How To Clean Golf Clubs And Grips

If you want to know how to clean golf clubs and grips, check out this handy step-by-step guide

How to clean golf clubs
(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

If your clubs have been gathering dust and still have last round's mud and dirt on them, now is the time to clean them and get them as close to brand new as possible. Let's face it, a clean set of clubs in the bag is a beautiful site and of course there are clear performance advantages too, especially when it comes to removing dirt from grooves.

So then, what is the best way to clean your clubs? Well that is where the information below comes in.

There are several ways you can clean your golf clubs, from making the most of vending machine style devices found at modern driving ranges, to a good old fashioned bucket of soapy water in your back garden.

RELATED: How to regrip golf clubs

Of course, we should also mention that you should be cleaning clubs as you are playing. When playing from a muddy lie, it is worth getting something to clean your grooves after the shot and a towel to wipe the dirt away, too.

WATCH: How To Clean Golf Clubs And Grips

What will you need to clean your golf clubs?

To clean your golf clubs we recommend you start with a simple plastic bucket, but a bathroom or kitchen sink will do the job just as well. You'll also need lukewarm water, a splash of washing up liquid, an old towel, and a brush of some sort - an old toothbrush, nylon brush or a brush with plastic bristles will do the job.

Step 1

Squirt a little washing up liquid into your bucket or sink and fill it with enough lukewarm water to cover the heads of your irons without the water coming up over the ferrules if possible. Be careful you don't run the water too hot, as you could risk loosening the ferrules, which join the shafts to the heads.

Step 2

Set the bucket down (ideally outside if possible) and place your irons and wedges in with the clubheads submerged and allow them to soak in the warm water for a few minutes to loosen any dirt in the grooves. For the time being leave your woods and putter out of the water.

RELATED: 24 Essential Non-Club Items You Need In Your Golf Bag

Step 3

After a few minutes soaking time, take each club in turn and use an old toothbrush, nylon brush or sharp tee peg to clean out the individual grooves. This is the most important step in cleaning your clubs, as removing dirt and debris from the grooves will help increase surface area contact with your golf ball at impact, which is how the grooves impart spin to give you added control.

Step 4

Once the grooves are clean, run the brush across the sole of the iron and over the back of the clubhead, removing any mud, sand and grass.

Step 5

Once all the mud has gone, use a hose or tap to rinse off the clubhead, checking the removal of any suds hasn't revealed any remaining dirt. Next use your old towel to dry off the clubhead and give the shaft a quick wipe down to ensure it doesn't go back into your bag wet.

What if my irons are forged?

If you play forged irons you should favour a soft nylon brush, but otherwise you can follow all the steps above. If your forged irons start to show signs of rust, made possible when the mild carbon steel becomes exposed during a shot that chips their chrome plating, you can spray the surface with WD-40 and clean them with a nylon brush. 

RELATED: Best Golf Blade Irons 

It is also worth cleaning them in a bucket as opposed to a sink as contact with the sink could leave a little mark. Once you've done this, make sure you wipe them clean with a dry cloth.

Cleaning your driver, fairway, hybrid and putter

Unlike your irons ands wedges, you shouldn't submerge these clubs in water. Instead, either dip them in and out and rub down with a cloth, or use a wet cloth to wipe them over. Then dry them thoroughly.

Cleaning your golf club grips

While you're thinking about how to clean your golf clubs, don't neglect your grips. Sun cream and sweat will, over time, reduce the amount of traction on offer and a quick clean can reinvigorate old grips. 

The easiest way to clean your golf grips is to wipe them down with a moist cloth, then dry them with a towel. This will remove any surface dirt and grime, and take no more than a few minutes. If they need a more thorough cleaning, follow these steps:

Step 1

Fill a bucket or sink with warm water and add a splash of washing up liquid to create plenty of soap suds.

Step 2

Use a wet cloth to collect some suds, and then rub them into the grip.

Step 3

Once scrubbed, run your grips under flowing warm water to rinse them. Be careful not to use very hot water as this can cause the glue underneath the grips to loosen.

Step 4

Using your towel, dry each grip as soon as it is rinsed off. Check the shafts too, and if water has found its way there, dry them as well.

Sam Tremlett
Sam Tremlett

A golfer for most of his life, Sam started playing the game to prove he was the best player out of his father and two brothers.
He quickly became a golf equipment expert and has always been the one family and friends come to for buying advice, and spends a lot of his time putting golf gear, apparel and shoes to the test.  
He is a graduate of Swansea University where he studied History and American Studies, and he has been a part of the Golf Monthly team since February 2018. He also previously worked for World Soccer and Rugby World magazines.

A jack of all trades across print and digital formats, Sam now spends most of his time testing and looking after golf gear content for the website. He also oversees all Tour player content as well. 

Unfortunately, Sam is not a member of any club at the moment but regularly gets out on the golf course to keep up the facade of having a handicap of five. 

Sam is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TS3
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade M5 (15 degrees), Nike Covert Tour 2.0 (19 degrees)
Irons (4-PW): Titleist AP2
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 54˚, 58˚
Putter: Scotty Cameron Circa 62 #6