How to Clean Skateboard Griptape: The Ultimate Guide
Dirty griptape can make your skateboard easier to fall off or slip off of. Dirt and mud can reduce traction and resistance, making it more difficult to perform any skateboard tricks.
Although new griptape is fairly cheap, it can be quite a lot of work to remove old griptape before applying the new sheet. Cleaning your own grip tape may help you save money, and your board will last longer if you do it yourself. However, there are a few simple methods that you can try to clean your skateboard griptape.
What You’ll Need To Clean Your Griptape
- A piece of natural rubber
- A soft wire brush
- A microfiber cloth
Keep these essentials in your skate bag with your skate tool and other accessories. You never know when they’ll come in handy or when you’ll need to clean your grip.
Method 1. Cleaning Griptape On A Traditional Skateboard
Purchase a soft wire brush. The bristles should be strong yet not sharp enough to damage your grip tape. A decent metal brush from your local hardware store will do the trick, or you may get a specialty one from your local skate shop.
- Smaller brushes will give you more precision.
- An extra firm toothbrush can also work.
Step 1. Use Your Soft Wire Brush To Scrub The Grip
Start at one end of the board and work your way to the other, section by section. This exposes dirt at a greater depth, allowing you to sweep most of it away with your hand.
- Apply a decent amount of pressure but don’t push hard enough to tear the grip tape.
- Try to avoid ruining the grit of the grip.
- Scrub until there are no more spots of dirt.
If the grip is soiled to the point that it cannot be cleaned, you may need to replace it entirely.
Step 2. Use Rubber to Remove Surface Crud
A popular product among skate shops is “Grip Gum,” which is a rubber that may be used to clean the surface grime off your grip tape. However, you can get the same rubber for cheaper at an art supply store. Ask the cashier for “rubber cement pickup” and they will be able to help you find it for just a few dollars.
Remove all of the dirt and grime with your grip gum or rubber. Skateboard grip gum is a high-quality product that cleans your board well. Rub the grip tape like you would a pencil eraser, then brush away the residue. Thoroughly clean your board with grip gum once in a while to keep it looking new.
Method 2. Cleaning Grip On A Longboard
Again, you will need a soft wire brush. You will also need soft rubber, a microfiber cloth, and some soapy water.
Step 1. Fill A Bowl With Soap & Water
It’s okay to use liquids on longboards (sparingly) because they are thicker and more water-resistant than shortboards. However, they can still get waterlogged if they’re submerged or left out in the rain.
To make the ideal skateboard cleaning solution, combine a little bit of soap with tap water. To wash every inch of your grip tape, you’ll need a medium-sized basin.
- Add a few drops of citrus fruit juices for a clean smell.
- Don’t use too much water and make sure to remove all water.
- You might also use a window cleaner to clean grip tape on longboards.
Step 2. Dip Your Wire Brush In The Water & Scrub The Griptape
Dip your wire brush into the soapy water and then begin at one of the board, working to the other. You should really take the time to dig into the dirtiest spots. The griptape on longboards are thick and coarse so it may take some time to loosen all of the dirt and grime.
- When your wire brush begins to get dirty, wash it in the bowl.
- Don’t allow water to pool on your longboard. Too much moisture can cause wood to get waterlogged, which will ruin the integrity of your board.
- Do not push too hard with the brush. It can tear the grip and strip the grit from it.
Step 3. Dry the grip and board with a microfiber cloth.
Place your microfiber cloth on the top of the board and pat anywhere that there is water. Make sure that you soak up all of the moisture that you can. Then fold the cloth and press it against the grip until it is mostly dry.
- Make sure that the board is dried thoroughly. Not only can you damage the grip, you can also damage the wood.
- Don’t use paper towels – they will break apart and make a mess.
- Griptape can peel if it’s not dried properly.
Step 4. Let Your Longboard Dry
Allow your board to dry for at least three hours before riding it. Water on a wet or damp skateboard has the potential to have harmful side effects. If water penetrates into the wood of your longboard, it might cause the whole thing to bend or warp. Then it won’t roll properly. Just be cautious and wait until your board is completely dry before using it.
Step 5. Use Grip Gum Or Soft Rubber
Use grip gum if there is still residue. Rub it across the grip tape like you would with a regular pencil eraser, then brush away the residue left behind. Stop by your local skate shop to buy some grip gum.
- You can also use a cheap rubber cement eraser from an art store.
Cleaning your skateboard’s grip tape is a necessary but often overlooked task. By following these simple steps, you can keep your board in good condition and ready to ride.
In addition to the methods described above, you can also use a product called “grip gum” to clean your grip tape. Grip gum is a rubber that can be found at most skate shops. It’s designed to remove surface grime from grip tape.
If the grip tape on your board is torn or peeling, it’s time for a replacement.
Some additional tips:
- Remove the wheels to make your board easier to clean. This way it will not roll.
- Keep the bottoms of your shoes clean to ensure that you keep your grip clean.
- Replace grip tape when the grit becomes extremely worn or if the edges begin to tear.