How To Clean And Maintain Your Silicone Chess Board

By Gary Flores •  Last Updated: 2 weeks ago •  14 min read

Do you get distracted with dirt from your silicone chess board?   Those dust and sometimes single strands of hair stick to my silicone chess board almost all the time whenever I place it on a table top.  

And dirt accumulates every time I play with my beautiful silicone chess board.   I don't want my daughter to play with a dirty chess board, of course.  

That is why I tried looking for ways how to clean my silicone chess board.   If you are here to learn how to maintain and keep your silicone chess board clean, then continue reading below.

How to keep your silicone chess board clean and well maintained

Silicone chess boards are just any typical silicone type of materials; it doesn't get any creases when folded to a smaller size.  

It's quite amazing actually… 🙂   The only problem you may encounter is that dirt can easily be attracted to this type of material. It does collect dust from whichever surface you placed your silicone chess board.  

The only solution that we can do is to make sure that the surface or the table top you are going to place your silicone chess board is spotless…   But…  
We can't be sure that the table top is always clean.  

So, in this article, I'm going to share with you the ideas and tips I've picked up that can help you keep your silicone chess board in tip-top shape.

Here are different things you need to have to keep your Silicone chess board clean plus possibly getting rid of the rubbery smell of your silicone chess board quickly.

Handy tools: Useful silicone chessboard cleaning materials you need to keep

Number 1. Small brush paint or soft type toothbrush
Keep a small brush paint or even just a toothbrush… a soft type of brush is recommended instead of those hard types of brushes.  

Why use a small brush paint or soft type toothbrush?   Dust and specks of dirt can easily be removed by using a brush.   Just make sure to use the brush gently so as not to cause any unnecessary damage or scratches to your silicone chess board.Example usage of your small brush paint or soft type toothbrush:  

If you are about to play and noticed some dirt on your silicone chess board.  Gently brush it off using your soft type toothbrush or brush paint.  

After using the brush or soft type toothbrush – clean it thoroughly to be used next time…

Note: Don't keep the brush or soft type toothbrush dirty for a long time as it will accumulate and the dirt on the brush can be challenging to remove because of some oil or because the stickiness of the silicone board has been transferred to your brush.

Number 2. Soft damp cloth Keep a clean and soft damp cloth with you…preferably without any print or ink.  

Why use a soft damp cloth?   A soft damp cloth or slightly wet cloth will make it easy to remove small dirt particles that stick to your silicone chess board. A small white damp cloth is the best rather than a dark-colored damp cloth.  

Slightly wet is preferred to make it more useful to remove the dirt.   Keep your soft, damp cloth clean as well after every used to keep it ready for use next time.  

Example usage of your soft damp cloth:   A soft damp cloth is effective in removing sticky dirt of your silicone chess board.   If you feel that your silicone chess board attracted a lot of specks of dirt that cannot be removed by just using a brush or soft type toothbrush…  

Then get a soft clean cloth and slightly wet it with water but not too much, and gently touch your silicone chess board with the damp cloth.   You will see that the dirt sticks to the damp cloth, every time you use the damp cloth use a clean side of the damp cloth.  

Note: After using the damp cloth you have to clean it and let it dry – do not allow the dirt stay on your handy tool as it will be difficult to remove the dirt once it gets thick and hard.

Number 3. Cleaning wipes or baby wipes 🙂 I have two kids, and cleaning wipes are necessary… 🙂   I tried using the wipes (or baby wipes) to clean our silicone chess board…and it works perfectly! 🙂  

Why use cleaning wipes or baby wipes?   Cleaning wipes are convenient and easy to use, some wipes have a really good smell as well – it can also eliminate the rubbery smell of your silicone chess board.   I do not recommend using a cleaning wipes with a sharp and strong type of smell…  

Most of the cleaning wipes have an isopropyl content; you need to be careful in using cleaning wipes so as not to damage the color of your chess squares.  

Example usage of cleaning wipes or baby wipes:   Cleaning wipes or baby wipes is my favorite…not because it is easily accessible and disposable for me! 🙂   But…  

Because it is useful, I prefer using cleaning wipes or baby wipes than a damp cloth.   I buy a small sized like a pocket-size cleaning wipes readily available at my desk whenever I am going to play chess with my family.   I wipe the dirty sides and squares of the silicone chess board and wipe it dry sometimes with a small piece of clean cloth.  

Make sure that you are using soft type clothing.   Sometimes I do not use a small piece of clothing to dry it, but just air dry it will do fine.   The only drawback with using a cleaning wipes or baby wipes is that it can be costly, you cannot reuse the cleaning wipes again.  

That is why it is recommended to have a clear plastic bag to keep your silicone chess board clean even after using it.  

Note: If you noticed that your chess squares are fading in color by using cleaning wipes… stop using it if that happens.

Those are the things I keep handy to clean my silicone chess board. You don't need to have all of it, save one or two of those things accessible to you whenever you are going to use your silicone chess board.

Here are the steps I follow to clean my Silicone Chess Board.

Basic things you need or already have at home:

  1. Clean soft cloth (at least two pieces)
  2. Clean surface or table
  3. Sink
  4. Soap or Dishwashing cleaning soap
  5. Warm water
  6. Hanger
  7. Small brush paint or toothbrush
  8. A damp cloth or Baby wipes

The first step you need to do is use the brush or damp cloth to remove the dirt that has been accumulated on your silicone chess board.  

If you are finished brushing your silicone chess board, you can put the silicone chess board on your sink and open your faucet and make sure that the water is not too hot – I've found out that warm water is better in cleaning a silicone material.  

Fill the sink with water, place your silicone chess board be sure to dip the silicone chess board, and keep the board soaked below the water level.   The next step I did is to use a soap or a dishwashing cleaning soap and fill the sink with as much detergent you need.  

Keep it there for a few minutes (1-3 minutes)   After keeping it there for at least 1 minute, grab a damp cloth and gently scrub your silicone chess board…removing the remaining dirt.   Now, drain the water from the sink and replaced it with clean water.  

Note: Continue removing the soap from the silicone chess board before filling the sink with clean water.  

Get the clean damp cloth and gently scrub it again, check if there is no more dirt sticking on your silicone chess board…   Change the water one last time, but this time do not fill the sink with warm water just let it drain and continue washing the silicone board with water.  

Before removing the silicone chess board, you need to have a clean surface or clean table top and put one of your soft clean cloth on the surface…  

Now, place the wet silicone chess board on top of the clean, soft cloth.   You can use the same soft cloth to dry the silicone chess board, but it's better to have another clean, soft cloth to wipe the silicone chess board.  

Grab your hanger and hang your silicone chess board to air dry it.   I keep my silicone chess board inside our bathroom and let it dry there.   Do not use a clip to avoid developing some marks on your board…  

That's it after drying, make sure you have a clear plastic bag to keep your silicone chess board away from dirt.   The good thing about washing your silicone chess board this way is to remove or lessen the smell of your silicone chess board…  

This works well for me, and it has lessened or completely removed the smell of my silicone chess board.

Soaking your silicone chess board to remove the smell

If you have just received your silicone chessboard for the first time and you noticed an annoying smell from your chess board.   This is what I suggest you do…   Keep the silicone chess board soaked in a dishwashing liquid for at least an hour and air dry it by hanging the silicone chess board on a hanger.  

This will lessen the smell, and if you keep on doing it for a few days, then you can remove the smell altogether.   I have personally done this, and it worked for me…

Note: There is a slight change in the color of my green squares, but I can deal with it. If you intend to follow this procedure, just be careful with the type of soap or dishwashing liquids you are using.

Recommended chess silicone chessboard.

Keep cleaning your silicone chess board simple

Some of you don't have time to do all these things…   If you can't wait for a minute, an hour, or even an overnight cleaning, then all you need to do is use the handy tools above.   Or…   Use water and remove the dirt using your fingers.  

Wash it at least two times and then rinse your silicone chess board.   If you are satisfied, get a hanger and air dry it.  

You can use it afterward, and I suggest playing your silicone chess board on a clean surface.   You will notice some smell for the first time – follow the above procedure on removing the odor of your silicone chess board.

You may also be interested in learning more about “why playing chess can make you smarter

Things you need to avoid in keeping your silicone chess board well maintained

I bet you already have a preferred way to clean your silicone chess board from now on…  

Maintaining silicone chess board is no rocket science, but sometimes we do make mistakes only to find out that we have damaged our silicone chess board permanently.

Here are four things you need to keep in mind when you are cleaning or maintaining your silicone chess board:

Number 1. Avoid using abrasive materials.   Scrubbing silicone chess board with abrasive materials can damage your board; it could cause scratches or even puncture the board.  

As much as possible, avoid using abrasive materials on your silicone chess board.  

Number 2. Avoid using strong detergents   Do not use strong detergents, especially washing detergents used for bleaching clothes.   It can cause permanent discoloration on your squares… read carefully what type of detergent or chemicals that are included to avoid damaging your silicone chess board.  

I've never used detergents in cleaning my silicone chess board, try to avoid using them when washing your chess board.  

Number 3. Avoid pointy things   Keep your silicone chess board away from pointy things, like a pencil or even a knife…   The silicone chess board is delicate and pointy things will cause a permanent hole or scratches on your board.  

As much as possible, keep your silicone chess board on the black box after cleaning and air drying it.  

Number 4. Avoid inked shirts as a cleaning material   Do not use inked shirts as a damp cloth to wipe your silicone chess board.   It may or may not happen, but an inked shirt or printed shirt can sometimes cause discoloration on your silicone chessboard, especially those colored shirts.  

A printed shirt can transfer the ink on your silicone chess board quickly.   To avoid this, always use soft white clothing as a damp cloth to wipe your silicone chess board.  

Those are the four things you need to avoid when cleaning and maintaining your silicone chess board.   I do feel that silicone chess board is much better than other types of travel type of chess sets.

A funny story about buying my first silicone chess board from Amazon

When I first got my silicone chess board from Amazon ( Best Chess Set Ever) -my daughter and I were very excited.  

We wanted to check what it looks like and how they claim that this Silicone Chess board won't develop any crease or unwanted folds…  

The funny thing was when I checked the box after coming home from work; I was asking my wife where is the chess board… (I don't know what to expect)  

Because there was only a box and the chess pieces were placed in a plastic bag, one for black and one for the white chess pieces.  

I asked my wife where is the chess board, but she said that they only received the black box of the Best Chess Set Ever from Amazon.   I was a bit confused, and I double checked the black box, and I did not see that there was another plastic bag under the free chess guide booklet… 🙂  

The Silicone chess board was folded so small inside the black box…I got worried because I thought that there would be creases or wrinkles on it.   I checked the chess board and was surprised that there was no wrinkles or creases, that was cool…  

I then tested it by crumpling the chess board, and no wrinkles were formed. 🙂 The only problem was the stickiness, and the board was definitely a dust collector…  

I know some of you will get disappointed if your silicone chess board is dirty, that is why the tips and ideas above will help you keep your silicone chess board clean and ready for a fresh game with your kids or friends… 🙂

You may also be interested in learning how to “improve your chess ratings

Wrapping up

There you have it, keeping your silicone chess board clean is simple… 😉   But there is some useful information that I needed to explain to avoid any damage to your board.  

You can always use a different method or even pick one plan above to keep your silicone chess board clean.  

As long as you keep in mind that some materials react differently to detergents or dishwashing soap, I advise you do your research and find out if the content can harm your silicone chess board…  

That is why the best to advise is to keep the cleaning simple! 🙂   I hope this article was helpful to you!  If you know a better way to clean a silicone chess board without damaging the quality, please do leave a comment below.  

I would appreciate your time sharing your ideas and tips for us!   Have fun playing with your clean silicone chess board! 🙂

Before you leave do check out my chess recommendations here.

Gary Flores

Gary created the ChessDelights website to help individuals who struggle with navigating the realm of online chess. The website provide various tools and resource guides to help users learn and master the game of chess. He is also the co-author of "Chess Fundamentals" digital interactive book a ChessDelights Edition. Whether you are a beginner in online chess or seeking to use tools and chess resources to improve your skills, the ChessDelights website is for you.

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