Complete Guide to Refreshing Your Table Tennis Rubbers

Pass the Ball to Someone Else!

After a while your rubbers are bound to lose their awesomeness. There’s no feeling like buying new rubbers really, even the smell is good!

If you’re strapped for cash, it’s a good idea to refresh your table tennis rubbers instead of getting new ones. It can really go a long way and will surely get some of that clicky sound back to your racket.

It has to be said before you start trying to restore your rubbers though – if they’ve past a certain point they can’t be restored. When that point has hit though is hard to answer, but you can always try to restore them before buying new ones.

How to rejuvenate table tennis rubber?

The number one way to restore tackiness of your rubbers is olive oil. This won’t make your rubbers last longer, but it will certainly squeeze that last bit of tackiness out of them. Simply apply olive oil, wipe off as much as possible and let it dry off. It’ll restore some of the tackiness, but there’s no method to make the rubbers “like new”.

How do you take care of table tennis rubbers?

Taking care of your table tennis rubbers is rule number one to skip having to revive them later on. Keep them fresh by cleaning regularly, if you play everyday there’s nothing wrong with a quick wash with water every two or three days.

How do you prevent rubber edges chipping?

First off the rubbers need to be cut up exactly to the edge of the blade. If not, the rubber edges tend to crack up on their own even if you don’t hit them against the table.

If your rubber edges chip even with a good cut, we suggest a side tape around the sides of your bat. If you already have side tape, try a thicker kind that goes to the edge of the sponge as well. This will help protect the rubber edges.

Note: Depending on what rubbers you use, they might be more bound to chip on the edges than others

How to clean a table tennis rubber?

There are multiple ways to clean your table tennis rubber. We recommend not getting table tennis cleaning products, it’s basically a glorified and overpriced bottle of water and dish soap mixed.

Cleaning with water and dish soap

  1. Put a tiny amount of dish soap on rubber
  2. Take damp cloth/sponge and rub a couple times in circular motions on the rubber
  3. Run the rubber under tap for a second or two
  4. Remove excess soap with dry microfiber cloth

We highly recommend getting a cleaning sponge that are specifically made for table tennis rubbers.

Cleaning with table tennis cleaning products

There are kits out there, so if you prefer this method we would recommend those. They’re all pretty similar so just look for the ones with the cheapest price.

  1. Apply cleaning product on rubber, a spray will do just fine
  2. Take cleaning sponge and rub the rubber a few times
  3. Remove excess cleaning product after a few seconds with dry microfiber cloth

How to clean tacky rubber in table tennis?

If you have an extra tacky rubber, we wouldn’t recommend cleaning it as regularly. It will wash away the tackiness and soon it won’t be recoverable.

If it really needs a clean though, just use a cleaning sponge and remove the grease or dirt. Don’t use water or cleaning products on extra tacky rubbers!

How to clean long pip rubber?

Long pip rubbers are just as easy to clean, if not even easier. They don’t have that glossy and tacky outside that regular ones do so you can’t hurt it as easily.

A simple clean with a damp cloth will do just fine on long pip rubbers. Just make sure you get in-between all the pips, pip rubbers are notorious for collecting dust between their pips.

How to clean short pips?

Short pips is slighly different to long pips. Some of them actually has a slightly tacky end to the pips. Same method is used here though, but you can use cleaning products (or dish soap method above) on short pips if you really want to.

How to soften a table tennis rubber?

There isn’t a method to soften up an already glued table tennis rubber. But if you want a softer rubber – you can use thicker glue. This will make the touch a bit softer and gives the rubber a bit more dwell.

Note: this of course doesn’t count if you use thick speed glue.

How to freshen up rubbers?

The easiest way to freshen up your rubbers is simply to clean them. This can either be done with table tennis specific cleaning products, although these aren’t really different to water and dish soap. Our recommendation is to use a very small amount of dish soap with water. Wipe it off with a clean sponge or dry microfiber towel.

If you notice streak marks after cleaning your rubbers, make sure to wash it more carefully with water. Leaving them on will make the rubbers dull and lose tackiness much faster.

Can you revive a rubber with holes in it?

Not really. There are no ways to fill in the holes in your rubber. If it’s on an edge of the rubber and you don’t compete – no harm really. You will have some balls that bounce weirdly, but the rubber is still usable.

In 99/100 cases though, get a new rubber and be careful around the edges of the table next time. Accidents are bound to happen and there’s nothing more to it.

How do I know if my rubber is unrecoverable?

Simply drag your finger across the rubber, if it doesn’t grip your finger it is definitely unrecoverable.

If you hold the rubber at an angle against a light, if you start seeing the pimples through it – it’s starting to get worn out. Note that this method doesn’t apply to all rubbers though as some are really thin and see through as is.

How to make the rubber grip well again?

Besides cleaning there really aren’t any ways to revive a rubbers grip. If it doesn’t grip well at all, it’s very likely to just be old. In this case it’s recommended to simply buy a new rubber.

Will regluing the rubbers make them like new?

No. Regluing your rubbers won’t make them feel “like new”. There are no ways to make your rubbers feel “like new” again sadly.

Regluing your rubbers can be a good idea if they have started peeling off, but if that happens it just means you did a bad glue-job to begin with. Be careful when gluing your rubbers the nex ttime, and apply a very thin, evenly spread out layer.

*Header picture in this article is from here!