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How To Clean Grip Tape: Step-by-step Guide

Too many skateboarders don’t know that their grip tape needs to be cleaned. It’s not just for show; improving your grip on the board, and cleaning the grip tape on your skateboard can actually help you perform better. It is called grip tape for this reason. Get it?

It also delays the day when you’ll need to replace the grip tape on your skateboard, which is a time-consuming chore and a pain. Even though cleaning your grip tape won’t make your board look brand new, it will extend the life of your grip.

What is Grip Tape and What Is It Used For?

A sheet of material that resembles sandpaper called grip tape is applied to the top of the deck. The grip tape has a highly adhesive or tape-like side on the other side, which adheres to the surface of your board. Good grip tape should be your top priority whether you’re purchasing a skateboard that has already been put together or building your own.

Your shoes would slide off the board without grip tape, which is not ideal. To improve your skating control, you want your board to adhere to your shoes. Without grip tape, even the simplest skateboard tricks would be much more challenging or even impossible. Grip tape is therefore necessary, and you should maintain it clean, to ensure your safety while riding a board. If you want to see tricks performed by top skaters, check out the Red Bull Manny Mania digital competition.

When Should I Clean My Grip Tape?

When your grip tape gets soiled, clean it. Really, it’s time for a quick cleaning before your next serious session if you notice dust building up on your board or if you’re tracking mud while skating in the rain. Not only do your shoes stick to grip tape because of their adhesive surface. It is a double-edged sword because it also effectively grabs onto the dirt.

How To Clean Grip Tape: Step-by-step Guide

What Materials Do I Need for Cleaning Grip Tape?

To restore your skateboard to full functionality, not much is needed. The technique is everything; tools are not important. Before you get to work, make sure you have these tools:

• Soft wire brush.
• Water.
• Paper or cloth towel.
• Eraser made of rubber cement or grip gum.

To clean your board, you don’t need anything fancy. You probably don’t need it if the first street riders didn’t.

How to Clean Grip Tape

Wet Your Grip Tape

When you clean the grip tape on your board, you are not giving it a bath. It is not a good idea to soak your board because doing so could weaken and warp the deck’s wood. Simply apply a little water to the spot on the soiled grip tape that needs cleaning.

Brush in Circles

Apply circular motions to the wet grip tape with the soft wire brush. Avoid using a brush that is too stiff as this could damage your tape and cause you to lose your grip.

Wipe Away Dirt

The dirt that your brush just raised should be removed using a paper towel or cloth towel. After wiping it down, if your board looks still dirty, repeat step one until it looks clean. Remember that grip tape fades over time, so once you’re done cleaning it, it might not be as black as it once was.

Detail With Gum

Use grip gum from a skate shop or a rubber cement pickup eraser from an art supply store if you want to go above and beyond. Although Grip Gum was created specifically to clean grip tape, it is essentially the same product that artists use to tidy up their creations. Use one of these rubber pieces to rub your grip tape with. Any remaining dirt should be picked up.
The grip tape on your board should feel more like new after you’ve completed these four steps. You might have to bite the bullet and replace your grip tape if it’s as clean as you can get it but still doesn’t grip your shoes.

How To Clean Grip Tape: Step-by-step Guide

What Are Some Other Ways to Clean Grip Tape?

Toothbrush and Water

It works exactly as it says it will. Start by getting some water and a toothbrush. While this process takes more time, it should help to remove some of the dirt from your grip tape.

Window Cleaner

The idea of cleaning grip tape with window cleaner is controversial among online skateboarders. Some claim it’s okay and preferable to water, while others claim the substance will make the deck wood brittle. Whichever camp you belong to, there can always be a downside to excess. If you decide to give it a shot, use window cleaner sparingly. Simply substitute window cleaner for the water in our step-by-step procedure above if you decide to use it.

Belt Sander Cleaner

Get some belt sander cleaner, which is similar to Grip Gum but for more demanding tasks, from your neighborhood hardware store. These reasonably priced rubber chunks should do a good job of cleaning the dirt off of your board.

Grip Tape Gum

The most common and convenient method of removing grip tape is with grip gum. You can buy branded grip gum at your neighborhood store or simply buy some sanding belt cleaner at your neighborhood hardware store. For removing gum and even minor dirt, grip gum works best. All you have to do to clean the dirty areas of your grip tape is rub the grip gum along them.

Hair Dryer & Paper Towel

It can be particularly challenging to remove grip tape if you step on a waxed ledge and the wax transfers to the tape. Even grip gum won’t be able to remove because the wax becomes embedded in the tape. Instead, we advise removing it with a paper towel and a hairdryer. The wax can be heated with a hairdryer until it melts, and then the task can be completed by wiping it off with paper towels.

Summary: A Routine Cleaning

Regardless of the method you use, maintaining your skateboard should include a routine cleaning of the grip tape. To keep your board in the best condition possible so that you can keep challenging yourself to get better, you need good, clean grip tape.

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