How to Clean Skateboard Grip Tape: Essential Guide for Top Performance

Master the art of cleaning skateboard grip tape. Boost control, amp up your tricks, and preserve that essential grip for an unbeatable ride.

Been shredding the streets and just noticed your sick whip has become a victim of grime and grit? It turns out a messy grip tape might not be doing your skateboarding skills justice, as a clean grip can be a real game-changer in nailing those killer tricks. So, the million-dollar question is, how do you clean skateboard grip tape without losing its grip? Time to wipe that skeptical smirk off your face because we’re gonna show you just that!

Why is it important to clean your skateboard grip tape?

Cleaning a skateboard’s grip tape is one of those essential maintenance tasks all skaters need to master. Take it from me: it isn’t just about aesthetics. It’s about reviving that old skateboard and bringing back the optimal performance it once offered. A clean, crisp grip tape has better traction, keeping your feet solidly in place even when you’re ripping apart the park with those insane stunts. It’s high time to ditch your grubby grip tape and get ready for some solid cleaning action!

Image of a person holding a skateboard. Source: unsplash
Image of a person holding a skateboard. Source: unsplash

If you are a visual learner, check out the video below from YouTube.

My favorite deck (at the moment):

S&X Skateboards Grip Tape

How to clean skateboard grip tape: essential guide for top performance | 814bio34nul. Sl1500 | skateboard salad
My favorite grip tape (at the moment):

S&X Skateboards Grip Tape

Everyone, and I mean everyone, asks me about this grip tape. It is definitely a head-turner. It has a hexagonal pattern for improved grip. I can’t say if it grips better for certain, but I love the look, and it gives me the ill grip thumb, so I know it works.

How to clean skateboard grip tape

Cleaning your skateboard grip tape is simpler than nailing a kickflip, especially when you know the right techniques. We’re gonna follow the tried-and-tested belt sander cleaner method, which many have claimed to be the most affordable and efficient way to give your grip a new leash of life. So, let’s dive into the how-tos with Step. 1: Assemble Your Cleaning Tools.

Step. 1: Assemble your cleaning tools

You don’t need a shopping list of supplies. Honestly, you need just a few straightforward tools. Grab a block of belt sander cleaner, a sturdy table, a towel to prevent any scratching, a protective glove (if you’re a little too cautious about grinding your fingers or knuckles), and, last but not least, a small brush to dust off the last bits of dirt. Gathered up everything? Sweeet!

Step. 2: Set up a cleaning station

Alright, this step is pretty much a matter of convenience. Hunt for a table, preferably outside, and stabilize your skateboard with a towel. It’s not a big deal to disassemble the trucks, but I’m kind of lazy, and if you’re like me, you’ll just work with the complete setup. Brush off any loose particles from your grip tape, and you’re good to go!

Step. 3: Do the cleaning

Now comes the part where you get down and dirty. Firmly (but carefully) rub your belt sander cleaner block across your grip tape, back and forth in a straight line. Take your time, pay extra attention to particularly nasty spots, and you’ll start noticing a solid improvement. Dust off any residue from the block frequently, and repeat until you’re stoked with the result.

Be warned, this step demands some serious elbow grease and won’t always deliver a brand-new-looking result. We’re dealing with grip tape, not magic wands! However, you’ll definitely see a noticeable difference and feel it while cruising or attempting those tre flips!

And voila! You just cleaned your grip tape. Sure, it’s not as exhilarating as landing a killer trick, but it’s a critical part of skateboarding that’s often overlooked. Remember, maintaining your trusty rig goes a long way in serving up a smoother ride and those much-needed dope performance boosts!

Do heed this warning, though: Never use soap or water to clean the grip tape. You might as well be digging the grave for your skateboard’s maple wood. So, save your board some tears and stick to the belt sand cleaner method.

So, what’s the best way to evade this cleaning session? Simple, steer clear of muddy and sandy spots, especially after rainfall. Be like SpongeBob, and keep an eye out for those pesky puddles! For more information on how to keep your skateboard in its prime, check out our detailed guide to skateboard maintenance.

Dos and don’ts of cleaning skateboard grip tape

When it comes to getting your grip tape back to its tip-top condition, there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind. A clear understanding of the dos and don’ts will guarantee a grip tape that’s not just clean but has retained its grip — making it a solid choice for an insane skate sesh. So, let’s get straight down to it!

Use belt sander cleanerUse soap or water
Clean regularlyApply too much pressure
Be careful around the bolt areaUse hard brushes
Set up a cleaning stationIgnore dirt or grime
Regularly dust off any residualsNeglect regular maintenance
Dos and don’ts of cleaning skateboard grip tape

What are some additional grip tape cleaning tips?

If you’re still on the fence about how to optimally maintain your skateboard grip tape, don’t fret. We’ve got some additional killer tips up our sleeves. These extra tidbits will ensure your grip tape stays pretty much grime-free and facilitate those epic rides!

  • Leave your skateboard out in the sun for a bit. This can help to loosen dirt (don’t overdo it, though; too much heat can damage the epoxy resin).
  • If you spot bubble gum on your grip tape, turn to your trusty belt sander cleaner.
  • Skate on dry surfaces whenever possible to avoid carrying grime onto your tape.
  • Use an old skateboard if you can’t resist a post-rain skate session.

My two cents on cleaning grip tape

From my own skater journey, I can tell you that a skateboard, like any piece of sporting equipment, needs love and care. And that includes cleaning your grip tape. At first, it might seem like a boring chore, but the difference it makes to your overall skating experience is definitely noticeable.

Image of a person holding a skateboard. Source: unsplash
Image of a person holding a skateboard. Source: unsplash

I tried the belt sander cleaner method for the first time about a year ago, and I was taken aback by the change in traction. I just couldn’t believe the massive difference cleaner grip tape made in my execution of tricks. I felt like I’d discovered a secret hack to improve my shredding game!

“Remember, maintaining your trusty rig goes a long way in serving up a smoother ride and those much-needed dope performance boosts!”

For those still deliberating on grip tape cleaning, the best advice I can give is to just go for it. Now I’m not claiming to be a professional skateboard maintenance guru or anything. But trust me, a clean, grippy board can be the missing link to leveling up your skills and performance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Got more queries about cleaning your skateboard grip tape? Chill, we’ve got you covered! Cleaning grip tape isn’t exactly rocket science, but it’s natural to have a few questions popping up in your head. So, let’s knock them out one by one.

Can I clean my grip tape after it gets wet?

This is definitely a tricky situation. Getting your grip tape wet is a major no-no, as it can lead to the wood of your skate deck swelling up. So, if you’re caught in an unfortunate situation where your grip tape gets wet, it’s best to try and dry it out naturally if it’s still gritty and grippy, then great! But if it’s not as responsive, you might have to consider replacing it.

How often should I clean my grip tape?

The frequency of cleaning your grip tape largely depends on your skate habits. Are you an everyday rider? Or are you more of a weekend shredder? Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to clean your grip tape whenever it starts looking a bit grubby and feels less grippy.

Can I use other methods besides the belt sander cleaner to clean my grip tape?

Absolutely! The belt sander cleaner method is tried-and-true, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only option. Some skaters prefer using a brass wire brush for deep-set grime. However, be careful not to apply too much pressure as it can end up damaging the grip. Always remember — when it comes to cleaning grip tape, gentle is the way to go!

Will cleaning my grip tape make my tricks better?

While clean grip tape won’t instantly transform you into the next Tony Hawk, it definitely does improve your control and stability on the board. This can result in overall better performance when executing tricks. If you’re struggling with a particular trick, take a look at our guide on how to learn an ollie. You might find some helpful tips there!

Final thoughts

Cleaning your grip tape is like cleaning your teeth; ignore it, and over time, you’re gonna wish you hadn’t. Though it might not seem like a top priority for many skaters, it’s a chore that’s worth the effort. So get off that couch, grab a belt sander cleaner, and whip your grip tape back to its former glory. Trust me, you’re gonna feel the difference when you’re out there, shredding the parks and nailing those killer tricks!

So, are you pumped to clean your grip tape now? Will you choose the belt sander cleaner method, or do you prefer the brass brush way? And did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below. I read and reply to every comment. If you found this article helpful, share it with your skate buddies. Thanks for reading, and as always, keep pushing and keep shredding!

Key takeaways

This article covered how to clean skateboard grip tape. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Belt sander cleaner is the recommended method for cleaning grip tape.
  • Cleaning your grip tape improves its performance and extends its lifespan.
  • Always avoid getting your grip tape wet. Always.
  • Always scrub gently to avoid damaging the grip tape.
  • Regular maintenance is the secret to a longer-lasting, cleaner grip tape.

Helpful resources

Steven Portrate
Written by Steven Sadder, Staff Writer

Hey! I'm Steven, a lifelong skater, and proud New Yorker. I’ve been skating since I was a teenager. I may be a bit older now, but I'm not slowing down. Follow me for skating tips and latest gear reviews.

Nick eggert.
Edited by Nick Eggert, Staff Editor

Nick is our staff editor and co-founder. He has a passion for writing, editing, and website development. His expertise lies in shaping content with precision and managing digital spaces with a keen eye for detail.

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