How to Clean Golf Clubs: Best Practices and Tips

Key Takeaways

Before we dive into the details, here are the essential points for cleaning your golf clubs:

  1. Regular cleaning improves club performance and longevity.
  2. Deep cleaning is necessary to remove dirt from grooves.
  3. Avoid harsh methods that could damage your clubs.


Cleaning your golf clubs is more than just aesthetics—it directly impacts your game. Well-maintained clubs perform better, and a clean set of irons and wedges can make a significant difference on the course. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner, follow these best practices to keep your clubs in top condition. Properly caring for your clubs will help optimize your performance.

The “You Were in a Rush” Method

This quick method is ideal for a last-minute cleanup before your round:

  1. Run half of an old towel under warm water. The warm water helps loosen any dirt or grime on the clubface.
  2. Take the wet end outside and use it to wipe down each club in your bag. Be sure to thoroughly wipe the clubface, hosel, and grip areas.
  3. Use the dry end of the towel to remove excess moisture. You don’t want moisture damaging your grips.


  • Fastest way to clean clubs, but it’s primarily aesthetic. This method helps your clubs look clean but doesn’t deeply clean grooves.
  • For optimal performance, focus on cleaning the grooves with a groove brush or toothbrush. Pay special attention to hard-to-reach grooves on your wedges.

The “Dad” Approach (Power Washer)

If you’re looking for a thorough clean, consider using a power washer:

  1. Pull out the power washer and fire it up. Be sure to use a low pressure tip to avoid damaging clubfaces.
  2. Hold the clubface in place with your legs or hands. This prevents excessive vibration which could loosen hosels.
  3. Point and fire the power washer at the clubface at a 45 degree angle to remove dirt from grooves.


  • Clubs will be spotless, but use this method sparingly (once or twice a season). Overuse can damage clubfaces.
  • Be extremely cautious and keep the power washer 6-12 inches from clubfaces. A high-pressure stream can harm clubfaces and alignment aids.

The “Bare Essentials” Method

For a more hands-on approach, follow these steps:

  1. Fill a bucket with warm water and add a few teaspoons of soap or dishwashing liquid. The soap helps lift dirt from grooves.
  2. Submerge the club heads in the soapy water for about five minutes. This gives time for dirt to loosen.
  3. Use a soft-bristle brush to gently scrub the hosel, face, and back of each club. Carefully scrub grooves to remove debris.
  4. Periodically towel-dry the clubs to prevent water spots.


  • Effective for both aesthetics and performance. The brushing cleans grooves for better spin and control.
  • Focus extra time on cleaning grooves with a groove brush. Be gentle around clubface edges.

Additional Tips for Golf Club Care

Here are some extra tips to keep your golf clubs in excellent condition:

  1. Store Properly: Always store your golf clubs indoors whenever possible to prevent damage from temperature swings.
  2. Avoid Wet Storage: Never put away wet clubs; moisture leads to corrosion, rust buildup and potential club damage.
  3. Use Head Covers: Protect your woods by using head covers when not in use.
  4. Inspect Grips Regularly: Check grips for wear and tear; replace them promptly if deteriorating.
  5. Inspect Shafts: Periodically examine shafts for any signs of damage or wear that could impact performance.
  6. Clean Grooves Regularly: Dirty grooves severely reduce spin and control. Regularly clean them with a groove brush.

Remember that clean clubs not only impress your playing partners but also enhance your game. Choose a method that suits your needs—whether it’s quick and convenient or thorough and satisfying—and keep those hickory sticks sparkling!

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