How to Disinfect Your Bowling Ball and Protect it From Losing Performance

Posted by Ronald Hickland on

Isopropyl Alcohol, Isopropanol, or IPA are all the same name for what is commonly known as Rubbing Alcohol. If you want a deep dive on it and its history check this out. Click here

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists isopropyl alcohol as an approved disinfectant for use against COVID-19. Bowling has had a long history with isopropyl alcohol. I can remember my father using it to clean his hooker Blue Hammer urethane bowling ball in the 80’s. It is an approved bowling ball cleaner as listed on the USBC website. However, Isopropyl alcohol isn’t a good bowling ball cleaner. Here is an independent review that explains why REVIEW VIDEO

In fact you may be confused between the difference between a cleaner and a disinfectant.

Cleaners remove dust, debris, and dirt from a surface by wiping, washing, and rinsing. Examples of cleaners are products like That Purple Stuff and That Wow Factor Ball Cleaner.

Disinfectants work on surfaces to destroy or inactivate both the bacteria and viruses identified on the product’s label (like influenza and rhinovirus). This is a product like Isopropyl Alcohol 

In August of 2019, USBC made a rule change that all bowling ball cleaners could only be used before or after competition. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, on May 6, 2020, they made a temporary exception to that rule - as stated in a press release.

USBC also created an exception for Rule 18, which restricts the use of liquid cleaners to clean the outer surface of the bowling ball during USBC certified competition. The exception for Rule 18 applies only to isopropyl alcohol – no other USBC-approved cleaners will be allowed during competition.

You can read the entire press release here.

Isopropyl alcohol isn’t a very good bowling ball cleaner as we have already shown you. It also isn’t good for a reactive bowling ball.  You can think of it this way: You know how isopropyl alcohol dries out your skin. Reactive bowling balls have pores in them similar to skin. These pores have plasticizer in them. Using isopropyl alcohol over time can dry out your bowling ball; making it brittle, more prone to crack and destroy performance. So while it is good to kill viruses on your bowling ball, it can also hurt the performance over time. Urethane and Plastic balls do not have pores and as a result are not negatively impacted the same way as a reactive ball is from isopropyl alcohol use. This presents a challenge as we all try to get back to bowling. 

An additional challenge is that currently isopropyl alcohol is in short supply. Watch this video. So in the end we wanted to find some solutions to these problems and help bowlers get back to bowling, safely.

The Solution

CtD 70% Isopropyl Alcohol product imageWe ended up offering a solution for bowlers and it's simply CtD Isopropyl Alcohol. This product has 70% Isopropyl alcohol as the active ingredient.  So what makes it so special? Remember when we said isopropyl alcohol can dry out your reactive bowling ball? We needed to address that concern too. We were able to do that with So Fresh and So Clean, a bowling ball life extender. It is designed to absorb into reactive bowling balls and replace the plasticizer material with a liquid tackifier. This works by spraying the product directly on the bowling ball, letting it set for 30 seconds, then wiping off the excess with CtD isopropyl alcohol. Creating the Difference and a team of Chemists and Engineers set out to do some research and find out what type of alcohol is best for bowling balls, while following the governmental agencies guidance for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. 

So Fresh and So Clean can only be used before and after competition.  The combination of So Fresh and So Clean before and after plus CtD Isopropyl Alcohol during competition give you the best protection for both you and your bowling ball.

You can get this product here.

So Safe & So Clean Kit for Bowling

Directions for use for bowling:

  1. If needed, use That Wow Factor Bowling Ball Cleaner and a CtD Power Pad to clean your bowling ball.
  2. Use So Fresh and So Clean per the instructions on the bottle label.
  3. Apply CtD Isopropyl Alcohol to a clean, dry CtD Power Pad and wipe your bowling ball off before each shot during competition.
  4. After competition, clean your bowling ball with That Wow Factor Bowling Ball Cleaner and a CtD Power Pad
  5. Use So Fresh and So Clean and put your ball away for next time.

The best part is that you can use this product just like you would any other rubbing alcohol. So if the rule goes back to no liquids can be used during competition for bowling, you can simply store this product securely with the rest of your medicine cabinet supplies and use when needed.  This product is available at

We offer a big discount when you purchase more than one. 😉

Ships Monday June 1st 2020



  • You should not use any sort of heat source on a bowling ball

    CtD Bowling on

  • Can you use steam to clean and disinfect a bowling ball

    Christal Clark on

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