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5 Tips to Clean & Care for Your Pickleball Paddle

5 Tips to Clean & Care for Your Pickleball Paddle
Table of Contents

The paddle is a pivotal tool for pickleball and the object of discussion for many enthusiastic players. Caring for and maintaining your paddle is essential to keep your game at an optimal level and build discipline as a player.

Pickleball’s charm partly lies in its simplicity: You need a paddle and a ball to play it. As the sport grows globally, players acquire more advanced skills that demand more matching paddle technology.

Paddle manufacturers are responding to this growing demand by testing new materials and methodologies to create innovative paddles that complement the sport’s growing passion and competitiveness.

A pickleball paddle’s care is essential for its functional longevity.

The significance of the pickleball paddle cannot be overstated during this time of the sport’s growth. A player’s skill can only go so far to dictate each shot’s power, control, and finesse without a paddle partner that matches their ambition.

Considering its pivotal role, ensuring the pickleball paddle’s care and maintenance is crucial for its performance and longevity, especially considering the investment it often represents. Here are some ways to care for your paddle.

How To Take Care of Your Paddle?

1.      How to Clean Pickleball Paddle Gently

Cleaning pickleball paddle regularly is integral to preserving its performance and aesthetics.

Constantly hitting a ball may develop patterns of dust on the paddle face. Follow the tips to clean your paddle to maintain its durability.

Wipe down the paddle with a soft, damp microfiber and lint-free cloth to remove any dirt, sweat, and debris accumulated during gameplay.

However, be careful so as not to adopt harsh cleaning methods that damage the paddle’s surface.

Use mild soap diluted in water to scrub the affected area in case of stubborn stains gently. Please also be mindful not to submerge the paddle in the water.

The honeycomb structure typical in paddle cores can get filled with water and lose its integrity.

Once cleaned, ensure the paddle is thoroughly dried before storing it to prevent moisture-related issues.

2.      Protect From Extreme Temperatures

Very hot and very cold temperatures are bad for paddle materials. For good pickleball paddle maintenance, avoid exposing it to hot, humid, or freezing environments for prolonged periods. Store the paddle at room temperature in a dry cabinet or cupboard after use.

After play, the dust and debris on a paddle should only be cleaned gently with a damp microfiber cloth.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a paddle sunscreen that protects it from UV damage while playing. But avoid putting or storing the paddle under direct sunlight when you’re not playing. Similarly, please refrain from leaving your paddle in a hot car or near heaters, as sudden temperature changes can compromise its structural integrity.

3.      Handle With Care

Despite its sturdy construction, the pickleball paddle is not indestructible and requires careful handling to prevent unnecessary damage. Avoid shoving or banging the paddle against rugged surfaces, which lead to chips, cracks, and delamination.

We get it’s exciting and camaraderie to bump paddles with your partner or opponent, but you’d instead stick to high fives and let the paddles take a break from impacts after games.

Similarly, for proper pickleball paddle care, try not to strike it on the ground or drag its edges on the pickleball court to retrieve the ball. The rugged court can undo the lamination on the edges of the paddle, making its materials come apart.

Additionally, refrain from leaning or resting heavy objects on the paddle, as this can exert undue pressure and cause structural damage over time. Treating your pickleball paddle with care can prolong its lifespan and ensure consistent performance on the court.

4.      Use Paddle Covers

Paddle covers are good to protect and cushion your paddle against external elements and potential damage during transportation or storage. That’s why many paddle manufacturers pair their paddles with covers.

These covers typically feature padded interiors to cushion the paddle against impacts and scratches and durable exteriors to shield it from moisture, dust, and debris.

When selecting a paddle cover, opt for one that fits snugly around your paddle to provide maximum protection without adding unnecessary bulk.

Also, choose a high-quality cover with durability and breathability to prevent moisture buildup and mildew growth. A reliable cover is a small but worthwhile investment for pickleball paddle care.

5.      Use Paddle Covers

Despite your best efforts, accidents can still happen, and even if they don’t, the paddle has a lifespan given its rather violent function.

Your paddle will sustain damage over time, and in such times, you can prolong its lifespan to prevent further deterioration and maintain its performance.

Consider using a repair kit designed explicitly for pickleball paddles for specific damages like small chips or scratches on the surface. Check out the Diadem store or Third Shot Drop for DIY pickleball paddle maintenance equipment.

A paddle care kit can restore minor damages to a paddle.

These kits typically contain edge guard tapes that can be applied to the edges or delaminated parts to restore their smoothness and integrity.

The manufacturer’s instructions detail how to properly use the product to ensure proper application and allow sufficient curing time before resuming play.

While DIY repairs may not always be perfect, they can help prolong the lifespan of your paddle and keep it in playable condition until it’s time for a replacement.

However, it’s essential to understand that your paddle will inevitably lose its integrity and need replacement.

These pickleball paddle care tips are not meant to prevent the inevitable but to prolong their integrity, add discipline to your athletic life, and ensure your finances don’t suffer because of frequently changing paddles.

Pickleball paddles are made to manage the impact, and they will lose their integrity one day, even if it’s later than their fading surface design (which is also completely normal).

How Long Can a Pickleball Paddle Last?

The lifespan of a pickleball paddle is influenced by various factors, including the materials used, frequency of use, and level of care.

For avid or professional players who engage in regular, intense gameplay, a paddle may last 3 to 6 months before showing signs of deterioration.

Conversely, recreational players who play less frequently may enjoy their paddle for up to a year or even several years, especially if they store it in a paddle cover and handle it carefully.

Players can significantly extend their lifespan and maximize their investment by taking proper precautions and maintaining their paddle diligently.

How Are Gen 2 Paddles Made?

The Gen 2 paddles hit the market around 2023 and forever changed the game for professional play.

They have the advantage of carbon seams filled with foam lining the paddle face and core sandwiched in a unibody construction, making them more robust and stable.

These paddles are secured from most elemental damage through the thermoformed layer, which means they can withstand impact without breaking at the handle.

Preserving Gen 2 Paddles

For Gen 2 pickleball paddle care, you must protect the carbon seams’ sanctity and the foam on the edges. Boycotting temperature extremes and unnecessary impacts is the primary way of prolonging their functional excellence.

Gen 2 paddles have carbon seams installed in a thermoformed unibody construction, improving their durability.

Preserving the integrity of Gen 2 pickleball paddles involves paying particular attention to two critical components: the carbon seams and the foam edges.

These features contribute significantly to the paddle’s performance and durability, making their protection essential for maintaining functional excellence.

Keep at Room Temperature

To safeguard the carbon seams, it’s crucial to avoid subjecting the paddle to extreme temperatures.

Sudden temperature changes can cause the carbon fibers to expand or contract, potentially compromising the paddle’s structural integrity over time.

Therefore, storing the paddle in a dry environment and mild temperatures is essential to protect its materials’ structural integrity.

Avoid Unnecessary Impact

Similarly, protecting the foam edges is vital for preventing damage and maintaining the paddle’s overall performance.

Foam edges provide cushioning and impact absorption, enhancing player comfort and control during gameplay.

To preserve these crucial components, players should carefully handle the paddle and avoid unnecessary impacts or collisions with hard surfaces, such as hitting paddles with your partner or dragging your paddle through the court to retrieve the ball.

Protecting Your Paddle

Pickleball paddle care and maintenance is essential to ensure optimal performance and longevity on the court.

By following the aforementioned tips, you can protect your investment and enjoy countless hours of competitive gameplay with confidence and peace of mind.

Remember, a well-maintained paddle is the key to mastering the game of pickleball and staying ahead of the competition.

How do you take care of your paddle, and how long have you had it? Let us know in the comment section!

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Charles Melton
Charles Melton
Charles has competed professionally for the past 11 years, having picked up the sport in sophomore high. He remembers the first time he held the paddle and made a shot toward his P.E. coach. Since then, he hasn’t looked back. He likes to write and play with Darcy the pug in his free time. He is associated with The Pickleball Professionals.