How To Refurbish Golf Balls

How To Refurbish Golf Balls

If you stop and think about how many golf balls you get through, you’ll quickly realise that there are more holes in your bank account than there are on the golf course!

But what a lot of golfers don’t realise is that it is entirely possible to refurbish a golf ball and make it play just as well as it did when it was brand new; using the correct method, of course.

Whether you want to salvage your own golf balls or get extra thrifty and collect old ones that have been left on the course to make a profit, you’re in the right place.

How Do Refurbished Golf Balls Compare To New?

Let’s face facts; in an ideal world, everyone would be able to buy brand new golf balls all the time and old ones would be recycled into other materials.

But that isn’t always the case. In a sport that requires a lot of financial investment, golfers are looking for ways to save money and reuse the equipment that they already own.

But if you’re planning to refurbish a golf ball, you’ve probably wondered whether it is ever going to be as good as a new one.

A new golf ball is always going to give you the best performance.

There is nothing you can do about this, but the truth is that a refurbished ball isn’t as far removed from its new cousin as you might think.

In fact, most golfers would agree that it is difficult to tell that you are using a refurb, if you didn’t already know!

The newer balls do tend to travel a little further and the spin rate is a little lower, but in most cases, this isn’t a marked difference.

If you were playing a pro game, then you’d probably want to opt for a new ball but for practice and friendly weekend games, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t save a bit of cash and go for a refurbished golf ball.

What Are Recycled Golf Balls?

You will often hear about recycled golf balls and it would be easy to assume that these are similar to refurbished golf balls.

However, there is a clear difference and it is important to keep this in mind when purchasing used balls.

You see, a refurbished golf ball will have been given something of a make over meaning that its performance will be improved from the last time it was used.

On the other hand, a recycled golf ball is one that has been found on the course and is then sold on exactly as it was found; no make over is given.

This means that the performance might not be as good but in essence, this largely depends on the quality of the ball when it was found.

How To Refurbish A Golf Ball

Golf ball manufacturers are forever refurbishing balls and then selling them on for a lower cost than the originals.

For this, the balls will undergo a sand blasting process and are then repainted and relogoed.

Of course, most of us don’t have sand blasting equipment in the garden shed but there is another way you can recondition your golf balls and play them once again.

Begin by washing the golf balls. There are various methods for doing this but we find that popping them in the cutlery compartments in the dishwasher delivers the best results.

Not only will they get effectively cleaned here but the small compartments will prevent them from flying around inside the appliance.

You only need to use your regular dishwasher tablets to remove light soiling.

However, if the balls are very dirty, you might need something a little more abrasive.

For this, you will need to soak the golf balls in a chemical solution.

Neat bleach will work very well but if you prefer, you may also use ammonia or white vinegar.

In any case, you should only choose one and NEVER mix any of these chemicals as it will create a potentially dangerous reaction.

Once in the solution, you should leave the golf balls for up to three hours. Now rinse them with clean water.

The next step is to make another mixture, this time using baking soda and water.

You should end up with something that has the consistency of a paste which you can then apply to the golf balls using a toothbrush.

The solution will help in the removal of scuffs and scratches. When you’re done scrubbing, you can rinse the balls using clean water.

Now comes the fun part! You’re going to need a cement mixer; if you don’t have one, they are relatively easy to hire.

You will need to put a decent number of clean golf balls into the mixer along with crushed nut shells; those from peanuts or walnuts work particularly well.

If you are only refurbing a small number of golf balls then a rock tumbler will work well in place of the cement mixer.

The final step is to clean any ink from the balls using acetone.

This can be applied using a toothbrush before rinsing the golf balls.

You are now ready to repaint and reuse them.


Golf is not a cheap sport. Your clubs alone could end up costing you thousands of pounds at the extreme end of things and that’s before you’ve considered your attire, club membership, golf trolleys and everything else.

So, if there is a way that you can save a few pounds then we know you’re going to take it.

Refurbishing a golf ball gives it a new lease of life and allows you to play with it a little longer than you otherwise would.

It’s a bit of a slog so you’ll need to do it when you have a batch of balls and the performance won’t be quite as perfect as a new ball.

That in mind, if you’re practising or just having a social game, a refurbed ball is a great idea!