The common name for table tennis is Ping-Pong which is a trademark of its best known manufacturer. It has been a very popular game for a long time and has experienced several changes including the creation of the ITTF – International Table Tennis Federation in the early 1900’s.
It can be kept in the garage, basement, or outdoor. Keeping the table tennis equipment clean with proper maintenance is vital if you want to experience the most successful play.
During gameplay, when the table tennis ball touches the table surface, falls on the floor, or is held by a player, it picks up oil and dirt. These substances are transferred to the surface of the racket when in contact with the ball.
The tackiness in the rubber could be removed when dirt accumulates on the playing surface of the racket, that means, you may not be able to control or spin the ball perfectly. It is advisable to clean the surface of the table tennis racket after every match.
The table tennis equipment consists of the table, paddle, and the ball.
How to Clean the Table Tennis Table
Things needed include:
- 2-pieces of soft cloth
- Water bowl
- White vinegar
- WD-40 lubricant
- Ping-pong table cleaner
Always wipe the table with a soft, dry cloth after every use to keep it clean and free from dirt or debris.
Perform a routine in-depth cleaning once in two months by using a non-toxic and non-abrasive cleaner. This cleaner can be made by mixing two cups of water with one-third cup of white vinegar. Dip a soft cloth in this solution and squeeze it until it is damp to the touch.
Unscrew and remove the net from the table and place it to one side. Then use the damp cloth to wipe down and clean the top of the table. Use the second, soft and dry cloth to wipe the table dry.
Soak the net in the water-vinegar solution for sometime. After 15-minutes, remove it from the solution and spread it out on a clean surface to dry.
Re-install or screw-in the net only when it is completely dry. You can use WD-40 lubricant to lubricate the moving metal parts of the table to avoid rust.
- You can also purchase a ping-pong table cleaner instead of using the water-vinegar solution. These cleaners are made specifically for ping-pong tables.
- Table tennis tables are made of wood, so do not use cloth that is oversaturated with water to wipe down the table top.
- Also, avoid using bleaching cleansers or abrasives.
How to Maintain the Table Tennis Paddle/Blade
The table tennis blade is the most important table tennis equipment, it is much more important than the rubbers. For this reason, it should be handled with care and properly protected and cleaned always. Some players always use a plastic wrap for the blade but this is not enough protection.
Table tennis blade is wooden and very sensitive to humidity which can soften the blade and make it less powerful. When this happens, the blade expands slightly and starts warping. The blade may become damaged when it has absorbed a certain amount of moisture. The amount of humidity that a table tennis blade absorbs is called EMC which is directly related to the humidity and temperature of the location.
- Distilled water
- Small water bowl
- Dishwashing liquid
Fill the bowl with distilled water of room temperature and always ensure that your paddle is free from any volatile or harmful solvents as water is the safest liquid for racket cleaning.
Dip a sponge into the water and squeeze it very well to avoid an excess amount of water sipping into the racket. The sponge should only be damp to get rid of dust and dirt on the paddle as too much water may go into the wood of the racket causing it to swell.
Hold the racket handle with the head facing down and start cleaning with the damp sponge from the base to the top of the head in a straight line. This motion prevents dust from spreading around the rubber.
Repeat this wiping motion until both surfaces are clean. Keep the paddle on a clean surface to dry completely before placing protective covers on the blades or returning it to a casing.
- Always add few drops of dishwashing liquid to the cleaning water to help remove oil from the rackets rubber surface.
- Avoid breathing the fumes from a commercial foaming or spray products used at home.
- Chemical cleaners with a high amount of alcohol can dry and crack the racket rubber.