Cleaning Ping Pong Paddles – What You Need to Know (+ Guide)

Everyone knows the effect of a new racket. The surface is so grippy, your own strokes get so much spin – But after a short time, you notice: the bat already feels a bit slippery. But do not worry! The solution is a very simple cleaning. In this post, you will learn exactly how to do it.

Simply rub the paddle with a slightly damp cloth or sponge and let it dry in the air. If you like, you can also use special rubber cleaners instead of water.

Often this short answer is already sufficient. But there are still a few things to keep in mind so that you don’t permanently worsen the qualities of the rubber and the racket. More about this later…

How to clean the rubber of a paddle?

Basically, cleaning the rubber is very simple. In most cases, the dirt on the racket is simply dust deposits that inevitably collect on the rubber after a certain amount of playing time. 

This doesn’t sound too bad, but it’s the reason why even a new rubber can quickly feel less grippy. With these simple means you get it clean again:

1. Clean cloth and water

Yes, it’s just as simple as it sounds. You don’t really need anything other than a dust-free cloth – that can be a paper towel, washcloth or towel – and water. 

You simply put a little bit of water on the cloth. For harder dirt, you can also add some dish soap. Then carefully rub the dirt off the coating in one direction. 

Let the surface dry in the air.

Caution: It is very important that you do not use too much water and, if possible, only rub the rubber coating of the racket. The wood of the paddle can be deformed by the water, which can lead to the rubber coming off the wood more quickly.

This is the simplest variant and is completely sufficient for me. However, there are also many players who swear on cleaning agents specially developed for this purpose:

2. Clean rubbers through special cleaners

There are many different products available. There are sprays, foams, and gels, some of which even promise a better grip that goes beyond the pure cleaning of the rubber.

The application is actually always the same: 

1. Apply a small amount to the base

2. Rub the cleaner in carefully

3. Let it dry in the air

If you want to take special care of your rubber, you should make sure that it is a water-based cleaner. I was very satisfied with this cleaner:

Evolution No. 3 Bio Cleaner

To rub in you can take a cloth or even your own hand. Who wants can also buy an extra sponge made for under 2€. It is also very suitable for treatment with water. I use this sponge: 

Table Tennis Cleaning Sponge 

3. Cleaning with alcohol

You can also use alcohol for cleaning. However, I personally would go with one of the first two options, as alcohol can quickly cause permanent damage if used incorrectly. 

Since the other options are sufficient, I would not risk it

What is the best way to clean pimple rubbers?

This type of rubber is often forgotten when it comes to racket care tips. If you play with a pimple rubber, you might have difficulties cleaning it with a simple cloth or sponge.

The cleaning works very well with a normal toothbrush. So simply apply water or detergent, rub with the toothbrush and let it air dry.

If you play with very long pimples, you can remove dust from your rubbers, but this will not change the properties of the rubber, because long pimples counteract and reduce spin anyway.

How to clean rubbers during a match?

During matches, dust from the ball can quickly accumulate on the rubber, even if you have cleaned your racket directly before the match. So what do you do if you don’t have time to clean your racket as described above?

The answer is simple: hold the racket very close to your mouth and breathe on the affected areas. Then you can rub the dust off with your hand or on your clothes.

You can often see professional players do this during matches.

How to clean the grip and blade?

Not only the rubbers belong to a racket, but also the handle or blade can accumulate dirt over time, which can lead to the fact that the racket no longer feels so good in the hand.

Light dirt can be removed carefully with a little water, washing-up liquid, and a cloth. 

Very often this should be sufficient. But if you have been playing with your racket for a long time, you might notice that it needs more.

In this case, you can give your grip a special treatment: 

For this you need:

  • Some acetone
  • A rag
  • Sandpaper (80, 120, 240)
  • A hairdryer
  • Some hard oil

This is how you do it: 

  1. Put some acetone on a cloth and work the handle very carefully with it.
  2. Afterward, you have to sand the handle. To do this, first sand thoroughly with 80-grit, 120-grit, and then with 240-grit sandpaper.
  3. Make it dust free with a damp cloth
  4. Blow-dry
  5. Seal with the hard oil and let it cure for a day

After this treatment, your handle should feel new.

What are the advantages of cleaning your paddle?

Since the dirt on your racket can affect its properties, it can only be an advantage for you to clean your racket regularly.

This way you get a reliable racket that doesn’t feel a little different every match. This means you can concentrate on your technique and improve it without wondering if a mistake is due to your paddle.

In addition, you extend the life of your racket and your rubbers and can save money, because you do not have to buy them again so quickly.

How do I prevent my paddles from getting dusty?

Most dirt gets from the ball to the racket when you play. To prevent dirt from getting on your racket, you can try to keep your plate and balls clean as well. 

I explain how to do this in these articles: 

Of course, you can’t completely prevent getting your racket dirty while playing. You can then simply remove them as explained in this post.

The most avoidable dirt happens while you are not using the paddles. You will get the best protection if you always keep your racket safely in a bag. 

There is also the possibility to protect the rubbers additionally with special foils. As with a newly purchased racket, you simply stick them on every time after playing.

Racket cleaning – simple but important

You have now learned everything you need to know about cleaning your racket. Basically, this is absolutely not complicated and above all very useful. Therefore, it’s best to get into the habit of cleaning your racket regularly for even more fun playing Ping Pong!

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