how to clean a ping pong table

How to clean a ping pong table…and more!

Ping pong is one of the most popular sports around and for good reason. It’s simple to play, can be played indoors or outdoors, and is great for all levels of players. But like any sport, ping pong can get dirty. That’s where this article comes in – we’re going to teach you how to clean a ping pong table, ping pong ball cleaning, and ping pong paddle cleaning. From there, you’ll be ready to hit the courts!

ping pong female player

In a nutshell:

What is the best way to clean a ping pong table?

To clean a ping pong table, start by dusting off any loose dirt or debris with a dry microfiber cloth. Then, mix a solution of mild soap and lukewarm water and use a soft cloth to gently wipe down the surface. Finally, dry the table thoroughly to prevent any moisture damage.

Cleaning a Ping Pong Table

According to Wikipedia, ping pong balls that comply with international rules weigh only 2.7 grams. What does that have to do with cleaning a ping pong table? It simply illustrates the need to play on a smooth clean surface in order to get the most enjoyment out of your investment. It takes only a small crumb or stain to throw off a small ball that weighs a mere 2.7 grams! So let’s get your table clean to ensure fair play and many great games!

Caution: The first rule is to not get the ping pong table too wet. Avoid getting the wood wet because the table could get damaged, warped, and become unusable. When cleaning with a solution keep the liquid on the top playing area or metal frame only.

Here are some ping pong table cleaning don’ts:

  • (avoid excess water) do not get your table overly wet.
  • Do not scrub the ping pong table with an abrasive pad or abrasive powders.
  • Do not use strong chemicals or bleach-based cleansers.

Here are the ping pong table cleaning steps:

  1. Mix a cleaning solution in a bucket using 4 or 5 parts of water to 1 part vinegar.
  2. Take off the net and soak it in the bucket of cleaning solution.
  3. Remove any particles and dust from the table with a soft, dry and clean cloth.
  4. Take another soft, dry and clean cloth and submerge it in the cleaning solution.
  5. Wring out the cloth until it no longer drips.
  6. Test clean a small area first, that is in a non-conspicuous place to ensure there are no issues.
  7. Gently wipe the table down.
  8. Dry the table with another soft, clean, dry cloth.
  9. Take out the net from the cleaning solution and rinse it with water. Set it aside to dry for about an hour or so.
  10. Lubricate all moving parts with WD-40 or 3 in 1 oil.
  11. Reinstall the net when dry.
If you do not want to mix your own cleaning solution, you can find cleaning solutions that are specifically formulated to clean ping pong tables.
Just Google “ping pong table cleaning solution” to find some great products. Be sure to read the customer reviews and only use cleaning products as directed on their labels.

hand holding ping pong ball

Photo by Tomáš Hustoles from Burst

How do you clean ping pong balls?

Clean ping pong balls ensure true bounces and increases visibility for fair play. Let’s get into it!

First let’s mention what you never do when cleaning ping pong balls:

Never clean table tennis balls in the dishwasher! The plastic is too thin so the ball will quickly melt, thus breaking your dishwasher.

Do not use soap or an abrasive gritty cleaner, because any markings on the ball will be removed.

This is the recommended method to clean ping pong balls:

Using a little water and baking soda, softly brush the ball with circular motions using a Kleenex or cotton ball.
Then after all the scuff marks are removed rinse the ball under running water and set it aside to dry.
clean ping pong paddles
Keep your paddles clean!

How to clean a ping pong paddle?

Here are the recommended steps to clean ping pong paddles:

  • Use warm water that is about room temperature.
  • Distilled water works best because tap water has impurities but distilled water has no impurities.
  • Put a few drops of dish soap into the water.
  • Dip a small sponge into the soapy water and wring out excess liquid.
  • Wipe each side of the paddle with the sponge to remove dust, dirt, and smudges.
  • Pat the paddle dry with a clean, dry towel.
  • Lean the paddle so that each side is exposed to the air in a dry place so that it can fully dry.

Closing Tips on Keeping Your Ping Pong Table in Top Shape

  • Store your table away from direct sunlight.
  • Covering your table when not in use will lessen the need for deep cleaning and preserve the table.
  • Do not allow children to crawl on and play on top of the ping pong table.
  • Do not store heavy objects on the table when it is not in use.


Quick tip:

In the event that you are not actively using the ping pong table for an extended period of time, such as a month or longer, you can store it by folding it or covering it with a table tennis table cover.

This post explained how to clean a ping pong table and more. This cleaning can be done as often as needed depending how frequent the table is used and the table’s particular conditions.

Keeping your table tennis table and equipment cleaned and well maintained will bring you many enjoyable games with family and friends for years to come.



If you have decided that your table is beyond repair, then check out our: ping pong table buying guide