You have just spent over $200 on a brand new reactive bowling ball that is designed to hook better than anything else on the market (who really believes all that the ball manufacturers tell us?). You take it out for your first league game and one of your team mates tells you that it will only be effective for about 6 months.

Do you decide not to worry about it and buy another ball after that 6 months, accept that the ball will not be as good after a while or do you decide that you are going to look after the ball to get the best possible life out of it.

If you answered yes to the last statement there, then this article is for you. The current wisdom; and the advice that was apparently being given to Team USA bowlers by the manufacturers; is to wash the ball after every 12 to 15 games, keeping the ball clean after every match between washes by using a wax free reactive ball cleaning solution.

The way to wash the ball is as follows. Tape up the holes of your ball so that little or no water gets in.  I find electrical insulating tape as good as anything, masking tape and sellotape seem to float off. Fill a bowl with fairly hot water (remember you are going to have to put your hands in it!) and add some good grease cutting detergent.

Don’t make the water too hot as you may run the risk of melting the tape. Wash the ball with a lint free cloth, paying particular attention to the track area as this will have absorbed the most conditioner in play.

Once you have done that, rinse out the bowl and refill it with water that is just off cold. Rinse the ball off using a clean, lint free cloth again. Take the ball out, take off the tape covering the holes and let it dry naturally. See if you can talk you local pro shop operator into letting you have a ball display stand so it doesn’t roll around and pick up dust off the floor.

Doing this every 12 to 15 games will help to keep your ball reacting well. If you leave it more than 15 games, the oil will have been absorbed into the shell so far that this will not be able to remove it.

Over time, your ball will lose some of it’s reaction. Nothing can be done to prevent this, it is part of the price you pay to have the best equipment to compete with. However, regular washing can help to prolong the life of that all important, expensive, new ball.