Your skateboard will get dirty over time, so it’s important to clean it regularly to keep it in good shape. Grip tape is what provides traction and lets you land tricks. When the grip tape is dirty you lose that traction. Cleaning your grip tape will help it last longer so you won’t need to replace it as often.
Cleaning Your Grip Tape
Try to clean your grip tape when you notice it’s getting dirty so that there isn’t too much build-up of dust and grime. The more frequently you clean it, the easier the cleaning process is.
Step 1: Use Water
Cleaning your grip tape with water should only be done if it is extremely dirty. If your board is covered with mud or caked-on dirt, you can start with water. Otherwise, start with Step 3.
It’s important to use the smallest amount of water that is effective at cleaning. Too much water can soak through and loosen the adhesive glue on your grip tape. Water can also damage the board itself.
Do not use Windex or any other cleaning product instead of water. These cleaners contain solvents that can damage the grip tape and you won’t get proper traction.
Fill a small bowl with water and get a small brush. A brass wire brush is best, but a firm toothbrush will do as well. Dip the bristles of the brush into the water -- just a bit, you don’t want it dripping.
Cleaning small sections at a time, gently rub the brush in circular motions on the grip tape. You should see the dirt and mud loosen. Use a clean microfiber cloth or towel to soak up the dirty water. Don’t use a paper towel as it tends to come apart and make a mess. Continue cleaning until all sections of the grip tape are done.
Step 2: Let Dry
Once you have cleaned your grip tape with water, it needs to dry thoroughly. You can let it air dry, or if you want to get it done faster, use a hairdryer.
It’s important that the grip tape is completely dry before moving on to the next step or else the rubber won’t clean properly.
Step 3: Grip Gum
If your grip tape was not super dirty to begin with, this is where you want to start. You’ll need a piece of natural rubber for this step.
Grip Gum is a rubber stick meant for cleaning grip tape, but you can also use sanding belt cleaner which you can find at a hardware store. Crepe rubber bricks found at art supply stores are another option.
Using long, firm strokes, rub the Grip Gum against your grip tape. This will remove dirt and dust, leaving your deck looking almost as good as new.
Ready, Grip, Go!
Once your grip tape has been cleaned, you’re ready to get back out on your board. Clean your grip tape often to avoid having to replace it. However, if you do need to change your grip tape, we offer custom printed grip tapes at affordable prices and with low minimums on your order.