Having a ping pong table in your game room, man cave, or basement is exciting for everyone. It provides all-round entertainment for your guests and even the kids can play.
Yet if not maintained correctly, ping pong tables can get dirty quite quickly. This not only becomes a nuisance for your guests, it can more importantly impact gameplay and cause damage to the table and your paddle.
Buying a decent ping pong table isn’t cheap, so ensuring it stays in good condition should be something you strongly consider.
Here are some ways to keep your ping pong table without wasting time or money.
Why should you clean your ping pong table?
Depending on where you keep your table tennis table, it’s likely to collect its share of dust, dirt and grim over time.
Keeping your ping pong table clean is simply good practice. Firstly, if you have friends visiting you want to set a good impression and ensure your table is clean.
Secondly, a clean table ensures smooth gameplay and clears it of any potential obstructions that could interrupt play. The last thing you want is the ball bouncing on an awkward angle after hitting an object or sliding on dirt.
Finally, it helps maintain the longevity of your table and the rest of your equipment. Over time, stains or marks will appear on the table. If these are not addressed quickly, they become permanent and leave your table looking unattractive.
A ping pong ball bouncing on a dirty table will catch the dust and dirt, and transfer it to your paddle. This can damage the rubbers on your paddle and wear them out rather quickly. Your paddles will also need cleaning, however we’ll cover the right process in another article.
How To Clean Your Ping Pong Table
When it comes to cleaning your table tennis table, we suggest two methods: a quick clean and a deep clean.
Quick table clean
We suggest the quick table clean before each playing session. This simple clean will take no more than a minute, and is a quick and effective way of keeping a well maintained table top.
All you need for the quick clean is a clean, dry cloth. We recommend using a microfibre cloth but any clean cloth will do the trick.
Simply give the entire table top a wipe. The objective of this clean is to remove dust and any small objects that may have ended up on the table. Obviously if you store your table in an upright position, you may find less need to clean the table, however it will still gather some dust.
There is no need to remove the net during this clean. It should be quick enough for you to not even notice before you start playing.
Deep table clean
After several weeks (maybe months in some cases) you may start to notice other stains and grime on the table that the quick clean will not pick up.
In this instance the deep table clean is required.
Ping pong table maintenance starts with your tools and supplies. You will need the following items for a deep table clean:
- A bucket
- Lukewarm water
- Distilled vinegar
- A clean rag
- A dry clean towel
When you are ready, follow these steps to perform a deep clean of your ping pong table:
- In a bucket, create a solution of one part vinegar to five parts water.
- Grab your rag and soak it in the solution for a minute.
- While your rag is soaking, remove the net and net posts.
- Drain as much water from the rag as possible.
- Begin wiping down the table lightly until you have covered the entire table top. During this process you may need to rinse and drain the rag a number of times.
- Wipe down the table with the towel to dry the table from any excess solution.
In most cases, all the dirt and debris from the table will be removed in one sitting. If some stains or marks do not come out easily, you may need to add a bit more vinegar to the rag. You can lightly scrub these areas with the rag, and the stains will be removed.
Vinegar helps clean the grime from the table and acts as a disinfectant at the same time.
We recommend the deep clean every six four weeks for intense play and every eight weeks for moderate play.
What You Should Avoid
There are a few common mistakes people make when attempting to clean their table. Using the wrong product can have devastating effects and can cause serious damage to your table.
Here is a list of some of these that you should avoid at all costs.
- Using too much vinegar. Over-saturating the water will create a solution that is so acidic that you will damage your table.
- Use a sponge or scrubbing brush. These can scrape away the paint off your table.
- Use a dirty cloth. It might leave the table looking dirty.
- Use bleach or other chemically heavy cleaners. These will damage the tabletop, the color, and the lines.
- Using disinfectant wipes or sprays that have a high alcohol content.
- Don’t clean with force. You should not clean the table so much that you start to wear down the tabletop, paintwork or the lines.
- Don’t use too much water. You should allow the table to dry completely as it will begin to mold or mildew if you allow it to stay wet. You will likely cause permanent damage to the table, and the porous tabletop could have mold sink into the material.
How Do You Reduce The Need For Regular Cleaning?
One of the best ways of maintaining your table is to use a table cover. It means that you’ll need to undertake less regular cleaning and for a fraction of what you paid for your table, it will increase its longevity.
Table covers are easy to install and remove. Most covers can be installed by one person but it is easier if you have two people.
Another important point that can help reduce regular maintenance is to store your table in a dry room. For indoor tables, a moist room will cause the table to mold or mildew, causing severe damage.
Be especially careful if you’re using a cover in a damp room as you might not notice any of this damage.
For outdoor tables, intense weather such as hail can damage your table. We recommend having an indoor space like a garage to store your table in these circumstances.
The table tennis table is the single largest investment a player makes. So if you want to keep it in good working order, it’s important to check on it from time to time.
As we’ve detailed, ping pong table maintenance is not difficult. Although, it’s important if you want to keep your table in excellent condition, make it last and enjoy a good playing surface.
Maintaining a ping pong table is much easier if you do it regularly. Ensure you have the right supplies and keep them on hand.
Follow our recommended steps and your table will last much longer, play consistently well and ensure your other equipment is not damaged along the way. Trust us, your table will thank you for it!