How to Remove Scuff Marks from a Bowling Ball

If you are a fan of bowling, there’s a good chance you’ve encountered scuffs on your bowling ball. While these might just look like physical blemishes, they can ruin a good shot by attracting more dirt, throwing you off your game. Scuff on a bowling ball is something you will want to tackle straight away to make sure you can get the best shot every time you are at the bowling alley. 

There are many ways to clean scuff marks off your bowling ball. Let’s delve into everything you need to make it happen.

Read here if you need to fix a cracked bowling ball

White and red bowling ball and pin

Products to Remove Scuff Marks from Bowling Ball

Removing scuff from a bowling ball can be a cumbersome activity, but there are some products out there that help take the pain of finding the right concoction away. These products are safe for bowling balls, so you don’t need to worry about using the wrong thing. 

  • Creating the Difference TruCut Scuff Mark Remover: This is a great scrubber for the bowling ball, but the company recommends using it alongside So Fresh & So Clean Bowling Ball Life Extender. Both products have excellent reviews because they are specifically for cleaning the scuff marks. All you do is spray the solution onto the scrubber and clean the scuff marks. 
  • Lane Ghost Bowling Ball Cleaner Spray Kit: This is an all-in-one kit that will allow you to focus on your game. This product removes oil buildup, dirt, dust, and even belt marks from the ball. What’s more, this one is United States Bowling Congress Approved, which means it should fit the bowl.
  • Monster Tac Bowling Ball Cleaner: This is another well-reviewed product that will help keep your bowling ball clean and free from scuffs. This can be used anytime, meaning if your bowling ball gets a scuff while you’re at the lanes, you can easily clean it off. This also restores tackiness. 
  • Washable Giant Microfiber Bowling Ball Polisher: This is a great product that allows you to clean your bowling ball on the go. This allows you to clean without any sort of spray or liquid, but you might find that it is better to clean the scuffs with a liquid. 

Above are just a handful of the products on the market that allow you to clean the scuff marks from your bowling ball. These will enable you to continue working on keeping your bowling ball going in the right direction. 

Items in the Home You Can Use to Clean Scuff Marks from Your Bowling Ball

If you are in a pinch and want to clean your bowling ball but don’t have any of the above products, there are some solutions: 

  • Windex: Windex is well known for being able to clean a bowling ball, but the product is only ever used to clean light surface marks. That means you might want to look at something more substantial if it’s been a long time since the scuff marks first appeared on the bowling ball. 
  • Rubbing alcohol: This can be a potent substance. The best way to clean with this is to cover the finger hole with something waterproof, submerge the ball in hot water, and dry with a lint-free towel. You can then dip a cloth into rubbing alcohol and clean the ball in circular motions. 

These are the best items to use if you are in the home, but you need to be sure you are not overdoing them. Your best bet is to use items made specifically for bowling balls, to be sure. 

The aforementioned rubbing alcohol can be a great thing to clean your bowling ball, and while many people do it, be cautious of its effect on your ball. Depending on the coating, it can actually dry the outer layer of the bowling ball out. 

This can negatively impact the performance on the lanes. The drying of the outer layer can also lead to the bowling ball becoming more prone to cracking. The rubbing alcohol will work wonders for many people, so it truly comes down to the type of bowling ball. Never submerge the bowling ball in the alcohol. 

Water Could be the Worst Thing for Your Bowling Ball

Many people use water on things like bowling balls, thinking it will be a quick fix. When used sparingly, it can help to clean your bowling ball. If you do ever submerge it in water, do not exceed 15 minutes. 

Bowling balls are firm, but they can be warped by exposure to too much moisture. Always remember to cover the finger hole with something waterproof. Waterproof plasters or tape are a great way to combat this. 

If the ball warps, you will be in for a tough time. The ball will not go down the lane as it should, and you won’t be able to revive it. Always be mindful of moisture on the bowling ball to allow you to keep it in the correct shape. 

If possible, use one of the products further up to try to avoid water altogether. In small doses, water is fine, but too much can be a big issue for you.

Should You Sand a Bowling Ball to Get Rid of Scuffs?

Resurfacing a bowling ball can be an excellent way to give your bowling ball a new life. This isn’t something you should often do, but it can be good every few years to really get into every part of the ball. Some people resurface the bowling ball once every 50-70 games, but you should always consider whether this is truly necessary. 

The bowling ball gripping the lane is required to make sure you keep things on the right track for your bowling ball.  It might be the case that if you take part in tournaments, you will need to have this done. This is to ensure a fair game for all involved.

While it might sound like a surefire way to fix all the issues with your bowling ball, you need to consider whether it is the best foot forward. Sanding is almost always only recommended for professional bowlers. While it will take the scuff marks and other marks off the ball, it can also change various characteristics. 

This means the ball you are so accustomed to using could be rendered too difficult to use for you. This is because sanding can change the weight and the grip of the ball. The only way to be sure the sanding process will work in your favor is to sand the right amount of the ball. 

There will be plenty of professionals in your area who will be able to help with the process of sanding, but it’s always best to have someone comfortable with sanding do the deed. This will allow you to get back on the lanes. 

Another thing to consider is that the cost of sanding might actually not be much more expensive than getting a new ball. Bowling balls come in different shapes and sizes, meaning you might be better off just buying a new one. It will all come down to personal preference.

Can a bowling ball be recycled?

Don’t Put Off Cleaning Your Bowling Ball

One of the biggest questions from people with scuff marks on their bowling ball is whether it can break a bowling ball. You might be surprised to know that scuff can damage a bowling ball. This is because it can attract other particles that scratch the bowling ball and get beneath the protective layer. 

Scuff marks may be frustrating, but it is best to get rid of them quickly so that they don’t start to add up and throw you off your game. The only way to be sure you are doing the right thing is to clean the scuff marks with materials that will not damage the coating around the bowling ball. 

The most common coating on bowling balls is made of polyester, a type of plastic covering known for being ridged. This is great for going to any bowling lane, and in most cases, it will be enough to keep the ball safe.

How do you clean a bowling ball’s finger holes?

Can You Use Acetone on Your Bowling Ball?

You have to be careful what you use to remove scuffs and clean your bowling ball with. A lot of people ask if you can use acetone to clean your ball. Read if using acetone on your bowling ball will damage it.

Tips to Avoid Scuffs On Your Bowling Ball

If you hate getting scuffs on your bowling ball, you’ll be happy to know there are some things you can do to avoid getting them. This will allow you to focus more on the bowling and less on the scuffs. 

  • Check the lane: The best way to keep the ball clean is to check the lane. If there is a buildup of wax, dirt, or even dust, it can stick to your ball and cause scuffs. If the lane is dirty, you can ask for it to be spruced up or pick another lane. 
  • Take care when picking the ball up from the belt: If you slide the ball while picking it up, there’s a good chance some of the residues from the belt will attract to the ball, leading to scuff marks. Try to pick the ball up in a way that allows you to not glide on the belt. 
  • Keep the ball in a bowling ball case: When you are no longer using the bowling ball, be sure to put it in a protective case. If you put it in a bag the moment you are done using it and have been careful not to get streaks on it, it will stay smudge-free for longer. 
  • Don’t let scuffs build up: The worst thing you can do is allow the scuffs to build up. It is a surefire way to have more issues down the line. 

This is just a handful of tips that will help you when it comes to keeping your bowling ball in fine form. 

Never Bowl With a Scuff-Marked Bowling Ball

If you are bowling, there’s a good chance you are with a group of people, so there is an incentive to win the game. Here are some reasons why you should never use a scuff-marked bowling ball:

  • It can mess with your precision: Precision is critical when bowling. You want to ensure you have control over the ball, allowing you to land the shot you are attempting. The scuff can mess that up for you. 
  • Speed is also an issue: If you plan on knocking all of the pins down, you will probably be well aware that speed is crucial to hitting those pins. If there are scuffs, it will break the speed and might be the difference in whether you win or lose the round. You always want the most points. 
  • A scuff will continue to mount: The more the ball has scuff, the more it will attract more scuff. If it picked up grease or debris on the lane and you continue to use that same lane without it being cleaned, it will only continue to mount. Scuff is a problem that will not just go away. You need to act. 

The simple thing to consider here is that the ball will not do what you expect of it. You will be well aware of how to knock the pins down with your ball. It becomes like an intuition after a while, but if your ball is scuffed, it will do a lot of things you don’t expect on the lanes. The only way to keep in control of the game is to not have scuffs on the ball.

Take Care When Cleaning Scuff Marks from Your Bowling Ball

It’s always best to take a less-is-more approach. If you can use less product, the better. While some of the products have been deemed safe for your bowling ball, too much can take the look off the ball. Don’t use product on the ball after every game because the chances of you having smudges on the ball after all of them are pretty slim. 

The best thing to do is to consider how often the smudges are happening, why they are happening, and take action to make sure they do not continue to pose a problem. It can be tedious to constantly be worrying about scuffs, but if you take everything above in mind, you will be able to keep your bowling ball in the best shape. 

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