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  1. #1
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    Whats the best way to clean golf balls?

    I just bought 2 big boxes of golf balls (443 balls in total) some of them have felt tip pen on them whilst some others are a little discoloured, otherwise the balls are perfect.

    Any ideas what is the best way to clean these balls please?

    What detergent or other material is best for the job?

    Many thanks.

    Paul.

  2. #2
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    You HAD to go and say "GOLF balls", now didn't you. (We had a bit of fun with a thread a year or two ago when someone asked, "How do you clean your balls"?)

    I'd just rinse them with water or a bit of soapy water at most. Don't worry about fading color; these aren't works of art. They'll be gone soon enough if you play them with any regularity. (Too much coddling and the balls will become spoiled, ungrateful, and behave badly, especially with anyone else watching!)

  3. #3
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    I almost only put 'how do you clean your balls?' but having been here a few days i realised what i might be letting myself in for :P

    What about the ones with felt tip on?

    Theres perhaps 1/4 like that, mostly either initials or a series of 'dots'

    Whilst not exactly too bad i dont like the way they look, some are significantly worse than others and if i could clean them somehow i would do so.

    So far ive got them soaking in a mixture of warm water, bleach, persil liquid and cheap washing up liquid, the discoloured ones remain discoulored and some of the felt tip ones remain felt tipped.

    Theres 18 Pro V1 in there, that im trying to get particulary nice, also some nice looking Nike balls and a few with logos from Carnoustie, St Andrews and the like... all in all theyre not bad and worth my time cleaning them perhaps.

  4. #4
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    You have to use a solvent to get the permanent marker off. Laquer thinner should do the trick. I don't know if that will have any long term effects on the cover of the ball though.

  5. #5
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    Lick them (someone had to write it).

    Acetone-based nail polish remover will do the trick on the marker. Like tgrad, I don't know what it will do to the cover.

  6. #6
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    to save time and effort

    I stick them in the the dishwasher just make sure none of them have cracks in the cover, are wound balls or the old balata balls such as Maxfli HT of Titlest Tour
    Last edited by jim8flog; 10-15-2004 at 08:59 AM. Reason: added

  7. #7
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    Thanks guys, i dont have a dishwasher so i'll loan me some of the wives nail varnish/polish remover and do a tester on a couple of balls to check to see how things pan out.

    Already with just a generous soak they look almsot new tho, except the 100 that have scuffs which will make for ideal practice balls.

  8. #8
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    Paul.

    I played quite a bit with a guy who got free greens fees at the course from hawking balls and turning them in for the shop to sell. He would wait until he had a couple of hundred to turn them in.

    He ran them through his washing machine (clothes washing).

    They were spotless.

  9. #9
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    I was thinking of the same thing myself but doubted the wife would be as keen to let me do that, then i thought about the local laundramat, i didnt mention it cos i wasnt sure of any damage that could be done to either the balls or the machinery involved.

    So far ive hand washed/scrubbed polished 70 out of 433 and the results are promising, i may have to persevere with the bleach, washing up liquid and warm water with plenty of elbow grease tho to be honest.

    Its mainly just the felt tipped ones that are giving me problems, i didnt have any with algae on or anything, just lots of dirt, sand or felt tip.

  10. #10
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    It is really not even that loud to put them in a washer.

    Who wears the pants, Paul? Do a load of laundry when you are done with the balls and tell your wife to just cope.

    Remember Paul, they are practice balls. They can be a little dirty.

  11. #11
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    I'm surprised no one has said dry cleaning? Speaking of dry cleaners whenever I take my pants to the dry cleaners, the Chinese woman there says in her little Chinese accent: "galfa pant"? Mainly because of the stain on the cuffs. When she says that we both starting laughing really hard. Soon we stop laughing and I go next door and pick up a Dunkin Donut.

  12. #12
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    Gupta, with as much money as Spank says you make, you might want to consider getting those paints tailored. Keeps the cuffs nicer. That's what we po' folks do.

  13. #13
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    Who wears the pants, Paul? Do a load of laundry when you are done with the balls and tell your wife to just cope.
    Uh..while I have no doubt Paul that you wear the pants, it would be still safer to use the laundry machine while the wife is out of the house. That way you can at least plead ignorance when she raises questions about the washing machine?

    Also keep a tab on all the peripheral expenses i.e. soap,water, varnish,acetone, etc. and add the costs plus your time so that you can calculate if next time, it would be wiser buying brand new balls be it Wilson or Titech.

  14. #14
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    Hell, who cares who wears the pants? We know who's got the balls....

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickP
    add the costs plus your time so that you can calculate if next time, it would be wiser buying brand new balls be it Wilson or Titech.
    I see your point on this, but i bought 433 balls for £35, so far nearly half of the ones ive cleaned are A grade and im feeling like i got myself a bit of a deal compared to how much these things are going for on e-bay as a whole.

    To count ive got 17 Pro V1, (77 Titleist in total) and 17 Nike... a quick search thru e-bay shows me that these alone would fetch the £35 that i paid.

    If things go as they are at the moment (im about half way thru cleaning now) then 40% will be grade A, 30% grade B (still usable on the course) and the rest just pure practice balls.

    Those are ofcourse my own grades placed on the balls and im being mean to some of them.

    Still having trouble with the ink on around 25% tho.
    Last edited by Paul B; 10-15-2004 at 11:59 AM. Reason: I couldnt stop typing

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montagle
    Remember Paul, they are practice balls. They can be a little dirty.
    Thats a very valid point that i agree with completely, maybe im trying too hard to clean these buggers that'll probably get laid to rest in some lake sooner or later anyway

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gupta
    I'm surprised no one has said dry cleaning? Speaking of dry cleaners whenever I take my pants to the dry cleaners, the Chinese woman there says in her little Chinese accent: "galfa pant"? Mainly because of the stain on the cuffs. When she says that we both starting laughing really hard. Soon we stop laughing and I go next door and pick up a Dunkin Donut.
    My liege, everytime you tell this story here I laugh out loud. I have a Chinese dry cleaner as well, from Hong Kong so I understand it completely and I know you really laughed with her.

    I nominate you as the funniest poster on GR, 2004, Mr. Pants.

    laughter,

    spanked

  18. #18
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    Use a toothbrush or....

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul B
    I just bought 2 big boxes of golf balls (443 balls in total) some of them have felt tip pen on them whilst some others are a little discoloured, otherwise the balls are perfect.

    Any ideas what is the best way to clean these balls please?

    What detergent or other material is best for the job?

    Many thanks.

    Paul.
    Have u heard of a magic eraser? these are good for cleaning very dirty golf balls....i find alot of golf balls and alot of them have been in the water for a while so i either use a toothbrush or magic eraser....magic erasers can be found pretty much any store....

  19. #19
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    I've never tried it but a team-mate of mine said he has bleached marker off his golf balls before.

    Try a few in a 50:50 mix of water and clorox.
    Cheers,
    Jay

  20. #20
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    An overnight soak in straight bleach works the best for me. Also, putting a few not too badly soiled golf balls in the washer along with a few pairs of jeans really gets the jeans to soften up.
    [b][i][font=Courier New][size=6][color=blue]Absolute power corrupts absolutely.[/color][/size][/font][/i][/b]

  21. #21
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    sharpie usually comes off with rubbing alcohol (70% IPA)

  22. #22
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    Just curious...

    Why resurrect an ancient thread about washing golf balls?
    Hold my Beer. I'm going to hit a high fade over that tree....

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott K
    Lick them (someone had to write it).
    Yes, by mouth.
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  24. #24
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    Run them through the dishwasher under a normal cycle. Remember to keep the plates out of the machine.

  25. #25
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    To get marker off the balls try WD-40. Just spray some on a cloth or a rag and rub it on the ball. It might not take it completly off but it will make it less noticeable. I thnk WD-40 is flamiable so be careful u dont catch anything on fire. you should also let them soak in soapy water or wash them with something after because they might be a little slippery. wash ur hands when ur done to.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul B
    I just bought 2 big boxes of golf balls (443 balls in total) some of them have felt tip pen on them whilst some others are a little discoloured, otherwise the balls are perfect.

    Any ideas what is the best way to clean these balls please?

    What detergent or other material is best for the job?

    Many thanks.

    Paul.
    As I have been collecting golf balls for nearly 15 years now, I would reccomend that you soak them in a mixture of bleach and water. Also a mixture of pool chlorine and water works well too. However, do not leave the golf balls in the mixture no longer than 3 or 4 days. Otherwise the ball will begin to lose it's colour and name.

    You can also buy some Tide laundry soap (but be sure it is the powder NOT the liquid). Next, Wet a rag and put a little bit of the Tide powder on the rag. Then one by one scrub each ball thoroughly with the Tide powder and a rag that has been rung out from water. This method works very well for golf balls that have stains on them, which have been created from sitting in ponds/streams for quite some time. It's fairly time consuming if you have a lot of balls (about 30 seconds- 2 minutes max. per ball), but very effective. Also, this method will usually remove most initials/names, that were created by marker.

    I noticed that this thread has been on here for about 4 years now, but if you ever need to clean stained balls in the future, I reccomend that you try this. It works great for me. I find over 2,000 golf balls a year from the local golf course behind my house and soak them in water and bleach (sometimes soap too) and then wash them all by hand. If there is still a stain on them then I will use the Tide powder.

    Other than that, give this a try. Again, it works great!

  27. #27
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    I find between 10 and 20 balls a week and i find my solution works best:

    1. Soak in hot soapy water for a day or two. (I find washing detergeant works best, I usually use Daz)

    2. Leave to dry.

    3. Use nail varnish remover or tirps (white spirit) to remove pen.

  28. #28
    judging by the date of the first post on this thread....PRETTY SURE the guy figured out how to clean his big ol' batch of golf balls by now....

  29. #29
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    I guess I just don't care what my golf ball looks like. If it looks absolutely horrible, I'll pull out a new one. It's not like golf balls are made of golf.
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  30. #30
    daveperk Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by golfaholic
    To get marker off the balls try WD-40. Just spray some on a cloth or a rag and rub it on the ball. It might not take it completly off but it will make it less noticeable. I thnk WD-40 is flamiable so be careful u dont catch anything on fire. you should also let them soak in soapy water or wash them with something after because they might be a little slippery. wash ur hands when ur done to.
    I can see it now... in the ambulance, the paramedic asks what happened, and you tell him you were cleaning your balls with WD40 and accidentally set them on fire...

  31. #31
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    If the ball looks horrible or is the hacker variety (i.e. toprock, warbird, DT/SO) I either don't pick it up or I leave it on the next tee box. I used to hit them at the driving range but I got tired of walking off the course with more pounds in the bag than when I arrived.

  32. #32
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    hello
    the best way i have found to get them clean is to soak them in some dishwashing det and then clean the nasty one with a majic earser made by mr.clean
    i have had clean thou of them this way it will make them look like new

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by HackDaddy57
    hello
    the best way i have found to get them clean is to soak them in some dishwashing det and then clean the nasty one with a majic earser made by mr.clean
    i have had clean thou of them this way it will make them look like new
    on behalf of Paul B, who hasn't posted on this site since November of 2004, thank you for your reply!
    Be glad we aren't getting all of the government we're paying for.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by HackDaddy57
    hello
    the best way i have found to get them clean is to soak them in some dishwashing det and then clean the nasty one with a majic earser made by mr.clean
    i have had clean thou of them this way it will make them look like new
    Real nice first post, newbie . . . . .
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  35. #35
    I've got around 600 balls in the washing machine right now as I type this. The wife is asleep upstairs with a big fan running so she'll never know
    I've got 38 acres of land, and I keep about 5 of it mowed for hitting my wedges and low yard irons. If I bust our my driver or anything over 8 iron they end up in my creek or woods etc etc. Easy enough to find but my balls tend to stay outside for a few days / week until i get around to picking them up. so I Googled and found this thread

    My washer has a glass lid so I've been able to inspect the process and I've got to tell you the balls move around a LOT more than I was expecting.

    I used a cup of bleach, normal load amount of detergent, hot water, extra rinse cycle and I put it on heavy duty cycle.

    I'll post my findings here in about 20 30 minutes when it's done.

  36. #36
    Well I'd have to say the washing machine is by FAR the best idea of all.

    I used to do washing by hand but when you have 600 to 1000 shag balls it takes to long.

    So on to the results:

    Light dirt balls, just little dirt hasn't been on the ball but a day or two, ball was probably 5-10% dirty became completely 100% pristine clean.

    Medium dirt balls, balls that had dirt baked on by the elements and that were 15-20% dirty became 90% clean with minor patches in the dimples still have light colored dirt look to them.

    High dirt balls, ones that were in the mud or have set out in the woods for long periods of time 25-45% dirty became about 80% clean, dimples still have signs of medium looking dirt. various patches of dirt still on cover. If you were really anal about them looking nice at this point they probably could soak in a bucket with a couple of caps of bleach and water for a day or two and then run through the washer again.

    Hopefully between my two posts someone else will find this information helpful.

    Justin

  37. #37
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    rub them against your balls for a good climax as well. This remind me of some GR posted a video clip of a you beautiful sexy English lady who teaches us how to clean golf balls... when she pronounces "balls" it sounds really sexy...

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveperk
    I can see it now... in the ambulance, the paramedic asks what happened, and you tell him you were cleaning your balls with WD40 and accidentally set them on fire...
    Man, you see that is what the "underwear bomber" was doing.....everyone is just so biased that they just assumed that he was a jihadist.
    Can't a man clean his balls without being misunderstood?
    ... a tree branch, or my foot.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by jleoni
    Well I'd have to say the washing machine is by FAR the best idea of all.

    I used to do washing by hand but when you have 600 to 1000 shag balls it takes to long.

    So on to the results:

    Light dirt balls, just little dirt hasn't been on the ball but a day or two, ball was probably 5-10% dirty became completely 100% pristine clean.

    Medium dirt balls, balls that had dirt baked on by the elements and that were 15-20% dirty became 90% clean with minor patches in the dimples still have light colored dirt look to them.

    High dirt balls, ones that were in the mud or have set out in the woods for long periods of time 25-45% dirty became about 80% clean, dimples still have signs of medium looking dirt. various patches of dirt still on cover. If you were really anal about them looking nice at this point they probably could soak in a bucket with a couple of caps of bleach and water for a day or two and then run through the washer again.

    Hopefully between my two posts someone else will find this information helpful.

    Justin
    Did you use a dryer sheet and fold them when you got done?
    I typically take my shag balls to the drycleaner.
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  40. #40
    I've found that the best way to have the golf balls that look pristine is to buy them new.
    When they get dirty, I wash them in the ball washer at a tee box. If there is not big clumps of mud on them, I sometimes don't even bother with that.
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by wirehair
    Just curious...

    Why resurrect an ancient thread about washing golf balls?
    'Ancient' thread that was then about 12 months old?

    What would wirehair think now?
    I chose the road less traveled.

    Now where the f#ck am I?

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by jleoni
    I've got around 600 balls in the washing machine right now as I type this. The wife is asleep upstairs with a big fan running so she'll never know
    I've got 38 acres of land, and I keep about 5 of it mowed for hitting my wedges and low yard irons. If I bust our my driver or anything over 8 iron they end up in my creek or woods etc etc. Easy enough to find but my balls tend to stay outside for a few days / week until i get around to picking them up. so I Googled and found this thread

    My washer has a glass lid so I've been able to inspect the process and I've got to tell you the balls move around a LOT more than I was expecting.

    I used a cup of bleach, normal load amount of detergent, hot water, extra rinse cycle and I put it on heavy duty cycle.

    I'll post my findings here in about 20 30 minutes when it's done.

    Justin -- Welcome to the board. You need to get your b.itch to do things like this. What's his/her problem?

    Lorenzo
    GR lives...

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by lorenzoinoc
    Justin -- Welcome to the board. You need to get your b.itch to do things like this. What's his/her problem?

    Lorenzo
    I've heard that women from south east asia have mastered the arts of washing balls and use techniques that pre date golf. maybe we should ask tee see to confirm this. Anyone heard from him? He seems to have gone quiet since the abrupt end to his vietnam golf thread.
    The views expressed by Not a Hacker are not meant to be understood by you primitive screw heads. Don't take it personally, just sit back and enjoy the writings of your better.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not a hacker
    I've heard that women from south east asia have mastered the arts of washing balls and use techniques that pre date golf. maybe we should ask tee see to confirm this. Anyone heard from him? He seems to have gone quiet since the abrupt end to his vietnam golf thread.
    I heard a rumor Tesee was in Latvia checking out the golf courses. Don't know if it's true.
    GR lives...

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by lorenzoinoc
    I heard a rumor Tesee was in Latvia checking out the golf courses. Don't know if it's true.
    I hope this is true, I've often pondered a Latvian golfing tour. I look forward to the thread.
    The views expressed by Not a Hacker are not meant to be understood by you primitive screw heads. Don't take it personally, just sit back and enjoy the writings of your better.

  46. #46

    Hello all

    Had to join today to let you guys know that i have been scouring the internet for a method of washing golf balls in bulk.
    Im quite surprised there are so few threads etc relating to this very issue.
    Anyway, i go looking for golfballs occasionally( pick out the good ProVs for me) and i used to make quite a few quid from it as a kid, but recently i have made a few outings and come back with a lot of balls. Too many for my needs so im gonna try sell the rest.
    It has always been a pain in the neck sitting scrubbing ones balls
    Reading through this thread ive merged a few suggestions with and added a few of my own to hopefully come up with the best bulk ball washing method of all time.
    Im doing a trial 20 balls of varying states.
    1. soaked them for 3 hrs in hot water and a few squirts of bleach
    2. bought a scouring pad 200mmX200mm for pots,pans etc(synthetic variety) cut it into 4 equal pieces 100x100.
    3. placed the squares of pad into a pillow case at the bottom.
    4 drained off the balls and them placed them into the pillow case with the pads.
    5. tied a knot about half way up the pillow case to stop the balls getting out. Didnt tie down to close to the balls as i want them to move around and rub against the pads when in the washing machine.
    6. put the case into the machine and on a 60 degree wash

    Bare in mind this is a trial and i will most likely need to jig the method around to get a good result.
    I hope the pads will not be too abrasive and ruin the outer cover of the softer balls.
    I will let you guys know my findings as soon as possible as the balls are currently swooshing around in the machine quite happily.

    The missus wasn't one bit impressed that i was going to defile her machine but on the promise of a new one if i broke it she was only too happy to let me stick my balls in it!!!

    Nice forum here btw
    Cheers
    Heehaw

  47. #47
    Hello again

    Results:
    Great success
    The trial 20 at 60 degrees c came out a little too clean with the glazing slightly worn but they were not the best balls so i tried again.
    This time i used about 30 balls all pretty good at 40 degrees and they came out really clean and this time not worn. I reused the same scouring pad this time which was not as course as when first used.
    Next i tried a selection of ProV1s to see the effect, again i reused the pads as i didnt wanna damage these balls, they came out very good.
    All dirt is removed with ease, the balls look like you see in the basket at the pro shop, lake balls that have been treated.
    Only con was that the felt pen or sharpie was not removed during the process.
    So i got some of the trouble and strifes nail polish remover (acetone free) and it removed 80% of the pen. Some balls it were left spotless but some have a shadow left where something in the ink must have attacked the surface of the ball.
    I will from now on be letting the balls pile up till i get 50 at a time to wash with this method.
    Best result i believe was the 40 degrees with washing powder and preworn scouring pads

    Hope this helps someone
    Heehaw

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