How to Clean Ping Pong Table (The Right Way)

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Table tennis is a highly competitive and famous sport. It is also renowned by the name of ping-pong, so-called because of the sound that the ball makes when it hits a surface. Aficionados keep tables in their cellars, carports, or open-air living spaces so that they can whip out their paddles and duel with friends and visitors.

It is critical to keep your ping-pong table clean and adequately maintained to get the best out of your experience. Whose heart does not yearn for a hardcore gaming session? However, your experience will be ruined if negligence has buried your table’s surface under dust and grime.

Why Clean Ping Pong Table?

Clean Ping Pong Table

To maintain a proper surface finish and avoid scratches, cleaning your ping pong table is important. Since it’s made up of a fiberboard, there are fair chances of it getting scratched more often. Dust gets entrapped inside these scratches.

Before you know it, your table will be loaded with filth, rendering it unsuitable for gaming. While there is no questioning the merits of cleaning your table, let’s explore some specific reasons as to why you must do so often:

1. To Get the Required Bounce of the Ball

A ping pong table provides some degree of friction to the ball so that it does not deflect from its trajectory after bouncing off the surface. Though this friction is meager and the table is mostly smooth, it is vital nevertheless.

If a table is allowed to accumulate dust and grime and is not subjected to proper care, the table’s surface will lose its friction. This will cause the ball to bounce off at random angles, and the entire placement of the shot will be put into jeopardy. Regular cleaning can preserve the nature of ball-table interaction during bounces.

2. To Maintain the Tackiness of the Paddle

With each ricochet, the debris on the table transfers to your ping pong paddles, making them dusty. This will take away the tackiness of the paddles. Though the cost and effort of cleaning a ping pong table may seem overwhelming to some, it is insignificant compared to the consequences of not doing so.

3. Heath & Hygiene

A dirty table will not just look bad; it is going to create several practical problems too. Healthwise, this is a significant problem since the particulate matter is one of the leading causes of respiratory distress.

If players engage in sessions of ping pong on a dirty table, the dust that will escape from its surface can seriously harm them. Moreover, the importance of proper hygiene cannot be underestimated. Just a heads up, viruses, and bacteria can adhere to dust particles and gain entry into your body through them.

How to Clean Ping Pong Table?

The merits of cleaning your table demand no more explanation, the question remains: how can we clean the table correctly? Some very effective conventional cleaning methods will make your table spotless, but commercial cleaners are unparalleled in their excellence. Let’s consider the prerequisites first:

  • A sponge or clean cloth
  • A good surface cleaner
  • Water and a bucket

The Method

  • Stage 1: Remove the table net and keep it aside. 
  • Stage 2: Opt for one of the two methods stated below, depending on the state of the table. 

For Daily Cleaning

You can use a regular cleaning cloth (preferably cotton) soaked in warm water for cleaning the table.

  • Delicately dust off a cleaning cloth to expel any residue.
  • Allow the fabric to absorb water and then squeeze it to remove excess moisture. 
  • Wipe the surface with a single motion.

Hard Cleaning

This method is useful for cleaning the table after a prolonged gaming session (or if you haven’t cleaned the table for a while). Deep cleaning is guaranteed to get rid of all dirt and grime from the surface.

  • Remove any dust and residue by cleaning the surface with a fabric.
  • Mix some vinegar with water to form a cleaning solution. 
  • Dip the fabric in the above solution and squeeze out the excess. 
  • Now use the soaked fabric to clean the table.

Follow these steps down to every detail, and you’ll have your tennis table spotless in a matter of minutes.

Use Commercial Cleaning Products

Commercial cleaning agents are by far the most effective and reliable option for cleaning ping pong tables. They are specialized for the task and have been designed to do just that. The process is simple:

  • Take off the net.
  • Dust off any residue and dirt from the ping pong table.
  • Spray the cleaner over the surface of the table and then wipe it with a separate clean cloth.
  • If the table is messy, you might need to clean it down once again with a damp wipe.

What Should Use to Clean Ping Pong Table

While there are many commercial cleaning products available in the market, using household items to clean your ping pong table can prove to be very convenient.

Not only is it easy and quick to do, but it also gives satisfactory results. Household items are readily available all the time, and they won’t cost you anything. Hence, it’s very economical.

While these household items are cheap and convenient to use, they may not be satisfactory for you if you are a professional. So if you want something to protect an expensive table, we recommend looking elsewhere rather than relying on household items.

Why Use a Cleaning Product

Even though several conventional methods can do the trick, you ought to prefer commercial cleaners. Ping pong tables have a unique surface, i.e., it is not comparable to other household items, which means that they deserve special treatment.

These products have been tried and tested specifically to prolong the integrity of a ping pong table’s surface. Here is a rundown of some of the best commercial cleaners accessible in the market.

Best Table Tennis Table Cleaner: Our Top 3 Picks

1. Killerspin MyT Table Top Cleaning Spray – Editor’s Choice

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This spray ensures the integrity of your table’s surface and encourages you to play out your best. Killerspin MyT has an extraordinary array of ingredients to clean the surface of your table for best shot control.

It comprises of two types of surfactants, a non-ionic and an ionic one to break down residue, sweat, and other debris from the ping pong table surface. This spray comes with lemon fragrance for a fresh, clean smell.

Killerspin not only clears out the dirt and grime from the table but also adds a pleasant fragrance to it. To get the best results, use a microfiber cloth as the spray is incompatible with ordinary wipes. You may also want to apply several rounds of treatment to a table that hasn’t seen any cleaning for some time.

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Carelessness in cleaning your ping pong table can result in scratches and different imperfections. This can disrupt the general flow of your gaming experience. JOOLA table cleaner is an exceptionally delicate cleaner that will make your ping pong table spick and span.

It does not include any destructive or rough synthetic concoctions. You simply need to spray the fluid and wipe it off. Another advantage of this product is its handy size. You can take it with you anywhere in your bag.

JOOLA effectively dissolves dust and dirt from the table’s surface, dries up faster, and restores the playing surface. However, you should use it in moderation, and according to the instructions, otherwise, the table may get discolored. There is also a slight chance for the product to leave behind droplet marks. In that case, wipe the surface with a mildly moist cloth.

3. Butterfly Table Tennis Table Cleaner – Best Deal

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This is another successful cleaner intended to bring back the new shine to the surface. It utilizes VOC-free ingredients, which ensures effective cleaning and safe usage. This cleaner comes in a 500 ml brilliant spray bottle.

It is anything but not difficult to utilize. You simply need to spray the cleaner onto your table. Then wipe away any residue or dust.

Butterfly is gentle in its action. It does not damage the table’s surface, restores the table’s surface properties, and even gives it a sparkly shine. You may want to leave the table idle for some time for the agent to dry off, and some tricky stains may require several treatments before they clear out.

How to Protect Ping Pong Table

The last thing you want to have is a damaged ping pong table. So, here are some quick tips you should know to protect your ping pong table and increase its longevity-

  • Always use a clean and dry cloth first to wipe off the surface dust so that you don’t make it into a muddy mess. 
  • If you find the table dirtier than usual, always wipe it more than once to remove any dust before wet cleaning it. 
  • When cleaning the table, make sure not to use excessive water; otherwise, use a dampened cloth. 
  • The best practice to use a cloth dampened in a vinegar solution.
  • Always remove the net before you start and clean the net separately. 
  • Do remember to lubricate all the metal parts of the table to avoid rusting. 

And most importantly, always cover the table with a table cover.

Ping pong tables are exposed to environmental elements such as dust, humidity, and others. You can prevent the chances of any damage to the table by simply covering it up. A cover makes your table look clean and prolongs its life. It also prevents any scratches on the table, causing the ball to bounce at a wrong angle that can make your experience very frustrating.

Another advantage of using a cover is that you don’t need to clean the table too often. If your table isn’t built with waterproof materials, then cleaning too often can damage your table. It should stay away from the water as much as possible.

Although you may be tempted to use some old sheets for this purpose, but there are specialized products that can do a significantly better job.

Best Table Tennis Cover: Our Top 3 Picks

1. Linkool Outdoor Table Tennis CoverEditor’s Choice

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Linkool is a water-repellent, rock-solid, woven polyester that is guaranteed to guard your table from all sorts of particulate matter. It has an inward coating of a water-repellant layer that shields your table from the downpour. It can not only protect your table from rain but from sun rays, dust, and other factors as well. It comes in a perfect size that can fit your table.

The product is highly durable, meaning that you will only have to invest once and relax thereafter. Although getting the cover on and taking it off may be tedious at points, the foolproof protection it offers is worth it.

This cover is fit for all types and sizes of ping pong tables and works well for all seasons. It is made of a highly durable polyester fabric that gives the cover longevity. It is also wind-resistant and comes with a click to close straps that grips strongly over the table. With that being said, the cord locks are a bit flimsy. At this price, the warranty period could have been a bit more.

2. Covermates Ping Pong Table Cover – Best Premium

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Covermates is one of the leading manufacturers of ping pong equipment, and the quality is spot on. This cover is designed to withstand all weather conditions, whether it be rain or a scorching sunny day. It measures 110″ W x 60″ D x 30″ H and is, therefore, suitable for all table sizes.

Its elasticity allows you to place it conveniently on any table. The cover is made up of a high-quality water-resistant 300D fabric that is double stitched to make it stronger. Additionally, this is a very lightweight cover that is easy to install and remove.

It fits most of the table and comes with a high-quality buckle system. And the best part is it comes with a three-year warranty. All these features come at a price, and we found it to be a bit more expensive than other models. Furthermore, the latches are somewhat loose.

3. JOOLA Dual Function – Best Budget

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JOOLA is our budget pick, particularly because it has the best price to performance ratio. You can’t get cheaper than this without sacrificing quality. With its dual functionality, you can use it in either a flat or upright position. One thing we particularly like about this cover is that you don’t need to remove the net while installing the cover.

The cover is made of high-quality nylon that makes it waterproof and highly resistant to weather. This cover can be used as both a flat or upright cover. It is very lightweight and has a sturdy build quality. The Velcro straps provided with this cover are snug, and they will ensure the sides are covered at all times.

While it does have a high-quality build, it is not suitable for harsh use. It may be able to stand some rain but not extreme heat. Besides, we felt that the latches were a bit loose. Other than that, this is a reliable product manufactured by a trustworthy brand.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often to Clean a Ping Pong Table?

If you spend some bucks on maintaining the table properly, you will only have to clean it once a month. Ideally, you should also clean the table after prolonged gaming sessions so that maximum protection can be assured.

Can You Waterproof a Ping Pong Table?

There isn’t any practical way to make a table waterproof, especially if you have an indoor table. What you can do is to cover it with a mild plastic sheet or buy a highquality cover that you can use to protect it against water when you are not using it.

Can You Keep a Ping Pong Table Outside?

Ping pong tables come in different variations. People mostly play it indoors, so tables’ designs support indoor play. However, if you specifically need an outdoor table, you can buy one made to handle the outside atmosphere. Remember, you cannot put an indoor table outside. If you do so, you must cover it with a ping pong table cover.


Many table tennis players make mistakes with their equipment when they are just starting to play. I have encountered that myself as well, and I don’t want you to experience the same.

Tables are not something you buy every day, and it’s one of the most expensive equipment. Ping pong table can last up to five years if it’s cleaned and kept correctly.

Cleaning your tables is also essential if you want to experience the game to its full potential. Furthermore, a clean table boosts your confidence in the game and helps you to focus on your game rather than a dirty table with scratches.

It is always a good idea to give your table a good wipe after every session to clean the residue dust particles. Furthermore, cleaning it once every two weeks with a dampened cloth also helps in removing dirt that gets trapped in the texture. We also recommend covering the table with its cover at all times when not in use.

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Bradley Anderson
Bradley Anderson
Bradley Anderson hails from the northwestern United States and brings nine years of professional table tennis experience to SportsDean. He began playing as a child in local table tennis leagues and continued playing through college, where he founded and coached his own players’ association, the Table Tennis Teamsters, in 2011.

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