Ping pong is increasingly becoming a more popular sport. It’s fun, it’s versatile, and it’s not identified like that, but it makes great ASMR! Initially, ping pong was preferred indoors to eliminate the intrusion of wind, but as table tennis starts to be enjoyed more outside, professionals and beer pong fanatics alike start to get concerned about maintaining their ping pong tables. Apart from the methods we give you in this article, you can follow blogs like pingpongbeast.com to stay up to date with the best ping-pong related tips and tricks.
1. Cleaning regularly
This is an obvious one. It applies to basically everything. If you’ve kept your ping pong table outside, you should be cleaning it regularly. Cleaning it every couple days will help you protect your table long-term. Take a dry cloth or sponge and wipe off the excess loose dust off the table.
Then dip it in water and remove the excess water from the sponge before wiping the table. Repeat the last step once more so that your table is spotless. Remember that cleaning the top part of the table is not enough. Make sure you get the legs and all corners, nooks, and crannies. Dry your table well. You can also use another dry cloth to wipe off excess water.
2. Using commercial cleaners
Table tennis clubs use commercial cleaners to clean tables. You might have seen these in spray bottles. These are quick and easy and are great to work off dust and stains that are a little more stubborn. If your table stays outside, you should definitely invest in one.
You don’t want your table to accumulate dust because over time, it affects the bounce and trajectory of balls that bounce off it, making it frustrating to play. Using these twice a week using the same method mentioned above, will keep your table in tip-top shape, and of course, will leave it looking sparkling new.
How to make your own cleaner at home
If you like depending on home remedies and are looking for a cheaper solution to commercial cleaners, you can actually create a make-shift one using things from your kitchen. Pick out anything acidic. A mixture of vinegar and diluted rubbing alcohol works great.
You can also add a little bit of dishwashing soap, which is acidic. You can fill up a spray bottle and store it so that you don’t have to go through trouble every single time. If you show your ping pong table the love it deserves, it’ll thank you for it.
3. Not over-cleaning
Yes, dust and water affect the integrity of the ping pong table. But over-cleaning is a bigger threat. Ping pong tables are specially engineered for the game.
If you rub your table too harshly or use acidic solutions too often, the texture washes away and the game becomes harder to enjoy. Try to keep track of when you clean the table or create a schedule that’s fair and stick to it. Always remember to dry your table well after cleaning.
4. Waterproofing from time to time
Of course, cleaning is not the only way to maintain something. From time to time, your ping pong table will need a little extra care and attention. Tables are coated with a waterproof lining, which thins away as the table is exposed to dust, water, air, and acidic solutions.
If your table is outside, it’s subject to even harsher conditions than tables that are indoors. It is less protected from moisture and wind. It sounds like a task, but with a few materials, you’ll be fine, and this will waterproof your table for a good time. You need a polyurethane sealant, a brush and some sandpaper.
How to waterproof your ping pong table
You first prepare the table for waterproofing including removing the net and cleaning the surface like you regularly would. Make sure all the dust is removed from the table or the waterproofing sealant won’t work its magic.
Use the brush to apply the sealant, and paint the table like you would a canvas. Try to ensure that there aren’t any thicker areas and the coating is even without any visible brush strokes as this would greatly affect the integrity of the table. The coating may take up to 8 hours to dry off.
After the sealant has dried you will realise that there are bumpy areas even though you were careful. Get on an eye level with the table to identify these areas and smooth them out using the sandpaper. You can repeat these steps a couple more times so that the sealant is protecting the table well with a thick layer. Also consider waterproofing the legs and undersides of the table which are prone to rust.
5. Investing in a table cover
If you’re spending hundreds of dollars on a ping-pong table, you might as well treat it well. We buy phone covers to protect our phones, don’t we? A ping pong table is so much larger, and it requires that care, too.
A good table cover is probably waterproof. It will protect your table from rain, snow, dust, and wind. If you live in an area that sees a lot of birds and your table is under open sky, a table cover protects your table from stains and scratches that birds leave behind.
Types of table covers
Mostly, you’ll be able to find covers that are waterproof and protect your table from UV rays. But table covers also differ in terms of size and how you want to store your table. If you want to fold it up, you might want to buy a cover that fits the table as it’s folded. Or, you might want to leave your table up and ready to be played on. Some companies also offer table covers that can be used in both situations. Take your pick!
Protecting your ping pong table outside will require some time and effort, but a little bit every week will go a long way. Do little things that cost less in the long run than waiting till your table demands for a lot more.