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tex-eng, Engineer
Category: General
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Experience:  Engineer, very good math skills, problem solver and researcher
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How do I clean used golf balls

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How do I effectivly clean thousands of pond golf balls at the same time? I have tried putting them in the washing machine with towels, soaking them in bleach, dishwasher detergent, toilet bowl cleaner, and a number of other things, and still have not managed to get the desired results. After I initially rinse them off, many that havent been in the pond too long come clean right away, and the soaking works for a few more too. The rest I have to scrub by hand to get them in the shape I want. I was wondering if there may be some form of acid wash, or chemical I could buy, and soak them for a day or two, and have them be completley clean after a final rinse without all the hours of scrubbing and bleach eating my hands. Things I have trouble getting off of the balls tend to be: ~General "yellow" or "brownish" tint. ~Permanent ink marks ~Algea and dirt ~Stains in the dimples I NEED a solution that is: ~not time consuming, i.e. nothing that involves the individual scrubbing of balls by hand. I have over 40,000 and just can't do it. ~Somthing that won't remove the brand from the ball, or eat the clear coat finish away from it. ~Preferably somthing relativly inexspensive. ($0.25-$100.00) ~Nothing I need a special license in order to obtain. ~Somthing that can either be used in my bathroom or on my deck, as I live in an apartment with limited space.
HelloCustomerand welcome to JustAnswer!

I believe you are in the ball recycling business as you said you have over 40,000 golf balls to be washed.

As for cleaning the gold balls I know there's a company that sells a special golf ball cleaning detergent and tablets, here's the product:

If you think you can make a living from this I would suggest that you obtain a golf ball washing machine that has a capacity of washing 25,000 golf balls/hour. I don't know the price but I know they use special detergents, pressurized water and a system of brushes which makes that machine almost industrial grade, it is small enough to fit in an apartment room. Here's the link to the only American golf ball washing machine (scroll down until you see "washer/dryer"):

Hope this helps,

Have a great day!
Hello again,

I just asked a friend of mine and he suggested adding algae remover. He said he had some success by adding this together with the detergent. You can probably find this in any store that sells pool maintanance chemicals but I made a search and here are some cleaners you can buy online:
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to tex-eng's Post: Hi! I have been mulling over the ideas, and I went to the site with the tablets, and they also sell ball washers there too, but theyre the cleaners you find on the golf course, which makes me lean to belive that the tablets probably aren't nearly a strong enugh compound to clean and remove the yellow from balls that have been in a stagnent pond for 5+ years. The tablets I think are more for recent dirt/sand/grass that have just gotten on a probably relativly clean ball. The ball washer that holds 25,000 would be so AWESOME, but i'm not sure I can afford somthing like that. I'm actually in college at the moment to become an electrician, and golf ball hunting/diving is more of a pastime for me than a profession. My Grandpa used to live right off the 18th hole of a really nice golf course, and for as long as I can remeber he would load us grandkids into the back of his tractor wagon and we would ride through the fields and woods by the golf course looking for balls! It was so much fun as a kid! Then we would sell them to the golfers on the course for 25 cents a ball, haha! He used to take the boys into the ponds with him, and me being a girl, 8 years old, and a little adventurer I begged and begged untill he finnally gave in and took me too, lol. The power of persistance and persuasion paid off. I'm 22 now and still doing it, out of all the grandkids I'm the only one that still does. Just recently (this past summer) I got on ebay mostly out of curiosity to look at what used golf balls were selling for, when I went into the stores my jaw hit the floor! The next thing I knew I opened a store, and started hitting all the old spots again! The course I go to doesnt have anyone that retrieves balls there, so many of the balls I find are relativly yellow, and I can tell they've been down and out for awhile. I tried everything I could think of, but noting seems to get the results I want, and since not many people know too much about retriving and cleaning used golf balls, the info I found on the net was really limited. I really really like the algea remover idea, Thats somthing I probably never would have thought of! You know how when people dont use thier pools all winter, then have to clean them in the spring? That water has so much junk in it and is so stagnent, I think it probably is really close to what the pond water is like. Come to think of it, Do people even drain all the winter water out of thier pools or do they just chlorinate it really heavily? I think the vynol on the sides of the pool are probably stained a lot like the pond balls, and people get those stains right out every year, but how??
Hello again Jamie,

Yes, most of the people drain the water and clean their pools every fall. This is the product I use to remove stains from my pool(it removes mineral stains too):

Click the following link and enter your zip code and it will give you the addresses and a map where you can find this cleaner. I would think about using a mixture of detergent, algae remover and this stain remover. Probably you will need to experiment first.

The people also use acid wash with Muriatic (Hydrochloric) acid. This is very corrosive acid so you will need to first dillute it in a glass, I would recommend at least 1:20 ratio. I am not sure how the acid will react with detergent, algae remover and the stain remover. Probably you will have to experiment by preparing different mixtures and washing 1 ball at a time. Be careful, if that mixture becomes too strong it may harm the surface of the ball and even remove the brand.

A link for muriatic acid:!6456&keyword=muriatic+acid&match_type=

Hopefully all these will help you get much better results.

Have a great day (and don't forget to click "accept" if my advices help)!
tex-eng and 37 other General Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
I would be happy to accept more different types of ideas and opinions on how to clean used golf balls, the more ideas to expiriment with the better!!