How to Clean Your Ping Pong Table

Like pretty much everything you own, it is always a good idea to try and keep your ping pong table as clean as possible. This is to make it look as good as it can, but also to help improve performance. Tables that are dusty or covered in pet hair are less attractive to play on, and if there is enough debris, it might even affect the bounce of the ping pong ball. 

So if you do have a ping pong table in your house or garage, or even more so if it is an outdoor table, it is a great idea to keep up some regular maintenance on it. This will greatly improve the longevity of your ping pong table and keep you playing on it for many happy years.

The good news is that cleaning a ping pong table really should not take you very much time. However, it is really important to know some of the best ways to clean your ping pong table. To get started, you will need some basic cleaning items handy right from the outset.

Use an Old Toothbrush as a Ping Pong Table Cleaner

An effective cleaning technique is to use a toothbrush for the areas of the table that might be hard to reach. You can use plain water to dampen the brush prior to use, or a commercially available cleaning solution (as described below). This is ideal for areas of the table that are hard to clean with a cloth (such as corners and other enclosed areas). The toothbrush can really help you scrub away dirt, but be careful not to use it on the main surface very much so as to avoid scratching the table.

Some Basic Cleaning Items 

Some of the most basic cleaning items include cool water, a few soft cloths, and a deep bowl. To achieve even better performance, you can also have a bottle of white vinegar on hand, as well as some lubricant and perhaps even a commercially available ping pong table cleaner.

Step 1: Remove the Net from Your Table 

To clean your ping pong table most effectively, you will need to be able to access the entire surface. To do that effectively, you’ll need to remove the net that divides the surface in two. You will probably have to clean the net as well, but this can be done in a separate step. Once you get the entire surface of your table available, you can really start cleaning it well. 

Step 2: Use a Clean Cloth as a Ping Pong Table Cleaner

The first thing to do when you are cleaning your ping pong table is to wipe the table thoroughly with a clean cloth to remove most of the dust and other debris that might have settled on it. Always be sure to use a soft cloth so that you do not accidentally scratch the surface of your table.

This step is actually something you might want to do at the end of every ping pong game because it will help you keep your table cleaner and in better condition over the long run. It only takes a few seconds to wipe off your table with a cloth. 

Step 3: Create and Apply Your Cleaning Solution 

For general upkeep of your table, you can create your own cleaning solution if you don’t have a commercially available one. These homemade cleaners can be just as efficient as the ones that you can but, and they are also easy to make. All you need is a bowl, some cool water, and a bit of white vinegar. 

Mix three cups of water with half a cup of vinegar to create an ideal solution. To actually go about cleaning your table, dip one of your soft cloths in the cleaner and wipe the table carefully across the surface as well as underneath the table and the legs. Keep wiping the table until it feels damp, but be sure not to completely soak your table. 

Step 4: Clean Your Net Separately 

When you started the cleaning process, we advised you to unscrew the net off your table. At this point, you might want to clean that too. Simply roll up the net and soak it in the homemade cleaner for about 15 minutes. After that, remove the net and let it dry on a flat surface like a concrete step. It should only take about half an hour for the net to be fully dry and ready to be used again. This cleaning step only needs to be done about every three months or so. 

Step 5: Set Your Net on Your Table 

When the surface of the table and the net are as clean as you want them to be, you can put them back together. Screw the net back in after you make sure that it is dry. Another final step you can take is to use a professional lubricant to oil the metal parts of the table. This lubricant will not only keep your table clean longer, but it will also make it look bright and shiny.

House cleaning product on wood table with green background

Everyday cleaning products can also be used…just make sure they don’t contain corrosive chemicals.

Commercially Available Products

Most of the commercially available products come in a foam type or a spray, and they can really enhance the appearance of your table. Apply the cleaning solution based on the instructions on the bottle and then use a sponge or a dry cloth to spread it around. Next, wipe it off with a paper towel and allow the table to dry.

Always avoid detergents or any other harsh chemicals because some of these products can damage your table with their abrasive chemicals. Those chemicals can sometimes be good for removing deep grime or stains from your table, but they should be used with caution. Another important thing is not to use your bare hands while you are cleaning the table. Although some products are designed to be safe for skin contact, it is always better to wear gloves to be completely sure.

Butterfly Table Tennis Table Cleaner

Butterfly Table Tennis Table Cleaner

Our first choice of the best cleaning product for your ping pong racket is the Butterfly Table Tennis Cleaner. This kit includes a rubber sponge and Butterfly Spin Refresh. It dissolves dust and helps remove other debris from the surface while giving your table a bright and shiny appearance.

This method involves using foam to clean your table. The foam is usually only to be used for the rubber and metal parts of your ping pong table and the net, so you would use it on the legs of the table too. Apart from keeping the rubber and metal parts clean and shiny, the foam can also maintain the longevity of the table so you will not have to replace it for a long time. If you have not used and cleaned your table for some time, always use the blue side of the sponge to start with a deeper clean, and then switch over to the yellow side to wipe down the table regularly.

Puracy Natural All-Purpose Cleaner 

Another option is to use a general-purpose cleaning agent like Puracy. This product does not contain chemicals, and so it is not very harsh on the tabletop. Puracy is widely available in stores or on Amazon, and it is an effective cleaner that we highly recommend.

Killerspin Myt Ping Pong Table Cleaner 

Killerspin Myt Ping Pong Table Cleaner

The next product to keep your table in good condition is the Killerspin cleaning spray. Killerspin is made in Germany from water-based ingredients. It is also VOC-free and antistatic, so it can easily remove oil and stains to produce a clean surface every time. The kit has a two-sided sponge for applying the cleaner, removing dirt, and wiping off the residue effectively. Make sure you spray the right amount on the sponge to give the table a good coating.

JOOLA Table Cleaner

By using this product regularly, you can expand the durability and surface of the ping pong table. Since this product does not come with a sponge, you must buy it separately. Make sure to purchase a JOOLA cleaning sponge to achieve the best results. This anti-static rubber cleaner spray bottle can protect and preserve your table effectively. It can also help you remove dirt, dust, and oil stains. 

MightySpin Ping Pong Table Cleaner 

MightySpin Ping Pong Table Cleaner 

Another good choice is the MightySpin ping pong table cleaner. It helps to restore any slippery sections of the table. This set comes in a compact bag with a cleaning solution and a sponge. You even use this product on old tables if you are trying to improve their appearance. And if you have any complaints about the product, simply contact the brand for a full guarantee.

iNNOGLUE Table Tennis Rubber Cleaner 

Finally, this model is specially formulated with antioxidants and disinfectants to wipe dirt and oil off your table. It also protects and returns rubber surfaces to their original condition. It is good to note that this cleaning solution does not include any harmful materials. That means it is safe for skin contact, as well as safe for a wide range of rubbers. However, like the JOOLA Turbo Spray, it doesn’t offer a cleaning sponge, so be sure to buy one.

Another Option: A Table Tennis Cover 

If you don’t cover your table tennis table, it will be harder to clean the table surface. A table tennis cover can protect the table from direct heat, humidity, dust, and any spillage. Table tennis tables generally last longer if they are properly covered when not in use. The table tennis cover can also keep the surface of your table from reacting with external moisture such as dew. 

For tables that are kept outdoors, you will want a tarp-like cover such as the Stiga table cover to protect your table from precipitation, sun, wind, dirt, and even birds and other animals. This type of waterproof ping pong table cover can be just what you need to protect your investment. This is why getting a heavy-duty ping pong table cover is essential. They are relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of buying a new table.

Covers can also be important when your table is kept inside. Some of the best choices for indoor covers include the JOOLA Dual Function Indoor Table Cover AmazonBasics Camping Tarp, the CoverMates Upright Ping Pong Table Cover, and the Covermates Ping Pong Table Cover.

Most modern covers are available to fit your ping pong table when it is folded in half vertically for storage. However, there are also covers designed for tables that are kept unfolded. If you have plenty of space and don’t need to fold and store your table, but you still want to keep it clean and protected, your best option is to find a table tennis cover that fits both folded and unfolded tables.

Squeezing sponge on background

A wet sponge does a pretty good job of keeping your table clean…just be sure not to scrub too hard!

A Few Words of Caution

When you are cleaning your table, make sure that you are not damaging the paint on its surface. Some players use a small amount of detergent when cleaning their tables, but this is not recommended. The ingredients in most cleaners are harsh and they can really be abrasive.

Also, try not to use any products with alcohol or bleach as they will have a similar effect. It is always a good idea to keep your table covered or stored away when it is not in use. This will help to keep it clean and in better condition overall. Keep it out of the sun and away from extreme hot or cold temperatures.

Cleaning the Table: Frequency 

Another consideration is how much time you need to spend to achieve a clean ping pong table. That mostly depends on how often you play the game. If you use your ping pong table every day, regular cleaning of your table should be done about once every three months. But if you are not using your table that often, you can probably get away with cleaning your table once a year. 

Buying a New Table

Once you have owned your ping pong table for a number of years, it does not matter how much you clean it because you might simply need to get a new one eventually. There is a huge quality difference when it comes to the latest ping pong tables, and if you buy the best table you can afford, and then maintain and clean it correctly, you should avoid any performance issues for a long time.

Some Final Considerations 

Always remember that the table tennis table top is made up of MDF (medium-density fiberboard). This makes it prone to scratches and stains, and that’s why you need to clean it regularly to maintain its natural properties. Sometimes when the table is kept in storage for a prolonged period, dust and debris may accumulate on the top. Or if you use the table for beer pong or perhaps for dining purposes, accidental spills can often happen. All this deteriorates the tabletop surface.

As table tennis players, we all love tables that are clean and smooth. In this article, we have outlined a few of the most simple steps you can take to clean the playing surface of your ping pong table effectively. These steps require very little investment and effort. The great thing about these tables is that if you take care of them regularly, you can enjoy them for ten years or longer. 

Most professional manufacturers will ship your ping pong table with cleaning instructions included. So, it is worth reading those instructions before you start your cleaning process. If you wipe down your table after every time you use it, you might not need to clean it very often at all. You can keep your ping pong table surface as attractive as it can be by following the simple steps outlined in this article.

Riley Draper

Avid table tennis player, world traveler, and content creator. Follow on Twitter. Connect on LinkedIn.