The best way to clean your golf clubs

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

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 luke warm water, a splash of washing up liquid, an old towel, and an old toothbrush, nylon brush or brush with plastic bristles..

How to clean your golf clubs


Squirt a little washing up liquid into your bucket or sink and fill it with enough luke warm 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.


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.


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 their 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.


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.


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. It is also worth cleaning them in a bucket as opposed to a sink as contact with the sick could leave a little mark! Once you’re 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

When thinking about how to clean your golf clubs, your golf grips should not be neglected! 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:


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


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


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.


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.