Replacing your own golf grips is easy, rewarding and can save you a lot of money. The skill can also come in handy if you need to replace worn grips but don't have time to take your clubs in for professional re-gripping. Traditional golf grip solvent is the most versatile and safest to work with. But if you run out of solvent and do not have the time to wait for another shipment, there are plenty of alternative household solvents you can use.
Paint Thinner / Mineral Spirits
Paint thinner or Mineral Spirits are cheap alternatives to grip solvent and also dry quickly. Like grip solvent, the mineral spirits will lubricate double-sided tape allowing you to work the grip over the shaft so that it adheres. Mineral spirits dry a bit slower than solvent--usually two to three hours. They are highly flammable and toxic so be very careful when using them and always work in a well ventilated area. Paint thinner or Mineral Spirits can be found at any hardware store.
Another affordable substitute is rubber cement. You do not need grip tape when using rubber cement, which increases the savings. After removing the old grip, cover the butt-end of the club with masking tape to prevent cement from getting on the inside of the shaft. Use a paint brush to apply it to the shaft and slide the grip on. Wipe off the excess cement from around the grip and shaft before it dries. Be aware that you will not be able to remove the grip without cutting it. The rubber cement usually needs about 24 hours to dry. It is readily available at arts and crafts stores.
Water works as a solvent when used with water-soluble tape. After completely removing the old grip, apply water-soluble tape to the shaft where the new grip will be. Pour water inside the grip and over the taped area of the club to "activate" the tape. Be ready to quickly install the grip and have extra water handy because the grip tape dries and becomes tacky very fast. If someone is available to help you, it works well if one person continuously pours water over the tape while the other slides on the grip. Once the grips are installed dry them and the club off. The clubs will be ready for use almost immediately. Water will not work with regular double-sided tape.
A 120 volt or higher air compressor can be used to install and remove grips. Use a few pieces of masking tape to cover the open end of the shaft to help create pressure. You do not need to use tape anywhere else. Once the grip is in position the natural suction will keep it in place. Fit the open end of the grip over the butt end of the shaft. Attach an inflation needle to the air compressor and insert the needle in the hole at the end of the grip. Set the air pressure to 100 psi (adjust higher if necessary to inflate) and turn on. The air pressure will enlarge the size of the grip and allow you to slide it down the shaft. You can remove a grip using an air compressor by inserting an inflation needle under the lip of the old grip and adding enough air pressure to expand the grip enough to pull off. You can buy air compressors at home improvement stores and they range in cost from about $89 up to thousands of dollars. Be sure that the air compressor includes an inflation needle among its accessories, or purchase a separate one.
Everybody has a can of this all-purpose lubricant/cleaner in their garage. WD-40 is not the most economical solvent to use, but it is good in an emergency. Apply double-sided tape to the area of the shaft where the grip will be. Spray the tape well with WD-40 to lubricate the tape. Push the grip onto the shaft and adjust it to your liking. The WD-40 will dry within two to three hours and the tape will become sticky again. If you get some on the outside of the grip wash it off with warm soapy water so it does not damage the grip or make it feel oily. Warning: WD-40 is very flammable!