How to Clean the Golf Grips on Your Clubs

A caddie wipes down the grip on a golf club
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Just as with the clubheads on golf clubs, the grips on your golf clubs will perform better - and help you perform better - if you keep them clean. Regular grip-cleaning helps remove dirt, sweat, and oils from our hands, sunscreen residue or spilled beer or anything else that might get in the way of having a proper hold on the golf club.

As with cleaning the clubheads, there are a couple of ways to clean your golf grips. You can simply wipe them down with a moist cloth, then dry with a second cloth. You can also spray on a mild liquid cleaner, such as Windex, then wipe off.

(Note: Do not use detergents on genuine leather grips.) 

Some of the golf club cleaning kits you'll find in pro shops or at online retailers include instructions for cleaning grips. You can also find cleaners made specifically for grips. And these work well (just make sure to read the enclosed instructions to make sure the cleaner is OK to use on your specific type of grip). One of them is even made by a well-known grip manufacturer, Lamkin, and is called "Gripes":

Or you can use items you probably already have in the house to clean your golf grips at no cost, and in very little time. The method described here takes a few more minutes than the Windex or water methods, but it works well for getting off the grime that builds up, and for washing away oils from our hands and chemicals from the golf course.

All you'll need is a mild dishwashing detergent and two cloths, one to use wet and the other to dry with.

The No-Cost, At-Home Method: First, Make Suds

how to clean golf grips Golf

Insert a stopper in your kitchen sink. Squirt a little dishwashing detergent into the sink, then fill the sink with warm (not hot) water. Create a lot of suds.

Grab Some Suds and Rub Into the Grip

how to clean golf grips Golf

Take each of your clubs in turn. Use the wet cloth to grab some suds, then gently rub the suds into the grip using the towel.


how to clean golf grips Golf

Turn each grip under flowing warm or cold (but not hot) water to rinse off the detergent. Be careful not to get water all over of the shafts when rinsing the grips.

(By the way, the reason you don't want to use very hot water when cleaning grips is that heat can cause the glue underneath the grip to loosen.)


how to clean golf grips Golf

Using the dry cloth, dry each grip as soon as it is rinsed off. Check the shafts at this time, too, and if water has gotten onto the shafts, dry them as well.

What About Genuine Leather Grips?

If you are old-school and use grips made of genuine leather, the cleaning methods are more limited. First, the don'ts: Don't use a detergent or any kind of leather conditioner on real leather golf grips.

Instead, just use simple warm water and a towel. Moisten the towel in warm water and wipe the leather grips down once a week.