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Bowling is fun, but it’s a lot more fun when you win. To boost your chances of winning, you need the right bowling ball and the proper bowling shoes. A snazzy bowling shirt can also get you in the right mood. And then you should pick among the best bowling towels.

Of course, this leads to another question: how do you identify the top bowling towel for you? There’s no unanimous consensus regarding the best bowling towel brand, as people have very different preferences.

However, we can make life easier for you by compiling this list of excellent choices. We’ve also put in a nifty guide on how you can make your choice, based on the more important factors to consider.

Top 15 Best Bowling Towels in 2020

With so many available options right now, you’re better off if you limit your first choices among these terrific bowling towel picks:

1. Storm Shammy Bowling Ball Cleaning Pad

As this is made of shammy, many consider this even better than microfiber towels. The shammy leather is quite effective in absorbing grime and oil from the bowling ball, regardless of the material used for the cover stock. You need just a single swipe or two and you have a clean bowling ball.

Some people like the 8 by 7-inch side, as it’s compact. It doesn’t take up much space in your bag. You can just hold in in one hand and turn the ball over several times every which way. However, it may get dirty more quickly especially if you play all day and every day. But you don’t really have to clean this after every day of play. Some people just clean it once a month.

As this is made with leather, you may want to wash it by hand using a very mild detergent or soap. Then you should air-dry it afterwards. Once that’s done, it’s good for another day of play.

2. Brunswick Microfiber EZ Grip Towel

Ever since microfiber came out, it became the de facto standard to which all other bowling ball towel materials are compared. After all, they’re still inexpensive, so it doesn’t make much sense to stick with less efficient cotton or polyester towels. This Brunswick microfiber is a case in point.

This comes with the smooth microfiber side, which you set to clean the bowling ball. The other side has rubber backing so you get a steady grip with your palm. Just set this side to your hand, then rest the bowling ball on the cleaning side of the towel. Then turn the ball every which way, and it comes out clean very quickly. It’s a bit stiff at first, but it doesn’t take long to break it in.

Of course, with just one side doing the cleaning, you end up cleaning this a bit more frequently. It’s a bit small, measuring 4 inches per side. Still, you can use this all day without needing to clean it in the middle of the game. Just wash it by hand using a mild soap.

3. Hammer Shammy Black/Orange

This is made of shammy (if you didn’t get that from its darn name), and it measures about 7.25 by 8.25 inches. Again, as the name indicates, it’s mostly black with orange trim. The other side is orange as well. The black color looks great, and it doesn’t show the dirt so it doesn’t look icky. The orange side is softer and meant to be the comfortable side for your palm.

But don’t worry, as it’s extremely effective in absorbing the oil from the bowling lane. Sometimes other towels may end up smearing the oil around the ball, but not this one. Plenty of people report that it’s the most effective towel they’ve ever used in absorbing oil.

Some, however, report that it comes with a weird smell, which doesn’t seem to fade away quickly. Still, you may equate the smell to how Robert Duvall felt about “the smell of napalm in the morning.” It smells like victory!

4. MICHELIN Storm Bowling Shammy Pad

The shammy here is super-effective, as a single pass or two should do the trick. Use it after each throw, and it’ll take out the oil sticking to the ball. It really keeps the bowling ball tacky. You’ll have a hard time finding any report that says otherwise.

Some have mentioned that you may not want to rub it on the bowling ball too much. If you overdo it, you may even get more tack than you want.

This measures 10 by 10 inches, and it takes a while to get too dirty. When it does get dirty, just wash it by hand with mild soap and very warm water. Let it dry, and then it’ll be good to go.

5. MICHELIN Storm Woven Bowling Towel

If you’re a traditionalist who simply prefers cotton towels no matter what, then this is great for your needs. The main advantage here is that you can also use this to wipe your hands of extra sweat. Other materials aren’t as good at this as cotton.

This is also larger, as it measures 25 by 15 inches. So, you get a lot of cleaning areas to work with before you need to clean this. You can even wrap the towel around the whole ball. The black and gray colors also don’t show the grime too much.

You can just throw this in the wash, though you’d want to keep it separate from your other items. You don’t want the oil to transfer to your clothes. Air-dry it, and you’re okay.

6. Storm Microfiber Towel

No, this is a different brand from the Michelin Storm. This comes from Storm Bowling Products, and it uses microfiber. It’s made in Switzerland, and it about 7.7 by 3.6 inches. It’s a bit on the small side, so don’t complain that it’s not as big as you expected if you get this.

You use this by rubbing it all around the bowling ball, instead of turning the bowling ball while you just hold the towel in your hand.

As it’s microfiber, there’s no need to explain its properties. Everyone knows it’s effective for oil, dirt, and grime. It’s extremely absorbent when it comes to moisture, and you can use it on any type of cover stock.

You can even machine-wash this, as long as you don’t use any fabric softener. Again, it’s best if you machine-wash this separate from your clothes. Let it air-dry, and it’s good for another go.

7. Brunswick Reactive Shammy Pad

This is another effective shammy cleaning towel that works very well for your bowling ball. This won’t smear the oil at all, and instead just absorbs it instantly. You just need to make sure you’re actually using the leather side for cleaning. If you use the other side, the results aren’t as good, obviously.

The other side is microfiber, reinforced with rubber beads. This is the side you hold with your hand, and the rubber beads help keep the towel from slipping from your hand.

You use this by just holding it in your hand, and it’s sized for just that purpose. It measures about 8.25 by 6.5 inches, which is an ideal size for your palm. You’re better off just holding the towel in your palm even as you turn the bowling ball over it to clean it properly.

You can clean this once a month, so it’s not too often. Hand-washing is the best option, especially with the leather side. You may want to use a soft brush along with some very mild detergent (or a tiny amount of soap) plus warm water. Air-dry it afterwards, and then it’ll come out like it is brand new.

8. Pyramid Leather Shammy Bowling Pad

This looks like it’s all black, except for the lime green Pyramid logo embroidered on one corner. But the sides are actually protected with heavy-duty stitching, which helps this towel to last long.

It’s somewhat stiff at first, but it doesn’t take long to make it soft and pliable. You just need to break it in a bit, just like with a baseball glove.

This towel measures 7.75 by 8.625 inches, which should fit well on your palm. This works for all types of bowling balls, regardless of the cover stock material. The shammy promises to be more effective with oil absorption compared to microfiber, and it’s just as effective with dirt and grime. 

Cleaning this does need a bit of care. The best method is to first make a solution using a small bit of dish soap with warm water. Once this is done, get a separate soft cloth to dip into the solution. Wring out the excess solution, and then use this soft cloth to wipe the shammy towel.

Be thorough in rubbing off the grime and oil from the leather. Keep dipping the cloth in the solution, but don’t forget to wring the cloth of the excess soap solution. Use a towel to wipe the solution from the shammy towel, and then just let it air-dry.

9. Creating the Difference BFP (Big Fluffy Pad)

The “BFP” in the name stands for “big fluffy pad”, and it’s a good way to describe it. Of course, it’s not too big at 9 by 9 inches. That’s true, even if it’s somewhat larger than most of the other towels out there. Still, that offers a lot of cleaning surface area, and it should be easy enough to hold.

The fluffiness does help with its ability to clean the bowling ball. Just take note that this has a brown side and a white side. The brown side is for cleaning the bowling ball when the lane only has light oil. The white side is fluffier and is better suited for bowling on lanes that have medium to heavy oil.

With 2 sides for cleaning the bowling ball, you won’t have to clean this towel too frequently. Your hand may get dirty, so have another towel just for your hands.

When it’s time to clean this, don’t use fabric softener, and don’t throw this into your washer. Wash it by hand, using a tiny bit of dish soap. Scrub the towel against itself to break up the embedded dirt, and then make sure you rinse it very well. Then you can just air-dry it until it’s completely dry.

10. Ebonite Bowling Products Shammy

Unlike the other towels mentioned earlier on this list, this one is colored blue on one side and black on the other side. While the dirt is more visible on the blue side, at least you know for sure when you need to clean it. Also, it’s often easier to identify when it’s placed alongside other towels.

This towel measures 8 by 7.5 inches, and that’s a good size for the palm. The shammy material is quite effective in absorbing the oil to restore the tackiness of the bowling ball. It works on all types of cover stock material.

As for cleaning the shammy, just wash it by hand. Scrub off the oil and grime using warm water with very little dish soap. Rinse it well, then let it air-dry. It should be good as new afterwards.

Just don’t clean it too frequently, and instead you should clean it only when it gets too dirty. Even if you play regularly, you may want to clean this about once a month.

11. Genesis Pure Pad Buffalo Leather Ball Wipe

Now for something really different. This uses actual buffalo leather, and it features a heavy, soft, and fuzzy surface (called the knap). It’s this heavy knap that’s supremely effective in absorbing the oil from the lane and removing the grime and dirt.

Some say that it’s better than microfiber, and maybe even better than shammy. What makes this special is that it’s thicker than many of the thin shammy towels out there. This uses 3 layers, and it ends up as about ⅜ of an inch thick. Now that’s not thin and flimsy at all.

At this thickness, it’s not surprising that it needs to be broken in first. The good news is that this won’t take all that long. It may be somewhat stiff in the beginning, but it loosens up pretty quickly. Just remember that both sides feature leather, so you can clean the bowling ball with either side.

This ought to last a while, as the thick leather comes with heavy-duty stitching. The size is at 7 by 6 inches, which ought to fit your palm just fine. As for cleaning this, follow the instructions and use mild soap.

12. WINGKIND Shammy Leather Cleaning Pad

This is another towel using buffalo leather, which is often regarded as even better than shammy (and certainly better than microfiber). The towel comes with black color, with shows off the blue stitching on the sides very well.

The black color hides the dirt and oil, though sometimes after a game you may have a bit of black residue on your hands. That’s not really a big deal since you ought to wash your hands after playing even if you don’t have this black residue on your hands.

Both sides are usable for cleaning, and it’s extremely effective in absorbing the lane oil sticking to the cover stock of the bowling ball. You can use this for any bowling ball, regardless of the cover stock material.

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WINGKIND Bowling Shammy Bowling Ball Leather Cleaning Pad

You just need to be very careful in cleaning this. You’re actually warned from using laundry detergent or dish soap to clean this, and you certainly can’t use anything with alcohol. If you do, then you remove the leather’s natural oils that keep the leather supple.

Instead, just use a mild soap to remove the dirt and absorb oil. Rinse it well. When that’s done, stretch out the towel to air-dry.

13. BSI Micro-Fiber Bowling Towel

We mostly don’t mind paying for more expensive bowling ball towels, since it’s only a matter of adding a few dollars more. Still, this is very inexpensive, and you can buy two of these for the price of one of the other towels on this list. It’s probably because it’s made with microfiber and not shammy or buffalo leather. Also, being made in china may have something to do with the price too.

In any case, we didn’t include this on this list just because it’s cheap. Its quality sure isn’t cheap. It’s very effective in cleaning your bowling balls of grime and oil, and it even wipes your hands free of sweat and dirt. So, use one side for the bowling ball, and maybe use the other side to wipe your hands.

Another feature that you might like is that it’s quite large at 12 by 18 inches. You can use this to wrap the entire bowling ball as you clean it. You can then just wash this afterwards, and then you can use it again and again. It does what it’s supposed to do, which is why no one seems to have anything bad to say about it.

14. Hammer Dye-Subliminated Microfiber Towel

This looks extremely different from the other towels, starting with the huge logo on the very center of the towel. There’s a large hammer design, with the HAMMER brand inside. Then underneath, you even get the “Nothing Hits Like A Hammer” slogan. The background isn’t plain either, but features a crisscrossing design. You really won’t mistake this towel for someone else’s.

This uses microfiber, which works well for oil and grime. What you’ll notice more is that it’s huge—it measures 26 by 16 inches. It makes the other towels seem like towelettes in comparison. This is really big enough to just wrap the bowling ball for easy cleaning.

So, what does the “dye-subliminated” mean? We don’t really know, but we suspect that they meant “dye-sublimated” instead. That means the design won’t fade even after multiple washings, since the colors are embedded in the fabric.

15. Alley Cats Bowling Shammy Microfiber Towel

First off, this is not shammy leather. It’s an annoying mistake, because it uses microfiber instead. We’re just going to assume it’s an innocent mistake and not false advertising.

They can just call this a microfiber towel, because otherwise it’s an excellent bowling ball towel. It’s even more effective than other “regular” microfiber towels, which may explain why they call it a shammy.

The dark side is what you use to clean the bowling ball, as it features the high-grade microfiber. The back side is white with dark spots, and it has the rubber grip beads for your palm. This means this side won’t slip when you use it.

Just hold it properly with the rubber grip on your palm, and with the dark side up. Place the bowling ball on top, and turn it every which way to clean it completely. The towel measures 10 by 8 inches, which is a good size for your palm.

When you clean this, just use your washer. Again, this means it’s not shammy leather. Hang it out to dry, and then you can use it again and again. This even comes with a money-back guarantee, but it’s very unlikely that you’ll use it. This just works, and it’s very inexpensive.

Factors to Consider before Buying Bowling Towels

When read product specs and bowling towel reviews, focus on the following considerations:

Absorption Ability

How well does the material absorb oil and grime? What you need is a bowling ball towel that excels at this task. If your towel can absorb the oil and grime quickly, then you can get on with your game right away.

Damage Control

The towel is there to help you keep your bowling ball pristine, and not to make things worse. So, check if the towel is lint-free. If it’s not, then it’s just adding lint to the grime on the ball.

Also make sure that the towel isn’t abrasive, or else you’ll just scratch the cover stock of your bowling ball.


A larger towel tends to be easier to use when cleaning the bowling ball, since it can cover much of the cover stock area at once. Also, you have more cleaning material to work with, unlike a smaller towel that can get dirty all over much more quickly.

The advantage of a smaller towel is that it doesn’t take up much space in your bowling bag. Also, when you clean it, it doesn’t take as much time to get it completely clean.


How long will it last? Some materials such as shammy are generally more durable than regular microfiber. Find out if the material will degrade with too many washes of the towel. Sometimes the towel may harden or become abrasive when you’ve washed it too often.

General Ease of Use

How easy is it to use? Some towels offer just the right size and grip so you’re able to clean your bowling ball efficiently and with no fuss. Others may not offer the right grip, so you may end up constantly fumbling with it. That can be frustrating, and it may affect your concentration on your game.


Looks may not matter all that much, but a nice-looking towel can make you feel like a real pro when you play. Unique colors and designs also help you to identify your own towel more quickly. That means you don’t use other people’s (inferior) towels, while other players don’t use your towel.

Some colors can hide the grime they absorb, so they still look nice instead of looking at increasing icky. Just be sure that the ink used for the patterns is fully set—sometimes you can get the ink on the towel transferred to your hands.

Maintenance Requirements

Some people can’t be bothered to take time to wash their towels by hand. If you’re one of these people, then you need a towel that can be washed in the washer without damaging it. Just wash it without combining it with your other clothes.

Other towels may require hand-washing, or may even require special cleaning methods or detergents. It’s up to you if you don’t mind doing this, in return for superb towel performance.


Of course, if you’re faced with 2 towels with virtually the same features, you should just go with the more affordable towel. Just don’t pick the cheapest one right off, since that may end up offering inferior cleaning performance. They may not last as long either, so you don’t actually end up saving money in the long run.

Just keep in mind that even the more expensive towels aren’t really all that expensive. Often, it’s worth the added expense of a few more dollars just to get a towel that’s a lot better.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here’s some information that should help you out:

What is a bowling towel?

This is the towel you use to wipe down your bowling ball. You use this to remove the grime, dirt, and oil that accumulate on the cover stock of your bowling ball. If you don’t clean your ball regularly, your bowling ball doesn’t grip the lane as effectively and you’re unable to hook your ball properly for your strikes.

You may also use this towel to wipe your hands dry. You can make sure your hands aren’t wet and clammy, so you can get a surer grip on the bowling ball. You can maintain the proper control over the bowling ball so it goes where you want it to go.

What are bowling towels made of?

There are plenty of options, though you need to limit your material options to lint-free cloths. The material also shouldn’t scratch your cover stock.

Most people just go with micro-fiber towels, as these have proven quite effective in absorbing more oil which the ball gets from rolling on the lane.

Leather is also a good option, as it’s both absorbent and long-lasting.

How to clean or wash a bowling ball towel?

If you want your bowling ball towel to last, then you can’t just throw it in the laundry washer. You should just wash them by hand, using very little detergent along with very hot water. If you want, you can even buy detergents designed specifically for microfiber.

In some cases, you may buy a bowling towel that comes with specific cleaning and maintenance directions. It’s best that you just follow these instructions.

Where can I buy bowling towels?

You probably can buy them from your local grocery, though you may be limited to just the cheap bowling towel options.  You may also find them in sports shops, especially those that specialize in bowling equipment.

Still, for the widest available options, your best bet is to just go online. You often end up paying less than if you bought from an actual shop.

Is a bowling shammy the same thing as a bowling towel?

Well, technically a bowling shammy can be considered a type of bowling towel. It’s just that it uses a different material from the more common microfiber towels you see more often.

Does it matter what bowling towel to use?

In a legal, follow-the-official-rules sense, no. You can use any towel you want and you won’t break any official use.

But in terms of efficiency, it matters a great deal. If you use an inappropriate towel that just imparts lint on your bowling ball, then you’re just wasting your time. You’re just making things worse by gumming up the ball even more.

You also don’t want to go with abrasive towels, as these can just end up damaging the cover stock of the ball.

Final Thoughts

You wouldn’t think that something so affordable can make a big difference to your bowling game. Cleaning the bowling ball before each throw should be part of your shot ritual. With the best bowling ball towels, you’re absolutely certain your bowling ball gets that proper grip on the lane.

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Last update on 2022-01-19 at 07:31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API