How To Clean Skateboard Grip Tape

How To Clean Skateboard Grip Tape – A Thorough Guide

A skateboard grip tape is always in contact with elements of nature like sand, mud, liquids, or anything that is on a track. It doesn’t matter whether you are a new skateboarder or a lifelong one, knowing how to clean skateboard grip tape is important. Remember that fresh feeling you got and how aesthetic your skateboard looked when it was your first time using it.

Whenever a skateboard grip tape gets dirty either you get a new one which costs a lot or clean the existing one which is a cheaper method that most of us prefer.

A dirty skateboard grip tape is not only difficult to ride but not very pretty to look at too. Cleaning a skateboard grip tape not only makes it look good but it makes grip tape stickier and offers better traction. Cleaning a dirty skateboard grip tape is very easy and you just need to follow these simple steps to get the job done.

Cleaning a Skateboard Grip Tape

Before you go into cleaning the skateboard grip tape, you will need to get some items that will aid in cleaning. Here are things that you will need before you start cleaning:

  1. A grip tape gum or a piece of natural rubber.
  2. Soft wire brush and water.
  3. Microfiber cloth.

Grip Tape Gum

Grip tape gum is the most popular way to clean a skateboard grip tape with ease, it helps get rid of dust, minor dirt, and even gum. You can find a branded grip tape gum at any skateboard store and even a local one does its job. It is inexpensive as compared to buying whole new grip tape for your skateboard.

Cleaning Grip Tape On a Shortboard

Step 1: Using Rubber to Remove Surface Crud Or Using Grip Tape Gum

You can use a branded piece of rubber known as grip gum to efficiently clean the surface of grip tape. For a cheaper option, you can get a rubber cement pickup from any local store and use it. The process in both cases is the same, start from one end of the skateboard and work your way to the other. Be sure not to push hard and you can repeat the process if you find the dirt present and keep going until there is no dirt left.

Step 2: Using a Soft Wire Brush

You will need a soft wire brush for this step and you can get it cheap from any local store. Be sure to choose a brush with soft bristles as sharp ones will tear your grip tape. You can use this to brush away the residuals left after doing step 1.

Don’t strip the grit and try to slowly brush the grip tape you can keep repeating steps 1 and 2 until the skateboard’s grip tape is cleaned. If some deep stains won’t come out, don’t try to exert force as they are permanent and can’t be removed by cleaning. In case of this, you will need to change the whole grip tape.

Do not use water or any solution on the shortboard while cleaning it as it will make the skateboard soft and slowly ruin it. The reason why you shouldn’t use a toothbrush is cause it is ineffective as compared to a soft wire brush.

Cleaning Grip Tape On a Longboard

Longboard skateboards are outfitted with a coarse grip tape that is thicker and nonpermeable so you use cleaning solution or water on them.

Step 1: Scrub The Grip Tape

Fill a cup with a half cup of window cleaning solution or any cleaner of your preference, you can also add water. Dip a soft wire brush into the solution and start scrubbing the grip tape, starting from one end of the skateboard to the other.

Keep brushing in small sections to make sure there isn’t a speck of dust or dirt left on the skateboard. Since longboards are made up of thick grip tape, it will take a while before you can get rid of dust. However, don’t push too hard as it can leave a permanent mark on a skateboard.

Step 2: Thoroughly Dry The Surface

Get a large microfiber cloth or several small microfiber cloths and use them to dry the surface of the grip tape completely. Lay the cloth across the top of the board and pat it to completely absorb the moisture. Keep folding the cloth and press it against the grip tape until the grip tape is 100% dry.

You can also let a large microfiber cloth sit on top of the grip tape for three to four hours, or until you are sure that the grip tape is fully dry.

Step 3: Wiping It Clean With a Rubber Or Grip Gum

Before performing this step, you need to make sure that the grip tape is 100% dry as even little moisture can end up ruining the grip tape. After you have made sure that the grip tape is completely dry, use a rubber cement remover or a grip gum and rub it across the grip tape as you would have done with an eraser. Thoroughly clean the surface of the grip tape using rubber and use a brush to remove the residuals left on top of the skateboard.

Benefit Of Cleaning a Skateboard Grip Tape

If you are thinking that cleaning a grip tape can make your skateboard look new or just as you bought it the first time, then it may not be possible. There are some stains or marks that can’t be removed by cleaning the grip tape. However, that doesn’t imply that you shouldn’t clean the grip tape at all, here is what cleaning a grip tape will do:

  • It will make your grip tape stickier and gives stickiness as it was before.
  • Help keep the grip tape and skateboard intact ensuring there isn’t causing any harm.
  • Saves you money and time, which you will spend on buying a new skateboard.
  • Increase the life expectancy of skateboard and makes them last longer.

If your skateboard grip tape is peeling, completely worn out, or slippery with no stickiness, even after cleaning, then you should consider buying a new one.

Tricks and Tips To Clean a Skateboard Grip Tape

  • Removing wheels can make it easier to clean and it will require less effort.
  • To ensure that the grip take remains clean, you should use clean boots or shoes whenever you ride on a skateboard.
  • If your grip tape has torn edges or looks extremely worn out then you should replace it as it provides no stickiness and can cause you to lose control.


In the end, knowing how to clean skateboard grip tape can help you a lot as it saves you from the work of replacing the grip tape when it is not required. As an experienced or beginner skateboarder, you should know how to clean skateboard grip tape. It can make your skateboarding experience better and you should try to clean it once a week as dust accumulation can damage the skateboard.

Unsticky grip tape provides less traction and can cause you to lose control so cleaning will make you get back the stickiness comes back.


1. Can you clean the grip tape with an eraser?

Yes, you can clean the grip tape with an eraser if it is not heavily dirty and has no oil residue on it. Clean it the way you simply use a pencil eraser. You can buy a rubber cement eraser from an art store for this purpose. 

2. How do you get the dust off skateboard grip tape?

A grip tape gum is the best way to remove dust from the skateboard grip tape. Buying a branded grip gum can help you in this regard. You can remove dust, dirt, and gum from the skateboard.

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