How to Clean A Ping Pong Paddle – A Comprehensive Guide

A ping pong paddle is central to your game, and a paddle over time becomes an extension of your arm in serving and volleying if you love table tennis. If it feels right, you can benefit greatly from your paddle and improve your game tremendously.

Once you find the right paddle and there is that soulful connection with it, it requires a lot of care and attention that you can only be provided if you know how to clean a ping pong paddle.

How to Clean a Table Tennis Paddle

We look at the most commonly used method of cleaning your ping pong paddle. Before we go into detail, we will first list down the items you will require for cleaning it.

How to clean a table tennis paddle

Items Required

  1. Distilled or bottled water
  2. Small sponge
  3. Small bowl
  4. Dishwashing liquid
  5. Your paddle, of course

The Process

Step One

First of all, you need to fill the bowl with distilled or bottled water, but that needs to be at room temperature. Water is one of the ITTF approved and least harmful liquids for cleaning your paddle.

Step Two

Use the sponge by dipping it in the bowl of water, and squeeze it completely so that it is wet but does not have any water left in it. This is extremely important because you want a wet sponge but not one which will soak your paddle into the water.

Step Three

Pick your paddle up, and start cleaning the surface of your paddle with the sponge. Move from one side to the other and hold it in such a way that the head of the paddle is facing the floor. Following the pattern of shaving, is the safest way and ensures that no excess water remains on the paddle.

Step Four

Once you have wiped the surface of the paddle, you repeat the procedure for the other side of the paddle. Place your paddle on the table and let it dry completely. The last step is placing your paddle back in the case after it has completely dried.

Clean Paddle = Long-Lasting Paddle

A clean paddle means a long-lasting paddle. You take care of your paddle; your paddle will have your back in the toughest of challenges and rallies.

Some paddles that come with tacky rubbers can get the ball to stick on their surface. The paddles lose their tackiness over time due to dust and other harmful particles in the dust, and if you take care of your paddle, you could have it in optimum shape even after a few months!

You also do not need to clean your paddle excessively. Only after the surface has accumulated dust, will you need to clean the paddle and restore the stickiness.

Before you clean your ping pong paddle though, it’s important to understand how to clean it properly and which products to use. If you clean them with harmful products, you could damage your paddle permanently. Luckily for you, we will guide you and ensure that you do not damage your paddle.

How to clean table tennis rubber

Recommended Ping Pong Paddle Cleaners

For your convenience, we have listed down some of the best cleaners available in the market, that you can use for cleaning your paddle. These cleaners are used by professionals all around the world and they can keep your paddle in top shape.

1) Butterfly Table Tennis Racket Care Kit

Butterfly makes the best table tennis products, so it comes as no surprise, at least to us, that they also make the best care products. This care kit includes everything a table tennis enthusiast would need, in taking care of their paddle.

It comes with a soap that helps the rubber by cleaning the dirt and debris, along with stopping it from aging. This soap will improve the overall effectiveness of the paddle and improve the grip, as well.

2) MightySpin Ping Pong Paddle Cleaner

If you are looking for a cheaper option, you should invest in the MightySpin Ping Pong Paddle Cleaner. It is almost as much effective as the Butterfly cleaner and also comes in a compact and handy bag.

Cleaning with the MightySpin can increase paddle lifespan allows improving the tackiness and slippery-ness of your paddle.

3) Nittaku Clean Sponge

If you are on a budget, and still want maximum care, you should buy the Nittaku Clean Sponge. With the Nittaku Clean Sponge, you are getting the perfect sponge that will allow you to clean your paddle with water, in the way we have mentioned above, and get maximum performance from your beloved paddle.

Ping Pong Paddle Care and Maintenance

Your paddle requires a lot of upkeep and is considered to be high-maintenance. If you want maximum performance from your paddle, we believe in taking care of your paddle and investing in cleaners and covers.

However, you should know what to do and what not to do, when taking care of your paddle!

How to Take Care of Your Paddle?

There are lots of ways of taking care of your paddle, and we have listed some of these, here, too:

Avoid Direct Sunlight

While rubber is extremely durable, one of its biggest enemies is sunlight. The rubber is sensitive to ultraviolet light, which bleaches and dries the paddle. So, make sure your rubber is tucked away in a cool place in its cover.

Extreme Temperatures

Avoid keeping your paddle in extreme temperatures. From extreme cold to extremely hot weather, your paddle tends to suffer in both of these situations. It is advised that you keep your paddle away from extremities.

Keeping Table Clean

Well, paddle cleaning 101 teaches you to keep your table clean. You play on the table, so make sure it is not dusty, as the ball will catch the dust and the tackiness of the paddle will allow the dust to stick.

Clean Your Paddle

Also, remember that cleaning your paddle is another important step to taking care of it. You can clean it using one of the methods that we have mentioned.

Investing in a Cover

While most of the paddles come in addition to the covers, it is crucial to invest in a cover, if your paddle does not come with one. Some of the covers that come for free with a paddle are also not of high-quality, so invest in a good cover and keep your paddle clean!

How to take care of your paddle

How to Clean Table Tennis Rubber and Remove Oils?

You can take care of your paddle by using the following products, which will also help in removing the oils from the surface of your paddle and the residue. It will also extend the life of your paddle rubber so you don’t have to replace it so frequently.


A gentle sponge or a soft, clean cloth is what you should use in cleaning your paddle. We suggest buying the Nittaku Clean Sponge, as it is primarily made for taking care of your paddle. A soft nylon brush can also be used to scrub or an old soft toothbrush for taking off stubborn residue.


If you do not have a proper cleaner, like the ones we have mentioned above, then you can use water to clean your paddle. However, remember not to soak your paddle in the water, and use a sponge after removing excess water from it.

Cleaners/Care Products

Rubber cleaners are another fantastic option for cleaning your paddle. However, the best option has to be investing in a care kit, and we suggest buying the Butterfly Table Tennis Racket Care Kit.

If you use these methods, you will have the answer on how you can make your table tennis rubbers tacky, again.

What Not to Use on Your Paddle


Alcohol is often suggested as a good cleaning option, but we do not recommend it. It could easily help in taking off the stubborn residue but it also leaves your rubber degraded. You can use it once in a while if you do not have any other product, but it should not be your primary option for taking care of your paddle.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is considered to be a fantastic stain fighter and its paste is used in removing stains, too. However, like alcohol, it is not suggested by us, for cleaning your paddle as it brings harm to the rubber. It can be highly-abrasive damage the surface of your paddle, decreasing its lifespan.

Excess Water

Excess of everything is bad, and water is no different. We believe that you should use water for cleaning your paddle, but you should ensure that you do not overuse water, as it will only harm your paddle.


Cleanliness is a fantastic trait, and it can be an even better trait for you if you are passionate about table tennis. This is because there is a good chance that a cleaner paddle will benefit you more than a dusty one.

From saving you lots of money to making sure your lucky paddle remains a competitive one, cleanliness is crucial in increasing the lifespan of your paddle. However, do not overdo the cleaning and make sure you are using the right products in cleaning your table tennis rubber.

Photo of author


Matt is founder of Pong Place and has been a table tennis addict from an early age. He had regular ping pong matches with his dad in their basement and learned how to counteract his defensive maneuvers over the years. Though he still plays, his main passion is educating others about the joys of ping pong, learning about new products and making the sport more accessible to people like you.