Why Do Bowling Balls Smell?


Bowling balls are not only used to play the game of bowling. They can also be an investment for your game or even act as a conversation starter in between frames with other bowlers!

The way the ball is constructed makes it very sensitive to odors and smells, so some manufacturers add scents to the material before they pour the ingredients together. This may be why your ball smells like grapefruit.

So why do bowling balls smell?

Bowling balls smell because of contact with the playing environment and the ball material. To distinguish them, Storm bowling balls were scented. They’ve since grown in popularity among bowlers of all levels. Bowlers frequently use their favorite bowling ball scent as a source of inspiration. The scents include a number of variations.

Bowling Balls and Bad Smells

There are a couple of reasons that your bowling ball smells weird.

House balls, in particular, are the worst bowling balls in terms of smelling bad. House balls are used by both amateur and professional bowlers alike which means they get much more exposure to sweat and grime than other bowling balls.

Sweat deposits, dirt, and bacteria are embedded deep in the pores of your ball which will make it smell bad if not cleaned properly. Cleaning the ball will eliminate the odor, so you need to be aware of the type of cleaner that you use.

What Causes Bowling Balls to Have Bad Smell?

Chalk, perspiration from palms, greasy hair products as well as other liquids or materials and even cigarette smoke can coat the outside of your bowling ball. This attracts dirt, which collects in the porous surface of the ball and causes bad odors.

The more often you play, the more likely your bowling ball is to absorb bad smells.

Storage is another big factor as dirty or smelly bowling balls, even those housed inside a bag or on a ball rack for weeks at a time, will develop bad smells if you don’t clean them properly.

If your bowling ball has absorbed these odors, they can easily be removed by cleaning the ball with a cleaner made specifically for bowling balls.

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Why are Storm Bowling Balls Scented?

Storm is one of the most well-known brands of bowling balls. Storm produces high-end bowling equipment across many different categories.

According to an urban legend, Bill Chrisman, one of Storm Bowling’s leaders, took his wife on a tour of the factory in 2000, and she complained about the strong chemical odor. To reduce the smell, they subsequently incorporated a fragrance into production.

The Storm El Nino Gold was one of the first scented bowling balls. The scented Storm bowling brand also does quite well in the female market.

Storm releases new scents nearly every year. You can even check out their website where they have a list of different scents for their products.

Although there are scented bowling balls available, Storm offers a number of unscented ones as well, such as Pitch Black, Mix, Ice, and others.

Motiv bowling balls, which is another of the most popular brands of bowling equipment, also has scented balls.

Motiv bowling balls have some scent to them, for example their Forza bowling ball smells like a fresh orange even a year later after the purchase.

Available Bowling Ball Scents

As already mentioned Storm has some of the best smelling bowling balls on the market. It is hard for them not to smell good when they have so many options available.

Here is a short list of their scented bowling balls available:

  • Birthday cake, Boysenberry, Blueberry, Cinnamon, Cinnamon Streusel, Cranberry, Frosted cake, Funnel cake, Grape, Grapevine, Orange Ambrosia, Peppermint, Sweet plum, Vanilla, Volcano, White Sangria (and possibly even more since the listing of these scents)

Sniff test next time you shop around for a new bowling ball. You might find yourself very tempted to pick up a scented one. Although they are a little more pricey, the lift of your spirits might just be worth it.

Some people just enjoy buying all of their equipment from Storm because they always try to make their equipment look good, which is why they have so many options for the scented balls.

Why are Bowling Balls Scented?

In order to reduce the offensive odors, bowling ball manufacturers have been adding a perfume-like scent to their products since the early 2000s.

The exact chemicals that comprise bowling ball smell or how they are added is a closely guarded secret among the various companies that produce balls.

When players throw, having a fragrant bowling ball can help them maintain their concentration. Some even claim that they can throw better because of their ball’s scent.

What do you think? Do you like having scented bowling balls or not? Do you like having scented balls or do you prefer bowling with no added scent?

How are Bowling Balls Scented?

Bowling balls are scented in a variety of different ways.

Most modern bowling balls have a plastic-like odor to them, owing to the material used while manufacturing. Recently, many have opted for a smell similar to cherry or lavender scents in the bowling ball materials.

Spraying a fragrant substance on the bowling ball makes no sense. Because the way how bowling works, the scent will dissipate rapidly. Reapplying the fragrance is not an option since it must be performed after each game.

For a scented bowling ball, there is another step after its manufacturing: installing the scented layer into the bowling ball. After the desired scent is chosen, it is added to the polyurethane, resin, or the coverstock material mixture.

The resin layer is the coating of choice in the manufacture of scented Storm Bowling balls. The resin layer is added just before the vinyl covering and drilling of finger holes.

Scented bowling balls produce faint fragrances due to the location of the resin covering. This is why the scent is more intense in the finger holes than on the surface, since the distance is shorter in that location from the scented layer.

A new scent may revitalize a vintage scented ball, making it seem fresh and new once again. This fragrance resurgence, on the other hand, will not be long-lasting.

Some bowlers don’t like scented bowling balls because the fragrance attracts their attention away from the game. The preferences of each participant determine this. This is particularly true for those who have a highly sensitive sense of smell.

Does the Scent of Bowling Ball Last?

Depending on the type of maintenance and care, a bowling ball can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years before it needs to be replaced based on players’ opinion.

According to bowlers, the smell can endure for ten years or more in rare circumstances, but in some cases even the balls don’t last that long. Some Storm balls retain their fragrance for the rest of the ball’s life.

Depending on the chemicals used to clean your bowling ball, the aroma could go away sooner.

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Are the Scents of Bowling Balls Distracting?

A non-scented bowling ball may be preferred by bowlers who like the natural odors produced when the ball is used in play. Bowlers also prefer balls that don’t produce too distracting scents.

If you are distracted by the smell of your own bowling ball, consider using a different one. If you are distracted by somebody else’s bowling ball scent, consider talking to them about it, especially if you take part in competitions, and it’s hurting your performance.

Closing Thoughts About Bowling Ball Scents

In most cases, the scent of a bowling ball is artificial and can be attributed to any one of a number of methods.

There are a variety of different scents used in bowling balls, some naturally occurring and some entirely man-made.

Whether it’s to keep the ball fresh or for comfort, certain bowling ball brands are commonly scented. The scent can be a mix of different smells that help you get in the zone before picking up your ball and getting ready to bowl.

If you want your next event to have that extra edge of excitement when participants need it most, try the variety of custom-made scented bowling balls today!

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