Bowling Ball & Dishwasher: Does That Work And How?

Last updated on May 26th, 2021

Bowling Ball is a necessity in a bowling kit. A bowler’s game depends, first, on his arm and then on his ball. Although a bowling ball is a piece of low-maintenance equipment, it still needs cleaning at regular intervals.

A dirty bowling ball means poor grip and a lousy game. For the new bowlers buying expensive cleaning material is not a sound idea, so going for the Bowling Ball in Dishwasher method seems acceptable. With some precautions, this method is very effective and saves you the pain of going to the pro.

If the dishwashing method still does not convince you, there are a few alternatives listed below for you to try out. With a healthy ball, you would be shining at your bowling games around the town.

Cleaning The Bowling Ball

Bowling Ball with continuous use loses its grip and speed after multiple games. The coverstock of the ball collects dirt and oil when the ball slides over the lanes. This dirt not only reduces the rate and hook potential of the ball but also reduces its life.

An important exercise is to wipe your bowling ball after every game with a microfiber towel. Cleaning immediately after the match helps remove the excess oil and dirt on the ball before it becomes difficult to remove. If you don’t clean the ball regularly, the oil and dirt might seep inside and need deep cleaning. 

The next vital step to maintain your bowling ball is to deep clean it after, at most, every 75-100 games. It simply involves de-oiling your ball from the inside. 

Baking The Ball

One of the most common and effective methods bowlers use most of the time is to bake the bowling ball. It is not just literally baking the ball, but sure you can do that too. Don’t be surprised; baking is just like your ball having a steam bath.

If you are a regular player, your ball might collect oil quicker. You might need to assess the enactment of the ball and deep clean it after 40-50 games at max. 

Baking involves various easy methods which don’t require any special equipment. A bowling ball in the dishwasher is one method of baking the ball.

Bowling Ball In The Dishwasher

The ball is kept on the lower rack of the dishwasher and treated with hot water. Using soap is not necessary, and you can decide based on the condition of your ball. It is an effective technique but requires care. Some cautions you need to take before jumping to the procedure are listed below.


The coverstock of the bowling ball is reactive to hot water that helps to suck oil out. Setting the right temperature is crucial to this exercise to keep your ball in use. The ball can crack if it heats up too quickly.

The ideal temperature of water for your bowling ball is 140F. Any water beyond 200F can cause the ball to crack, rendering it useless. So, run your tap at max and check the temperature of the water.

Soap Or Detergent?

A very harsh chemical like a detergent can be harmful to the ball if used in excess. Soap is mild and helps to remove the oil better. You should use only hot water if you don’t use the ball much and feel not much oil is there.

There are special detergents and cleaners available in the market, and most professional bowlers tend to use them. For a new bowler, any dish soap in a small amount would do the task.

Dry Cycle

Note to switch the Dry cycle function off before putting your bowling ball in the dishwasher. Using heat to dry the ball is not the right way. It can lead to over-heating of the already heated ball and cause cracks.

Let the ball dry at room temperature. You can wipe it with a microfiber cloth but using the heat/ dry cycle is a big NO.


A delicate standard wash setting of the dishwasher is ideal for cleaning the bowling ball. Let’s have a close look at the steps to wash the bowling bowl in the dishwasher.

  1. Close the finger and thumb openings of your bowling ball with tape or earth. 
  2. Wipe out your dishwasher and spot the bowling ball in the base rack. Likewise, ensure the dishwasher meets the set standard of the wash cycle. 
  3. Make sure that the water temperature doesn’t surpass 140 degrees F.
  4. Then activate the bathing cycle so that dishwasher can rinse and wash the bowling ball.
  5. When the cycle is complete, allow the ball to cool. Take it out as soon as the water has cooled down.  
  6. Wipe it down with a microfiber fabric and allow it to dry for at least 24 hours before use.


A few advantages of using the dishwasher method are listed below.

  • Effectively accessible
  • Inexpensive method and does not pressurize your pocket
  • Broadly utilized and trusted by numerous individuals for washing the bowling bowl


A few disadvantages of using the dishwasher method are listed below.

  • A little slack regarding the temperature can cause over-heating of the ball.
  • The ball might not fit even the lower rack of some dishwashers. 

Other Similar Methods

There are some other methods of baking similar to the dishwasher method.

Hot-tub Bath

This method involves filling a tub or a bucket with adequately hot water. It is optional to put some soap in the water for better cleaning. With its holes taped, the bowling ball is submerged in this tub for some time and cleaned thoroughly. 

After you remove the oil, the ball is washed in clean water 2-3 times to remove the excess soap. This method is also effective but requires more time and effort than the dishwasher method.

Oven Baking

it is a literal baking method. The bowling ball is to be baked in the microwave to squeeze the oil out of it. 

The necessary step is to set the right temperature. A very high temperature can overheat the ball, leading to cracks. After taking the ball out, it is to be dried at room temperature and cleaned with a microfiber towel.

Alternatives For Cleaning Bowling Ball

If the baking method does not suit your requirements, explanations of some other techniques are below.

Bowling Ball Cleaner 

Cleaning a bowling ball may be a tedious task but using affordable and viable bowl cleaners makes things very easy. You can use either liquid or gel-based cleansers.

Take the following steps while cleaning a bowling ball with a cleaner. 

  • Purchase a good bowl cleaner along with a microfiber material or pad.
  • Spray the cleaner gently on the bowling ball, focusing on regions you can see belt marks. 
  • Now take the bowling ball in one hand and the microfiber material in the other. 
  • Spin the bowling bowl with one hand over the microfiber or pad.
  • One can also spray the cleaner on the microfiber instead of on the bowling bowl. You can use it to wipe the ball down from all sides.

While bowling ball cleaners are extraordinary for ordinary upkeep, they can clean the outside of the bowling ball. Assuming your bowling ball has absorbed a ton of oil, you may require a more profound purify.


One of the alternatives used by professional bowlers is talking your bowling balls to the nearest bowling pro-shop. You cannot always buy a cleaning machine for yourself; it’s advisable to go to an expert with such devices. 

The machines these star shops operate are called rejuvenators or revivers.  These machines are tanks of water that provide warmth to open up the pores of the ball and eliminate deeply entrenched oil. The time experts take to clean the ball may differ, though it usually takes an hour and a half. You can run errands while you clean the ball properly.

Dry Warming

It is another well-known strategy to clean the bowling ball.  The method is risk-free and easy to approach but can be time-consuming.

  • In this strategy, on a sunny, radiant day, leave your bowling ball out in the sun.  
  • The hot temperature will open up the pores, and the oil will come out on the surface.
  • Give your ball a decent wipe consistently to eliminate the oil. 

Note that this way, all oil will not emerge from the ball. You can utilize a hairdryer or a warmer to emulate the sun’s warmth on the off chance that you live in colder temperatures. One must be cautious as uneven warming can cause breaks in the ball.

Summing Up

Regardless of what course you choose to take, a profound clean after each 75-100 games becomes essential to keep the bowling ball in excellent condition. It is ideal to use the dishwasher for bowling balls. Mo Pinel also suggests it for Morich hardware when the overload needs a deep cleaning. There is no harm in exploring different avenues regarding techniques to discover the one that best suits your requirements.