How to Clean a Ping Pong Paddle?
Anyone who takes any type of sport seriously usually knows that it’s crucial to take care of their equipment, especially if it’s expensive. This includes maintenance, replacing certain parts if needed, fixing it up if something is loose or broken, and regular cleaning as well.
When it comes to ping pong paddles, you’ve probably already noticed that they do tend to age badly if not cleaned and taken care of on a regular basis. Many of the most popular and best ping pong paddles out there aren’t exactly cheap, as they can cost well above $100. As a result, it’s important to learn the proper way of taking care of your ping pong paddles to avoid replacing them prematurely and taking advantage of them for a long time.
Why Do You Need to Clean a Ping Pong Paddle?
Before we come to any misunderstandings, you should know that ping pong paddles will get worse and decrease in quality as they age, reducing accuracy and power. However, you can significantly reduce this aging process by cleaning them often and properly. This type of equipment has a special type of rubber that was designed to hit the unique type of ping pong ball that the sport requires. As a result, you will see a huge reduction in accuracy and power as the rubber deteriorates.
Because of this, any grime and dust that gets gathered in and on the rubber of the ping pong paddles will increase the aging process, making them become useless a whole lot sooner. Having said that, here is what you need to do in order to easily, quickly, and efficiently clean your ping pong paddle.
Supplies and Ping Pong Paddle Cleaning Process
Before starting, you should gather the proper tools you’re going to use for this process. It’s not something extremely out of the ordinary, as you can use everyday items to do this. You just need to make sure they’re the right ones. What do I mean by this? Well, you need to be careful not to use something like harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbers, as this will totally destroy the rubber on the ping pong paddles.
As I said, you won’t even need to go out and purchase anything to be able to have a clean ping pong paddle. Chances are that you have all of these items around the house. Here is what you’re going to need:
- Bottled or Distilled Water
- A Small Sponge for Dishes or Similar
- Dishwashing Soap
- A Small Bowl
How to Clean the Ping Pong Paddle – Step by Step
The process is fairly simple, as there are only a few steps you need to follow carefully. I say carefully because you probably don’t want to ruin your ping pong paddle, so follow these steps exactly and try not to compromise.
Get your small bowl and fill it up with water. It’s important to know that you should try using room temperature water. Cold or warm won’t hurt as long as they aren’t extremely cold or hot. Pour a reasonable amount of dishwashing soap liquid and mix it slightly.
Next, dip the sponge inside the bowl and make sure to squeeze it before applying, you don’t want to give the ping pong paddle a complete bath. You simply need to scrub gently until the grime, dust, or dirt comes off completely. The process won’t be a hassle at all, as the dust usually comes off pretty easily.
Position the ping pong paddle in a way that the head is facing the floor. Then, start gently scrubbing the surface of the rubber from edge to edge. After you’ve covered the entire area of the rubber on both sides, leave the paddle to dry naturally. Don’t attempt to use a blowdryer or leave it out in the sun, as this will do a lot more harm than good.
After it has dried completely a few hours later, put it back in the protective casing and enjoy. You should do this process at least once every month or two given that you use the paddle regularly. If not, then you are free to clean it even every 3-4 months if it’s stored safely and in a protective casing.
How Not to Ruin Your Ping Pong Paddle
By now you’ve learned how to take care of your ping pong paddle in terms of cleaning it and making sure it doesn’t wear down faster. However, there are certain things that can damage it to the point of no return. In such a case, even cleaning it for 24 hours wouldn’t be able to bring it back to life.
Here is what you need to be aware of in order to protect your ping pong paddle from damage:
Moisture and Dryness
I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but rubber can be quite susceptible to moisture and dryness. Leaving your ping pong paddle in a place where there is too much moisture or dryness from heat or other factors can cause it to deteriorate a lot quicker. Because of this, it’s better to keep it idle somewhere that you’re constantly at, such as your bedroom or a safe place somewhere in the house that is void of too much moisture, dry air, or heat.
Another thing that rubber is very sensitive to is UV rays and sunlight. What will happen if you leave it under direct sunlight for too long involves bleaching out the rubber and eventual cracking. This will render your ping pong paddle useless. As a result, restrain yourself from keeping it under any type of sunlight for a long period of time. This involves next to windows and other sources of bright light.
A Dirty Ping Pong Table
One more excellent way to get your paddle dirty is by keeping a dirty and dusty table. Even if you get one of the best ping pong tables out there, you still need to clean it regularly to avoid both it and the paddles getting damaged. You can easily force a lot of dust onto the paddle and get it dirty a lot quicker by placing it on a dusty ping pong table constantly.
This factor is quite similar to the moisture and dryness one we talked about earlier. When I say harsh temperatures, I mean extreme ones like too cold or too hot. Leaving it in either one will almost always result in irreversible damage. Such a simple mistake will cost you around $100 or more to get a new paddle in most cases. So, all you need to do is consider where you will store it. It’s that simple!
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