Can You Use Car Polish On a Bowling Ball?



  • You can technically use car polish for your bowling balls, however, it’s important to understand that not all polishes are created equal.
  • There are better ways to polish and take care of your bowling balls.


Bowling enthusiasts understand the importance of keeping their balls well-maintained for optimal performance on the lanes. However, many players are unsure if car polish can be used as an alternative to traditional bowling ball cleaners and polishes.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the pros and cons of using car polish on your bowling ball, compare it with other polishing methods, and provide some helpful tips for maintaining that perfect shine.

So roll up your sleeves and let’s dive into everything you need to know about achieving a flawless finish for your prized bowling ball!

Can You Use Car Polish On a Bowling Ball?

Yes, you can technically use car polish for your bowling balls. However, it’s important to understand that not all polishes are created equal.

And using the wrong type of polishing compound can harm your bowling ball more than help it. Additionally, some car polishes may contain abrasives or chemicals that might damage the surface texture or coverstock of a bowling ball.

Why Is Car Polish Usable For Bowling Balls?

can you use car polish on a bowling ball

The idea of using car polish on a bowling ball may seem unconventional, but it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility.

Car polish is designed to remove minor surface imperfections and restore shine to vehicle paint, which shares some characteristics with the surface of a bowling ball. However, there are various factors you need to consider before reaching for that bottle of automotive polish.

While car polishes offer benefits like added luster and enhanced protection against scratches and scuffs, they might not be compatible with all types of bowling ball coverstocks.

For instance, certain chemicals or abrasive compounds in car polishes could potentially harm more delicate materials found in high-performance bowling balls.

Moreover, using a product not specifically formulated for your equipment could lead to inconsistent results while playing due to altering the original surface texture or diminishing its hook potential.

Therefore, although possible in some cases to use car polish effectively on a bowling ball as an improvised solution momentarily enhances appearance; it’s crucial first to research if any potential risks involved outweigh the benefits for your particular case.

The Importance of Bowling Ball Specific Polish

Using the right type of bowling ball polish is crucial for maintaining optimal performance and durability.

While car polish may be tempting to use due to its accessibility, it’s not the best choice for your bowling ball as it can create problems such as stripping away the surface material or causing unwanted traction on synthetic lanes.

Bowling balls require specialized polishes that are designed to clean and protect the coverstock without damaging its intricate design or affecting its reaction in different lane conditions.

In fact, using an inappropriate type of polish could potentially void a manufacturer’s warranty since they often recommend specific cleaning products for their products.

Choosing the wrong polish could also affect your ball’s overall hook potential, making it challenging to get consistent results during play. It’s essential always to read product labels carefully and consult with pro-shop personnel before applying any substance to your ball.

Pros And Cons of Using Car Polish On Your Bowling Ball

The Benefits

Using car polish on your bowling ball can have several benefits, including:

  1. Increased shine and luster: Car polish is designed to give a high-gloss finish to automotive surfaces, and it can do the same for your bowling ball. A polished surface not only looks great but also helps your ball glide through the lane more smoothly.
  2. Improved hook potential: A polished surface can increase the amount of hook that your ball generates on the lane. This is because a smoother surface reduces friction between the ball and the lane, allowing it to curve more easily.
  3. Enhanced durability: By filling in any small scratches or imperfections on the surface of your bowling ball, car polish can help protect it from damage caused by repeated use.
  4. Easy application: Applying car polish to your bowling ball is easy and straightforward, requiring only a soft cloth and a small amount of product.
  5. Cost-effective solution: Car polish is generally less expensive than approved bowling ball polishes, making it an attractive option for bowlers looking to save money without sacrificing performance.

The Potential Drawbacks

Using car polish on your bowling ball comes with potential drawbacks that you should consider before trying it out. Here are some of the possible downsides:

  1. Damage to the surface: Car polish may be too abrasive for some types of bowling ball materials, such as urethane or reactive resin. It can scratch or dull the surface, compromising the ball’s performance and hook potential.
  2. Residue buildup: Car polish leaves behind a residue that may affect the ball’s reaction and cause inconsistent movement down the lane. It can also attract dirt and oil from the lanes, making it harder to clean and maintain.
  3. Finger hole clogging: The residue left by car polish can also accumulate in the finger holes, making them slippery and difficult to grip. This can affect your release and accuracy, leading to lower scores.
  4. Chemical reactions: Car polish contains ingredients that may react with other substances used on bowling balls, such as cleaners or rejuvenators. This can cause discoloration or other damage over time.
  5. Non-approved use: Using car polish on a bowling ball is not approved by most manufacturers or pro shops, meaning it could potentially void any warranties or guarantees you have on your equipment.

Alternatives To Using Car Polish

If you prefer not to use car polish on your bowling ball, there are several alternatives that can get the job done just as well, including ball spinner machines, approved bowling ball polishes, and homemade polishing solutions.

Ball Spinner Machines

Ball spinner machines are an excellent option for maintaining the surface of your bowling ball.

These devices spin the ball at high speeds, allowing you to apply polish evenly and remove any excess residue. There are many different types of ball spinner machines available, ranging from basic hand-cranked models to more advanced motorized options.

One popular choice is the Innovative Personal Bowling Ball Spinner, which comes with a manual that provides detailed instructions on how to use it effectively. This type of spinner can help you achieve better hook potential and increase your overall performance on the lanes. However, keep in mind that not all bowling alleys may have these machines readily available, so it’s important to check beforehand or invest in one for personal use.

Using a ball spinner machine does require some skill and practice to get the desired results, but once mastered it can be an efficient way to maintain your bowling ball’s surface texture and appearance.

Approved Bowling Ball Polishes

When it comes to maintaining your bowling ball, using the right polish is crucial. Here is some approved bowling ball polishes that you can use to keep your ball in top shape:

  • Storm Reacta Shine: This high-performance polish brings back the original shine of your bowling ball, leaving it with a smooth surface and enhanced hook potential.
  • Brunswick Big B Bowling Ball Polish: This premium formula is designed to clean, shine, and protect your bowling ball without any abrasives. It also leaves a protective layer on the surface to prevent damage from dirt and oil.
  • MOTIV Power Gel Polish: This specially formulated gel polish restores the sheen of your bowling ball while also increasing its performance on the lanes. It is easy to apply and does not contain any harmful chemicals.
  • Hammer Wow Factor Bowling Ball Polish: This high-gloss polish gives your bowling ball a mirror-like finish while enhancing its reaction in oily lane conditions. It is recommended for all types of cover stocks.
  • Turbo Grips Renew-It Polish: This versatile polish can be used on all types of balls, including plastic and urethane coverstocks. It restores the surface texture of your ball without altering its original specifications.

Using an approved bowling ball polish ensures that you are not damaging the surface of your ball or affecting its performance negatively. Choose one that suits your needs and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.

Homemade Polishing Solutions

Homemade polishing solutions can be an inexpensive and effective way to maintain your bowling ball’s surface. Here are some options to consider:

  • Baking Soda and Water: Mix baking soda with enough water to make a paste, then apply it to the surface of the bowling ball. Gently rub the paste into the ball’s surface using a soft cloth, then rinse with warm water and dry thoroughly.
  • Toothpaste: Apply toothpaste to the surface of the ball and gently rub it in circles using a soft cloth or towel. Rinse with warm water and dry thoroughly.
  • White Vinegar: Mix white vinegar with equal parts water in a spray bottle, then spray onto the surface of the ball. Wipe clean using a soft cloth or towel.
  • Alcohol: Apply rubbing alcohol directly onto a soft cloth or towel, then use it to wipe down the surface of the bowling ball.

It’s important to note that homemade solutions should be tested on a small area before being used on the entire surface of your bowling ball. Additionally, these solutions should not be used as a substitute for approved bowling ball polishes or professional services offered at your local pro shop.


In conclusion, deciding whether to use car polish on your beloved bowling ball is not a decision that should be taken lightly.

While car polishes can provide a lustrous shine and protective coating for your ball’s surface, they may also have potential drawbacks such as leaving behind unwanted residue or altering the hook potential of the ball.

However, there are alternatives available such as using approved bowling ball polishes or investing in a quality ball spinner machine. Ultimately, the key to maintaining peak performance and longevity of your bowling ball lies in proper maintenance and care.

So before you reach for that bottle of car polish, consider all the options and weigh their pros and cons carefully.

Last updated on April 10, 2023