How to Clean Golf Grips and Make Them Look and Feel New

Written by Michael VanDerLaan 

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Golf is a complicated game. From finding the proper golf grip to knowing what equipment is right for your game, there are lots of factors that contribute to having fun and playing well. One of the easiest ways to improve your game and have more fun is to learn how to clean golf grips.

Oils and dirt build up on your grips over time, making them slick and difficult to hold on to. Cleaning your grips will help to keep the club from slipping in your hands. You're grip pressure will be more consistent and you will hit more solid shots. Keeping them clean might even make them last longer and save you money over time.

There are a number of ways you can clean your grips and get them looking and feeling like new. Whether it's soap and water or a specialized solution, knowing how to clean golf grips will give you a leg up on your weekend foursome and help you have more fun on the course. And don't forget that your putter grip needs cleaning, too!

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Best Way To Clean Golf Grips At Home

How to Clean Golf Grips

Cleaning your grips is something you can do anywhere. There are a number of methods we will talk about to help you learn how to clean golf grips at home. The first, and simplest, is probably exactly what you would expect. 

You will need water, mild dish soap, a soft scrub brush, and a towel. Mix the dish soap into the water, using enough that you have very soapy water with plenty of suds. Dip your scrub brush into the soapy water and just start scrubbing. We recommend scrubbing the grip well, rinsing it in your water, and scrubbing one more time to make sure all of the dirt and oil are gone. Rinse the grip off in clean water or a sink to remove any leftover soap, then wipe the grip dry with your towel. 

You want to make sure you don't put your clubs back into your golf bag while the grips are still wet. That is a recipe for mold and other problems. Let them air dry, preferable overnight, and enjoy your fresh grips in the morning!

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How To Clean Golf Grips With Windex

Golf Grip Cleaning Supplies

We bet you've never considered using a household cleaner like Windex to clean golf grips. We're here to tell you that it works wonders. Cleaning your grips with Windex is an added measure to the soap and water method. To do this, make sure you have scrubbed your grips with soap and water, and dried them as well as you can with a towel.

The advantage of Windex is the way it gets below the surface of your grips to break down any dirt and oil that is really in there. Spray the Windex on your grips, and let it sit for a few minutes. There is no scrubbing needed as the cleaner will work on its own. Once you have let the Windex sit for a little bit, rinse your grips thoroughly with warm water.

Be careful when using Windex on your grips. Windex is an ammonia based cleaner that will dry out the rubber of your grips if it is not rinsed off completely. If there is any left on the grips when you set them out to dry, they will become hard, brittle, and in complete need of immediate replacement. We love the way Windex gives a golf grip a like-new feel, just be diligent about rinsing it off. 

How To Clean Golf Grips With Simple Green

Simple Green Golf Grip Cleaner

Simple Green is a company who produced all purpose cleaners, laundry detergent, and other miscellaneous cleaning products. They also have a solution designed specifically for golf clubs. Simple Green creates eco friendly, non-toxic, biodegradable cleaners that are both affordable and effective. 

Cleaning your grips with Simple Green is a more streamlined process that combines the soap and water method with the addition on Windex. The entire cleaning process with Simple Green is 4 steps:

  1. Apply Simple Green foaming cleaner to your grips and let it rest for about 10 seconds.
  2. Using a toothbrush or soft scrub brush, scrub your grips thoroughly.
  3. Wipe your grips down using a damp towel, ensuring that you remove all of the Simple Green cleaner.
  4. Use a dry towel to dry your grips as best as you can.

As with other cleaning methods, you want to leave your clubs out to air dry, even if you feel like you've dried them well. That way, there is no risk of unwanted mold or mildew.

Check out Simple Green for yourself, and find out how to clean golf grips as quickly and easily as possible!

How To Clean And Restore Golf Grips

How to Restore Golf Grips with Brillo

This sounds like a question we have already answered, right? Actually, there is more to restoring your golf grips than just cleaning them well. There are a few options to enhance the cleaning and restoration process that will take your experience to the next level. 

The first and easiest thing you can do in addition to your cleaning routine is to scrub your grips with a Brillo pad. This works especially well with corded grips, as steel wool will grab the cord and really bring it out of the rubber. When you bring the cord back out of a grip, it revitalizes the traction and texture, giving you increased feel and security that the club it not going to move in your hands. A Brillo pad will have some of the same effect on cordless grips, scoring the rubber and adding texture to provide extra traction. This is the perfect option for you golfers with sweaty hands!

Along the same lines as using a Brillo pad, you can use sandpaper to score your grips. We have found that this does not have quite the same effect on cord as steel wool, although it is a quick solution if you already have some sandpaper laying around. We recommend staying away from coarse grit sandpaper if you are going to take this route, as the thicker grains will chew up the rubber more so than creating texture. 

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How to Restore Golf Grips with Sandpaper

Another option that falls more along the lines of cleaning your grips is to use a grip cleaning wipe. There are a few good options on the market - such as Pro Play Club Grip Cleaning Wipes - that are specifically designed to restore your grips and give them a like-new feel. Cleaning wipes use special blends of cleaning and restoring materials that target sweat, grime, and even leftover sunscreen. They also restore that tacky feel your grips had when they came out of the package!

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How Often Should You Clean Golf Grips?

You should clean your golf grips at least a few times every year. Truthfully, there is no wrong answer to the question other than "never." People who are playing and practicing every day tend to need to wash their grips more frequently than those who only play once a week or less. As a general rule of thumb, we recommend that you clean your golf grips at least once every 3 months.

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How To Make Golf Grips Tacky Again?

Grip enhancer

Everyone loves that new grip feeling in their hands, especially those extra tacky golf grips. You know it, the way the rubber clings to your hands and feels secure, no matter how much torque you try to put into it. Unfortunately, the nature of rubber is that it loses this quality over time. 

The first and easiest thing you can do is to simply clean your grips. Dirt, sweats, and other compounds play a major role in the way your grips become slick. Soap and water with a scrub brush will play a major role in restoring that tack that you know and love. 

Another important aspect of that feeling of tack and grip security is texture. As we discussed when talking about restoring your grips, using a Brillo pad or fine grit sandpaper to score the rubber and add texture will play a role in making your grips tacky again.

If you have done these things and are still looking for more tack, grip enhancers may be for you. There are a few on the market, but we prefer the Gorilla Gold Grip Enhancer. It is affordable, works incredibly well, and is super easy to use. Grip enhancers are even something you can keep in your golf bag for rainy or humid days.

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How To Clean White Golf Grips

How to Clean White Golf Grips with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

White grips are such a great look when they are freshly put onto your clubs. The problem is that every little bit of dirt and grime shows up and stands out. If you want to keep you white golf grips looking pearly white here is what you'll want to do:

First, as with any other grip, scrub them with soap and water. We have found that Dawn dish soap is especially effective at cutting through dirt and oils. You should see a noticeable difference in the shade of white just by doing this step. Once you have dried your grips, there are a couple of different ways we tested to go about really bringing out the white color.

A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser did a good job for us taking some of that remaining dirt off of a white grip. It takes some elbow grease, but if you really want to bring out that white finish your grips had when they were brand new, you're going to have to put some effort into it.

Another option that we found worked well was rubbing alcohol. We discovered that rubbing alcohol works particularly well on grips with less texture - like the Golf Pride Tour Wrap - and not as well on grips with more porous or textured rubber. We believe this to be due to the way dirt and grime are able to get below the surface on those more textured grips.

At the end of the day, if you want to put white grips on your golf clubs you should remember that they are not going to stay bright and pure white for long. There are certainly ways to bring the white back out, but it is next to impossible to keep them looking like they just came out of the package. 

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How To Clean Golf Pride Grips?

Letting Golf Clubs Air Dry

Golf Pride is the grip authority, including when it comes to how to clean golf grips. We consulted the experts to confirm the most effective way to clean your grips and keep them feeling great, round after round. What did Golf Pride have to contribute to the conversation?

You might be able to guess it; the soap and water method. It's simple, and it's incredibly effective. The biggest thing the grip experts at Golf Pride stress is to rinse your grips in soap free water after you scrub. Any leftover soap residue will make your grips feel slick and defeat the purpose of cleaning them. 

How To Clean Leather Golf Grips?

If you are a golfer who prefers the look and feel of a leather grip, it is important to remember that normal cleaning methods probably aren't going to work for you. Leather is much more sensitive to water than rubber, and will dry out quickly if you try to clean your leather grips with soap and water. 

Instead, you are going to want to find a leather cleaner and conditioner that will keep the grip looking new and fresh. We tried Blackrock Leather N Rich with the Roo from Grip Master, and here is what we found:

The Kangaroo leather of the Roo is already soft, tacky, and so enjoyable to use. Once it wore down and we used Blackrock to condition and restore it, the grip was as good as new! The leather conditioner cleaned and revitalized the leather, while the wax that is built into the conditioner restored the tack of the grip. You don't even need to let leather grips air dry. Once you have massaged in the conditioning lotion, you are done and ready for your next round of golf. 

Leather grips are more expensive than their rubber cousins. If you take care of them, they will last longer and perform every bit as well. A leather cleaner and conditioner like Blackrock Leather N Rich will do the trick and keep your grips looking and feeling incredible! 

How To Clean Winn Dri-Tac Golf Grips

How To Clean Winn Dri-Tac Golf Grips

The Winn Dri-Tac is a clear cut favorite here at Golf Gear Advisor. It also happens to be one of the only rubber grips that you cannot clean by scrubbing with soapy water. Part of what makes the Dri-Tac so soft and comfortable is the multi-layer construction. The outer layer is a thin rubber that does not respond well to abrasion. 

We learned the hard way that Winn Dri-Tacs do not respond well to aggressive scrubbing or cleaning. The top layer will lose its tack and even begin to peel off if you are not careful. 

In order to clean your Winn Dri-Tac grips, all you need are two towels - one damp and one dry. Use the damp towel to lightly wipe the grip, taking away surface dirt and oils. Once you have wiped down the whole grip, take your dry towel and pat off as much of the water as you can. Then, just like with every other grip, let them air dry for a bit.

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Final Thoughts

Regardless of the grips you use, whether you interlock or overlap, or what kind of golfer you are, learning how to clean golf grips is an important part of the game. Not only will cleaning your grips help you play better golf, it will also keep your equipment in better condition and help it to last longer.

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Understanding the needs of your type of grip, and then choosing a method of cleaning that works for you is key to restoring your grips to their original look and feel. Most grips respond well to soap and water, but there are plenty of other options. No matter what you decide to do, remember the order is wash, air dry, make more birdies, repeat!

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Photo of author

Michael VanDerLaan

Michael is an Associate Editor here at Golf Gear Advisor. He is a playing professional with a passion for finding the best equipment through product testing and evaluation. He has an intimate knowledge of the golf swing and a very effective way of communicating his knowledge to those that are interested in learning more. As an Associate Editor at Golf Gear Advisor, Michael shares his knowledge about the golf swing, fitness and finding the right equipment for your game.

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