There are several ways to clean golf clubs. You can spend a little money on golf club cleaning kits that are available at most golf pro shops. And those cleaning kits work well.
Or you can simply gather up a couple household items. What you need is a plastic bucket (unless you're willing to clean your clubs in a bathroom or kitchen sink), a mild dishwashing detergent, an old toothbrush or other brush with plastic bristles, and an old towel for drying.
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Step 1: Create Suds
Take your plastic bucket inside to a sink or bathtub. Squirt a little of the dishwashing liquid into the bottom, then add warm water to create suds. Make sure the water is warm, not too hot (very hot water can loosen the ferrule on golf clubs).
You only need enough water in the bucket to cover the heads of your irons.
Step 2: Place Irons in the Bucket*
Take the bucket, with its water and suds, outside near your garden hose (if you live in an apartment and don't have access to your garden hose, continue working in a sink or bathtub).
Set the bucket down, then place your irons in the bucket with the clubheads submerged. Notice how the clubs' ferrules are above the level of the water and suds.
Allow the irons to soak in the warm water for just a couple minutes. This will help loosen dirt in the grooves of the clubface, and allow the suds to begin working on oils and golf course chemicals that are on the clubheads.
*you can also place your wedges in the bucket too, no putters or drivers (those usually don't get dirty anyway, i'll talk about woods/hybrids later)
Step 3: Clean Out the Grooves
After 1-2 minutes of soaking time, take each club in turn and use an old toothbrush (or other plastic-bristled brush) to clean out the grooves on the clubface. This is the most important step in cleaning your clubs - removing all dirt and debris from the grooves.
Also drag the brush across the sole of the iron and over the back of the clubhead, removing dirt, grass and other debris.
A soft-bristled brush should work fine. If you've allowed dirt to build up in the grooves and harden over time, you may need to allow more soaking time and then use a stiff-bristled brush.Never use a wire-bristled brush during cleaning.
Step 4: Rinse Off the Clubhead
Use your garden hose (or tap, if you are working indoors) to rinse off the clubhead. When the suds are washed away, take a look at the club to make sure all dirt is removed from the grooves. Be careful not to splash water up the shaft.
Step 5: Dry the Clubhead and Shaft
Use your old towel to dry off the clubhead. Also drag the towel up the shaft of the club. This will remove any loose debris from the shaft and also ensure that the shaft doesn't go back into your bag wet.
Step 6: Cleaning Woods/hybrids
Never submerge persimmon woods in water. It's a good idea not to submerge metal woods, either, because they usually have a nice, glossy finish.
Instead, quickly dip metal woods/hybrids into the sudsy water, rub with a moist cloth, then dry with a dry cloth. Use a moist cloth to clean off persimmon clubheads, then dry immediately.
Use a soft-bristled brush, if necessary, to clean out the grooves on woods/hybrids.