How to Clean a Golf Cart

By Craig Berman

Golf carts make playing a round or two on the links a lot less strenuous and, in some communities, provide an easy way to navigate the sidewalks and streets. Caring for carts involves keeping them clean, both to preserve appearance and to keep sensitive equipment like cart batteries from expiring early. Take your time to ensure that you don’t damage one area of the cart as you’re cleaning the other.

Remove the Clutter

Clean out the interior of your golf cart first. Remove anything that might be damaged by water, such as a GPS or portable heater. If the cart has removable floor mats or seat covers, take them out as well. Vacuum and shake out the mats to remove debris, and clean the seat covers according to the manufacturer’s directions. Stray ball markers, golf tees or other evidence of past rounds should be picked up and put away.

Scrub the Exterior

Wash the exterior of the cart with soap and water. Use a sponge to rub the soapy solution along the exterior – avoid a hose at this stage. Rub the sponge over the exterior in a clockwise motion, moving along until you’ve covered the entire area. You’ll likely have to spend more time and energy at the bottom, where dirt and debris tend to congregate. Rinse gently with clean water and hand dry with a towel to avoid any soap residue marring your hard work.

Maintain Tires and Undercarriage

Check out the tires and the undercarriage. In addition to polishing the tires with water and a mild cleaning agent, this is the time to make sure there aren’t any cuts in the tire, or wear and tear that could negatively impact its performance. Make sure there’s no buildup of dirt or mud underneath the cart, or that no stray twigs or branches are lodged in with the potential to gum up the machinery.

Clean the Interior

Use a hand vacuum to clean the floors, seats and glove compartment of the cart to avoid excess debris from piling up. Spray the windshield with Windex and wipe it off with a clean rag so you’ll be able to see where your tee shots have landed. Clean the dashboard, steering wheel and other interior components with water and a mild cleaner as needed. Wipe down vinyl seats with a moist cloth.

Check Your Battery

Most golf carts are electric and rely on a battery to power you down the course. Cleaning your cart battery every month or so extends its life and prevents corrosion to the electrical system. Use a mixture of baking soda and water, or a commercially-available battery acid cleaner, to gently clean the battery and remove the acid deposits. Leave that on for 5 to 10 minutes and then rinse off with cold water, being careful not to spray electrical components. If there’s still noticeable corrosion, you can put on protective gloves and goggles and scrub the buildup with a firm bristle brush.

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