can you wash golf balls in the dishwasher

Can You Wash Golf Balls in the Dishwasher?

Last Updated on September 28, 2023

Golf balls, much like many other pieces of golf equipment such as clubs, shoes, and bags, can become soiled after playing a few rounds on the green. The golf course, with its fairways, sand traps, and rough, presents various environments where your golf balls can accumulate dirt, sand, and grass. This dirt can affect their performance, much like dirt on a golf club face or spikes on golf shoes. Just as a golfer would maintain their golf bag, ensure a golf tee is in good condition, or even clean out their golf cart after a game, cleaning golf balls becomes a crucial task for those passionate about the sport.

While there are numerous methods to clean golf balls, ranging from specialized golf ball washers found at many golf courses to DIY methods at home or even using simple tools like a golf ball retriever to pick balls out of water hazards, this guide will delve into the feasibility of washing them in a dishwasher and its impact on the balls’ quality and longevity.

Can You Wash Golf Balls in the Dishwasher?

Yes, you can indeed wash golf balls in the dishwasher. It’s a convenient and straightforward method, especially when cleaning many golf balls simultaneously. If you’ve ever been to a driving range, you’d notice the large number of balls they have, and imagine cleaning them – a dishwasher method seems practical!

While cleaning golf balls in a dishwasher might not be as traditional as, say, getting advice from a golf pro at the pro shop or following golf etiquette, it’s a method gaining traction due to its convenience.

Multiple golf balls can be washed at once, saving significant time and effort compared to hand cleaning each ball, using a ball cleaner, or even visiting the golf simulator to check if the cleaned balls maintain their trajectory.

The dishwasher’s deep-cleaning capability is another compelling reason. The pressurized water and heat effectively remove embedded dirt and stains from the golf ball’s dimples, which play a vital role in the ball’s trajectory and spin rate. This level of cleaning is hard to achieve with a simple rinse or wipe, just like cleaning the grooves of a golf club or ensuring the golf grip remains intact and non-slippery.

Basic Dishwasher Cleaning Golf Balls

Cleaning golf balls in a dishwasher is as straightforward as setting your golf handicap or marking your ball position with a ball marker. Here’s a step by step guide:

  1. First, ensure the balls are free from any visible dirt or sand, much like you’d clean off a golf club after a shot from a sand trap or brushing off grass from your golf spikes. You can rinse them under running tap water.
  2. Arrange the balls in the dishwasher, preferably on the top rack for a gentler cycle.
  3. Use regular dishwasher detergent and set your dishwasher on a regular cycle.
  4. Once the cycle completes, let the balls air dry before using them again, similar to letting golf gloves air out after a round or storing them in the golf bag’s side pockets.

Remember, while this method is convenient, repeated dishwasher cleaning might affect the balls’ outer layer over time due to the heat and detergents, possibly influencing their performance during a putt on the green.

Does It Wash Team

Dishwash Golf Balls with Vinegar

Using vinegar, a natural cleaning agent, ensures a gentler cleaning process that might extend your golf balls’ lifespan, much like how some golfers use vinegar to remove stains from golf shirts or hats.

  1. Pre-rinse the balls.
  2. Place them in the top rack of the dishwasher.
  3. Fill the detergent compartment with white vinegar.
  4. Run the dishwasher on a normal cycle.
  5. Once done, let the balls air dry.

Dishwash Golf Balls with Baking Soda

Baking soda, akin to vinegar, is another gentle cleaning agent for golf balls in the dishwasher. It’s also a popular choice for cleaning other golf equipment.

  1. Pre-rinse the balls.
  2. Position them on the top rack.
  3. Fill the detergent compartment with baking soda.
  4. Run the dishwasher.
  5. Allow the balls to air dry.

Baking soda not only removes stains and dirt but also ensures the balls remain in optimal condition, ready for your next golf tournament or casual round with friends.


Where should you place golf balls in the dishwasher when washing them?

When washing golf balls, similar to delicate dishes or glassware, it’s best to place them on the top rack of the dishwasher. This location is typically more gentle and ensures the balls do not disrupt water flow, become a hindrance to the rotating sprayers, or come loose during the cleaning cycle, possibly causing them to drop and damage the dishwasher’s bottom.

How many golf balls can you wash in the dishwasher at once?

Much like when determining how many plates or utensils can be fit, the number of golf balls you can wash at once largely depends on the size and model of your dishwasher. However, avoid overloading to ensure each ball gets thoroughly cleaned, just as you would ensure each dish gets an effective clean.

As a guideline, washing 20-30 balls in a single cycle should be suitable for most standard-sized dishwashers, but always make sure there’s enough space between them for effective cleaning

How long does it take to wash golf balls in the dishwasher?

The duration for washing golf balls is akin to washing a regular load of dishes. It depends on the specific dishwasher cycle you select. A typical dishwasher cycle, whether you’re cleaning pots, pans, dishes, or golf balls, ranges from 1 to 2 hours. However, much like letting dishes cool and dry, remember to allow extra time for the balls to air dry after washing, ensuring they’re free from any detergent residue.

Can washing golf balls in the dishwasher improve their quality?

While washing golf balls in the dishwasher can certainly improve their appearance by removing dirt, grass stains, and other marks, similar to how a washer improves the appearance of a golf shirt, it may not necessarily enhance their performance quality on the golf course.

Not only that, frequent washing in the dishwasher, with its high temperatures and potentially abrasive detergents, could potentially damage the ball’s outer layer, altering its aerodynamics and feel during play.


Cleaning golf balls in a dishwasher can be a straightforward and convenient process, much like washing other golf equipment or even regular kitchenware. However, to protect your golf balls, consider using gentler alternatives like vinegar or baking soda instead of regular detergent. Always place the balls on the top rack, and avoid overloading the dishwasher to ensure each ball gets a thorough clean.

While this method definitely gives a fresh look to the balls, much like a clean golf tee or a polished golf club, it may not enhance their performance on the fairway or the putting green. Frequent dishwasher cleaning could potentially affect the balls’ durability and lifespan, so it’s important to weigh the convenience against potential long-term effects.