Every once in a while I hear gripes from a customer or vendor about one thing or another. That comes with the territory. But I just happened to receive a “gripe” that I wanted to share with all of our customers. As a matter of fact, how about 15 GRIPES in all, as in the new Lamkin pre-moistened wipes in the convenient re-sealable package. In the category of, “why hadn’t someone thought of it before”, could this finally be an easier and faster way to clean your grips?
How Do you Clean Your Grips?
Better question yet is if you ever do. Think about this for a second, when you play golf you probably sweat a little or perhaps a lot when it is really hot and humid outside. The salt from the sweat and oil and dirt from your hands go somewhere and that somewhere is the outer surface of your grip. Over time this accumulates and causes the grips to become slick and eventually hard making it more difficult to get a secure grip on your club.
I for one do clean my grips from time to time, but not as often as I probably should. When working with rubber grips, I would mix common liquid dishwashing soap in a bucket or in a sink of warm water. Then I would proceed to dip a soft bristled brush into the water and started scrubbing the outer surface of the grip. Next, I’ll rinse with clean water to remove any soapy residue then allow the grips to air dry.
For cleaning synthetic over-wrap grips, such as those from Winn or SuperStroke, I do it slightly different. I don’t use a brush and soapy water as you can scratch the outer surface and destroy the tackiness and slip-resistance of the grip. Instead, I take a soft clean towel moistened with water or rubbing alcohol and simply wipe the exterior surface.
Note I do not immerse any grip in a bucket of water to clean them. This will saturate the underlying layer of tape and potentially cause the grip to slip on the shaft and may even ruin the grip. In addition, it may cause a steel shaft to rust from within.
Putting the Gripes to the Test
Could simply wiping down my dirty grips with a Gripe be as effective as me scrubbing the grips with a soft bristled brush and soapy water? I wanted to know, so I put them to the test. First of all, each 12” x 6” Gripe is designed to clean up to five golf clubs.
The packaging may seem familiar if you have every used baby wipes or a number of other products on the market. Simply pull the tab, unseal the front and pull out a Gripe (short for Grip Wipe). When done, press down and seal. Remember to place the package in your golf bag or where you store you clubs so you won’t forget to clean them in the near future.
Well I took my irons and wedges and decided to clean the odd numbered clubs with the Gripes and the even numbered clubs with soapy water. If your grips are dirty, you will see the crud picked up on the white cleaning surface. Less than 5 minutes after wiping the grips down with a Gripe, the surface was already dry. I had to wait a good 3 hours for the grips that were cleaned by the soapy water to dry! After inspecting each club, I was pleasantly surprised the grips cleaned with the Gripes were slightly tackier than the soap-cleaned grips that I put some time and muscle into scrubbing them what I thought was clean.
The packaging says they were intended to use on rubber or synthetic rubber grips – after all that is what Lamkin produces. I was curious if they would clean other grip materials as well. No problems whatsoever. While the Gripes were still moist, I even wiped down a few shafts and heads too. In the end, my hands smelled a little citrusy and not foul like other cleaners can be.
I give the Gripes two big thumbs up because of the convenience factor and fast-drying. The end to the procrastination of not cleaning my clubs, finally no more mixing soap and water and then waiting for the grips to dry. If I wanted, I could have taken a Gripe or two and cleaned my clubs just prior to teeing off of the first hole given me no excuses for a slick grip and peace of mind for the rest of the round.