This is our guide on How to Make your Ping Pong Paddle Sticky and why doing this is so important!

Keeping the rubber on your paddle sticky/tacky is absolutely essential for high-performance play. Having a sticky paddle allows you to get grip on the ball at impact and this is what enables you to generate spin on the ball. The reality is, frequent use of your paddle and dirt/dust build up over time significantly reduce the tackiness of your rubber. In this article, we will provide some effective methods explaining how to make your ping pong paddle sticky.

1. Clean Your Paddle Rubber

The first and most practical solution to increasing rubber tackiness is to simply clean your rubber. There are two ways to do this. We recommend using a specialized cleaning solution but we have also provided a great budget option. Have a look at our suggested cleaning methods below:

Water and Sponge (Budget Option)

You can remove a lot of dust and grime by simply washing your paddle down with water and a sponge! Dampen a sponge with warm water and gently wipe down the top sheet of your paddle rubber. Repeating this process will result in most larger particles coming off the surface. Once you are done, let the paddle air dry. After drying the paddle should feel significantly more sticky/tacky than before.

Rubber Cleaning Solutions (For Best Results)

While using water and a sponge will get rid of most grime and dust on the surface of your paddle, it will certainly not get rid of everything. This is where specialized rubber cleaners come in. There are a multitude of rubber cleaning products on the market designed specifically for cleaning table tennis paddle rubbers. These products will ensure that absolutely every bit of dust and grime is removed from your paddle. Keep in mind, these products should not be used excessively as the chemicals can cause your rubber to deteriorate if overused. Once or twice a week however should be absolutely fine!

2. Using a Paddle Cover

This may not be a way to immediately increase the tackiness of your paddle but we definitely think it belongs in this article as it is something that is often overlooked! Not keeping your paddle in a cover means it is exposed to dust and grime in the environment. The result? Once tacky paddle rubbers very quickly become full of dust and lose their tackiness and your ability to apply spin to the ball suffers as a result.

Recommended Paddles Covers

We have recommended some of our favorite paddle cover options below:

STIGA Vinyl Table Tennis Cover

This cover is made from vinyl and has been designed specifically to increase the tack-life of rubbers.

Killerspin Hard Table Tennis Paddle Bag

Ideal for someone looking for a hard case that offers a little extra protection to shock/impact.

Stiga Racket Cover

A simple option that will do the job at an affordable price.

3. Replacing Your Rubber

The reality is that rubbers deteriorate over time and after a certain amount of time, the only way to have a tacky rubber on your paddle will be to buy a completely new rubber to replace your old one. Looking after your paddle and cleaning it properly and regularly will however go a long way in extending the lifetime of your paddle rubber.

When the time comes to replace your rubber, make sure you select one that is suited to your game. There are a huge amount of different options to choose from each style providing different performance benefits.

Feel free to take a look at our rubber reviews. We hope they help you make the right choice when you do decide to replace your rubber!


Maintaining tackiness on the rubber of your paddle is absolutely essential for high performance play. A dusty, non-tacky paddle will not enable you to generate spin on the ball and as we all know, this makes beating a worthy opponent near impossible. Clean your paddles properly using one of the methods above, keep your paddle in a case to prevent it from picking up dust and grime, and replace your rubbers when they have passed their prime and you will put yourself in a good position to perform!