Just like any outdoor sport equipment, a golf ball will get dirty as you play with it. Dirt, stains and grimes accumulate on the surface of the ball as it is hit on the fairways, greens and frankly anywhere on the golf course.
When cleaning golf balls, many players struggle to get them as white as possible due to tough stain and discoloration.
One disinfectant agent that comes to mind when we think of getting rid of stains is bleach. We’ve seen how bleach whitens and brightens fabrics whenever we do laundry.
Bleach is a powerful disinfectant that is great for killing bacteria and viruses. It does a fantastic job at removing stains and whitening clothes.
As a result, some golfers want to know if golf balls can be soaked in bleach to help remove stubborn stains and brighten color? Let us find out.
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Can You Soak Golf Balls In Bleach
Yes, it is perfectly fine to soak golf balls in bleach to brighten the color and get rid of stains. The bleach solution should be diluted with warm water, usually half-cup bleach with one gallon of water should do the job. The golf balls should soak in the solution for about 30 minutes but no more than that.
You don’t want your golf balls to be soaked in the bleach for too long (like overnight) as the solution can seep through the outer layer into the core of the ball. This is known as waterlog. The mass and energy absorption are affected when liquid breaches the outer shell causing the ball to lose out on some distance.
It is important that you dilute the bleach with water just like you’d do when disinfecting surfaces. Highly concentrated bleach can even cause the golf ball to become yellow in color by destroying the whitening agent on the urethane or surlyn shell.
When you finish soaking the golf balls in the bleach solution, you’d want to do some gentle scrubbing with a brush or rag to get them looking white and to get rid of any excess debris and bacteria. Make sure to use gloves to protect your skin, as too much bleach can cause an allergic reaction or skin burns.
After you are finished scrubbing, rinse the golf balls with clean water, dry with towel and your ball should be as good as new!
I should point out that bleach is not to be taken as a cleaning agent. A lot of people smell bleach and think that it is used to clean surfaces, but in reality it is being used to disinfect the surface instead. Soaking golf balls in bleach is only to disinfect and brighten the color, but not ideal for cleaning.
How Does Bleach Removes Stains And Whitens Golf Ball?
Many household bleaches are based on chlorine and have sodium hypochlorite which serves as an oxidizing agent. In lay man terms, stains and colors are removed when bleach interacts with the organic molecules by adding oxygen or chlorine to the compound, thereby removing the bonds and breaking molecules.
The water solubility of the material increases and can be removed by washing. The same principle apply with the golf ball when stains and colors are removed or greatly reduced.
As we pointed out, the bleach is not a cleaning agent. The bleach converts soils into colorless soluble particles which are then removed by soap or detergent, and then washed away by water.
Related Post: Do used golf balls lose distance?
Alternatives To Soaking Golf Ball In Bleach
The golf ball cleaning process shouldn’t begin and finish from just soaking the balls in bleach water. Yes, many players choose to soak their golf balls in bleach alone, but there are many other effective methods of getting your golf ball white and clean. You can choose to soak your golf ball in bleach while also adapting one of these cleaning methods.
Here are the 4 easiest and convenient methods of cleaning your golf balls:
1. Using Dish Soap
The dish soap method is by far the easiest and most effective method for cleaning your golf balls. It doesn’t cost you much as all you will need is a bucket filled with hot water, a cap of dish soap, and a brush to scrub the balls. We recommend using a toothbrush as it offers more control and better detailed scrubbing.
Place the balls in the dish soap mixture for about 10-15 minutes. Once they are soaked, use your toothbrush to scrub off dirt and debris on the golf balls. Apply enough pressure to get a deeper clean. This will ensure that all dirt, stains and grime are removed from the surface.
Finally, rinse off the balls with clean water from running pipe or container of water. Dry the balls with a dry clean towel and you are good to go.
2. Hydrogen Peroxide As a Cleaning Agent
As with the bleach, you’d want to make sure you have on gloves for this method. This cleaning agent, hydrogen peroxide, is also good for getting rid of grease, mud and grimes from off the golf balls. The ratio of the solution should be one cup of hydrogen peroxide per two cups of water. Soak the balls for 10 to 15 minutes, then scrub using a toothbrush.
Rinse with water and dry using a clean towel.
3. Using Vinegar
Vinegar is not only used in preparing foods. It can be used as a disinfectant and cleaning agent since it is made from acetic acid. Acetic acid in vinegar is quite powerful as it can dissolve debris, grease and grime from surfaces.
It is harmless to the human body as well as to the environment. In addition it is inexpensive and easily accessible in your supermarket.
To clean your golf balls with vinegar, simply fill a bucket with warm water and add 1 cup of vinegar. Allow the golf ball(s) to soak in the solution for 20 to 30 minutes.
By that time, the vinegar should have dissolved any mineral deposit, surface dirt and stain from the surface of the golf ball.
Scrubbing off any remaining gunk will be much easier after soaking the ball in vinegar. Wash with water and dry with towel to finish.
4. Golf Ball Cleaner
A golf ball cleaner or ball washer is a piece of equipment used for cleaning dirty balls. It doesn’t require much handwork like scrubbing with dish soap, vinegar or bleach.
You’d fine plenty of ball washers on golf courses if you pay close attention. They look something like this:
This is ideal to use when you can’t get rid of heavy dirt from scrubbing. A golf ball cleaner is what you should use for heavy duty cleaning.
Your golf balls should always be kept clean, not because of appearance but also for performance. Having debris and grease on your golf ball can cause it to spin out of control in the direction you didn’t intend. We recommend cleaning it once you observe that it is dirty.
Bleach is great for disinfecting your golf balls and getting them white. The bleach breaks down dirt molecules and converts soils into colorless soluble particles. After you soak the balls in bleach water, all you need to do next is to scrub them down, rinse and dry them off. Your golf balls should be white as snow!