With today’s bowling equipment, maintenance is a key in consistent scoring as well as protecting your substantial investment in your bowling balls. Balls can range from $70.00 to well over $250.00 and you want to get the most life and best performance from it. The reactive balls absorb oil as we bowl and soon get clogged and lose some of their hooking and hitting ability. Wiping down your ball before each shot will help but simply is not enough. Use a ball cleaner after your session to help remove oil and keep the hooking ability constant. However friction is another factor with shiny and dull balls, the shiny ones will loose their sheen and start to react differently, such as hooking too soon. Dull balls will begin to hook too late since they will fill with oil which will reduced the amount of friction.

Here’s a quick chart to help maintain a happy and healthy ball.

10    Every 10 games or so re-polish shiny balls and or scuff dull balls

30     Every 30 games scuff shiny balls and re-polish.

60     Every 60 games take into your local pro-shop and get a full resurface and replace finger inserts.

  1. De-oil your ball only once a season. Soaking your ball is one way to extract excess oil (remember to use a mild soap and luke warm water – no hotter than 135 degrees). Oh, do not use a blow dryer if you soak your ball it could damage the resin, One very important note: soaking in water can eventually soak into the ball and destroy the core. Another way to extract oil is to put your ball into a bucket, cover it with kitty litter or the drive way oil absorbing granules, completely covering the ball and place a heat lamp over the bucket for about 2 hours.

Bowling shoes, gloves and wrist braces.

Shoes are fairly easily taken care of if you always wear clean socks. Use a soft cloth and mild soap for the uppers. For the lower or soles of the shoes it depends on what type you have. For sewn on, one piece soles lightly buff with a horse hair brush after each game to keep any debris from imbedding into the leather. If you have a removable one piece sole of course brush after each use but for the rubber heal portion you can use your ball cleaner to wipe away dirt and build up; make sure not to get any on your slide and replace the whole sole once a year. If you have a two piece treat the sole and heel the same way but once a season replace the slide sole, this will insure no build up for the serious bowler and prevent most incidents of sticking.

Gloves, that’s easy, replace at the first sign of medium wear patterns. They weren’t meant to last forever and that’s why most of them aren’t very expensive.

Wrist braces are just a simple case of what their made of: leather – use a leather cleaner like saddle soap about once a month. If its plastic, elastic or pleather use Windex to remove grime or last nights nachos and the smell of sweat that can build up. The hard full hand braces use what ever you want but just remember to take off all the nuts, bolts, o-rings or washer before you scrub and let it thoroughly dry before you put it back together.

Just like on a car, proper maintenance is the key. Happy bowling