Expert: Kevin James, Last Updated: 08/07/2019
Who doesn't love a good game of table tennis (often referred to as Ping Pong)?
But how do you go about playing on a dusty or stained table tennis table?
Well, you can't.
The touch and feel of an unclean top is quite different. The ball would not bounce or spin the way it should. And the worst part is that it may damage your paddle.
The table tennis tabletop is made up of MDF (Medium density fiberboard). And hence it's prone to scratches, stains and needs to be regularly cleaned to maintain its natural properties.
Sometimes when the table is kept in storage for a prolonged period, dust/debris may accumulate on the top. Or if you use the table for beer pong or dining, accidental spills can happen. All this deteriorates the tabletop surface.
But don't worry! In the next section, we've discussed the best ways of cleaning and removing those dirty stains. Just follow the guide, and your table tennis table will be squeaky clean in no time!
But first, Why cleaning the TT Table Is Important
Before we dive straight into the best methods for cleaning your table, it is essential to know why you must have a clean table surface in the first place.
Whether you've newly bought a ping pong table or have one lying around for quite some time, it's vital to protect your investment. And the best way to do that is by regularly cleaning the table.
Because if the table is not clean, then the table,
- will not produce match like bounce and spin
- may impact the performance of the table tennis paddle
- may lead to irreversible damage to the table
If you're serious about Table Tennis, you would already know, how the table surface impacts the gameplay experience. You will notice that on a brand new surface, the ball gets a better grip and bounce off the table as compared to an older table.
The reason this happens is due to debris accumulation on the tabletop. This makes the surface sticky, and the ball does not spin and bounce as it should.
What's worse is that the dust accumulated on the table is eventually transferred to your Ping Pong paddle through the ball. Thus, the damage spreads beyond the table as well.
Table tennis tables usually enjoy a lifetime of several years. However, all that depends on your efforts to keep it clean as a whistle.
What you'll need
We’ve already been through the importance of cleaning your table regularly. But what’s the best way to go about it? Just follow these simple steps and get to work!
Step 1: Remove the net assembly system and keep it aside.
Step 2: Select one of the two options given below based on the condition of the table.
DIY Home Cleaning Instructions
Option 1 – For Regular Cleaning
Applicable: For dust removal, light stains, and regular cleanup.
Generally, it's a good idea to clean the table once or twice a week.
It mainly involves wiping down the entire surface of the table with some warm water and a sponge or a lint-free cloth. Alternatively, you can use a cotton cloth as well.
- Take the sponge/cloth and gently rub the surface to remove any loose dirt or dust
- Next, soak the cloth in water and squeeze it so that it retains just a little water
- Wipe the entire surface of the table with the damp cloth
And that's pretty much. Your table should be good as new.
Option 2 – Hard Cleaning
Applicable: For stain removal, cleaning after beer bong/party and deep cleaning
Choose this option if you’re looking to get rid of sticky debris, dirt, or stains that have accumulated over time. It primarily involves cleaning the table with a solution of vinegar.
- Remove any loose dirt and dust by wiping the surface with a cloth
- Create a solution of water and vinegar in equal parts
- Soak the cloth in the solution and squeeze out the excess
- Wipe the entire surface of the table with the cloth
And there you have it! Follow these steps down to every last detail, and you’ll have your Table tennis table spick and span in no time.
Apart from the DIY home cleaning options, here are the top commercial cleaners which we recommend.
These cleaners are tailor-made for table tennis top and offer superior cleaning quality. At the same time, they are easier to apply and more effective.
#1 Butterfly Table Tennis Table Cleaner
The popular Table Tennis brand ‘Butterfly’ has also come up with their very own tabletop cleaner. It rapidly dissolves dust and doesn’t require any water or additional substance.
At my club, we use the same product for cleaning the tables.
#2 Puracy Natural All Purpose Cleaner
Another option is to use a general purpose bio cleaning agent. Being chemical free, the cleaning agent is not harsh on the table top. And this product provides excellent cleaning.
Puracy being a leader in bio cleaning space, we highly recommend it.
Must: Buy a Table Tennis Cover
If you don't cover your table tennis table, then you're making a huge mistake. A table cover protects the table from direct heat, humidity, dust, and accidental spills.
Table Tennis tables last longer if they're properly covered when not in use. It also keeps the surface from reacting with external moisture and extends its lifespan.
Here are our top recommendations:
- CoverMates – Upright Ping Pong Table Cover
- Covermates – Ping Pong Table Cover
- JOOLA Dual Function Indoor Table Cover
- AmazonBasics Camping Tarp
What to Avoid
While cleaning your table tennis table is never a bad idea, it is good to remember not to overdo it. The tabletops are more fragile than you would expect them to be. They are sensitive to humidity and moisture since they are made up of wood or its derivative.
Thus, it is important to wipe the surface with just a little water and not to exceed the required amount. Otherwise, the surface of your table will develop rusty patches in no time.
Another good tip while cleaning is to make sure that you don’t use a harsh chemical-based cleaning agent while wiping down the surface. This may severely damage your table, and such products must be avoided at any cost.
Independent of where you place your table tennis table, it is vulnerable to foreign elements and requires the utmost care.
Without any attention to cleanliness, it will inevitably breakdown. However, with this detailed guide, cleaning and preserving your Table Tennis table should no longer be that hard.