If you’ve an avid tennis player, you’ll know that replacing your rackets overgrip is a common task, as they last for about 6 – 12 hours of play. So is it really worth cleaning a leather tennis grip that you’re going to eventually replace anyway?
The short answer is yes, due to two reasons. Firstly, because of hygiene. During any tennis game, you’ll most likely perspire a lot and your leather grip absorbs sweat and germs. Secondly, by cleaning your leather tennis grip, you can make it last longer.
For this article, we’ve teamed up with a handful of high-level tennis players and devised a short but effective guide on how to clean your leather tennis grip to sanitize it, make it last a little longer and feel great in your hand.
Best Methods for Cleaning Leather Tennis Grips
When it comes to cleaning tennis leather grips, you’ll need to be mindful of a few things. You don’t want to use any cleaning solutions that are too harsh or alter the leather coating too much, as it can affect how the grip feels in your hand.
Moreover, the goal here is to ensure that your racket’s leather overgrip is free of any germs, seat and dirt, while at the same time trying to increase its lifespan. Therefore, this will be our focus in this leather cleaning guide.
We’ve asked the tennis players we teamed up with to trial and test our leather cleaning techniques. The best methods that were selected were all natural and readily available. Let’s check them out in more detail.
Method 1: Use a Natural Leather Cleaner
One of the most convenient ways to clean the leather grip of your tennis racket is to use a natural leather cleaner, that is free of any chemicals. While you’re able to use your preferred cleaner, we highly recommend the Leather Cleaner by Leather Honey.
The reason why this works so well with leather tennis grips is because it’s a gentle, all-natural and chemical-free cleaner that is designed for various types of leather. It also doesn’t contain any conditioner or texture altering substances, so that your grip retains the same feel in your hand.
Instructions: Simply follow the recommended dosage of your leather cleaner and lightly apply it to the leather grip of your tennis racket. As your primary goal is to clean it, you’re not required to apply much pressure or scrub it. Using a cloth is perfectly fine and effective.
Method 2: Apply Some Rubbing Alcohol
Another great solution for cleaning and removing germs from your leather tennis grip is rubbing alcohol (also known as isopropyl alcohol). Rubbing alcohol is an effective germicide and also has the ability to remove other types of impurities from your leather grip.
Another great benefit of rubbing alcohol is that when applied correctly and in small doses, it doesn’t damage your leather.
Instructions: Drip some rubbing alcohol onto any cloth and gently wipe down the leather grip of your tennis racket. Ensure not to douse your cloth or racket in rubbing alcohol, as it’s already quite potent.
Cleaners to Avoid for Leather Tennis Grips
Even though coated leather can be a fairly tough material, it’s always good practice to properly maintain it. Not only will this lengthen the lifespan of your leather overgrip, but it’ll also feel better in your hand.
There are things you should definitely avoid, even though you replace the leather grip of your racket frequently. Substances to avoid are acetone or any type of cleaners that contain aggressive chemicals.
Acetone is not compatible with leather, as it can destroy its fiber structure and show signs of peeling. The reason why this isn’t ideal is because once the overgrip peels, your grip on your racket suffers. Therefore, stay away from acetone or any acetone-based cleaners.
Avoid Chemical Cleaners
Also avoid any type of chemical cleaners that contain aggressive or abrasive substances. In a similar fashion to acetone, certain chemicals will penetrate your leather causing damage to it and altering the way the leather grip feels in your hand.
Instead, resort to a leather cleaner that is designed to treat and clean leather. You’ll also notice that these types of cleaners are chemical-free, so stick with those options to get the most of your leather tennis grip.