This is a guest post from our fellow badminton enthusiasts at Healthy Principles. Make sure to check them out when you have the chance. They write about several other sports in addition to badminton – such as boxing and basketball – that you may be interested in as well. Enjoy!
Badminton is an incredibly fast-paced game. To excel at it, all the parts of your racket must be in mint condition. That includes the butt cap, the handle/grip, the racket’s throat and shaft, its strings and grommets, as well as the head.
Improving your game isn’t the only reason why you should keep your racket neat and tidy. Badminton rackets, especially those used by professional players, do not come cheap. If you allow your racket to fall into disuse, soon you’d be in the market for a new one.
In this article, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide on cleaning a badminton racket. We’ll start from the bottom – the racket’s butt cap – before (slightly) rinsing our way to the racket’s head. Read on if you have no intention of replacing your badminton racket anytime soon.
How to Clean a Badminton Racket
Follow these steps to clean your badminton racket:
Step 1: Gather the Supplies
Make sure you have these items handy before you sit down to clean your racket:
- Mild soap
- A bucket full of water
- Dry sponge
- Dry microfiber cloth such as the AmazonBasics Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
- Air dryer (optional)
Step 2: Replace the Grip
Most people replace the original grip the moment they buy a new racket. Some continue using the grip that came with the racket for as long as possible. Whether you belong to the first or second category, replacing the grip is imperative before you start cleaning your racket.
That is not because racket grips cannot stand moisture – the fact that they can tolerate your sweaty hands suggests otherwise. Instead, once you expose your grip to the below-mentioned steps, it will lose all its original thickness. At that point, it won’t be of any use to you.
Don’t worry about the replacement cost as badminton grips come cheap. Even the ones sold by brands like Yonex won’t cost you more than a few bucks. But the improvement they will help bring to your game makes the investment into a new grip worth it. Check out this article that explains how thick a badminton grip should be.
Step 3: Clean the Handle
Here’s how this step would go:
- Duck the sponge into the water.
- Put a few drops of the mild soap onto the wet sponge
- Lubricate the entire handle – from the point where the grip ends to the start of the throat – with the soap. Make sure no portion of the handle is left unattended.
- Give the soap a few seconds to absorb dust particles.
- Rinse off the soap with fresh water
- Use a dry microfiber cloth to scrub off any remaining grime.
Step 4: Clean the Shaft
Cleaning the shaft of a badminton racket is a pretty straightforward process. All you have to do is redo what you did in the previous step. That is, use a sponge to lubricate the shaft with soap, give the soap particles a few minutes to absorb the grime, before rinsing them off with water.
While you’re busy with all this cleaning stuff, make sure not to place the racket on the ground.
Otherwise, the soapy water will make its way to the strings (which we’re going to clean in one of the following steps). Placing the racket in a wash basin – with the handle and the frame resting on the opposite sides of the basin and the shaft in the middle – is recommended.
Step 5: Clean the Strings and Grommets
Strings are one of the most important components of a racket. If their tension is not to your liking, or if one of the strings is broken, you won’t be able to perform at your best in court. Hence, keeping the strings of your badminton racket in top-notch condition is vital.
The same goes for grommets, those small pieces of plastic covering the racket head’s external circumference. The strings are threaded through grommets to protect the racket head – without the grommets, strings would sit on the graphite of the racket, damaging its integrity.
It is thus extremely important to clean the strings and grommets of your racket frequently. Doing so is pretty easy – dampen the microfiber cloth with warm water and rub the strings and the grommets until you’re satisfied both are clean. Then place your racket outside to effectively air dry it.
Pro Tip: Some people use an air dryer to dry the racket. If you have a similar intention, make sure to set the dryer at the low heat setting, failing which you might end up damaging the strings.
Bonus: How to Maintain Your Badminton Racket
Cleaning is only one, albeit an essential part of your racket care. Here are a few tips which you can use to extend the life of your badminton racket:
- Frequently restring your racket. Adequate string tension is crucial to help you perform at your best on the court. Per a rule of thumb, you should restring your racket every second week if you use it regularly.
- Replace broken grommets in time. Grommets can get damaged pretty quickly if you have a habit of picking up the shuttlecock using your racket. Replacing the broken grommets in time will help extend the life of the string and the racket.
- Store your racket in a cushioned racket cover/bag. Another thing you must do is to never put your racket in the backpack where there are other pieces of your gear, as it will expose the racket to easily avoidable nicks and scratches.
- Avoid heat as much as possible. Make sure to store your racket in a dry, cool place. Never put it in a place where it’s exposed to direct or indirect heat. That is because high temperatures can hurt the racket’s integrity.
- Avoid scraping your racket on the ground. Many players use the racket to pick up the shuttlecock from the floor. While it may look pleasing to the eye, it may leave scratches on the grommets, as well as the head.
Amir picked up his first badminton racket at the age of 4 and fell in love with the sport. He joined Healthy Principles to help his fellow badminton enthusiasts get better at the game. In his spare time, you’ll find him watching long rallies on YouTube. Learn more about Amir Bashir.
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