How To Clean Griptape – Skateboard Tips

Your grip tape is old and dirty? Don’t buy a new one; there are many ways to clean it! Discover everything about how to clean griptape and make it grippy, dark, and sparkling again.

Product ImageName PriceRating
POWERTEC 71002$$9/10

Black Diamond$9.5/10

Prostik W1307$$$9/10

GRIP GUM$$9.9/10

Peachtree$9.1/10

Torino Pro Brush$$$7/10

Skating on a brand new griptape is the best feeling a skater can have (except landing new tricks!). Besides, having a clean and sticky griptape makes it easier to land tricks with consistency. Let’s find out how you can keep your griptape fresh and new on the long-term (at least until your board brakes).

How to clean Griptape?


Most skaters judge the quality of their griptape according to two factors:

  • Color (nice black color without dirt stains)
  • Adherence

With daily use, the grip tape tends to lose its grip and color. Besides, the color and the grip are kind of related; Depending on the places you ride, you’ll gather more or less dirt on your griptape making it browner and less sticky. Also, if you wear your skate shoes during the day, all the dirt you stepped on ends up on your grip.

Believe or not, there are ways of renewing your griptape, and depending on the state of the grip, it can be entirely restored.

Here are the main ways of restoring your skateboard griptape: 

  • With window cleaner, a brush, and towel (not recommended, but probably free)
  • With a griptape cleaner (belt sander cleaner)

Window Cleaner Method

The window cleaner method is the less expensive way of cleaning your griptape as you probably already have all the equipment required. All you need for this cleaning method is a soft brush (you could use an old toothbrush) and a little cup of window cleaner, yes the same liquid you use to clean your windows.

If you don’t have a brush or you want a specific brush for the job, we recommend this Torino Pro Brush; The brush is soft but still offer a decent pull. What’s important is that the brush pulls enough dirt to clean the board but not too much, or it will reduce the natural adherence of the grip tape.

 

All you have to do is fill a little cup with window cleaner, dip in the brush and start scrubbing the griptape. Don’t put too much window cleaner though; the goal is to have just enough to liquefy the mud and stains (repeat the process until all stain disappear).

Warning! 

This method could potentially damage your deck, let us explain:

If you use too much window cleaner, it could eventually seep in the grip and be absorbed by the wooden deck.

 

How can the window cleaner penetrate the griptape? 

 

Well, most skateboard griptapes feature tiny little holes to prevent air bubbles when the grip is applied on the deck. If you’re griptape features those holes, and you clean it with too much window cleaner, well you’ve guessed it; the wood might absorb the liquid and get soft. This doesn’t necessarily happen on the first cleaning, but if you clean your board extra often with window cleaner it’s like if you left your board outside under the rain for a while; not good!

Griptape Cleaner Method

The griptape cleaner method is the easiest and practical way of cleaning your skateboard griptape as you can do it when and where you want, the only thing you need is a griptape cleaner. Griptape cleaners are also known as grip gums or belt sander cleaner.

 

You can find grip gums in most skateboard shops. However, a less expensive alternative is to buy a rubber cement eraser (which is the same thing). It’s basically a soft rubber brick, and it’s used as a standard pencil rubber.

 

If you don’t believe us, check out this video!

 

Video from Braille Skateboarding

 

How to use it?

Using a griptape cleaner is very simple, it requires two easy steps:

  • Step 1: Remove the first layer of dust and lumps of dirt with a brush or an old cloth.
  • Step 2: Rub the entire grip with your griptape cleaner.

As you can witness on the video above, the entire process takes more or less time (depending on the state of your griptape), but you could do it anywhere! On your way to the skatepark for example; if you’re stocked in the bus in a traffic jam, you’ll have plenty of time to give your griptape a facelift!

The best griptape cleaners


1 – POWERTEC 71002 Abrasive Cleaning Stick

This abrasive cleaning stick from Powertec is 8.5 inches (20 cm) long and made out of natural rubber. This brick is originally made for cleaning belt sander, but it works amazingly on skateboard griptapes.

Moreover, it’s very practical to carry around during your sessions; cut a small piece of the stick, maybe a 1-inch cube, and throw it into your backpack, or even in your pocket. Depending on how often you have to clean your griptape, the full-size stick can last up to 2 years.

This abrasive cleaning stick is manufactured by Powertec, a company with 40 years of experience in the woodworking industry. You might be thinking, how is this relevant to my usage (griptape cleaning)? Well, Powertec’s experience in manufacturing woodworking machines for more than 40 years helps the company develop and innovate quality machines and accessories. If this stick can clean a powerful belt sander, it will do miracles on your skateboard grip!


2 – Black Diamond Griptape Cleaner

Black Diamond is a company dedicated to skateboard griptapes since more than 15 years. It provides excellent quality skateboard griptapes for half the price you would pay for more popular brands.

Because Black Diamond is purely dedicated to grip tapes, they developed a proper skateboard griptape cleaner that is specially made for that purpose. The stick is 4.5 inches (10 cm) long; depending on how often you’ll clean your grip, it will easily last a year or more!

The rubber starts warming up when you begin scrubbing, don’t be surprised if its hard when you receive it. The magic of this rubber is that you don’t have to wait or clean after scrubbing; the board gets clean instantly.


3 – Prostik W1307

The Prostik W1307 from Pro-Stick is initially a belt sander cleaner; it’s 12 inches (30 cm) long so it will last for ages (Only a little 1-inch cube lasts for months)! Put in your bag or even in your pocket, and you’re ready to clean your griptape any time.

Besides, the all stick only weighs 1.25 pounds. If you cut a little piece of that, you won’t even fill it on you.

Also, Pro-Stick offers 4 different sizes of Prostik depending on how often you use it.


4 – GRIP GUM

The Original Grip Gum from Grip Gum is one of the first griptape cleaner specially designed for skateboard griptapes. Grip Gum manufactures griptape cleaners since 1996; hard to beat!

The Grip Gum works so well; many pro skaters still use it as per this day. All pro skaters have preferences when it comes to deck sizes, trucks, or wheels. But when it comes to griptapes, all skaters prefer a clean, sticky griptape!

Also, Grip Gum also has a team of pro skaters; such as Jordan Maxham, TJ Rogers, Megan Guy, or Vinnie Bahn.


5 – Peachtree Disc Cleaning Eraser Stick

The Peachtree Disc Cleaning Eraser Stick is an 8 inches (20 cm) long rubber brick. The company that makes these is called Peachtree Woodworking Supply Inc., this company is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and it sells all sorts of machinery and tutorials related to woodworking.

Nevertheless, this rubber stick is perfect for cleaning your skateboard griptape. It can be used for many other things like cleaning several machines, or even your shoes’ outsoles.

This stick will remove anything stocked to your griptape; dust, dirt, mud, chewing gum, or even paint. With this 8 inches stick, you’ll have enough for more than a year. You only need a little piece to clean your griptape (you can store the rest at home).


What are the benefits from using a griptape cleaner?

There are three significant benefits of using a griptape cleaner:

  • Save money

If you’re a ride that particularly enjoys clean griptapes, you’ll probably buy more than one grip for your board. A griptape cleaner stick costs the same price than a griptape, and it lasts for ages.

  • Have clean griptape

You can say what you want, a clean dark grip makes you want to skate.

  • Have clean shoes

Having a dirty griptape will eventually make you shoes dirty too, especially if you’re doing tricks a lot; your shoes are continually scrubbing a long the surface of the griptape, which not only destroys the shoes but also makes then dirty. So if you want CLEAN and ruined shoes, a griptape cleaner is the way to go!

  • Land more tricks

How to clean griptape

Because your griptape is cleaning, it’s more inviting; therefore, you skate more and get more experience. But not only, a clean griptape also offers more grip, meaning the flipping motions are easier to make.

In conclusion, a griptape doesn’t only make your board clean, it also makes you a better rider; it’s magic! Don’t get us wrong, it will undoubtedly help you improve, but it won’t make you a pro skater (sounds obvious, but we rather precise it).


Any disadvantages?

We honestly don’t see any disadvantages from using a griptape cleaner. Griptape cleaners are one of our favorite skateboard accessories; we think all riders can benefit from them.

It’s a must in a skateboarder’s backpack!


We hope this review gave you a good overview of on how to clean griptape. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below or send an email at support@top10slide.com. Our support team will be more than happy to discuss with you and help you find your new griptape cleaner.

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