One nice aspect of Chinese table tennis rubbers are their
tacky or sticky surface, which is great for generating spin. The downside of this is
that it attracts dust and dirt, which sticks to it making the rubber patchy and
Below are some simple tips on how to keep you
rubber clean and tacky, making it much better to play with, and prolonging the
life of the rubber:
You need to either keep the plastic protection
films that came with the rubber, or you need to buy/make some. There are some
made specifically for table tennis rubber, or you can use sheets like those used
in overhead transparencies. Just make sure there are no chemicals on there that
could harm the rubber, and that it's rigid enough so that it does not tear when
you pull it off the rubber. You can cut it to the shape of your rubber.
You also need a lint-free cloth or a sponge to
clean the rubber with. There are some sponges specifically for table tennis, but
other ones can be used as well. It needs to be soft & moist enough so that
it does not scrape the surface of the rubber.
Every time after you finish playing, you need to
rub all the dust off the surface of the rubber. Use the sponge or cloth, damp
with water, to completely clean the surface. Make sure cloth/sponge is damp
enough not to scrape the surface of the rubber, but not too wet as to get the
rubber soaking wet. Distilled water is the best, but I found filtered water or
even tap water works ok. Then let it dry completely (important!). Then
apply the plastic protection sheet (make sure they are clean too!), pushing it
on firmly, and pushing out any big bubbles so that the plastic makes contact
with the rubbers everywhere (very small bubbles will be to hard to get out, but
this does not matter).
After you have applied the plastic protection
sheets, put your bat away preferable inside a cover. Make sure it's kept out of
the sun or very hot areas as this can damage the rubber.
Next time you play you can just pull the plastic
sheet and you're ready to play.
This does not only protect the rubber and keep it
tacky, but for many rubbers it will make it more tacky over time.
NOTE: If you have not cleaned the rubber for a
long time, you may need a proper rubber cleaner (like the special rubber cleaner
foam sold in tins specifically for table tennis) to clean the surface. I don't
know what other cleaner can be used to clean the rubber, but please take great
care not to harm the surface of the rubber.