Every skateboarder knows that awesome feeling of stepping onto sticky, sturdy, fresh skateboard grip tape, in a few words, clean grip tape; however, this clean grip tape doesn’t last long, the reason why you need to learn how to clean grip tape.
Another thing that every skateboarder should keep in mind is that clean grip tape is a must if you want to nail every trick because when your grip tape gets slick, your tricks are done.
And since you understand how important it is to keep your skateboard’s grip tape clean, it is not as hard as you may think. However, you need to learn a few simple and important steps to do a proper job. So check out below how to clean grip tape the right way.
Can grip tape be cleaned?
I imagined you stepped in sand or mud, and now your grip tape gets dirty and slick, and it’s a big mess. Now you have two choices, you can straight-up peel it off, throw your grip tape away, and replace it, which is a fussy and costly process; or, the good news is, you could clean it.
Why is cleaning grip tape important?
Cleaning your board’s grip tape will not only perform sweet tricks but will also help extend the life of your skateboard.
What other benefits are there in cleaning grip tape?
- Removing dirt and debris will mostly restore the grip to its original feeling. This means your grip tape will last longer.
- Clean grip tape not only looks better, but it also performs better and keeps your shoe cleaner.
- Clean grip tape provides more traction and will give your tricks more flick.
Is cleaning grip tape a long process?
Not at all; you just have to follow a few simple steps which will help you get your skateboard back in shape. You’ll be back skating in no time, literally on the same day.
Will cleaning the grip tape make it look brand new?
Alright, so cleaning the grip tape won’t make it look new. However, you can expect to make your grip tape feel sticky again, keep your grip tape and skateboard intact without causing any harm, and make your grip tape last longer, and as a result, it will save you money from having to replace the grip tape entirely.
When should you change your grip tape?
Consider replacing your griptape when you want your board to look brand-new again if it’s peeling, worn through, or very slippery in some areas.
How to remove old grip tape?
Replacing grip tape isn’t that hard, but you need to remove the old tape first. Follow the steps below:
- Use a hairdryer to heat the tape and start at either the tail or nose
- Heat the tape for a while and use a thin knife the peel the grip tape
- Once you manage to peel a part of the grip tape, repeat the process on the next spot
- Once you can get a firm grip, you’re able to rip it off. Stand on your deck and slowly remove the grip tape.
- Make sure that the grip tape doesn’t tear.
How do you apply new grip tape?
- Remove the sheet from the grip tape.
- Place the end near the tail or nose and slowly apply the tape
- Keep it at an angle to prevent air bubbles.
- Slowly work your way forward while keeping the angle, tap the grip tape and hold the other end using your thumb and index finger.
- Use a screwdriver to scrape the edges. Scrape it firmly and quickly.
- Use a very sharp razor blade to make a few cuts near the bolts.
- Sand down the edges with old tape or use the pieces you just cut off.
- Puncture the bolt holes and turn them around.
- Push the punctured holes back using a screwdriver.
Do you need a cleaning solution to clean a grip tape?
It depends; it is not recommendable for shortboards since the cleaning solution will soak through the tape and into your board, making it soft and eventually ruining it.
However, there is an exception. Longboard skateboards are usually outfitted with a thicker, coarse grip tape that is not permeable. This means you can use a cleaning substance or water to remove the grime.
How to clean grip tape
- Piece of natural rubber
- Soft wire brush
- Microfiber cloth
Use rubber to remove surface grime
- The rubber you need is called grip gum and can be found at most skate shops.
- Using your grip gum, firmly wipe it across all of your grip tapes
- It should do its job and eliminate dust, dirt, and other unwanted grip tape invaders.
Go for a deeper clean
- Use a soft wire brush, which you can find at a hardware store
- Scrub the grip tape in sections with the wire brush
- Make sure you bring deeper, below-the-surface grime to the top
- Get out your trusty piece of rubber again
- Use it to remove the surface grime
- You are now ready to ride again
Cleaning a coarse longboard grip tape
Since longboards are more resistant to water, the process of cleaning is a bit different.
- Natural rubber
- Soft wire brush
- Window cleaner or water
- Microfiber cloth
- Lemon (optional)
Scrub the Grip Tape
- Measure a cup with ½ cup of window cleaner or water and a few drop of lemon for a clean smell
- Dip your soft wire brush into the solution
- Scrub the grip tape. Start at one end of the board and work your way to the other end, brushing in small sections to make sure you get rid of all the dirt.
Dry The Surface
- Using a large microfiber cloth, proceed to dry the grip tape thoroughly before continuing.
- Lay the cloth on top of the deck and pat it until it sticks to the grip tape.
- Don’t try to wipe the cloth along the tape to dry it.
- Let the cloth sit on the grip tape for three to four hours, or until the tape feels complete, absolutely 100% dry.
Wipe it clean with a rubber
- Wait until the grip is entirely dry
- Using the piece of rubber, wipe over the whole thing if there’s still residue.
- Continue until all of the grime is cleared away.
Use Diamond Dirt Remover to clean dust and dirt from your grip tape. Diamond Dirt Remover works instantly, no need to let it sit or wait. Keep that grip tape looking fresh with Black Diamond’s Dirt Remover gummy cube. Rub Diamond Dirt Remover across grip tape in long, firm strokes, applying a lot of pressure.
- Restore the grip to its original feeling
- Works instantly
- Hand-held design
Tips How to Clean Grip Tape
- Consider removing the wheels as it might make your board easier to clean
- To keep your grip tape in top condition, make sure your shoes are as clean as they can be. This may be a little difficult, but it’s totally worth trying.
- If your grip tape starts to peel at the edges, try to cut some of it away and sand it down.
- If possible, leave your skateboard deck out in the sun for a while; it will make it easier to remove dirt.