No matter where you’re skating, you’re bound to eventually get some dust, mud, wax, gum, drinks, or various other stuff on your grip. Whether you are a skateboarder for life or just getting started, it’s essential to know how to clean the grip tape of your board. Not only will a fresh layer of this grip tape make tricks easier and more secure, but there is also a good feeling of having a clean visual aesthetic to your board.
A grip covered in dirt or grime is difficult to ride because of the loss of traction required in tricks or skating at high speeds. Learning how to clean grip tape of your skateboard or longboard or penny board or cruiser is pretty much straightforward and cleaning is inexpensive, unlike skateboard bearing cleaning kits. We have used house hold items and less stressful ways to clean the grip tape effectively.
How to Clean Skateboard Grip Tape?
Before you start cleaning carry out a close inspection of deck and all associated parts. If you notice any irreparable abnormality you can find best recommendations for deck , wheels and bearings in our review blogs. There are basically three main things you can use to clean the grip tape of your board , depending on how much cleaning your grip requires. The following things can clean grip tape at home with minimum effort.
- A piece of natural rubber or grip gum.
- Using a bristle brush
- A Hairdryer
We suggest these inexpensive items in a skater’s bag always come in handy. Instead of replacing grip tape every time it gets dirty, using these items will extend the life of your board – hence more tricks, ollies, flip tricks, sliding, and grinding.
Grip Tape Gum
A quick and easy way of cleaning skateboard grip tape is with natural rubber pieces. Grip gum or natural rubber is the most popular and easiest method to clean grip tape. This same rubber is, also known as “belt sander cleaner,” can be found at almost any online skate shop or hardware store. In addition to that, at any art supply store, you can find small pieces of rubber called “rubber cement pick-up” or “crepe rubber” to clean the grip tape. Interestingly, these rubber pieces will last for a large number of grip tape cleanings.
The cleaning of grip tape by using the grip gum is easy. The grip gum works similar to a pencil eraser and effectively rubs off a lot of the surface-level dirt, grass, and other cruds. It even works on chewing gum that’s stuck in your grip. You just need to rub the block on the grip tape, and it’ll clean off the dirt or grime.
You don’t need to use a lot of pressure, but try to be careful and not scrape your knuckles on the grip.
We don’t recommend using an actual pencil eraser because those are way too soft and will get eaten by the grip tape.
Look at this grip tape before and after cleaning by grip gum. You can see the color difference, and it’ll also improve the amount of traction your grip has for the control and stability required for skateboarding. I always keep the grip in my pocket and whenever I feel my grip is losing traction , I take out the grip gum and clean my skateboard grip. For cleaning this grip tape, I have used Mob Grip Gum and the result is amazing.
Unfortunately, these rubber pieces clean only the dirt and dust on the top surface of the grip tape.
Brush and Water
If your board has more than just surface-level dirt, with crusted on mud that’s deep in the crevices of the grip, it’ll need a little extra cleaning. To get deep in the grit, you need to scrub it off.
For removing the crusty mud, you’ll need the following items;
Things you Need
(You can easily find brush at a hardware or craft store.)
Follow these easy steps for cleaning the grip tape ;
1. Firstly ,put some water in a small container and dip the brush’s bristles into the water.
Warning: You don’t want too much water because it might seep through the grip and soak into your board. Nowadays, most brands manufacture perforated (tiny invisible holes) grip tapes. Therefore, just use a little bit of water that sticks to the bristles.
2. Now, take the wet brush and gently scrub it into the dirt. Keep going until all of the dirt is out of your grip. Use the rags or paper towels to soak up the mud as it comes dislodged.
3. After that, let the grip dry completely, and then go over it with the grip gum to finish it off. If you don’t let the grip dry, it can’t effectively rub off the remaining dirt and will just glide along with the grip.
If you’re itching to get skating sooner, you can use a hairdryer to help the grip dry faster.
Using a toothbrush may work for some jobs, but for most jobs a toothbrush will not get down deep or scrub hard enough. The best brush to use is a soft brass wire brush.
If you skate lots of ledges, you’ve probably stepped on a wax-covered ledge and then gotten it all over your grip from your shoe. The wax on the grip can sometimes make it slippery and mess you up.
Grip gum by itself doesn’t work too well to remove the wax, so you’ll have to do your best to pick the wax or scrape it off. But if it’s deep in the grip, you can use a hairdryer and some paper towels to melt the wax and soak it up with the paper towel.
Warning: Avoid paper if possible since it tears in the grip tape.
Clear and Coloured Grip Tape Cleaning
Clear and colored grip tape use Aluminum Oxide grip and are not very durable. Therefore, do not use a wire brush to clean the clear or colored grip tape. Colored grip tape uses a colored resin that holds the transparent (aluminum oxide) grit in place. The grit will turn white if you scratch this grip tape with a bush.
Following are the some of the effective ways that I use to clean my transparent or coloured grip tape and so far it has given me effective results.
Method 1. Try using natural rubber and see if that cleans the grip tape to your satisfaction.
Method 2. If the grip is still too dirty, you can use a lightly damp cloth to clean the grip tape, and then after drying, use the rubber to clean it even further.
Please refer to the following video for detailed cleaning procedure.
How to Clean Longboard Grip Tape?
As mentioned earlier, cleaning the grip tape of any board is similar. However, longboard Grip tapes are really coarse, and using the wire brush or rubber piece alone may not get the job done. Since longboard grip tapes are very coarse and these are not perforated, it is OK to use water if needed.
Steps for Cleaning coarse longboard grip tape:
- Firstly, dip wire brush in water
- Next , scrub dirty spots with a wire brush
- After that, pat the wet or “muddy” area with a towel until dry. You can use a hairdryer for quick drying.
- Finally, Scrub the remaining dirt/dust with the rubber piece.
Please ensure that the grip tape is completely dried before using the rubber. The rubber will slide easily and clean poorly when wet or on a wet surface. This is why it is best to dry the grip tape as much as possible before using the rubber.
If your grip is beyond the point of just being dirty, and it’s worn , or if it’s been scraped bare from accidentally landing in darkslides, it’s probably worth completely replacing the grip tape. You can purchase any best skateboard grip tape from to give new life to your board and to perform tricks confidently. One thing to keep in mind if the grip tape is excessively cleaned with water , it may lose its traction and the deck wood would be damaged . However regular maintenance of skateboard components tends to extends your skateboard’s life .