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How Should You Bake and Remove the Oil From a Bowling Ball?

Your bowling ball will collect plenty of oil while you bowl. The oil the bowling alley uses to slick the lanes and keep them functional can stick to your ball, making it harder for the ball to react.

You might struggle to throw a hook or other curve with your ball if it has too much oil all over its body.

The added oil can also attract dirt, clogging the pores around your ball. The ball will struggle to maintain its traction on the wood, keeping you from having as much control over its movements as usual.

The process of removing oil from a bowling ball isn’t as daunting as you might assume. You can bake and remove the oil from your ball to help you keep your ball working like new.

You’ve got multiple processes to consider when clearing out those oils from your ball, but they only work when you follow the right precautions.

What Does Baking a Bowling Ball Mean?

The process of baking a bowling ball gets its name from how it is heated in the cleaning process. The heating effort opens the pores around the ball’s shell. The ball will release built-up oils when it becomes hot.

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How often should you bake and remove the oil? The best rule of thumb is to remove the oil from your bowling ball after every 50 to 100 games. You can remove the oil more often if the lanes you roll on are extra-slick or if you tend to bowl more often in an average week.

Using a Hot Water Bath to Get The Oil Out Of A Bowling Ball

The most prominent method of baking a bowling ball entails soaking your ball in a hot water bath. It takes a bit of time, but it is an effective solution:

  • Start by filling a bucket or container with hot water from your tap. Be sure the container is large enough to where your bowling ball will be completely submerged.
  • Drain the water from the container after about fifteen minutes.
  • Dry off the ball and rinse it off.
  • Fill the container with new hot water and repeat the process. You’ll need to repeat the effort about three or four times.
  • Clean off the surface after the last runaround, and then let the ball dry for at least a day. You can use rubber alcohol or another approved cleaner to remove any bits of oils stuck on the top.

Using a Hair Dryer to Get The Bowling Ball to Realease Oil

You can also utilize a hairdryer to warm the bowling ball’s shell to release oil. This process works best if you can keep the heat coming from the dryer under control. You’ll require a few steps when using a hairdryer:

  • Place your ball on a dry towel.
  • Turn on the dryer and blow the air back and forth. Rotate the ball a few times while drying off its surface.
  • Watch for a glossy look on your ball. The gloss shows the oil is coming out from the pores.
  • Wipe and clean the ball when you get enough oil on the surface.
  • Repeat as often as desired or necessary until the ball no longer releases its oil.
  • Let the ball cool off for a few hours after you finish.
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Can You Use a Home Ball Cleaner to Bake a Bowling Ball?

You could always purchase a home ball cleaner if you want a small appliance that helps remove oil. A home ball cleaner tool is like a miniature version of one of those more massive ball baking machines you might find at your local alley.

But whereas it might cost $20 or so to use a ball baking machine at an alley, an at-home item can pay for itself in about a year on average.

You’ll need to look at a few things when getting a home ball cleaner:

  • Be sure the cleaner has enough room for your ball.
  • The cleaner should have a temperature setting option that fits your ball’s needs.
  • A reservoir is necessary for a cleaner tool, as it can collect oil and other items for disposal.
  • Some cleaners require you to turn or rotate the ball on occasion. Others circulate their heated air well enough to where you don’t need to rotate the ball.

Can a Space Heater be Used to Bake Your Ball?

You could also utilize a space heater to help you bake your ball, but that effort may be more of a hassle than necessary.

A space heater can produce hot air that can heat your ball, but you’d have to spend a great bit of time with the process.

You have to place your ball on a towel near the heat and then constantly rotate it to ensure every part stays warm. You’ll have to wipe and clean off the ball every few hours as well.

A space heater takes more time to utilize than other items and may also produce excess heat. It is best to avoid this effort if possible.

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Temperature and Appliance Warnings

Watch for how hot your bowling ball becomes during the baking process. Avoid keeping your ball in conditions over 140 degrees Fahrenheit or 60 degrees Celsius.

Don’t heat the ball too fast, either, as sudden temperature changes can cause damage even if the heat isn’t as intense. The ball could develop cracks or a weakened resin surface if it becomes too hot.

On a related note, avoid placing your bowling ball in an oven or dishwasher. Baking the ball in either place is dangerous, as the temperatures can become more intense in these places.

You might have to keep the oven on for a few hours, plus a dishwasher might require multiple cycles to make it work.

The excess weight from your ball may also harm your appliances. The oil that comes out might also harm the insides of those appliances.

A Final Word.

Be sure to watch what you’re doing when taking care of your bowling ball. Your investment will be more effective and useful if you bake it the right way.

Watch for how you clean your ball and be sure you don’t add too much heat in the effort.