The traditional method of replacing golf club grips requires the use of a volatile solvent. This liquid is applied to the inside of the golf grip and over the grip tape, which bonds the grip to the club shaft. The solvent temporarily deactivates the adhesion of the grip tape to give you time to install the grip onto the shaft. While special golf grip solvent is available, other materials can be used as well, some of which are safer to use for you and the environment.
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Other Volatile Liquids
When replacing golf grips with traditional grip tape that deactivates with the application of golf solvent, many other volatile liquids will work as well. Mineral spirits, denatured alcohol, acetone, nail polish remover or charcoal lighter fluid, all provide adequate deactivation of grip tape to install new grips. They also evaporate relatively quickly to allow the grip tape to bond to the grip in a relatively short amount of time, often less than an hour. When using volatile and flammable solvents, work in a well-ventilated area, away from open flames. This helps to avoid inhalation injuries and the threat of a fire. Wear solvent-proof rubber gloves to reduce the risk of touching volatile solvents.
With increased interest in using more environmentally friendly equipment in golf, the use of water deactivated grip tape is on the rise. When replacing your grips, replace the tape as well with this newer, more ecologically sound grip tape. Deactivate the tape with water instead of a volatile and potentially harmful solvent. After the water evaporates, the clubs will bond to the tape, providing a secure grip for your clubs. The amount of time required for the clubs to be ready to use is generally longer than with solvent-based installations.
To avoid liquids altogether, use compressed air to install your grips. Once the grip tape is applied to the shaft of the club, insert a special pressure tip, available at most golf supply companies, which attaches by a hose to an air pressure tank. The tip fits into the small hole in the butt of the golf grip. When you apply pressure, the grip expands slightly. This expansion allows you to push the grip onto the shaft and over the grip tape. Once the grip is in the proper position, release the pressure. The grip will return to its original size and stick to the grip tape. With this method, there is no waiting for either water or other liquids to evaporate. The club is ready to use immediately. Grips can also be easily removed with this method.