How to Clean a Ping Pong Table: Easy Guide

Just look at your brand spanking new table tennis table. It sure does look pretty, doesn’t it? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it won’t stay that way. Most certainly, if you don’t clean it. But fear not. Cleaning your table is a quick job, and you only need to do it every now and again. Here are our tips on how to clean a ping pong table.

Why You Need To Clean Your Table

how to clean a ping pong table

Before we get onto the specifics of how to clean a ping pong table, it’s important that we cover why you need to clean your table in the first place.

Table tennis might not appear to be a dirty sport given that you usually play indoors on an elevated surface, and while this is somewhat true, it is far from free of dirt. This is partial because of those pesky table tennis balls. Over the course of a session, they constantly find themselves on the floor and back on the table. Naturally, this brings with it a little bit of dust and dirt. Over time this dust and dirt accumulate, which slightly diminishes the table’s performance and appearance. So the takeaway is that you need a clean ping pong table for optimal performance.

Beyond dirt accumulation as a direct result of play, a table will also build up filth as a result of other means. Dust is everywhere, and if you store your table in a poorly ventilated area, it will get dusty — there’s just no avoiding it. Furthermore, while we hate to see it, we know all too well that people spill drinks and the like on their tables. These, of course, need cleaning as well.

How Often Should You Clean Your Table?

The regularity with which you should clean your ping pong table entirely depends on how much table tennis you play and where you keep your table. Clearly, rarely used tables and left in optimal areas need cleaning very infrequently. It’s hard to put a specific time frame on it, but I think around once every month or so is probably sufficient for most people’s indoor tables.

Of course, you may be able to go much longer than this. I can say that a table tennis cover will help reduce the amount you need to clean your table. Outdoor tables, particularly, become dirty quickly if left without a cover. You may need to clean an outdoor table as much as every session or so, depending on where you store it and the time of year.

Read Also: Table Tennis Cleaning Kits

Where/How Should I Store My Table?

If you want to keep your table tip-top, you should certainly ponder where the best area to store it is. This is because you should not only store your table tennis table optimally to avoid damage e.g. away from direct sunlight, but also to keep it clean. First and foremost, avoid dirty areas. For instance, if you keep it in your garage next to where you sand your woodwork projects, it will get dirty much quicker. Ideally, you want to select an area that is both clean and has good ventilation. This helps prevent dust and dirt from resting on the surface of your table.

You should also take note that storing your foldable table vertically is better than horizontally. It’s harder for dirt and dust to adhere to a vertical surface. So if you can be bothered, close up your table for storage after each session. We certainly recommend doing so.

Irrespective of any of these conditions, there is one measure you can take which will greatly improve how clean your table stays, and that is to purchase a table cover. While particularly great for outdoor tables, these are also great for indoor models. You can also buy covers for open and closed tables, which is perfect for you lazier players.

how to keep a ping pong table clean

How to Clean a Ping Pong Table (Indoor Models)

Light Clean

Most of the dirt that builds up is surface-level dirt so you don’t need to undertake deep cleaning. For this type, all you need is a rag or sponge. Wipe it across the entire surface of the table to remove the dirt.

In all honesty, it takes a good while for indoor tables to become noticeably dirty, so you only need to perform a light clean every now and again. What’s more, if you don’t leave the dirt to rest for too long you probably won’t even need to perform a deeper clean at all.

Deeper Clean

If you want to learn how to clean a table tennis table more thoroughly, pay attention to this section on deeper cleans that tackle stubborn dirt. If you’ve left you’re table for a long time or had a spillage, a deeper clean is probably your best bet. I loosely use the term “deeper clean” because it’s not all that deep. At its most basic level, it’s as simple as applying a bit of water to your rag or sponge, as this will be more effective than a dry clean. Remember not to go overboard with water. Table tennis tables are made of wood, and too much water could cause them to become warped.

However, if you want more dirt-tackling ability, you should apply a dedicated ping pong table cleaner. As the name suggests, these are made for table tennis tables in particular, so there is no risk of causing harm to your table.

Make sure if you’re interested in buying a table tennis cleaner that you get a cleaner for your table rather than for your rubbers, as I could certainly see people confusing the two. Below is a great cleaner by Killerspin. It comes in a pack of two 500 ml bottles. This will likely last you many years as a liter of cleaning solution will go a hell of a long way.

how to clean a ping pong table CHECK CURRENT PRICE

How to Clean a Table Tennis Table (Outdoor Models)

Outdoor tables need cleaning more often than indoor tables. While they are usually better ventilated, they are normally exposed to much more dirtiness, be it the weather, leaves, or the filth of the ground. Fortunately, outdoor tables are far more durable, the playing surface has a waterproof coating that prevents water penetration. As such, you can be far more vigorous when applying cleaner as the table can take it. However, I seriously doubt that you will need to at all. Their waterproof coating makes dirt far easier to remove.

If you don’t use a cover for your outdoor table, there may be times when you don’t even need to conduct a clean when you usually would. Rainwater does a great job cleaning the surface, so that may be all it needs. If touchups are required, simply grab your rag or sponge and wipe as required.

Cleaning Ping Pong Table Tips

  • Do clean when you notice your table is dirty. The longer you leave it, the more likely you will have to perform a deeper clean.
  • Do store your table in a cool area with good circulation.
  • Do purchase a table tennis table cleaner if you need to perform deeper cleaning.
  • Do purchase a cover for extra protection against dust and dirt.
  • Don’t use harsh chemicals. These may damage the table or erode the paintwork.
  • Don’t use too much liquid when cleaning. Tables are made from wood, and excessive water can cause them to warp (for indoor models).
  • Don’t overclean. Only clean as much as needed.


We hope you found our guide on how to clean a ping pong table top useful. Cleaning is quick and easy, and for a light clean, all you need is a rag or sponge. However, we do recommend picking up a dedicated table tennis cleaner to tackle tougher dirt.

Whether you have an indoor or outdoor table, it will need cleaning at some point. However, you can take steps to reduce the frequency you need to clean your table. The two top methods are to store it in a well-ventilated area and to fit a cover when it is not in use.

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Alex Horscroft

Freelance writer. Table tennis enthusiast. Lover of all things online. When I’m not working on my loop game I’m probably binge-watching some fantasy show.

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