How To Clean Grip Tape For Smoother Rides

The buildup of dirt and mud will decrease traction and resistance. If you want to have a smooth ride, cleaning is a must. Don’t think that this is a complicated process. What you have to do is only to follow my instruction. Now, it’s time to learn how to clean grip tape:

What to Expect

What to expectAlthough this is not a magic process, you can expect the following things:

  • After cleaning, your grip tape will be sticky.
  • Don’t harm your grip tape and skateboard intact.
  • You don’t have to replace new grip tape regularly.
  • You can last the lifespan of your grip tape.

Why does grip tape need to be cleaned?

It’s because you are stepping on it

Is it strange?

No. Your shoes will transfer mostly dirt and mud into the grip tape. Specifically, when standing on the board, you get it dirty and add wear and tear. Thus, you have to remove them for a smoother ride.

When Should You Clean Your Skateboard Grip Tape?

clean your skateboard grip tapeIt’s possible to clean your grip tape as much as you want to keep it nice and sticky.

Once you see the buildup of debris in the crevices of the grip tape, it may not provide your soles much grip anymore. Moreover, a sparkling grip tape brings a well maintained and high-end look.

When your board is no longer grippy, dull, and dingy, you should clean it as soon as possible. If where you are ridding is a muddy area with bad weather, cleaning is more important.

What You Need to Prepare

Depending on your specific demand, there are 2 different preparations for shortboard and longboard.

For Grip Tape on a Shortboard

For grip tape on a shortboardCleaning a shortboard is a simple task, which requires only 2 items below:

  • Soft wire brush: remember to choose one which comes with sturdy bristles. However, it shouldn’t be too sharp to tear your grip tape. A small brush or a firm toothbrush can provide you with high precision.
  • Grip gum or rubber cement eraser: They are specifically designed for cleaning skateboards.

For Grip Tape on a Longboard

For grip tape on a longboardTo clean a longboard, you have to prepare more things. But, don’t worry because it’s effortless to find out them. Please take a look at the following items:

  • Soft wire brush: You should buy a cheap metal brush with stiff bristles. Like cleaning grip tape on a shortboard, a small brush or a firm toothbrush can also provide you with precision.
  • Water: It is used to mix with soap to make an excellent mixture for cleaning.
  • Bowl or bucket: You need to prepare one of these things to contain the mixture for cleaning your grip tape.
  • Grip gum or rubber cement eraser: Like shortboard, this item is used to get rid of residue.
  • Microfiber cloth: You will use it to dry your grip and board.

Step-by-step Instruction on How to Clean Grip Tape

After preparing enough essential things, it’s time to go deeper into the main part.

Do you want to clean shortboard or longboard? Choose one, read and follow it:

Cleaning Griptape on a Shortboard

Cleaning griptape on a shortboardPay attention to brush your grip tape thoroughly. To do that, simply start from one end of your board to another end. You can work on your way, but it’s better to go section by section. This method helps you remove and sweep the deepest dirt to the surface of the board.

Keep brushing your grip tape until it has no longer dirt. In case you can’t get rid of deep stains, I think that it’s time to replace a new one.

While performing, don’t push so hard. If not, your grip tape might be tearing. Also, avoid stripping the grit.

After stripping, you had better get rid of leftover grime with grip gum. What you have to do is to use it as a pencil eraser, after that, brush away the residue. Moreover, the grip gum can help your board have a new look.

If you have a tight budget for cleaning grip tape, I highly recommend a cheaper alternative that is a rubber cement eraser.

Cleaning Griptape on a Longboard

Cleaning griptape on a longboardCompared to a shortboard, a longboard is more resistant and thicker, so it suits to use with water. Let you make a bowl of soapy water by mixing tap water with a little bit of soap. Remember that a medium-sized bowl is enough to wash your grip tape.

If your grip tape comes with a smell, you can add lemon into the mixture. But, don’t submerge the whole model.

What should you do if you don’t have time for making this solution?

It’s a piece of cake. Let you use the window cleaner.

Next, scrub your grip tape with a brush dipped the solution. The messier spots require more time to dig into them. Unlike shortboard, grip tape of the longboard is thicker, so you need to spend more time for loosing all dirt.

When your brush builds up more dirt, it means that you need to rinse it in the bowl.

Try to prevent water from your board because it can damage the structure. If you don’t want to ruin the grip and strip grit from the tape, don’t try to push too hard.

Now, you need to dry your grip tape and board. Let you lay a microfiber cloth across the top of your longboard, then pat in order to soak up moisture. Finally, fold this cloth to press against your grip tape until it is dry entirely.

Say “No” with paper towels because they will break apart, resulting in a big mess. In case you can’t dry it thoroughly, the high opportunity is that your grip tape may peel.

For the best outcome, the bottom of the wood must be dry, so it requires you to wait for at least 3 hours. A wet skateboard leads to a negative effect for sure.

Like cleaning a shortboard, to remove residue on a longboard, you can rub grip gum across the grip tape. Next, brush away them behind and done.


TipsDon’t forget to refer to these tips for better effects:

  • The cleaning process will be more effortless and quicker when performing on a model without wheels.
  • Do you love a grip tape in good condition all the time? If yes, remember to wear a pair of clean shoes on your board.
  • Once the grit and edges of your board are worn and torn, it’s time to remove and replace the grip tape.

How do you keep your grip tape from getting dirty?

While riding, try to avoid stepping in mud, dirt on your board with wet soles. In damp condition, your board can become a magnet for dirt.

How to Replace the Old Grip Tape

How to replace the old grip tapeAs I mentioned, when your grip tape is too old and dirty to clean, it’s essential to replace a new one. You can perform this task by yourself. After removing the old grip tape, let you put a new one on the surface and press until it covers the whole board.

If you don’t have many experiences to perform this task, it’s better to ask for a professional shop’s help.

Do you have to remove your grip tape before taking your model to the shop?

If yes, you should melt the glue and get rid of it by using a heat gun or a hairdryer. These tools help you peel the grip tape much more straightforward.

Have You Got the Best Outcome?

Now, cleaning grip tape is no longer a problem. You only have to prepare enough necessary things and start the cleaning process as my guide. There are 2 different guides for different cases.

If you find out other helpful cleaning ways, don’t hesitate to let us know by leaving your comment in the section below. In case you have any related question about my guide, you can ask as well. I will come back to you with an answer. Finally, please share this guide of how to clean grip tape, if you find it useful and informative.

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day.

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