Have you ever noticed how seriously table tennis players take care of their rackets?
The majority usually has a specialized bag to tote their rackets in as well as other equipment to maintain them. The reason for this is to preserve the rubber that they use. When playing for a bit, the racket tends to collect dirt particles and grease.
In time, these particles will seriously affect the performance of your racket. You’ll start to notice less spin and control when this build-up occurs.
So how do you properly clean your rubber? Actually, there are many steps you can take. Here are a few you can use:
• Old-fashioned water and sponge. Pound-for-pound, this method works the best. It’s not expensive at all and can be done even between matches! You can buy either a specialized sponge at your local table tennis equipment supplier or you can simply use a regular kitchen sponge.
All you have to do is damp the sponge in water and wipe your racket clean. Then let it dry.
• Rubber cleaning solution. There are many manufacturers, such as Butterfly and Stiga, who offer sprays or foam in a can. If you want to look as though you’re a pro and not worry about cost, then this method will work for you. Otherwise a damp sponge does the same thing.
• Detergent. If your racket is significantly dirty, then a drop or two of detergent will help. Just use a small amount with a damp sponge/rag.
The absolute worse thing you can do to your racket is to wipe the rubber with your hand. Even though many of the top players do so, it’s because they are sponsored and can afford to “misuse” their racket as they are only going to use the same racket a few times. The rubber will attract the oil from your hand and cause it to smear all over so avoid doing that if possible.