How to Clean Grip Tape

Do you know How to Clean Grip Tape? All serious skateboarders know that great feeling of stepping onto sticky, sturdy, fresh skateboard grip tape. However, clean and brand-new grip tape doesn’t last long; soon, you’ll find that dirt and debris in grip tape can interfere with your grip—the reason why you need to learn how to clean grip tape.

A grip tape in good condition is necessary since the point of grip tape is to grip, which means it needs to stay grippy and ultimately allow you to nail your tricks. As you can see, the dirty grip tape is no good.

Now that you understand how important it is to keep your skateboard’s grip tape clean, it is time to learn about the actual process. Though it is not as complicated as you may think, you need to learn a few simple and essential steps to do a proper job. So check out below how to clean grip tape the right way.

How to clean grip tape

Method 1: Grim gum


  • Grim gum
  • Soft wire brush
  • Cloth


  1. Brush the excess dirt off the deck
  2. When brushing, move very gently over the top of the grip tape.
  3. You are just loosening packed dirt and brushing it away.
  4. Don’t scrub with the brush, especially if you’re using a wire brush.
  5. Rub the soiled spots on your grip tape with grip gum; use it just like an eraser.
  6. You can give it a good rub if you need to remove the dirt.
  7. The grip gum will break up and leave debris on your board
  8. Blow or brush away the debris using a cloth

Method 2: Water

This method is suitable for longboard grip tape


  • Natural rubber
  • Soft wire brush
  • Window cleaner or water
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Lemon (optional)
  • Directions


  1. Measure a cup with ½ cup of window cleaner or water and a few drop of lemon for a clean smell.
  2. Dip your soft wire brush into the solution
  3. Scrub the grip tape.
  4. Start at one end of the board and work your way to the other, brushing in small sections to ensure you get rid of all the dirt.
  5. Dry The Surface. Using a large microfiber cloth, proceed to dry the grip tape thoroughly before continuing.
  6. Lay the cloth on top of the deck and pat it until it sticks to the grip tape.
  7. Don’t try to wipe the cloth along the tape to dry it.
  8. Let the cloth sit on the grip tape for three to four hours or until the tape feels complete, absolutely 100% dry.
  9. Wipe it clean with a rubber
  10. Wait until the grip is entirely dry
  11. Using the piece of rubber, wipe over the whole thing if there’s still residue.
  12. Continue until all of the grime is cleared away.

Common Questions How to Clean Grip Tape

What happens when your grip tape gets dirty?

When grip tape gets dirt and debris, it has less grip, your feet are more likely to slide on the board, and it’s harder to get a lift for jumps and tricks.

Is it possible to clean grip tape?

The picture, you stepped in sand or mud, and now your grip tape has become all dirty and slick, leaving you with a big mess.
Now you have two options: you can straight-up peel off your grip tape, throw it away, and replace it, which is a fussy and costly process; the good news is, you could clean it.

What are the benefits of Knowing How to Clean Grip Tape?

  • Cleaning your board’s grip tape will allow you to perform tricks and help extend the life of your skateboard.
  • 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 it ok to use 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. What you want to use is grip gum.

However, there is an exception. Longboards 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.

What is grip gum?

Grim gum is a grip tape cleaner made by skateboard manufacturers. In simple words, it’s a piece of rubber that lifts dirt and debris without damaging grip tape grit.
It is considered the best cleaning option for skateboard grip because it won’t wear the tape, unlike traditional cleaning methods like sanding down.

Where to buy grip gum?

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.

Recommended Products

Black Diamond BD-Grip-Cleaner Skateboard Grip tape Cleaner

how to clean grip tape: Black Diamond BD-Grip-Cleaner Skateboard Grip tape CleanerPin


  • Restore the grip to its original feeling
  • Works instantly
  • Hand-held design

Prostik Abrasive Belt/Disk Cleaner

Press the cleaner lightly against moving sanding belts and discs to remove clogged-up pitch and sawdust.

This PRO-STIK cleaner is the easiest solution for unloading abrasives. Increases the life of new sanding belts and discs.

how to clean grip tape: Prostik Abrasive Belt/Disk CleanerPin


  • Removes clogged-up pitch and sawdust

Abrasive Cleaning Stick

Extends the lifespan of your sanding disc, belts, and other sander equipment by removing sawdust, pitch, gum, glue, and another residue without damaging the grit.

Made with a professional-grade all-natural rubber construction, this sanding eraser is designed for durability. It has an extended length and sizable girth to take on most of your sandpaper cleaning jobs.

how to clean grip tape: Abrasive Cleaning StickPin


  • Versatile
  • Easy to use

When should you discard your grip tape?

Consider replacing your grip tape 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 worn-out grip tape?

  1. Use a hairdryer to heat the tape and start at either the tail or nose
  2. Heat the tape for a while and use a thin knife the peel the grip tape
  3. Once you manage to peel a part of the grip tape, repeat the process on the next spot
  4. Once you can get a firm grip, you can rip it off. Stand on your deck and slowly remove the grip tape.
  5. Make sure that the grip tape doesn’t tear.

Is it difficult to apply new grip tape?

Once you get the hang of it, you’ll do it in no time. Follow the steps below:

  1. Remove the sheet from the grip tape
  2. Place the end near the tail or nose and slowly apply the tape
  3. Keep it at an angle to prevent air bubbles
  4. Slowly work your way forward while keeping the angle, tap the grip tape and hold the other end using your thumb and index finger.
  5. Use a screwdriver to scrape the edges. Scrape it firmly and quickly
  6. Use a very sharp razor blade to make a few cuts near the bolts
  7. Sand down the edges with old tape or use the pieces you just cut off
  8. Puncture the bolt holes and turn them around
  9. Push the punctured holes back using a screwdriver.

Additional Tips on How to Clean Grip Tape

  • You can avoid having to do a deep clean of your skateboard’s grip tape by removing dirt on the grip as it appears.
  • If possible, leave your skateboard deck out in the sun for a while to make it easier to remove dirt.
  • Keep grip gum on hand, and when you get home with a soiled deck, use the gum to erase the marks immediately.
  • It is totally possible to clean grip tape without ruining it, but the fewer deep cleans you have to do, the longer your grip will last, and the better your ride will be.

Photo of author
I'm Claire Williams, the founder of and resident cleaning enthusiast. I’ve spent years researching the best ways to clean all types of items, from jewelry to air conditioners, and now I want to share my knowledge with you!
Photo of author
I'm Claire Williams, the founder of and resident cleaning enthusiast. I’ve spent years researching the best ways to clean all types of items, from jewelry to air conditioners, and now I want to share my knowledge with you!