How To Clean Golf Clubs and Golf Grips: Step-by-Step Guide

dirty golf club

The more golf you play, the dirtier your clubs will get. Playing with dirty clubs can negatively impact your shots and your swing. It’s essential that you learn how to clean your golf clubs and grips, and then actually put that into practice.

Luckily this process of cleaning golf clubs is not complicated, and it takes no time at all. Here is a step-by-step guide for cleaning golf clubs and grips. 

How To Clean Golf Clubs

The process of cleaning your golf clubs will vary slightly, depending on the types of golf clubs you own. Let’s look at the best practices for cleaning golf clubs so that you end up with something ready for your next shot. 

How to Clean Golf Irons

golf irons

The golf irons are the clubs that tend to get the dirtiest. However, the great thing about irons is that they are durable, and the cleaning process becomes considerably easier. 

Step 1: Prepare and Setup

To clean your golf clubs, you will need:

When you have these things, you can get started in the process. We also recommend doing this outside in a shaded area. 

The first step is to take a 5-gallon bucket and fill it halfway with soapy water. In addition, you will want to gather your other supplies like a golf cleaning brush and a microfiber cleaning towel. 

bucket of soapy water

Step 2: Let Clubs Soak for a Few Minutes

Once your bucket of soapy water is ready, you can take all your golf irons and place them in the bucket. We recommend leaving them in the bucket for a few minutes before you start cleaning. This soaking of the clubs ensures that you will have no problem removing some of the stuck dirt or sand. 

Step 3: Scrub Each Club Head

Now you will take one club out of the bucket at a time and start to clean it individually. Some golfers like to use a golf club brush; others find the microfiber cleaning cloth does just as good of a job. If you have premium golf clubs, we recommend the microfiber cloth to ensure you don’t do any damage. 

The microfiber cloth does a tremendous job of getting dirt out of the grooves. Apply a little pressure with your hand, and you will be surprised how clean the club can get. Make sure to clean the bottom of the sole and the entire face. 

Step 4: Soak Again

After scrubbing the golf iron, place it back in the bucket to soak. This additional soak will remove any debris that may have become loose or missed by the cleaning cloth. 

Step 5: Dry 

The last step is to dry the golf irons before storage. You can use an additional dry microfiber cloth for this or even the towel on your golf bag. The drying process is essential as golf clubs stored when wet can sometimes rust. 

When cleaning your golf irons, be sure to clean your wedges. The wedges tend to get the dirtiest, requiring the same cleaning process as the irons. 

How to Clean Golf Woods

driver on grass next to ball on tee

Now that you know how to clean irons, you can move on to the woods. This process is a little different because of the physical makeup of the golf woods in your bag. We would consider a hybrid a wood in this situation, so wash the hybrids, fairway woods, and drivers separately from the irons and wedges. 

Step 1: Prepare and Setup

When cleaning your golf woods, you will want to set up a large bucket filled with soapy water. In addition, you will need a microfiber cleaning cloth. Some golfers like to have a cleaning brush with soft bristles to help them with the wood, but this is really not necessary. 

Step 2: Let Clubs Soak

The first part of the wood cleaning process is to put your woods in a bucket of soapy water and let them soak. We highly recommend placing your golf woods in a bucket on their own. Sometimes mixing irons and woods can result in minor dents or scratches, defeating the purpose. Woods need a bit more care when you are cleaning them. 

Step 3: Wipe Clean 

Once you have let your golf woods soak for a few minutes, you can take them out and wipe them clean. We recommend using a microfiber cleaning cloth to get this done. With the cleaning cloth, you can get rid of any excess dirt that has built up on the face of the woods or the sole. 

When you clean a fairway wood, the dirt should come right off. These clubs do not have grooves that are as deep, so getting the debris off the clubface will be considerably more manageable. If you don’t need the soft bristle brush and the debris comes off easily, we recommend skipping the brush; it’s just unnecessary. 

golf towels

Step 4: Soak Again

Once you have wiped the fairway woods and driver clean, you can put it back in the bucket to remove any other debris. This only needs to happen for another minute or two before you remove the club. 

Step 5: Dry and Replace Headcover 

Once the golf club is out of the bucket, take a clean and dry towel to ensure that the club is completely dry before putting it back in the headcover. The fairway woods, driver, and hybrid take a bit more time to clean because they are more delicate. Keep this in mind so that you do not do any damage. 

How to Clean Golf Club Shafts

Golf club shafts don’t tend to get as dirty as the rest of the club. When cleaning your golf irons or golf woods, we recommend taking the microfiber cloth and using it to wipe down the shaft. 

Some golfers struggle with removing the sticker or label from their golf shafts. For this, you can use little mineral spirits, and the debris and residue should come right off. There is no reason to use a brush of any kind on the golf shaft, especially graphite shafts. 

How to Clean Golf Grips

golf clubs laying down with shafts and grips

Now that you have all the details on how to clean golf irons and woods, it’s essential to consider the grips that each of these clubs has. You should clean grips quite often, but many golfers overlook this part of the club. Keeping your grips clean could also save you money on grip replacement. 

Step 1: Prepare and Setup 

To clean golf grips, we recommend having a microfiber cleaning cloth and a small bucket of soapy water. It is important to follow the best practices for cleaning grips as they will differ from cleaning the golf club head. 

The first key point is that you don’t want to soak or submerge the grip completely. This is just unnecessary, and it takes too much time for the grip to dry. You can clean the grip without dumping it into a bucket of water. 

Step 2: Scrub Grip 

Take a microfiber towel and soak it in water and soap. Then take your golf grip and use this microfiber cleaning cloth to scrub the grip. There are some tools called grip brushes, and some players will use these, but you must be careful with the type of grip you have on your club. 

Grips will get filled with oil from our hands, our sunscreen, and sweat. A little soap in the microfiber cleaning cloth can help neutralize these oils and make grips less slippery. 

Step 3: Wipe Clean 

Once you have finished scrubbing the grip with the soapy rag, it is best to take a clean microfiber cloth and wipe the grip clean. You will probably still feel as though the grip is wet, which is fine now. Simply ensure that you have taken all the soap off so it does not dry on the golf grip. 

Step 4: Set out to dry 

Once you have finished scrubbing the grip, place it in a shady area outside to dry. Do not put the grip back in your bag as it won’t have enough airflow to dry properly. Instead, leave it outside on a towel and give it some time. 

Leaving the rubber grips in the sun is not the best choice as it can end up cracking and damaging the rubber material in the grip. 

Step 5: Follow best practices to ensure grips don’t get unnecessarily dirty 

Once you have gone through the process of cleaning your golf grips, it’s best to ensure they don’t get dirty again. If you apply sunscreen before a round of golf, make sure to wash your hands. Use the towel on the golf bag to ensure your hands are dry before placing them on your golf club. In addition, wearing a glove can sometimes prolong the life of the grip. 

Golfers can also invest in grip cleaning wipes to use periodically on their grips and make for quick and easy cleaning on the golf course. If you don’t want to take the time to clean your golf grips all that often, these cleaning wipes can help save you time. 

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05/30/2023 08:08 pm GMT

FAQs about Cleaning Golf Clubs & Grips

Cleaning golf clubs and golf grips is a process that all golfers should understand well. Golfers spend quite a bit of money on their golf clubs. If you do not adequately care for them, expect to see deterioration happen faster. 

How often should you clean golf grips?

Golf grips should be cleaned once a month for the avid golfer. However, if you play a lot of golf and want your golf grips to hold up over time, cleaning the grips often will certainly help. When you clean golf grips, always follow the recommended practices so they don’t get damaged. 

How often should you clean your golf clubs? 

Golf clubs should be wiped clean at the end of every round. In addition, it is a good idea to clean your golf clubs thoroughly once a month. This deep cleaning can remove any dirt stuck in the club’s grooves. 

Do clean golf clubs really matter?

Clean golf clubs make a big difference. What is the point of taking a perfect swing, hitting the ball directly in the center of the clubface, and then having a clump of dirt or sand block all of your spin and distance? There are already too many variables in the game of golf; clean golf clubs should not be one of the things holding you back.

How do I get my golf clubs to shine again? 

There are polishes that you can use to clean your golf clubs and make them shine. The most important thing about these is to ensure that all of the polish is removed. If the polish is still in place after cleaning, it can be a little slippery on the face of the club. 


Hopefully, you now feel as though you can clean any golf club in your bag with complete confidence. Golf club cleaning is important and will impact your ability to score. Always ensure that you use the proper tools so you don’t unnecessarily scratch and damage your golf clubs. 

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Joe Morelli

Joe Morelli is the founder of TopRankGolf, a passionate golfer with decades of experience playing this amazing sport. He's dedicated to helping golfers learn, improve and enjoy the game of golf.