Golf Grip Solvent Substitutes

Grip suppliers recommend regripping after every 50 games.
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Grip solvents are essential to regripping your golf club; these chemicals remove excess residue left behind by your old grip and activate the new grip's adhesive. Sports equipment retailers and golf shops sell commercial grip solvents, which contain the hydrocarbon mixture petroleum naphtha, but you may be able to find an alternative around the house. These substitutes are often more readily available than specialized grip solvent and serve the same purpose at a fraction of the cost.

Mineral Spirits

Mineral spirits, organic hydrocarbon solvents made from paraffin, are the most common grip solvent alternatives. Like commercial solvents, mineral spirits dissolve oil and grease, cutting through residue left behind by grip tape. Mineral spirits typically sell for slightly less than golf grip solvent. Home-improvement centers and art-supply stores often sell mineral spirits, which lend themselves to everything from waxing floors to cleaning paintbrushes. Although most mineral spirits emit a pungent odor, some retailers offer low-odor or even odorless varieties.


By using a special type of grip tape, you can forgo solvents completely and rely on water. Water-activated grip tape, typically available from golf specialty retailers, comes in two-sided gripping strips with water-activated adhesive. To apply the tape, just mist the tape with water -- and sometimes a bit of dish soap, depending on the manufacturer of the tape -- to activate its built-in chemical adhesive. To remove it, cut off tape with scissors. It will leave no residue.

Compressed Air

An air compressor allows you to forgo messy solvents. By inserting the nozzle of a compressor into a hole in the club's grip cap, you can blow the grip from the tape with a burst of air. Unlike some other alternatives, compressed air is nontoxic and emits no fumes. This method makes for quick, no-mess removal, but you run the risk of bursting the grip with too much air pressure. So, apply the air pressure as gently as possible to remove the grip.


Grip manufacturers warn against the use of common golf grip solvent removers such as paint thinner or commercial lubricants, as they evaporate too quickly and may leave greasy residues that prevent essential adhesion. Some manufacturers offer eco-friendly, nontoxic grip solvents that are nonflammable, non-ozone depleting and produce very little odor.

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