Should Lawn Bowls Be Polished? | ANSWERED

  • By: Reece Williams
  • Time to read: 3 min.

So, you’ve just spent £300 on a brand new set of bowls, and you want to protect them and keep them performing at their best, or you’ve just bought a cheap second hand set and want them to last – surely polishing them regularly will help? Lets take a look.

Lawn bowls polishes are cheap to buy and easy to apply. They can come in a variety of different consistencies, from a gel to a hard wax.

Polishing your bowls can help protect them from scratches and marks, but may not always be necessary, and can sometimes be against the rules of lawn bowls. What are the circumstances where polishing is helpful? And when should you avoid it at all costs?

Should lawn bowls be polished?

You do not have to polish your lawn bowls, however polishing them with branded polishes can help protect them from marks and scratches. Bowls polishing can also help make your bowls easier to grip – however you must be careful as some clubs do not allow bowl polishes as they can damage the rink surface.

How to polish lawn bowls

First, in order to polish your bowls you’ll need to get a proper set of lawn bowls polish, such as Grippo or Crack-a-Jack – there’s no need for furniture polish here!

Lawn bowls polishes come in different forms, some are like a gel whereas others are hard, like a wax. Regardless of the texture of your lawn bowls polish the process is similar.

To polish your bowls follow these steps:

  1. Polish one bowl at a time
  2. Take a small amount of polish (about the size of a pea) and either place it directly on the bowl, or on a clean cloth
  3. Using a circular motion rub the polish over the bowl
  4. The polish should no longer be visible when you have finished
  5. Apply the polish all over the bowl – including the running surface and the grips
  6. Repeat for all bowls in the set

Benefits of polishing bowls

There are several reasons why you should polish your bowls regularly. These include:

  • help protect them from wear and tear
  • brings back the shine – makes them look as good as new
  • makes the bowls “tacky” which improves your grip

Many bowlers use polishes solely to improve their grip. I for one use a polish before I play a game. However the benefits go beyond simple grip improvements and asthetics.

Bowls polishes are great for keeping your bowls in tip top condition. Polishes helps clear any minor marks and scratches, and also protects them from damage during a game.

When you shouldn’t polish lawn bowls

Whilst polishing your bowls is great for keeping them in tip top shape, it is best to not polish them before playing on any kind of indoor carpet.

Many indoor clubs (but not all) ban the use of polishes when you use their facilities because it can damage the carpet.

As you can imagine replacing the carpet is an expensive operation, and protecting the surface is a top priority for many clubs.

Whilst not all indoor clubs have this rule, its usually best to err on the side of caution and not use polishes during the indoor season as any residue may still be on the surface of the bowl for several weeks.


Bowls polishes are great for improving the lifespan of your bowls and for improving your grip when you play.

Applying it is incredibly easy regardless of the type or brand that you use. All you need is a dab of a cloth and away you go.

Just be careful when you use it, especially on indoor surfaces, as it can cause some damage to the carpet – so be on the safe side and keep it for the outdoor season only.