The warm days and sunshine have brought players out onto courts all over the city, some of them bringing rackets out of storage for the first time in months. Behind the racket desk we're getting lots of questions about what kind of work is needed to get these frames back into game shape. One of the most common questions is about the condition of the grip; whether it needs replacing or if it can be cleaned.
Regarding rejuvenating or cleaning a grungy grip, the short answer is no.
There is a long explanation behind that answer however. Racket sport grips are designed to enhance your grasp on the handle and be absorbent, the pores in the outer grip material (polyurethane usually) wick sweat into the interior of the handle wrap away from your palm. The tacky outer material picks up dirt really easily and soon your white Wilson Sublime grip is corpse grey and far removed from its namesake. Cleaning products are ineffective and will make the grip material break down. You could get a grip that is a darker colour which won’t show the grime as easily…. but here’s the rub… the pigment used in making darker coloured grips, also causes the grip to wear out faster and not perform as well as their lighter dye infused counterparts - even when brand new.
An overgrip solution? Less expensive and easier to change, an overgrip goes over top of an existing padded grip and is meant to be switched out after every few matches; they mostly come in packages of three or more. Overgrip is usually pretty thin, so it won’t build the size of the handle very much. Like the padded base grip, lighter coloured over grips perform better but appear filthy faster. Hopefully you'll put a new one on more frequently, keeping your grip fresh, absorbent, and tacky. Eventually the padding in the base grip will wear out, and it will need to be replaced as well.
There are a large array of replacement and overgrips available at Rackets & Runners. Our experts would be happy to explain the different qualities of each and suggest something that will work for you. Bring your racket in with you, and we'll install the new grip at no extra charge, and in just a couple of minutes.