How to Bake a Bowling Ball The Right Way

Are you an avid bowler looking to keep your gear in top shape? Learning how to bake a bowling ball is an essential skill for any enthusiast seeking maximum performance from their equipment.

This process not only removes oil and dirt build-up but can also restore your ball’s original capabilities while extending its lifespan. Rest assured, by the end of this blog post, you’ll be well-equipped with the knowledge needed to master this DIY art of bowling ball care.

How to Bake a Bowling Ball – Key Takeaways

  • Baking a bowling ball is an effective way to remove oil and dirt build-up from its surface, restore its original performance, and extend its lifespan. And there are several safe methods, including hot water baths, hair dryers, professional ovens, or kilns. However, using a microwave is not recommended as it can cause severe damage to the internal structure of the ball.
  • To safely bake your bowling ball at home, you should follow manufacturer instructions carefully, and use protective gear such as heat-resistant gloves and face masks while monitoring temperature and time closely. It’s also crucial not to attempt baking damaged balls to avoid accidents.
  • Regular maintenance practices such as cleaning with specialized solutions or microfiber towels may help remove some oil build-up but might not be sufficient for deep cleaning. Baking is crucial for getting rid of deep-seated dirt that accumulates over time in the pores of your bowling ball’s surface for optimal performance during games.

3 Reasons Why Should You Bake Your Bowling Ball

Removes Oil And Dirt Build-up

Baking your bowling ball is an effective way to remove oil and dirt build-up that accumulates over time. The heat from the baking process opens up the pores of the bowling ball, allowing for deep cleaning and rejuvenation.

Oils from your hands or lane conditions can seep into the surface of your ball, which can clog its pores and decrease performance.

Regular maintenance such as cleaning with a microfiber towel or using a specialized cleaner can only do so much in terms of removing oil and dirt buildup. Baking provides a deeper clean that cannot be achieved through regular maintenance.

Bowling balls that are baked regularly tend to have longer lifespans since they are not damaged by excess oil accumulation.

Restores The Ball’s Original Performance

If you want to restore the original performance of your balls, baking them is a must. Over time, the pores of a bowling ball can become clogged with oil and dirt from the lane, causing it to lose its grip and hook potential.

By baking your ball, you can remove this build-up and bring back its smooth surface. This will also help to extend the life of your ball since it won’t need to be replaced as often.

Baking is especially useful for reactive resin balls which tend to absorb more oil than other types of balls.

Extends The Life Of Your Bowling Ball

Regular use of the ball and exposure to lane oil can cause buildup over time, affecting the performance of the ball.

By baking it, you remove this build-up and ensure that your ball continues to perform at its best. Baking also helps maintain the integrity of the ball’s coverstock, which can crack or become brittle with age if not properly cared for.

With regular care and maintenance, including baking as needed, you’ll get many more years out of your trusty bowling companion.

Methods For Baking Your Bowling Ball

how to bake a bowling ball

Hot Water Bath

One of the most popular methods for baking a bowling ball is by giving it a hot water bath. This method entails filling up a large plastic container with warm water and placing your bowling ball in the container to soak for about 20 minutes.

To get started with this method, you’ll need access to hot water and a container that’s large enough to accommodate your bowling ball comfortably. You may also want to add some dishwashing soap or specialized cleaning solution formulated for use on bowling balls as part of the soaking process.

After soaking, rinse off your bowling ball thoroughly and dry it using an absorbent towel before storing it away.

Hair Dryer

Another method for baking your bowling ball includes using a hair dryer. This option may be appealing to those who do not have access to other equipment, or simply prefer an alternative solution.

To begin, use a clean cloth to wipe down the ball and remove any dirt or oil buildup. Then, set your hair dryer on high heat and carefully blow dry the surface of the ball in circular motions for about 20 minutes.

It is important to note that this method may take longer than others and should only be attempted if you are comfortable handling a hair dryer in close proximity to your bowling ball.

Professional Ball Oven

A professional ball oven is a machine specifically designed to bake bowling balls. It maintains critical temperature and humidity conditions required for baking the ball evenly, without causing damage or loss of weight.

Besides being costly, these ovens are also usually larger than home ovens, making them quite bulky.

Professional ball ovens are typically used by establishing bowlers who require highly consistent performances from their bowling balls. The machines are equipped with sensors that monitor both interior and exterior temperatures to ensure that the ball remains within safe limits throughout the baking process.


Another method for baking your bowling ball is through the use of a kiln. A kiln is typically used by professional bowlers or bowling centers that offer complete maintenance services.

It provides consistent and controlled heating, making it an ideal option for those who want to ensure precise results.

Professional bowlers or those who take their game seriously may prefer using a kiln as it can guarantee optimal performance and durability of the ball. However, it’s important to note that using a kiln requires specialized equipment and expertise, which means you may need to seek out professional services if you don’t have access to them yourself.

Additionally, it’s crucial to monitor the time and temperature accurately when using this method since overheating could damage your ball irreparably.


Microwaving your bowling ball may seem like a convenient way to rejuvenate it, but it’s not recommended by manufacturers. Microwaves can severely damage the internal structure of the ball by causing uneven heating and creating hot spots that lead to cracking or warping.

If you’re considering using a microwave to bake your bowling ball, it’s best to avoid this method altogether. Instead, consider other tried-and-tested methods such as hot water baths or professional services that use specialized equipment for optimal results without damaging your precious gear.

Tips On How To Bake Your Bowling Ball Safely

Ensure that you follow these safety guidelines when baking your bowling ball to avoid accidents and achieve optimal results.

Follow The Manufacturer’s Instructions

It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when baking your bowling ball. Different balls can have different compositions and materials, which require specific heat and timing settings for optimal results.

Ignoring the manufacturer’s guidelines can lead to a variety of negative outcomes, including cracking, warping, weight loss, and oil absorption issues in the ball. These consequences not only affect the quality of the game but may also render your equipment unusable in some cases.

Use Protective Gear

To bake your bowling ball safely, using protective gear is crucial. This includes wearing heat-resistant gloves to protect your hands when handling the hot ball and a face mask to avoid inhaling any harmful fumes or particles that may come off during the baking process.

It’s important to note that even with protective gear, accidents can still happen. Therefore, it’s essential to be aware of potential hazards and take all necessary precautions before attempting to bake your bowling ball.

Monitor Temperature And Time

It is crucial to monitor the temperature and time when baking your bowling ball as overexposure can cause damage and affect the ball’s performance. Follow the recommended temperature range provided by the manufacturer and set a timer to ensure that you do not exceed the required baking time.

Taking necessary precautions such as using a thermometer, and protective gear, and avoiding heat sources such as ovens or heating appliances can help safely bake your bowling ball.

It is also essential to understand that different balls may require varying degrees of exposure depending on their material composition and age.

Don’t Attempt To Bake Damaged Balls

It is crucial to note that you should not attempt to bake bowling balls that are damaged. This is because a damaged ball may crack during the baking process, which can be dangerous and render the ball unusable.

It’s important always to inspect your bowling balls before attempting any maintenance procedures like baking.

Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that some types of surface damage on your bowling ball cannot be remedied with baking or any other repair method for that matter.

For instance, if there are significant dents or gouges on the surface of your ball caused by hitting hard objects like walls or floors during playtime, then no amount of treatment will restore it fully.

Consider Professional Services For Best Results

While baking your bowling ball at home can be a cost-effective method for maintenance, it still comes with its risks. If you want to ensure the best results and avoid any potential damage to your ball, it may be worth considering professional services.

Professional services can also provide additional benefits such as deep cleaning techniques that go beyond baking alone. They can remove hard-to-reach dirt build-up and rejuvenate the surface of your ball, making sure it looks as good as new.


Baking a bowling ball can be an effective way to remove dirt and oil build-up, extend the life of your ball, and restore its original performance. With several safe methods available, from hot water baths to professional ovens and kilns, there’s no reason not to give it a try.

Just remember to follow manufacturer instructions and use protective gear while monitoring temperature and time closely. And if you’re ever unsure or don’t feel confident doing it yourself, consider seeking out professional services for the best results.

Last updated on May 6, 2023