The 10 Best Bowling Ball Cleaners to Buy in 2020

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If bowling is your main passion in life, you are going to want to keep your bowling balls looking great and keeping their optimal performance. This is where a quality bowling ball cleaner comes into play.

Bowling balls can take in and absorb a lot of unappealing things on their external surfaces, such as dirt and oil. While this may seem like it is only a cosmetic problem, it can actually end up hampering the performance of your bowling ball over time. A proper bowling ball cleaner, however, is a fast and effective way of getting your bowling ball in top-notch condition once more.

We’ve come up with a top ten list of the best bowling ball cleaners available. First up, though, we’re going to take a quick look at some bowling ball cleaner basics you should know before making a purchase. Right after that, we’ll get into the product reviews. So, get your best pair of bowling shoes on, fix that posture, and let’s get started!

Factors to Consider in a Bowling Ball Cleaner

Here are just a few areas of consideration to be thought about prior to choosing any of the bowling ball cleaners on our list. If you want more information, definitely be sure to check out our extended buyer’s guide at the end of the reviews.

Is It USBC Approved?

The United States Bowling Congress (USBC) is the final word on bowling item regulation in the United States. Make sure the bowling ball cleaner you buy is an approved product by them.

This might not be a big deal for someone who bowls casually, but if you’re looking to play professionally or semi-professionally, this is crucial. Lots of tournaments require USBC-only cleaners to be used or face a penalty.

Bottle Size

This really boils down to on the amount you want to haul around with you from lane to lane. You’re going to get the best value out of buying in larger quantities or in bulk. But, if you’re just looking for some one-off cleaning, a smaller bottle with less cleaning product will work well enough.

Bottled Cleaner or Wipes

Wipes are not going to be as thorough as dedicated cleaning solutions, gels, and foams for your bowling ball, but sometimes you’re in a rush and need a quick solution to a small problem. Disposable wipes are great for this. Our list contains two wipes at the bottom if you’re looking for something to have on hand during the game.

Price

Many of these bowling ball cleaning products aren’t going to take you to the cleaners when it comes to cost. Most, if not all of them, are decently priced. However, it’s worth noting that while you might spend more on a larger bottle of product, it can be used more over a period of time and might be a better option in the long run.

Get the Right Product for the Job

The physical makeup of each kind of bowling ball cleaner is going to be a crucial factor in your purchase. Some cleaning agents are better at removing oil, others polish up your ball from random filth that accumulates on its surface over time, like dirt.

It’s also worth noting that not every bowling ball is manufactured the same way. Is your ball made out of plastic material? What about resin? A plastic ball can be cleaned by all the cleaners on the list, while if you have a resin-reactive ball, look for a product that adds to the tackiness of the ball, such as our best premium pick.

While it’s true most bowling ball cleaners are going to be able to get the job done no matter what surface your ball has, it’s still a good idea to be mindful that the cleaner you are purchasing is a good fit for your particular type of ball.

Alright, now that you know the absolute minimum, let’s head on over to the reviews!

Top 10 Best Bowling Ball Cleaners 2020

1. Best Overall Bowling Ball Cleaner: Pyramid Monster Tac Bowling Ball Cleaner

Why we like it: This spray bottle type bowling ball cleaner has a high-quality formula content and its unique bottle design allows for fast and efficient cleaning.

Editor’s Rating:

Is It USBC Approved?

Yes

Details

This top of the line bowling ball cleaner is designed to clear out the nastiest filth and grime stuck to any ball out there. On top of being USBC approved, this cleaner also contains safe to use cleaning agents that don’t damage any bowling lane.

The best feature of this particular cleaner is its sheer versatility with bowling ball types. It’s able to clean many different types of bowling balls with various surfaces including plastic, urethane, resin, rubber as well as particle coverstock. This versatility alone makes it one of the very best products on this list.

Downsides

The biggest downside to this product is the spray nozzle portion can be tough to deal with sometimes as it’s not as hardy as you would think. Also, we found that it takes several applications of the product in order to strip off all traces of lane oil from your bowling ball.

Additionally, the smell of this product is a tad strong, but ultimately that’s a small thing worry when you have such a quality cleaning solution for your bowling ball needs.

Pros
  • Spray bottle design makes it easy to use
  • Absolutely destroys dirt and grime
  • Cost-effective
  • Versatile and can be used with many different bowling ball types
  • Comes in both 4oz and 8oz varieties
Cons
  • Might require more than one application in order to strip off all oils.
  • Strong smell
  • Spray bottle design can be troublesome at times

2. Best Bowling Ball Cleaner for Beginners: Bowlingball.com Bowling Ball Basics Kit

Why we like it: This handy one-stop-shop set is a perfect buy for people who are novices when it comes to the various accessories needed for effective cleaning of a bowling ball.

Editor’s Rating:

Is It USBC Approved?

Yes

Details

Sometimes when searching for an effective solution to your problems, you’re going to want the all-in-one item. When it comes to bowling ball cleaning supplies, the good people at bowlingball.com have you covered with this great intro set.

This kit contains three core items, a 4oz bottle of Monster Tac Bowling Ball Cleaner, a Monster-brand cleaning pad, and one dry grip ball. When you consider all three of these items at the asking price, you’ve got a serious bargain on your hands.

The cleaner portion is a high-quality Monster Tac brand cleaner that takes out tough dirt marks and other types of grime. The pad is of great quality for an intro-level item and makes applying the cleaning solution effectively. The grip ball is fantastic for keeping hold of the ball, especially in hotter climates, where sweat might make getting a proper grip on things a bit of a challenge.

This is a great starter option for beginners, and at under $20, the price cannot be beaten!

Downsides

The only real downsides we could find with this product is that the cleaner provided with the kit probably isn’t going to last you very long, especially if you bowl often. Also, if you’re already a seasoned hobby bowler or a pro, you’ve probably acquired most of these items already, especially the cleaning pad and ball grip components.

Pros
  • Three items in one simple set
  • Quality cleaning pad
  • Comes with a 4oz bottle of Monster Tac Remove All bowling ball cleaner
Cons
  • The extra items might be unnecessary
  • You’ll need to replace the cleaner quickly if you play a lot

3. Michelin Storm Foam Bowling Ball Cleaner

Why we like it: With this bowling ball cleaner, you only need a little bit of the solution in order to accomplish a lot when it comes to your cleaning needs, all while leaving you with a fantastic shine.

Editor’s Rating:

Is It USBC Approved?

It’s not specified whether this product is USBC approved or not.

Details

This is a great product if you want a bowling ball cleaning solution that does a lot with very little. Since it’s a foam-based cleaning agent, you can apply it directly to problem areas and wipe it off fast, making it a top product for impromptu cleans during a high-intensity bowling match.

While the above qualities are fantastic, what really matters is if it cleans a bowling ball effectively. We’re happy to report that not only does it fulfill that end of the bargain, it also leaves a certain level of “tackiness’ on your ball, giving it more of a grip advantage when you’re done cleaning.

The best part about this product is, since it’s a foam-based solution, it makes cleanup hassle-free. You won’t have to worry about dripping loose cleaning liquid all over the floor. Just a simple spray and wipe will suffice just fine!

Downsides

The only real downside we could find with this product is the cap on the bottle itself comes off easily, which might pose a problem down the line with solution leaking out into your bowling bag, or wherever you keep your additional bowling supplies at. A good way of dealing with potential issues like this is to keep the bottle in a plastic bag in case any leakage occurs.

Pros
  • The fast-evaporating foam-based formula ensures you don’t cause a mess
  • Gives the ball a great polish
  • Restores tackiness of your bowling ball
  • Just a small amount of the formula needed for a great clean
Cons
  • The cap needs some work, as it comes off easily

4. Best Premium Option: That Purple Stuff Bowling Ball Cleaner

Why we like it: This premium-level bowling ball cleaner almost completely restores your ball to its original state by making it extra tacky.

Editor’s Rating:

Is It USBC Approved?

Yes

Details

This bowling ball cleaner’s claim to fame is that it can immediately increase the tackiness of your ball. This makes it perfect for in-game use when you feel like your bowling ball needs a bit more traction than what you are currently getting.

It’s crucial to note that extra tackiness on a bowling ball can lead to better hook shots and consistency with strikes. That Purple Stuff is well-known for helping to deliver that extra tackiness.

This is a professional-grade bowling ball cleaner, and it is adept at wiping out all kinds of oils and dirt in a matter of seconds, keeping your ball at a high level of performance. Not only that, but it also has a great smell, which is something of a rarity when it comes to bowling ball cleaner. So, you can clean your bowling ball quickly without having to hold your breath during the entire procedure!

Downsides

This is a premium bowling ball cleaner, and because of that, you’re going to pay more. However, it’s such a fantastic product that leaves your ball feeling brand new, like the day you first bought it. Because of this, we have a hard time not recommending it, especially if you’re not averse to spending a few extra dollars for a top-quality product.

Also, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after using this cleaner, as it contains strong chemical elements that can irritate one’s skin if left unattended.

Pros
  • Helps to restore tackiness to your bowling ball
  • Destroys a considerable amount of surface oil and grime
  • Great smell
  • Fantastic for during-game use
  • Comes in different sizes and options
Cons
  • More expensive than other options on this list
  • The cleaning solution can irritate the skin

5. Michelin Storm Reacta Shine Bowling Ball Cleaner

Why we like it: This is a dual-purpose bowling ball cleaner that polishes just as well as it strips dirt and other undesirables.

Editor’s Rating:

Is It USBC Approved?

Yes

Details

The Storm Reacta Shine Polish & Cleaner is striking upon first glance. The bottle design is akin to an actual bowling pin. It’s an eye-catching product design choice, but how does its functionality hold up in the end?

Well, the good news is it does everything you need it to do when it comes to the proper cleaning of your bowling ball, from dirt to oil and everything in between. On top of that, it also gives your ball a bit of a polish when you’re finished applying the product.

Another interesting feature is that it can improve the overall tackiness of your bowling ball, which can help you make straighter shots in the long run. Because of this additional tackiness, it also is known for making bowling balls hook a little bit near the end of its journey down the bowling lane, which can lead to some significant tactical uses if your skill level allows for it!

Downsides

The real downside to this product is that it only comes in 4oz bottles, so if you’re an avid bowler, you’re going to be going through this stuff constantly. It’s definitely not the best bulk option on this list, however, it’s still a fantastic product with its cleaning and polishing capabilities.

Pros
  • Awesome bowling-themed package design
  • Dual function as both a cleaner as well as a polisher
  • Great smell
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Only comes in 4oz bottles

6. Tac Up Bowling Ball Cleaner

Why we like it: This is a great bowling ball cleaner with a fast-drying formula that gets your bowling ball clean fast without a lot of mess.

Editor’s Rating:

Is It USBC Approved?

Yes

Details

This bowling ball cleaner is completely biodegradable, which means it will not harm your ball, nor will it cause any kind of marring or damage to the bowling lane you use on the regular. So, if you’re the environmentally-conscious type of person, this is going to be the product that shines brightest for your bowling needs.

How does it fare on the cleaning end, though? It removes grease and grime with ease, and it’s also fast-drying, so you won’t be messing up the bowling lane with errant cleaning solution all over the floor when you’re through cleaning with it. This formula cleans well, and keeps your ball’s tackiness at the same time, a not-so-subtle nod to the product’s name!

Downsides

One of the bigger faults we found with the product was that the cap comes off relatively easy, which is a recurring theme with a lot of bowling ball cleaning products, but it still has to be observed. Nothing can ruin a game day more than a spilled cleaner inside your bowling bag! Also, the Tac Up cleaner has an especially pungent smell, so if you’re sensitive to harsh, chemical odors, buyer beware.

Pros
  • Biodegradable formula with an environmental focus
  • Dries fast
  • For amateur as well as pro use
  • Polishes your bowling ball along with cleaning it
Cons
  • The cap can come loose easily
  • Extremely harsh smell

7. Best Budget Bowling Ball Cleaner: Lane Ghost Bowling Ball Cleaner Spray Kit

Why we like it: This is a newly-arrived product for 2020 that is both high-quality as well as cost-effective.

Editor’s Rating:

Is It USBC Approved?

Yes

Details

This is very much the new kid on the block as far as bowling ball cleaners are concerned. It provides effective cleaning for all kinds of bowling balls, which makes it an excellent buy for someone who isn’t fussy about the cleaning product they use. They just want something that gets the job done without worrying about anything more complicated.

This product is also made in the USA, which might appeal to individuals who want to support products made in America as opposed to outsourced to other countries and shipped here. It also comes with its very own cleaning cloth, so this is actually an “everything you need” product right out of the packaging. Combine all of that with a low price, and you’ve got a really solid deal on your hands with this bowling ball cleaner.

Downsides

One of the biggest issues with the Lane Ghost Bowling Ball Cleaner is that we found it to take a lot of actual elbow grease to remove all unnecessary grime and mess from your bowling ball. This doesn’t mean it’s a terrible product by any stretch of the means, but you’re definitely going to have to put in a little more work to get your bowling ball spotless.

It has to be said, however, when you take into account the low price point of this product and the fact that it cleans all types of bowling balls with ease, this is still a great choice overall.

Pros
  • Low price point
  • Can be used on all types of bowling balls
  • Made in the USA
  • No foul odor
  • Comes with a cleaning cloth
Cons
  • Takes multiple tries to remove all dirt and oil

8. Best Bulk Option: MOTIV Power Gel Polish

Why we like it: It’s a bowling ball cleaner and polisher in a large 16oz bottle, which means if you’re going to be using a lot, it’s good value for money.

Editor’s Rating:

Is It USBC Approved?

Yes

Details

This is another great two-in-one product that has a polishing component along with being just an all-around bowling ball cleaner.

One really crucial aspect of this cleaner is that it’s purposefully designed to not alter your bowling ball’s surface in any way, shape, or form. This will keep your ball’s performance stable and secure, and will not alter it like some other products that cause additional tackiness and etc. It can also take out small, inconsequential scratches all along the surface of your bowling ball, making it look (almost) as good as new.

The very best aspect of this product, however, is the sheer amount you get with a purchase. A 16oz bottle is going to last you quite a while, especially if you aren’t the most prolific bowler in the world. This makes it a great bargain buy just on price point alone.

Downsides

We found that, despite the name of the product, this isn’t going to give you a super-lustrous shine. Additionally, it takes a lot of work to scrub out since it’s a gel-based product, making cleaning a bit more of a chore than some of the other products on this list.

Pros
  • 16 oz bottle, so a lot of product for the money
  • Gel compound allows you to clean every pore of your ball
  • Contains a natural, non-harsh formula
  • Can take out minute scratches on your ball
Cons
  • Isn’t the best option for polishing, despite its claims
  • Requires a lot of work to remove all of the gel from your bowling ball

9. Storm Reacta Bowling Ball Cleaner Wipes

Why we like it: For quick and on-the-go bowling ball cleaning, these wipes are a perfect addition to your bowling bag.

Editor’s Rating:

Is It USBC Approved?

Yes, but wipes might be banned by your league.

Details

Storm is a well-known brand when it comes to bowling ball cleaners, and they are to be trusted. Their cleaning wipes are a good addition to their brand and can help you to wipe off the dirt and grime on your ball quickly and (somewhat) efficiently.

These wipes claim to increase the tackiness level of your bowling ball, which is great for enhanced gripping of the ball, either to your hand or in contact with the lane itself.

Downsides

As mentioned above, these are disposable wipe products, and they aren’t going to give you the deepest of cleans that a terribly dirty ball is really going to need to get it back to 100% usability.

While these wipes can be used to clean up to four bowling balls at a time, be aware that you’re going to need to wipe them all down at once as the product dries out pretty fast.

Pros
  • Portable and resealable
  • One wipe can be used many times
  • Convenient and doesn’t take up much room
Cons
  • They dry out fast
  • Not the best for getting a complete clean

10. Motiv Bowling Response Bowling Ball Cleaning Wipes

Why we like it: It’s yet another fast, convenient bowling ball cleaning wipe that can be thrown into any bag for quick, on the spot cleaning.

Editor’s Rating:

Is It USBC Approved?

Yes, but wipes might be banned by your league.

Details

This is another bowling ball wipe option that is best used for fast cleaning during moments that might not be conducive for deep cleaning sessions, such as being in the middle of a tournament or other high-intensity games. Each wipe can handle cleanup for multiple bowling balls, but like other wipe-based products, they dry out quickly, so be sure to wipe everything down that you need to in one session.

Downsides

The Motiv brand of bowling ball cleaning wipes have a pretty harsh smell to them, so be aware of that if you are sensitive to such things. Also, the package is known for not sealing back up really well, so be extra careful with this product. You wouldn’t want your wipes drying out over a faulty seal.

Another issue is that this particular product doesn’t improve tackiness or do anything else special unlike the Storm brand listed above. Because of that, and the fact that they are at the same price point, we ended up rating these wipes lower, but overall they are still a decent buy if you’re not looking for anything special and just need something that is fast-access for your bowling ball cleaning needs.

Pros
  • Convenient
  • Portable
  • Each wipe can be used a few times
Cons
  • Unpleasant smell
  • The package can leak if not sealed properly
  • Doesn’t improve tackiness

Guide to Buying the Best Bowling Ball Cleaner

Why Is It Necessary to Use a Bowling Ball Cleaner?

Bowling is a sport that demands accuracy and precision in order to win the day. This requires you to be diligent in keeping your bowling ball rolling in an efficient, direct manner. The best way to make sure of this is to invest in a proper, high-quality bowling ball cleaner.

Unfortunately, bowling lanes can be poorly maintained depending on the location, and over time all of the grease, oil, dirt, and general grime can start to accumulate on your bowling ball, which can cause issues with how well your ball can end up maneuvering as it rolls down the lane.

Interestingly enough, your bowling ball isn’t a solid surface despite what your eyes might tell you. It’s actually quite absorbent and dirt can easily block up its pores over time, which will also affect the performance of the ball in a big way. Obviously, you don’t want problems like these popping up during the middle of a qualifying game, especially if you’re looking to go pro someday!

Now, it’s true that you can use household items such as soap and water and even rubbing alcohol for quick cleaning fixes, but ultimately you’re not going to get as deep of a clean with those sorts of things as you would a professional-grade cleaning agent.

How Do You Know When to Use a Bowling Ball Cleaner?

But how do you know that your bowling ball is long overdue for a cleaning? If you’re really focused on improving your game, you should ideally be cleaning your bowling ball after every session, especially if you’re looking to do the sport professionally at some point.

However, if you haven’t fully embodied this practice yet (we know life can get in the way), then there are a few key giveaways that can be noted easily. For one, if your bowling ball isn’t going in a straight line when you just know that you’ve made a perfect and precise straight shot, then something is probably up with the cleanliness of your ball.

Another dead giveaway is if your ball continually fails to make hooked or angular shots despite the fact that you were making these sorts of sorts accurately weeks ago.

Like we mentioned earlier in this section, the best way to nip all of these problems in the bud is to keep your bowling balls clean at all times, preferably as soon as you finish up a session at the lane. A few minutes of maintenance can be the difference between a stellar game, or a subpar one.

How to Use Bowling Ball Cleaner

Proper cleaning of your bowling ball is a crucial factor in having a great bowling session. It’s good policy to get the cleaning process right the first time, otherwise, you might end up with a half-clean ball, which can still ruin the overall performance of your game.

Here are a few simple steps to help you make sure you’re getting the cleanest bowling ball possible when utilizing a commercial-grade bowling ball cleaner.

  1. Have a decent cleaner as well as a wiping pad of some sort (such as a power pad or some other form of shammy towel) prepared first and foremost.
  2. Spray on a light coating of the cleaning agent all around the ball, getting as even of a layer as you possibly can. On the most on very obvious marks/patches of dirt and grime, you can add a little extra, but not much.
  3. Take your cleaning pad or cloth and spin the ball around while wiping the ball. This can be done either with the ball in one hand with the pad in the other, or it can be placed on a stable surface such as a table or shop counter. Alternatively, wipe every part of the ball while keeping it steady, but don’t miss a spot.
  4. Lace-up your shoes, you’re ready to go bowling!

If you’re more of a visual learner, here’s a helpful video from the National Bowling Academy that can show you the process in a real-time manner.

Final Considerations

It doesn’t seem like it, but investing in a good quality bowling ball cleaner can increase the quality of your game by quite a bit. Not only does it keep your bowling ball looking as fresh as the day you bought it, but it can also give your ball a greater efficiency with its drive and direction as well. Every little bit counts when you’re trying to knock all of those pins down in one strike.

We hope that this list of the best bowling ball cleaners has educated and informed you, as well as prompted you to make a purchase that is best suited towards your budget. With any of these quality products in your bowling bag at the ready, you can be confident in knowing you’re helping to keep your ball in tip-top game-ready shape as well as keeping your bowling ball looking bright and fresh at the same time.