.

Dirty grips don’t just feel nasty – they can actually impact your game. When grips get coated in oils and grime, they become less tacky and harder to grip firmly. This can cause issues with hand positioning, grip pressure, and overall control of the club during your swing. You may find the club twisting in your hands or even slipping out of your grip entirely on particularly sweaty days.

In addition to grip problems, built-up dirt and grime is simply unsanitary. Golfers often have a habit of running a hand along the grip to wipe away perspiration. When you do that on dirty grips, you’re just transferring all those gunk and germs right onto your hands. No one wants to be putting that stuff near their mouth while they’re taking a drink between holes.

By regularly cleaning your golf grips, you ensure they remain tacky so you can grip properly and make clean contact. Clean grips inspire confidence over the ball. They also last longer since you aren’t grinding abrasive dirt and grit directly into the grip materials every swing. Taking a few minutes to clean your grips is just a smart way to get the most out of your equipment and protect your investment.

What Supplies Do You Need to Clean Golf Grips?

What Supplies Do You Need to Clean Golf Grips?

To properly clean your golf grips, you’ll need to gather a few simple supplies. First up is a grip cleaning solution or brush designed specifically for golf grips. These are formulated with mild detergents that cut through grip grime without damaging the rubber, cord, or polymer grip materials. Avoid using harsh household cleaners which can cause grips to deteriorate prematurely.

Next, you’ll want a few clean rags or towels. Look for towels made of cotton or microfiber that won’t shed lint all over your freshly cleaned grips. You’ll use these to wipe away any cleaning solution residue and fully dry the grips when finished. An old toothbrush can also come in handy for really working the cleaning solution into the grooves and patterns on your grips.

If you want to go the extra mile, you can pick up a grip refreshing solution as well. These products help renew and restore the tackiness to golf grips that have started feeling slick over time. They essentially “re-charge” the grips so they feel more like new again.

For a budget option, you can use a few basic household ingredients – warm water, a drop of mild soap like dish soap, and a soft brush or rag. However, be very sparing with the soap to avoid leaving behind a slippery soapy residue on the grips.

No matter which route you go, avoid any abrasive materials that could scratch or shred the grips. With the right supplies on hand, you’ll have everything needed to get your golf grips feeling fresh and traction-y again.

How Often Should You Clean Your Golf Grips?

There’s no single rule for how frequently to clean golf grips since it depends on several factors. However, most golf experts recommend giving them a good cleaning every 4-6 rounds of golf at a minimum.

If you only play recreationally a few times per month, cleaning your grips once a month or so should suffice. But for avid players who log multiple rounds per week, you’ll want to step up your cleaning schedule. The more you play, the quicker dirt, oils, and soil accumulates on the grips.

Weather conditions also play a role. Grips will need more frequent cleaning after playing on hot, humid days when you’re sweating a lot. The same goes for rounds played in wet weather that leaves grips damp and prone to developing mildew if not properly dried. Arid climates with dry air may require less cleaning.

It’s a good idea to take a look at your grips after every round. If they look or feel dirty, greasy, hardened, slick or otherwise suboptimal, that’s a sign they need cleaning before your next tee time. Don’t let excessive grime build up as it will shorten the lifespan of your grips.

Many golfers get in the habit of cleaning their grips after playing 9 or 18 holes to keep them fresh. Wiping them down after each round is an easy routine to maintain. Then do a deeper, thorough cleaning every few weeks. Properly maintaining your grips will ensure they provide tackiness and control every swing.

What's the Best Way to Remove Dirt and Grime from Golf Grips?

What’s the Best Way to Remove Dirt and Grime from Golf Grips?

The most effective way to deep clean golf grips is to use a grip cleaning solution or brush specifically designed for that purpose. These products contain mild detergents that break down and remove built-up grime without damaging the grip materials.

Start by getting the grips completely wet with the cleaning solution. You can keep a spray bottle filled with the cleaner handy, or dip a rag into the solution and run it along the grip. Let the cleaner soak in for a minute or two to penetrate the dirt and oils.

Next, use a grip cleaning brush to really work the solution into the grip textures and grooves. Scrub firmly but avoid being overly aggressive which could tear the grip material. An old toothbrush can also help get into tight areas. Keep scrubbing until no more discolored dirty solution appears when agitating the grips.

Once fully scrubbed, wipe away any excess cleaner and grime with a clean towel. Go over the grips multiple times with a fresh side of the towel each pass until they look revived and clean. Make sure to get the entire grip as well as the top area that extends under the club.

For a final rinse, you can wipe the grips with a towel dampened with clean water to remove any residual cleaning solution. Give them a thorough final wipe down with a fresh dry towel until completely dry to the touch.

If you notice any particularly stubborn stains or discoloration, you may need to use a grip refresher product after cleaning to help restore the original color and tackiness. With some elbow grease, this process will return your grips to an almost brand-new feeling.

Can You Use Household Cleaners on Golf Grips?

While it may be tempting to just use household cleaning products you already have on hand, most experts advise against using them for cleaning golf grips. Common household cleaners like bleach, ammonia, and abrasive cleansers are too harsh for the delicate materials golf grips are made from.

The rubber, corded, or polymer compounds used in modern golf grips can easily be degraded or damaged by harsh chemical cleaners not designed specifically for them. These cleaners are formulated to cut through tough stains on hard, non-porous surfaces like countertops or tiles. But on the soft, textured grips, they can cause drying, cracking, fraying or other damage over time.

Even milder household cleaners like dish soap or all-purpose sprays can leave behind sticky residues that defeat the whole purpose of cleaning the grips. You want grips to feel dry and tacky after cleaning, not slick with soap scum. The surfactants in common cleaners reduce friction rather than increase it.

Some household products like chlorine bleach or solvents may actually cause the bonding materials that attach the grip to the club to deteriorate and fail over time. Once grips start rotating or slipping on the shaft, you’ll have to pay to get them re-gripped.

Specialized golf grip cleaning solutions use extremely mild detergents and are formulated specifically to cut through grip grime while protecting and refreshing the materials at the same time. They are simply the best and safest option for cleaning grips thoroughly without damaging them. Saving a few bucks by using household cleaners isn’t worth risking ruining your expensive golf gear.

How Can You Prolong the Life of Your Golf Grips?

How Can You Prolong the Life of Your Golf Grips?

Proper maintenance and care is key to getting the longest possible life out of your golf grips. In addition to regular cleaning, there are several practices you can follow to prevent premature wear and tear.

First, make a habit of cleaning your grips and hands before each round. Dirt, sunscreen, and other products on your hands will grind into the grips and cause them to quickly deteriorate. Use a towel or grip cleaner to wipe down both grips and hands until clean and dry.

During the round itself, resist the urge to rest clubs on the ground’s abrasive surfaces. The grips can pick up sand, dirt, and debris that creates grooves and ridges over time. Use a club brush regularly to knock off any grime and always return clubs to your bag between shots.

Avoid leaving your clubs out in extremely hot conditions for too long. Excessive heat can cause grips to become brittle and hard much faster. If you don’t have space in a cooler bag, at least take them out of the trunk after your round. Likewise, don’t store clubs long-term in damp spaces that promote mold and mildew growth.

When the grips do start showing signs of hardening, glazing over, or losing their tackiness, use a grip refresher product. These help temporarily revive and replenish the top surface. Consider getting grips re-wrapped professionally every year or two if you play frequently.

Finally, make sure to keep firm control over club head covers and head weights during the swing. Impact marks from clubheads smacking grips will rapidly degrade the materials. With some basic conscientious care, you can maximize your investment in quality grips.

Enjoyed this guide of how to clean golf grips? Then be sure to check out our other golf guides.