How to Bleed a Bowling Ball

Does your ball suddenly feel too greasy, less tacky, and smooth? If your answer is yes, it’s time you bled your ball. 

Bleeding is a method people use to extract excess oil from their bowling ball. 

Every time your ball rolls down the lane, it absorbs a bit of oil. While you can always clean it off with a micro-fiber towel, a tiny bit of oil is absorbed each time. 

It gets to the point where your bowling towel no longer cleans your ball properly. At this point, the only solution is to bleed your bowling ball. 


4 Best Ways to Bleed Your Bowling Ball — Take Your Pick!

There are several ways to bleed your bowling ball and each method comes with that tiny risk that could see your ball damaged permanently. 

The only way to bleed your ball without risk is to have the oil extracted at a pro shop. Professional bowling shops use top-quality bowling ball rejuvenators to properly and effectively remove oil from bowling balls and restore them their grip.

This will cost you significant cash and since we’re in the business of cutting costs, the following DIY methods will help you bleed your ball without overstretching your pockets. 

Bleeding with a Hot Water Bath

There are many ways you can use a hot water bath to bleed your bowling ball, but there’s one method that’s generally regarded as the safest way to do so. 

The only problem with this method is that it can be time-consuming. It takes about two days before your ball is ready to be used again and that can be a bit frustrating.

Then again, the fact that it’s the safest way totally makes it worth the wait. This method involves placing your ball in hot water, waiting until it soaks, and then cleaning it with a towel. 

  1. The first step is to place the bowling ball inside a basin or bucket where it can completely be submerged in water. 
  2. Run your hot water as hot as it could go just as long as it doesn’t go beyond 140°F. Submerge the ball.
  3. Let it soak for about 15 minutes, then take it out and clean with a towel. After it’s cleaned dry, submerge it again. 
  4. Submerge and clean until you’re certain that your ball is completely clean. You may need to do it for about 4 or 5 times.
  5. After it has been submerged for the last time, take it out and clean it properly. If your ball’s tacky again, then you have done a great job. 
  6. Lastly, give your ball 1 or 2 days to dry up completely before using it again. 

Using a Dishwasher

If the temperature of your dishwasher can be turned below 140°F, you should have no problem bleeding your bowling ball with a dishwasher. It’s not the most popular method, but it’s effective.

  1. The first step is to block the holes in the sink. You could use tape for this. 
  2. Since your bowling ball won’t fit on top of the sink, place it on the bottom rack. 
  3. You may decide to put some soap, but this is not necessary. 
  4. After some time, turn off the heat on your dishwasher. 
  5. Leave the ball in the dishwasher for some time and allow it to cool down. 
  6. Let it dry up completely before using it again. It should take about 24 hours for the ball to dry up inside out.

Using a Car

It may sound strange, but yes, you can bleed your bowling ball in your car. This is a new method that people have been adopting recently. 

If you own a car, you should know about how cars get excessively hot on a warm day especially when you leave the window up. All you need do is place your ball inside the car on a hot day and leave it there to drain the oil. 

While this method is one of the simplest, achieving the right temperature can be a bit of a challenge. The steps are as follows:

  1. Place your bowling ball on a microfiber towel on the floor of your car. 
  2. Close the doors and windows and watch as the ball becomes glossy when the heat comes up.
  3. When you notice that enough oil has accumulated on the ball, open the door and clean it up.
  4. Close the door and repeat this process until there’s virtually no oil coming out from the ball.
  5. When you notice there’s no oil coming out from the ball, take it out and clean it up with a towel and it should be tacky again. 

Using a Heater

This is the last method we’ll be looking at and it’s probably the riskiest of all methods. 

While it definitely works, it takes a long time to complete and even when you do have the patience to wait, you might not be able to achieve uniform heating. 

The process involves placing the ball in front of a heater. As it blows hot air to heat your ball, you try to rotate it so the air spreads evenly all over the ball. 

Apart from the difficulty in having the air spread evenly, you also have to deal with the fact that heaters emit heat hotter than 140°F so you have to find a way to reduce the amount of heat that gets to your ball. 

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Place the ball on a microfiber towel and put it in front of your heater.
  2. Try to have it heated uniformly by rotating the ball so the air spreads evenly across its body.
  3. When the oil builds up in the shell of the ball, take it up and clean it properly. Repeat this process until you can no longer see oil buildup in the shell of the ball.
  4. When you’re done bleeding, take the ball in a towel and give it a thorough clean up.


There you have it—four of the most effective methods to bleed your bowling ball properly. 

While you should be able to bleed your bowling ball perfectly if you follow any of the guidelines above, there’s still a small chance you might not get it right. If you’re not so sure you can perform any of the above methods, you can always just choose to have your ball bled by a professional.