You clean your golf balls. You clean your golf clubs. But, when was the last time you cleaned your golf bag? We aren’t sure why, but this is the piece of golf equipment that golfers often forget to clean.
Don’t forget that a golf course is made from grass, dirt, and sand. The more golf you play, the more your bag will collect dirt and grime. This is even more important if you walk the course and use a golf stand bag. Your bag is always touching the ground!
Stop putting your clean golf clubs in that dirty ol’ golf bag. In less than an hour, you can get your golf bag clean and smelling great.
We can help. Let’s get started!
Materials You’ll Need To Clean Your Golf Bag
First things first, let’s pull together everything you will to do the job right. The good news is that you most likely have all of these supplies sitting around the house.
Pull the vacuum out of the closet and find all of the smaller attachments. You’ll need them to properly clean the nooks and crannies of your pockets. You’ll be amazed by the amount of grass and sand that ends up in your golf bag.
Water Source (Bucket of Clean Water)
Any water source will work, but we prefer a bucket of water. You can use a garden hose, but this can be harder to control the amount of water that gets applied to your bag. We also feel that warm water works better and it’s easier to control the temperature in a bucket.
No need to purchase any special cleaning products. Take the soap you use when dishwashing and add it to your bucket of water. This warm, soapy water is the perfect cleaning agent for your golf bag.
Sponge & Brush
You need a way to apply your soapy water to your bag and we recommend you grab a couple of different items. Use a sponge on the larger parts of your golf bag and a brush on smaller areas. The perfect tool is an old toothbrush (quick tip: we don’t recommend you use your wife’s toothbrush). A clean golf bag doesn’t help when you are sleeping on the couch!
Depending on the color and material of your golf bag you might have stubborn stains that require more cleaning power than mild soap. It’s a good idea to have a stain remover handy. You can use the same product you use for your laundry.
Before you start your cleaning project, make sure you have several rags and towels available. A washcloth is perfect for wiping down your bag and you can use a couple of golf towels to dry your bag once you are done cleaning it. Microfiber towels work best for this type of project.
How To Clean Your Golf Bag: Step-By-Step
1. Remove Everything From Your Bag
Clean out all of your pockets and remove as much grass and sand with your fingers as possible. If possible, remove the strap (should strap) from your bag. Turn your golf bag upside down and shake out anything. You’ll be shocked to see how much stuff falls out of your bag. You’ll find golf tees, ball markers, and even golf balls that have fallen down into your bag.
2. Vacuum Out The Pockets
Use smaller attachments that come with your vacuum to fully clean all pockets on your golf bag. This should include your ball pocket, apparel pocket, and valuables pocket. The goal of this step is to remove all of the grime that collects in your bag. Try to get every blade of grass and every grain of sand.
3. Clean The Strap
Assuming you can detach your shoulder strap, start with cleaning this piece of your bag. Soak it in soapy water for a few minutes and use your toothbrush on any visible stains. You can flatten it against the floor (the outside deck is perfect) to squeeze out excess water. Set it aside to let it dry - don’t leave it in direct sunlight because that will cause it to fade.
4. Gently Wash Your Bag With Soap & Water
Using your sponge and bucket of warm, soapy water wash the rest of your golf bag. This is the part of the cleaning process where you should spend the most time. Use a soft bristle brush on areas of the bag that require extra attention.
You should pay attention to the type of golf bag you’re cleaning. The cleaning method will differ between a nylon golf bag and a leather golf bag. Nylon can handle almost any cleaning agent, but you need to be more careful with leather. For example, never use a product with bleach in it on a leather golf bag.
The color of your bag will also impact how long this step takes to complete. A white golf bag shows dirt and will require more time and “elbow grease.” It can be harder to see dirt on a darker golf bag, so you need to make sure you wash the entire bag.
5. Rinse Your Bag
You can use a garden hose for this step or wash out your bucket of soapy water and refill it with clean water. Use a clean cloth or sponge to rinse your bag. The goal here is to remove all soap and avoid leaving any residue or build-up on your bag.
6. Use A Stain Remover (If Necessary)
You’ve washed and rinsed your golf bag. It’s now time to assess your work. Does your bag look clean or do you still see some stubborn stains? It is possible that you’ll have spots on your bag that require more than the wipe-down you performed in steps 4 & 5. If this is true, you can use a stain remover on these sections.
7. Dry Your Bag
You’ve done a great job cleaning your bag and now it’s time to let it dry. This may seem like a simple step, but if you do it wrong, it can ruin your golf bag.
Start the drying process by opening all pockets and turning the bag upside down. You want to make sure the outside and the inside are dry.
Let your bag dry overnight - don’t try to speed up this process by using a hair dryer or other outside heat. This can damage your bag.
Be patient - make sure your golf bag is 100% dry before loading it back up with your golf equipment.
8. Organize Your Golf Bag
Congrats! You’ve cleaned your golf bag and are ready to take it back to the golf course. Take this opportunity to properly organize your golf gear.
Use the pockets as they were designed to be used. Balls, tees, gloves, and ball markers go in the ball pocket. Your windbreaker or pullover goes in the apparel pocket and your valuables belong in the velour-lined pocket.
Use the dividers in your golf bag to organize your golf clubs. It’ll make it easier the next time you play golf if your clubs are in the correct order.
How To Clean A Golf Bag: Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I clean my golf bag?
The answer to this question will depend on how often you play golf, but we recommend you clean your golf bag at least once per year. If you treat it correctly, your golf bag can last for 5-10 years.
Can I soak my golf bag?
You should feel comfortable getting your golf bag wet to clean it, but we wouldn’t recommend soaking your golf bag. The excess water can affect the shape of your bag. Instead of soaking, wash your golf bag using a sponge, washcloth, and toothbrush.
How do I get rid of a lingering smell on my golf bag?
The pockets of your golf bag can develop a “mildew-type” smell and no one wants their golf gear to stink. Clean and dry the pockets of your golf bag and use a spray-on scent or air freshener to eliminate the unwanted odor.
Don’t Be The Stinky Kid On The First Tee
We love this quote from football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders: “If you look good, you feel good, If you feel good, you play good, If you play good, they pay good.”
We can’t promise a clean golf bag will help you shoot lower scores, but it can’t hurt, right? We all want to look our best on the golf course. Take care of your golf equipment and it’ll take care of you. If nothing else, it’ll last longer and save you some money that you can invest in greens fees or a new putter!