Feb 09, 2023
POSTED BY: Nicholas Venditti

How To Get Rust Off Golf Clubs

If you’re a golfer, you take great pride in caring for your clubs. So, what should you do if you find sneaky rust on your favorite clubs?

Follow this guide on removing rust for a few actionable measures you can take so you no longer have to worry. 

Best Methods To Clean Rust Off Golf Clubs

Steel Wool

Firstly, the steel wool method is most appropriate when your golf club has only a slight smattering of rust. Take your steel wool and gently scrub it over any noticeable areas to remove the rust quickly and return your clubs to like new condition

Here’s a tip, though: don’t apply too much pressure on the clubs when using steel wool. The wool may damage the surface if you rub the club too hard. However, you won’t need to worry about damaging the clubs if you use ultra-fine steel wool with light pressure.

Steel wool is more of a preventative measure before additional rust occurs. If you attempt this method and it doesn’t work - or, understandably, you don’t want to run the risk of scratching a club - consider using one of the below safe methods.

Soap and Water

As with cleaning your hands, the molecular structure of soap is designed to break dirt away quickly, so for rustier equipment, combine a bucket of warm water with a dish or liquid soap. It sounds simple, but it works!

Leave your clubs in warm, soapy water for approximately five minutes. Then, take a clean cloth and wipe the rust off. If you find the rust is still difficult to remove but you’re making good headway, we recommend smoothing the surface with a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove any rust in the grooves.

This method is a great way to ensure no damage to your beloved clubs, but if the process doesn’t work, try the next fizzy solution: Coca-Cola.


Coca-Cola, as well as other carbonated drinks, can remove rust from your golf clubs. Consider using a plain soda to avoid any sugar residue after the soaking. For this method to work, your carbonated drink must include phosphoric acid. 

Next, pick a container that will allow the soda to cover as much of the clubs as needed. Leave your clubs soaking in the soda for about five minutes; any longer, you risk damaging them. Remove the clubs and wipe them well with a microfiber cloth. 

If you can’t find a container big enough to cover the shafts, wet some towels with soda until they’ve soaked in as much Coke as possible and wrap them around your poles. This time, leave them for around 24 hours to get the best results; then, wipe away the rust residue and rinse the shafts with water. That’s it!

Vinegar and Lemon Juice 

While this does require you to have some spare vinegar and lemons, it’s another excellent method for a good clean

Fill a larger container with vinegar or lemon juice, enough to cover the club heads. Leave for 1-2 hours, then remove the rust with a clean cloth or a soft-bristled brush. An easy solution right in your pantry!

Rust Remover 

While we prefer these at-home methods for ease and expense, sometimes you need to call in the big boys and girls. Why not try visiting your local hardware store?

Be aware that rust remover often contains harsh chemicals, which could damage the metal if misused. Read the instructions properly before applying any remover to the metal. 

How To Prevent Golf Clubs From Rusting

While having rust-removal methods is excellent, prevention is even better. 

Prevent rusting with these tips: 

  • - Dry your clubs with a clean cloth or towel before placing them back in your bag after a quality game on the green. You may not need this method on sunnier days, but we recommend always carrying a towel in your bag to combat pesky rain or morning dew. Water and moisture could collect and lead to rusting. 
  • - Check your clubs once you get home. Are they dirty? Clean away any mud and dry them to prevent collecting moisture. 
  • - Allow the clubs to dry separately from the rest of your bag to air them out properly.
  • - Store your clubs in a dry, safe space whenever you aren’t yelling “Fore!” Any humidity can immediately increase the risk of rust; your basement or garage will likely be a good solution. Most importantly, never leave your clubs in the trunk of your car! We all know how that goes…
  • - Don’t forget to check on your clubs, even if it’s off-season or you’re going through a no-playing dry patch. Assess the condition thoroughly. If your clubs are damp, dry them and move them immediately to a location that won’t cause moisture build-up. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Does WD-40 Remove Rust From Golf Clubs?

    WD-40 is one possible solution, but as with any rust remover, we recommend reading the instructions carefully before applying any solution to the metal to avoid potential damage. 

    Try an ‘at-home’ method first to decrease expense and chances of damage.

    Can You Buff Out Surface Rust on Golf Clubs?

    Yes, you can remove rust with steel wool by buffing away at surface-level rust. However, don’t press too hard, as you could easily cause scratches or damage to your club. Or, choose one of the other at-home methods above. 

    Keep Your Golf Clubs Dry — Shop Stitch Golf

    Here’s what we know: prevention is always better - and less time-consuming! - than using elbow grease to remove rust from your golf clubs. Why risk it? While you’re at it, check out our beautifully crafted headcovers and golf bags today to keep your golf clubs sparkling bright!