Can You Clean Golf Clubs with WD-40?

As golfers, we often seek innovative and unique solutions to keep our clubs in pristine condition. One such controversial method that has gained attention is cleaning golf clubs with WD-40, a versatile lubricant and solvent. We will discuss the benefits and risks of using WD-40 for golf club maintenance, providing you with valuable insights to make an informed decision on whether or not you should use WD-40 to clean your own set of clubs.

What is WD-40?

WD-40 is a popular multi-purpose lubricant, penetrating oil, and cleaner. Its name, which stands for “Water Displacement, 40th formula,” suggests its origins as a product designed to repel water and prevent corrosion. Over time, it has gained a reputation for its diverse applications, from loosening rusted parts to cleaning and protecting various surfaces. This means golfers have considered that this may be a great solution for cleaning up clubs.

How to Clean Golf Clubs with WD-40

  • Prepare the Cleaning Area Find a well-ventilated area to work in, preferably outdoors, to avoid inhaling fumes. Lay down a clean cloth or plastic sheet to protect the ground from any overspray or drips.
  • Spray the WD-40 Hold the golf club over the cloth or plastic sheet and spray a light coat of WD-40 directly onto the clubface, back of the clubhead, and any other metal parts. Avoid spraying the grip or any non-metal components of the club.
  • Let it Sit Allow the WD-40 to penetrate the dirt and grime for about 1-2 minutes. This will help to loosen the debris and make it easier to clean.
  • Scrub the Clubhead Using a golf club cleaning brush or an old toothbrush, gently scrub the clubhead and grooves to remove the loosened dirt and grime. Be careful not to use excessive force, as aggressive scrubbing may damage the club’s finish or the grooves.
  • Wipe Down the Club Take a clean microfiber cloth or towel and wipe down the clubhead thoroughly to remove any remaining WD-40 and dirt. Make sure to clean the grooves properly to restore the club’s performance.

Pros of Using WD-40

  • Removing stubborn dirt: WD-40’s penetrating properties can be effective in breaking down and loosening stubborn dirt and grass stains that accumulate on golf clubs after repeated use and are hard to remove.
  • Restoring shine: When applied correctly, WD-40 can give golf clubs a polished look, making them appear almost as good as new.
  • Preventing rust and corrosion: As WD-40 was originally formulated to displace water and protect metal surfaces from rusting, it can serve as a temporary protective layer for golf club heads and shafts if used in moderation. This means that clubs will stay looker newer for longer.
  • Easy to use: WD-40 comes in a spray can, making it convenient to apply and target specific areas on the golf clubs.

Cons of Using WD-40

  • Removal of existing lubricants: Golf club manufacturers apply specific lubricants and protective coatings during the manufacturing process. Using WD-40 can strip these specialized coatings, potentially affecting the club’s longevity.
  • Residue buildup: While WD-40 can effectively clean golf clubs, if not properly wiped down and removed, it may leave behind a greasy residue that attracts more dirt and debris over time, negating its benefits.
  • Damage to non-metal parts: WD-40 may not be suitable for cleaning certain club components, such as grips, as it can deteriorate rubber and synthetic materials.
  • Impact on club performance: The lubricating properties of WD-40, though beneficial for some parts, may adversely affect the friction between the clubface and the ball, potentially impacting spin and ball flight.

Alternative Methods of Cleaning Golf Clubs

  • Mild soapy water: A mixture of mild dish soap and warm water can be used to clean golf club heads without causing damage to the metal or protective coatings.
  • Golf club cleaning brushes: Specialized brushes designed for golf clubs can help remove dirt and debris from grooves and other hard-to-reach areas without compromising performance.
  • Microfiber cloth: Regularly wiping down golf clubs after each round can prevent dirt buildup and maintain their appearance.


While using WD-40 to clean golf clubs might offer some short-term benefits, the potential risks and long-term impact on performance make it a controversial choice among golfers and club manufacturers. Regular cleaning and proper maintenance will undoubtedly contribute to the longevity of your prized golfing equipment, ensuring you enjoy optimal performance on the course for many rounds to come.


How much WD-40 do you need to clean golf clubs?

When using WD-40 to clean golf clubs, you only need a small amount of the product to achieve effective results. Using WD-40 sparingly is crucial to avoid potential negative effects on the club’s performance and to minimize the risk of leaving behind a greasy residue.

Will WD-40 remove rust from golf clubs?

Yes, WD-40 can help remove rust from golf clubs, but its effectiveness may depend on the severity of the rust and the condition of the club. WD-40’s original purpose was to displace water and prevent corrosion, so it can be useful in dealing with light to moderate rust on metal surfaces, including golf clubs.

What else can you use WD-40 for?

  • Loosening Stuck Bolts and Nuts
  • Silencing Squeaky Hinges
  • Protecting Garden Tools
  • Removing Adhesive Residue
  • Cleaning and Polishing Stainless Steel and Chrome Surfaces

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