Your hands are dirty (that’s ok, so are mine). Your hands come into contact with so many grimy things during the day that they are the most washed body part you have.
So it would make sense that using and holding a dart for several hours, some of that dirt and grime would transfer to your grips. Most beginners never think about it, but it is a question that has to be asked. How do you clean your darts?
The best way to clean your dart barrel is to use a bowl filled with warm water and a light soap or detergent. A soft bristle brush can then be used to clean dirt from between the grooves and the knurling of the dart.
While this is the most widely used method to clean a dart, there are others. Wipes, toothbrushes, polish and more. We will go through all the options as well as the dos and don’ts of cleaning your darts.
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Why Do You Need To Clean Your Darts?
You need to clean your darts because your darts are dirty. Cleaning your darts not only removes dirt and gunk, if done correctly it will remove germs and bacteria as well. Cleaning will also remove excess oil which can help with your grip.
As I have already pointed out, your hands a dirty, and your hands are constantly on your darts.
If you really want to be grossed out, understand that there is a good chance that the grime you see between your dart grooves consists of mostly dead skin, with just enough dirt thrown in to give it some color.
What Parts Of The Dart Need To Be Cleaned?
All parts of your darts should be clean and well maintained. Since the barrel is the part that you are touching the most it will require more frequent cleaning.
This article will focus mostly on cleaning the barrel (and tip). You are not touching your shaft and flights as much so they don’t really need regular cleaning unless there are visible blemishes.
These parts are also replaced often so cleaning is simply not needed. I did have a set of aluminum shafts which I used for 2 years. So there are always exceptions to the rules.
How Often Do Your Darts Need Cleaning?
You should clean your darts regularly in relation to how often you play. Once a week or once a month, it really does depend on how often you are using your darts.
It also depends on you and the environment. If you are a clean person and playing at home your darts are probably already pretty clean.
If you are at the pub with 10 guys, high-fiving, shaking hands, taking turns, your darts are probably really gross.
If other people touch and use your darts you need to clean them often. Just think, how many times did Jimmy go to the bathroom after drinking those 10 beers, then come rushing out yelling “is it my turn?”
Different Methods To Clean Yor Darts
There are serval easy and popular methods used to clean your dart barrels. I will only be going over the easiest and most practical ways to get the job done.
You can find websites that recommend everything from toothpaste to shaving cream and I have to ask why? There are several products designed to remove dirt and germs from any type of surface. Remember, you are trying to clean your darts not fight plaque.
Before getting started, make sure to disassemble your darts to remove your shafts as we will only be washing the barrel. To prevent corrosion, make sure to have a clean hand towel ready to dry things off when done.
I like using wipes to clean darts because they are quick and easy. You can give your darts a once-over with the wipes and throw them away.
Baby wipes, hand wipes, Lysol wipes, it really doesn’t matter what type of wipes you use, but I would look for an antibacterial wipe that is going to kill some of those nasty germs in the process.
Depending on your dart, I would caution against using alcohol or bleach-based products that could cause the paint to be removed.
If you eat at the right restaurants you can even get some wipes for free. They are individually packaged and can easily be thrown into your dart case.
Of course, wipes are not going to give your darts that deep cleaning level that they may need but being able to clean on the go is a big plus for this option.
A Toothbrush or Bristle Brush
Every dart has grooves, crevasses, and cuts that are hard to get into and just love to house the dirt. Soaking or wiping with a cloth is not guaranteed to get everything out. This is why I recommend using a soft bristle brush of some type.
A nail brush or toothbrush will do the trick. Both have a decent grip. I prefer a toothbrush because it is a little smaller and the handle allows you to hit the dart barrel at some different angles a more basic shape brush might not.
Toothbrushes also come in different softnesses. A soft bristle toothbrush will allow for maximum coverage while minimizing any potential damage to the dart.
Jewelry Cleaning Solutions
All-purpose jewelry cleaning products are designed specifically to clean small precious pieces of metal just like your darts. They are cheap delicate to the metal and effective at cleaning.
Most come as a simple mixture in a small container that you would just leave your darts submerged in for a short bit of time. Take them out, give them a rinse and drying and you are good to go.
All that being said, in my opinion, they are not worth the money. Almost every jeweler would agree that special cleaners are not necessary for cleaning a tungsten-based product and the next method on this list is all you really need.
Soap And Water
Using soap with warm water to clean your darts, is not only cheap and easy, but it is also the most effective way to clean your darts all the way through.
Just mix a little warm (not hot) water with some dish soap in a cup that is large enough to fully submerge your darts.
While I have read to keep them in overnight, that seems completely unnecessary. Just let them soak for a few minutes to loosen everything up then wipe and dry.
While a sonic cleaner may seem like overkill but if you have many sets of darts you need to keep clean, you may want to add this to your Amazon wish list. Perfect for a pub, a league, or for the player that needs the best of everything, sonic cleaners use ultrasonic vibrations to shake the dirt loose. If you have not heard of them before it sounds like a scam, but it’s not.
- 💎47000Hz Ultrasonic Cleaner】Professional Jewelry Cleaner Ultrasonic Machine adopts T-Air dialysis technology, generates an updraged frequency of 47,000Hz,and the cleaning degree can reach 98%.The ultrasonic jewelry cleaner can penetrate deeply into places where hands cannot be scrubbed, quickly wrap and clean jewelry, glasses, watches, rings, Stain on the surface and depth of the coin, and will not damage your belongings.
Ultrasonic cleaners have been around in the jewelry industry for years and they work very well. They are perfectly suited to get a nice deep clean on your dart barrels.
Do You Need To Polish Your Darts For That Perfect Shine?
It’s amazing how many websites I see saying to use polish to clean your darts. Cleaning and polishing are two very different things. When you polish or buff something the goal is to make the surface smooth and shiny.
While it is ok to give your darts a good rub after cleaning, full polishing is not needed, and really not recommended.
The tools and products used to polish could cause your dart to become slippery. The purpose of the grip is to make the dart grippy. While a smooth shiny dart looks nice, it will not help your game.
Problems That May Arise When Cleaning Your Darts
- Moisture. Your darts are metal and while tungsten doesn’t really rust, you will want to fully dry your darts as soon as you are done.
- Watch the paint. If your darts have painted detailings some cleaners or scrubbing may remove that paint. If you like it be careful and stick to soap.
- Don’t scratch the finish. The grooves and cuts in your darts are arranged for optimal grip. Being aggressive with scrubbing could scour the metal in places you do not want.
- Stick with mild detergents. While your tungsten should hold well to just about any cleaner you have lying around, there is just no reason to go past anything more than mild soap.
How To Prevent Your Darts From Getting Dirty
Keep your hands clean. Wash before you play, wash after you use the bathroom
Try not to share. Lending someone a pair of darts for the night is ok since you can give them a clean when they are done. But sharing one set of darts between two people through the night is a good way to share germs and bacteria.
Store your darts in a case when not in use. I still recommend the Harrows Ace Case (from Amazon).
So What Is The Best Way To Clean Your Darts?
The best way to clean your darts is a combination of soapy water and a toothbrush. It is cheap and easy to give your darts a thorough cleaning every month or so. Just let them soak, take them out, give them a scrub and dry them off.
I also recommend keeping some germ-killing wipes around to give your darts a quick disinfecting every week or so in between cleanings.
All that being said I wouldn’t mind upgrading to a sonic cleaner when my bank account allows. So if you are cleaning darts often and have the extra cash, it is something to consider.
They Are Clean, Now What?
This has nothing to do with cleaning, but keeping your points sharpened should be part of your general maintenance routine. Whether you have a sharpener or not, you should check out our instructions for sharpening darts.
And now that we have a solution for your darts, what about your dartboard? Did you know that you should rotate your dartboard regularly? or there is absolutely no liquid that is safe to use on your board? Check out our complete guide on dartboard maintenance.