How to Properly Clean & Maintain Table Tennis Table

How to clean ping pong table

Expert: Kevin James, Last Updated: 09/04/2019

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 tabletop?

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 ping pong table top 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 surface. Or if you use the table for beer pong or dining, accidental spills can happen. All this deteriorates the table top.

But don’t worry. Just follow this step-by-step guide on the best ways of removing dirty stains, and you’ll have your TT table squeaky clean in no time!

But first, Why cleaning TT Table Is Important

Before we dive straight into the best methods for cleaning your TT table, it is important to know why you must have a clean table in the first place.

Whether you've newly bought a ping pong table or have one lying around for quite sometime, it's important to protect your investment. And the most convincing way of doing 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 should know that the cleanliness the table can make or break the game. You will notice that on a brand new surface, the ball gets a good grip and bounce off the table.

Over time, due to debris accumulation, the table surface becomes sticky. Due to this the ball does not spin and bounce as it should. This is mainly because of an unclean and improperly maintained table. 

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.

TT tables usually enjoy a good lifetime of several years. However, all that depends on your efforts to keep it clean as a whistle.

Cleaning Options 

What you'll need

We’ve already been through the importance to of cleaning TT 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.

  • Take the sponge/cloth and 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
  • 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.

Commercial Options

Apart from the DIY home cleaning options, here are few commercial cleaners which we recommend. 

These cleaners are tailor-made for table tennis top and offer the best cleaning solution.

#1 Butterfly Table Tennis Table Cleaner

The popular Table Tennis brand ‘Butterfly’ has also come up with their very own table cleaner. It rapidly dissolves dust and doesn’t require any water or additional substance.

At my club, we use this 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 big mistake. A TT 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. TT tables can be more fragile than you would expect them to be. They are sensitive to humidity and moisture since almost all of them are made up of wood.

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.


All TT tables are vulnerable to foreign elements and require the utmost care. It doesn’t matter if you place your table in the backyard or in the basement. 

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.

Kevin James

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