How to Clean Griptape
Did you know that most people buy new griptape after it gets dirty from mud or sand? Really the only time you need new grip is when the actual grit is worn off. It’s the same thing with sandpaper, once the grits worn off it doesnt work. But if it’s just dirty, the grip is likely still good. Save yourself some hard earned money and clean your grip to get that oh so good brand new grip feeling back under your feet.
The first and quickest approach is to literally erase the grime away just like you would pencil on paper. Although most shops sell a grip gum to clean off the tape, there’s a more affordable option. Most erasers will work but we have found that the rubber cement eraser readily (and cheaply) available at art stores will do an amazing job. Just rub the eraser like you would on paper and watch it work it’s magic. Then sweep away the eraser residue and you’ll be rolling on like-new grip.
When your griptape is downright nasty, you need to take it to the next level. If you find the eraser is not working, this may work for you. This technique is mainly advised for longboards since the griptape is a bit more coarse and the boards are more resistant to fluid.
First you’ll want to buy a soft wire brush. These can usually be found in the paint section at the hardware store, but an old FIRM toothbrush will likely do the trick as well. Take a small cup and fill it with either window cleaner, or even regular old water. Dip the brush in and go to work from one end. When you are done the tape will likely not look great since you are smearing fluid all over the board. Use a cloth (not paper towel since the grip will tear that up) to dry out the tape.
Grab the eraser once the tape is completely dry. It will bond with the left over residue as you “erase” the grime away. Brush off the leftover eraser gum and you’re board will be gripping like new.
Learning how to clean griptape will save you money in the long run. It won’t make it new again, but will make your board ride much better than it had been. It’s a great way to extend the life of your griptape so you don’t need to head out to the store, purchase more, and deal with the difficult task of removing your old tape.