How to Clean Grip Tape Without Ruining It

How to Clean Grip Tape Without Ruining It

We've all gotten our skateboard dirty on a rainy day or at a dirty skate park. Thankfully we can clean the grip tape easily at home with simple products found around the house. By keeping our board clean with this method we ensure ourselves that we won't ruin the grip tape and therefore be able to skate our board for as long as possible.

In this oneHOWTO article we're going to explain how to clean grip tape without ruining it for skateboards, longboards and scooters with simple products found around the house. Keep reading to get started!

What you'll need to clean your grip tape

In this article we're going to provide you with two methods you can use to clean your grip tape. The first involves more specific items but it will ensure that your grip tape will be cleaned without ruining it by wetting it. The second method will take a little more time but it can be done with simple items found around the house. Although it will get the grip tape a little wet, when done well, you will have very similar results to the first method.

To clean your grip tape without ruining it, you will need:

  • Soft wire brush or a tooth brush
  • Small amount of soapy water
  • Grip gum
  • Cloth

Why can't I get the grip tape on my skateboard wet?

If you are new to skateboarding and you're wondering why you cannot simply clean the grip tape with soap and water and let it dry, it is because you can ruin the grip tape. Grip tape works well to give your feet traction on the board, even when wet. But grip tape can lose adhesion over time with repeated wetting and drying. If that happens, the tape will start to peel off the deck. This is why we avoid getting our boards and grip tape wet.

However, over time our boards and our grip tape will need to be replaced. So, if you try these methods out but your skateboard is still dirty or doesn't grip as well as it used to, it may be time to replace the grip tape on your board. You should also remember that even though we mostly refer to skateboards, this is also effective on longboards and scooters as the grip tape is the same.

Best method to clean your grip tape without ruining it

Every skater knows that they shouldn't wet their grip tape as it will ruin it. Not only will the grip tape loose its grip, making it more difficult to do tricks, but it will even start to peel off of the board and will need to be replaced. This is why the best way to clean your grip tape without ruining it is by cleaning it dry using a brush and grip gum. This way, you'll be able to remove any dirt or mud on your board while making sure it will still allow you to grip onto your board and will stick nicely to the board too.

This method is very easy and quick, however, you will need two items that may not be lying around in your home. Nevertheless, by investing in a soft wire brush or a toothbrush and grip gum, you'll be able to save time and money that you might have spent on replacing your grip tape.

You'll need:

  • Soft wire brush or new toothbrush
  • Grip gum

Follow our instructions:

Step 1: Brush your grip tape with the soft wire brush or new toothbrush

Make sure the bristles on your brush are sturdy but not sharp enough to tear your grip tape. You can buy a soft wire brush online or at your local hardware store, however a toothbrush can also work, as long as it is still firm.

Brush your grip tape thoroughly, from one end to the other. This will bring all the dirt to the surface which you can then remove with your hand and through it out. Remember not to push so hard with your brush to avoid it tearing. Keep going until your grip tape is clean, however, if your grip tape still has dirty spots, you may want to consider replacing the grip tape altogether.

Step 2: Apply your grip gum to remove any other excess dirt

Now you can go over with your grip gum. This will remove leftover grime and dirt while making sure that your grip tape is not ruined and that it will still offer you good grip to skateboard.

You can buy grip gum online or at your local hardware shop, or better yet, at your local skate shop. This is a cheap investment into the care of your skateboard, longboard or scooter. Rub the grip gum on your board as if it were an eraser and then remove the residue. This is truly the best way to thoroughly clean your grip tape without ruining your grip tape.

How to clean your grip tape with simple house hold items

As we've previously mentioned, the best way to clean your grip tape without ruining it is by not using water. However, if you're not able to get a soft wire brush or grip gum but want to clean your grip tape, you can use simple household items.

This method involves getting your grip tape a little wet, only as much as necessary, therefore it is not ideal but it is still effective and a great option when you cannot get a hold of the other items necessary in the method above. You'll need a firm toothbrush, a bit of soapy water (add detergent to water) and a cloth. Avoid paper towels as it will create residues when wet. This method will also take a little longer than the previous. With that being said, let's begin!

What you'll need:

  • Toothbrush
  • A little bit of soapy water
  • Cloth

Follow our instructions:

Step 1: Brush your board with your toothbrush

The first step is to brush your board from one end to the other with the toothbrush to remove dirt. Make sure your toothbrush is still firm as an old toothbrush won't be effective. This dry brushing will help remove dirt form the grip tape. However, if you have deeper mud or dirt in your grip tape, you'll need to continue to the next steps in order to remove the stains.

Step 2: Dip your brush in the soapy water and brush again

To remove bigger stains, dip the toothbrush in the soapy water you have prepared by mixing detergent and water in a cup. Make sure the toothbrush isn't too soaking as we don't want to wet the grip tape too much. Now use the toothbrush to brush any difficult stains on your grip tape.

Step 3: Dry with the cloth

As soon as you use the wet toothbrush and see the mud or dirt coming out, use the cloth to dry the area and pick up the stain. This way you remove the stain as fast as possible and avoid leaving your grip tape wet for a long time as that will ruin it. Repeat step 2 and 3 until the stain is off.

Step 4: Let dry for a couple of hours

Once you're happy with the result, leave your board to dry for a couple of hours before you go out skating again. This is because, although you dried the grip tape with a cloth, your grip tape is still humid due to the soapy water and, therefore, any dirt on your sneakers will be collected like a magnet by your grip tape and you'll need to clean the grip tape again. So, it's best you allow it to dry completely before using it again.

How to prevent your grip tape from getting dirty

Although it's inevitable for your grip tape to get dirty, there are things we can do to prevent this. Here are some tips to help you keep your grip tape as clean as possible:

  • Avoid skating in the rain
  • Avoid skating in a very dirty and wet skatepark
  • Avoid stepping onto your board after stepping in a puddle or mud
  • Remember that once your board gets wet, the grip tape becomes a magnet for dirt

If you enjoyed this article and found it useful, you may want to also check out our skateboard videos below about skateboard tricks. We also have longboard videos on our youtube channel.

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