How to Clean and Maintain a Bowling Ball

An Article on How to Clean and Maintain a Bowling Ball

Cleaning your bowling ball is fairly easy, yet it is one of the most neglected things in bowling. After you read this article you should be able to maintain and clean your bowling ball. You will need some basic supplies which I will explain below.

Here Are Some Terms Used in Bowling Ball Maintenance.

1. Abralon = A special pad with different grits like sandpaper.
2. Scuffing pad = A special pad that has different colors for different grits.
3. Wet And Dry Paper = A special sandpaper with different grits.
4. Bowling Ball Cleaner = A special cleaner made for bowling balls.
5. Bowling Ball Polish = A special polish made for bowling balls.
6. A Ball Spinner = A machine used to aid in bowling ball maintenance.
7. A Ball Resufacer = A automatic machine used to resurface bowling balls.
8. Microfiber Towel = A special absorbent towel for cleaning a bowling ball.

Here are Some Fundamentals in Bowling Ball Maintenance.

As a bowling ball rolls down a bowling lane a few thing happen. it picks up lane conditioner and dirt. Because of this the bowling ball looses its traction as it picks ups the lane oil and dirt, also the bowling ball surface smoothes out and has less traction.

Bowling Ball Looses Performance Because.

1. Oil or lane conditioner soak in the pours on the cover stock.
2. Dirt mixes with the lane conditioner and clogs up the cover stock.
3. Constant rolling the bowling ball smooths out the surface.

Because of this performance loss we must clean and maintain the bowling ball.

There are 4 main stages in bowling ball maintenance.Here are some examples.

1. After frame surface cleaning.
2. After a bowling session surface cleaning.
3. Periodic surface rejuvenation.
4. Deep cleaning or grit Cleaning.

Methods of Surface Cleaning

Keep in mind that most of what I am talking about is for newer high performance bowling balls.
(Note: Plastic bowling balls only need steps 1 and 2, And maybe polish every 100 games.)

You will need some basic supplies.
1. A microfiber towel.
2. Some bowling ball cleaner.
3. Some Abralon pads or scuffing pads or even wet and dry sand paper.
4. Warm water and a bucket big enough for a bowling ball.
5. Bowling ball polish.
After frame surface cleaning.

1. Use a microfiber towel after each frame. This will help prevent the oil and dirt from being soaked into the cover stock. It wiil give you a fresher bowling ball surface for a consistent ball reaction. Concentrate on cleaning the lane conditioner on the bowling ball track.

After a bowling session surface cleaning.

2. Using bowling ball cleaner in combination with a microfiber towel after a bowling session will greatly reduce oil abortion. Do this by applying bowling ball cleaner onto your micro fiber towel, then use it to wipe off the bowling ball. Concentrate mainly on the bowling ball track. Afterwords wipe the bowling ball dry with a dry part of the micro fiber towel

Periodic surface rejuvenation.

3. After so many games or frames a bowling ball surface smoothes out. When this happens the ball looses its teeth. The bowling ball becomes less reactive due to the loss of traction. The loss of reaction can be restored on a reactive bowling ball with an Abralon pad or a scuff pad. Also, certain grits of wet and dry sand paper will work. Every 10 to 20 games on a reactive resin bowling ball it is recommended that you rejuvenate with the appropriate grit of abrasive. This can be done by hand by making the scuffing pads wet with warm water or bowling ball cleaner. Below is a link to a chart that explains surface reaction better. Most bowling ball companies will tell you whatthe out of box finish the ball came with is. If you have a polished ball, the polish will wear off and rejuvenation becomes necessary. Use a combination of appropriate scuff pads and polish. Once again look at the out of box finish and the instructions on the cleaner and polish. Make sure there is no polish residue left on the bowling ball. Also, I like to let the ball set for at least 24 hours after I rejuvenate the surface.

Bowling Ball Surface Reaction Chart

Deep cleaning or grit cleaning.

After so many games the bowling ball will absorb so much lane conditioner that even cleaning and scuffing the surface will not seem to have the same great reaction. I have seen the best success in oil extraction with warm water in a bucket. I have tried other methods, but this seems to work the best. Today�s bowling balls are like sponges. Like a sponge they can only absorb so much water, then they need squeezed out. Bowling balls, like sponges and water, can only absorb so much lane conditioner until they are full. Then we must find a way to extract the lane conditioner. Here is the best method I have found to do this. After every 50 to 100 games scuff your bowling ball surface down to about 1000 Abralon. Now get a bucket big enough to hold your ball. Put the bowling ball in the bucket finger and thumb holes down. Gradually pour in warm tap water (not hot). Let the bowling ball set in the water for about 30 minutes. Pour off the water and repeat with a little warmer water this time (not hot but warmer than before). Once again let it set for 30 minutes, and again pour off the water. Now put the bowling ball in the bucket again but use even warmer than the last time. Get the water about as hot as you can get it from your kitchen sink but not boiling. You don�t want to shock the ball surface. This time put degreasing dish soap in the water. Get it sudsy and let it set in the bucket again for 30 minutes and then pour off the water. Rinse the bowling ball off and dry with a towel. Let the bowling ball set for at least 3 days. Now bring the surface back to your desired specifications.

Basic Rule of Thumb
1. After every frame wipe off your bowling ball with a micro fiber towel.
2. After every session of bowling use a micro fiber towel and bowling ball cleaner.
3. After every 10 to 20 games rejuvenate the bowling ball surface with an abrasive.
4. After about 50 to 100 games extract the lane conditioner out of your bowling ball with warm tap water and degreasing dish soap. (Not Boiling)
(Note: There are other methods out there but I have found this to work the best for me.)

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