How to look after your table tennis bat

Table tennis players can spend silly amounts of money on table tennis equipment. I play with JOOLA Dynaryz AGR rubbers, which aren’t cheap. When I buy new rubbers, it will cost over £100.


Hello overdraft, nice to see you again!

Since I spend more money than I should on table tennis rubbers, I really try to look after them. I want them to last as long as possible and retain their grippiness, so I can get lots of spin on my shots.

Taking care of my table tennis bat doesn’t take much effort or cost much money. Here’s what I do (and you should do too).

Clean with breath

Table tennis rubbers collect dust, powder from balls, sweat, hair, anything! When you get too much dust and grime on your rubbers, they become less grippy. The ball will start to slip off the rubbers and you will find it harder to consistently generate heavy spin.

You need to get all this stuff off your rubbers.

The cheapest way to keep your bat clean is to breath on to your rubbers. This creates a little condensation. You can then wipe this off with a dry part of your t-shirt. This only takes a moment to do and the rubber will be clean and dry almost straight away. Just a quick breath on to the rubber and a little wipe and you will remove most of the dust and grime from your rubbers.

You can do this multiple times during a game if needed. If your t-shirt is too wet through sweat, then try wiping the condensation off on your shorts or a towel instead.

Clean with water

You can also use a little water to clean the rubbers. Not everyone agrees (see video below), but I have found a tiny amount of water – a few drops – and a wipe with a shirt or cloth or towel can also help get rid of the dust and grime on your rubbers. You have to be careful not to splash too much water on your rubbers, as you don’t want any moisture to soak through to the blade.

Clean with spray and sponge

Condensation from your breath or a little water will get rid of most grime on your rubbers, but not everything.

Once a week or before a league match or tournament, I will give my rubbers a deeper clean with a rubber cleaner spray and a sponge. This will clear the dust, but also clear the sweat and oils which water doesn’t always get to.

Some players – see the video below – will give the rubbers a spray and clean after every time they play. They do this to keep the rubbers as clean as possible in between training sessions / matches. If you make habit of doing this after every time you play, then your bat will always be free of dust / grime whenever you pull it out of your bat case.

A bottle of rubber cleaner spray doesn’t cost very much (£5-£10) and will last for ages. I’ve had my current spray (IMPACT) for about two years and it hasn’t run out yet.

Here’s a couple of options…



Buy a bat case

I’m sure you have one already, but if you don’t, make sure you buy a bat case. The main purpose of a bat case is to keep your rubbers dust-free and provide protection when you’re not playing.

Table tennis rubbers are very easy to scratch, so if you don’t keep your bat covered and protected, your rubbers will be at greater risk of damage.

It doesn’t really matter what type of bat case you have. You can buy a case for a single bat for £5-£10 and these are fine. I use a larger bat case, which can fit three bats, as I need to carry spares when I’m coaching.

If you’re really concerned about keeping your bat safe, you can buy an aluminum case. No harm will come to your bat in one of these bat cases!

Here’s some popular bat cases you can buy…



You can also buy bat cases from any good table tennis shop. Take a look at my list of table tennis shops in UK, Europe, USA, Asia and Australia to find a shop near you.

Optional extra: rubber protector

Another option is to buy rubber protectors. These are thin, transparent films, which you can cut to the shape of your rubbers.

After playing, some players will clean their rubbers and then cover with protectors. This ensures nothing will get onto the rubber surface.

I don’t use these, as I think a bat case does pretty much the same thing, but I know plenty of players do.




Clean rubbers = better performance

All table tennis rubbers deteriorate over time and will eventually need to be replaced. But you can make your rubbers last longer (and stay grippier for longer) by looking after them.

When I first started playing table tennis I didn’t bother to clean my rubbers. I didn’t know I was supposed to! My rubbers collected lots of dust, dirt, sweat and grime and I just carried on playing (badly).

One day a more experienced player took a look at my rubbers and gave me a good telling off. My rubbers were a disgrace! He cleaned them for me and I started hitting a few balls. The difference was incredible. It seemed so much easier to spin the ball.

I learned my lesson and from then on, I have always kept my rubbers clean.

It really doesn’t cost much to look after bat, so there is no excuse. Keep your rubbers clean!

In this video Matt Leete from Bribar Table Tennis, gives some advice on how to look after your table tennis bat. He explains how to keep your rubbers clean, where to store your bat and how often you should replace your rubbers.

Personalised equipment advice

If you would like personalised equipment advice, I recommend you joining Tom’s TT Academy. In my academy, you can ask me anything about table tennis equipment and I will respond with my recommendations. You may also get recommendations from other academy members too.

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You can access all this content for less than £1 per week. New content is added regularly. Join hundreds of table tennis players around the world today at

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