Your ping pong paddle is your best friend in a table tennis match, especially if it is a response. You can play your shots with precision and accuracy with it, and it is comfortable to hold. You want an excellent paddle to stay with you for many years and help you keep performing at your best then you have to keep clean your ping pong paddle. To make them happen, you must maintain your tennis paddle properly.
The terminology ‘paddle’ is a casually used word used by the ping pong paddle. According to the International Table Tennis Federation, the official term is either ‘racket’ or ‘bat.’
With so many options of paddles available in the market, you would have done intense research before choosing the one paddle for you. And now that you have your paddle, you want it to stay with you for a long time and keep giving you its optimal performance.
Now, you do know that table tennis racket receives too much dirt from both the ball and the table. The dust can build up on the racket as the time passes and form a layer that will eventually interfere between the ball and the racket.
It will harm your spinning abilities for the ball and precision and eventually destroy your whole game. For making your game predictable and avoid unnecessary spinning you must have the right ping pong paddle for spinning. As some time goes by, you will notice that your racket is no more the powerful armor on the table that it once was.
Some of the players don’t pay much importance to clean ping pong paddle, which is why they have to buy a new racket now and then. We have compiled some tips about how to clean a ping pong paddle. It will help you keep your paddle in optimal condition for an extended time.
Why is it Important to Clean Your Ping Pong Paddle?
You might have noticed that the performance of a ping pong paddle that collects dust lying around somewhere is very different from the performance of a brand new paddle. The reason is that the new rubber has more spring and more grip. When you hit the ball with your new paddle, the shots are cleaner, and the ball goes where you aim to go. With older rackets whose rubber has worn, the paddle is more on the smooth side, which is why the shots are not as accurate.
When dust or dirt collects on a paddle, it can hinder its performance. Because the grip of the rubber surface becomes inconsistent. Grime and dust also make the surface dull, which can cause the rubber to wear off quicker than its actual life. After every game, you should clean your paddle for the best results.
We have put together some easy methods of how to clean ping pong paddle.
Water and sponge
Cleaning ping pong paddle is not very hard at all. There is some technique to keep clean a ping pong paddle. The water and sponge method is the cheapest way to keep your paddle clean. Take warm water and your typical kitchen sponge. Dip the sponge into the water, take it out and squeeze the excess water out so that the sponge becomes wet. Wipe the rubber of your paddle gently with the damp sponge. You will notice that the dust or dirt on the surface starts coming off. Do not scrub vigorously. If there is some noticeable stain of dirt or oils buildup, just let the wet sponge soak it gently and wipe it off. Keep repeating the same until the rubber becomes tacky again. Air-dry the racket.
You can find specialized sponges in the market that are designed primarily to clean the ping pong paddles. Their result is excellent, and the work is more efficient. But it is perfectly alright if you don’t want to get those for extra money as the regular sponge also gets the job done.
In case this method doesn’t work for you, don’t worry, we have listed more ways to clean table tennis rubber in the next section.
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Rubber cleaning solutions
If your table tennis paddle doesn’t become squeaky clean with the sponge and plain warm water, you can try a ping pong paddle cleaner. They are specifically designed to get the dirt off the rubber surfaces without harming the rubber itself, if you know how to clean table tennis rubber then it will quite easy for you. They’re available in the form of sprays and foams. You can find many brands of such solutions available, and they do the job quicker than plain water.
Few of the players recommend such products, while others believe that they weaken the rubber more quickly. If you opt for the rubber cleaning solution, check the labels on the bottles before buying one. Choose one that provides mild cleaning and leaves a light conditioning agent behind. This way, the rubber stays safe from aging and oxidation.
- PING PONG PADDLE CLEANER KIT - Includes Butterfly Spin Refresh, Rubber Care Sponge and cleaning tips to clean your ping pong paddle rubber before and after play
- TABLE TENNIS RACKET CLEANER - Specially formulated Butterfly Spin Refresh is a ping pong rubber cleaner that helps rejuvenate the rubber surface to its natural tacky state. It also prolongs the life of the rubber
- PING PONG RACKET CLEANER SPONGE - Cleaning sponge offers a soft absorbent side that acts as a squeegee and a dense side that helps remove more debris
- PING PONG CLEANER: Removes oil and dirt from the rubber surface of your table tennis racket giving your paddle more spin
- EASY TO USE: Just apply 1 pump of the table tennis rubber cleaner and wipe clean with the table tennis paddle cleaner sponge before and after play to prolong the racket life
Toothbrush Method to Clean a Ping Pong Paddle
If your ping pong paddle has pimpled rubber, you might benefit more from a toothbrush that can easily access the areas where plain sponge cannot. It is your choice to use plain water or a rubber cleaning solution when using the toothbrush. The brushes can reach the small pimples and get the debris buildup out from the rubber. The rubber will become tacky again once it is free from the dirt. Let the paddle air dry.
Remember, when you use the toothbrush on your paddle, you should stay gentle all the time. At times you get tempted to go harsh on a specific debris buildup that takes too much time to get off the rubber. But, you have to be mindful not to get into this temptation. Be consistent with your cleaning efforts, and if a stain still doesn’t come off, just let it be. It is not worth tearing off the whole rubber in the process of trying to clean the rubber.
Keep your racket in a good Case
If you don’t own a protective cover case for your paddle, or if your cover is not in the best condition, you should consider investing in a good cover.
A quality cover will keep your ping pong paddle safe from the sun, humidity, heat, dirt, and physical harm. All of this can make your paddle lose its original performance and start wearing off.
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Things to Avoid When You Clean Your Ping Pong Paddle
At times, when the dirt doesn’t come off, some players apply a little quantity of detergent to keep the paddle free from dust. Now we all know that detergents are harsh and abrasive. They can make the rubber dry and turn it into a fragile state. This way, the life of the rubber becomes short, and you would have to replace it. The rubbers are at least quicker than necessary. Apart from that, please do not use anything containing bleach and alcohol. As both of these are harsh agents that can rip the rubber off its qualities.
How Often Your Table Tennis Racket Should Be Cleaned
It is a commonly asked question that how often your ping pong paddle must be cleaned. The answer depends on the frequency of its usage.
You play with your table tennis racket every day. You should wipe it clean after every session of the game. With a dry cloth and keep it securely in a protective case. Once in a month or two, clean your paddle using the water and sponge method or a cleaning solution, whichever suits you best.
If you don’t play with your paddle as often, you should clean it one or two times in three to four months.
You are getting confused about whether you should clean your paddle or not at some point in time, recall the last time it was cleaned and then decide if now an excellent time to clean it again or not is.
If you feel your racket is dusty or not as tacky as before, then it is time to clean it.
Read more: Most Expensive Ping Pong Paddle
How to Clean Ping Pong Paddle: Some More Tips
It is best to keep your racket inside a covered case when you are not playing with it. This way, it has a better chance of staying clean and in overall optimal condition. Keep your racket away from sun exposure and a highly cold or highly hot atmosphere. Even if you leave your paddle open in the air, it can make the rubber wear off quicker than its life.
When the rubber is left exposed to the air, the process of oxidization starts happening. You can use a protective plastic sheet to keep the rubber covered; this can significantly reduce the effect of oxidization.
When you clean the rubber of the ping pong paddle, also keep the handle clean. The handle also gets dirty. The sweat from your palm and your body oils can make the material of the handle wear off and not stay the same as new. So it is best to clean the handle as well.
If you use any of the paddle cleaning methods listed above, your ping pong paddle will last you many years. If you feel like the rubber of your paddle is too worn off and cannot be salvaged, it is best to replace it and keep the next one maintained in a better manner.
Mark is a Bloomberg BusinessWeek-based digital entrepreneur, blogger, and table tennis enthusiast. He is a former professional table tennis player with the career-best USATT ranking of 2689. He is also an ITTF Level 3 certified coach and conducts weekend coaching programs in and around the New York area. Mark is also a pool player by passion. He was first introduced to the game of pool at a very early age by his granddad. He had a natural knack for the game and quickly learned the ropes, and by the time he was 15, he was already participating in local leagues. He aims to make it into the APA league someday! Mark started his own blog by starting Indoor Games Zone, where he loves to share his years of experience with the audience. He covers ping pong, pool, air hockey, shuffleboard, and foosball.
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Last update on 2022-05-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API