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If there’s anything you can count on in the pole world, it’s that we aren’t afraid to improvise and make use of what works in the moment. Word gets around whether it works or not, so you don’t have to guess when it comes to some of these unconventional grip aid hacks.

Now, a word of warning from PolePedia: using anything but grip aid on your pole has the potential to degrade it over time. In the ideal situation, grip aids are the way to go, no exception. But, if you run out of grip aids…

Be careful, and always, always, always wipe your pole clean with rubbing alcohol and a clean cloth afterwards!

Out of Grip Aid? What Can I Substitute for Pole Grip?

There are so many fun and downright crazy grip aid alternatives we’ve seen from the pole community.

Typically, when you’re using a grip aid you’re either trying to dry up sweat (in the case of sweaty palms or body) or add some much-needed moisture to your skin (in the case of dry skin.)

This leaves a lot of room for innovation, especially when it’s the day of a big pole class and you want to nail that latest trendy trick. Here are some of the most adventurous pole grips we’ve found on the internet, debunked and confirmed:

Can I Use Deodorant as Pole Grip?

This is a tricky one because it depends highly on the type of deodorant you are trying to use. A lot of people swear by putting deodorant on their hands before they go to bed, washing it off in the morning as a preventative measure, rather than a true grip aid.

Overall, all the reports we’ve found about this talk about using antiperspirant deodorants. You’re better off buying a straight-up antiperspirant for use right before class – because deodorant is usually more expensive.

TIP: For combatting hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating, you might want to look into Carpe lotion, which is dermatologist recommended, actually effective, and free from a lot of chemicals that may be in deodorant typically, such as sulfates, phthalates and parabens. Your hands deserve better!

Toothpaste as Pole Grip?

A few people online swear by this because of the drying effect of toothpaste but this can be dangerous. It’s said that if you wash your hands and use toothpaste in place of soap, rinsing with cold water afterwards to close the pores, you’ll have sweat-free, sticky hands for up to 2 hours after washing. We don’t recommend doing this at all! (1)

While it takes a long time for this happen and the dosages can vary, experts have come together to talk about how fluoride toxicity – easily absorbed into your blood by soft skin tissues – can interfere with the normal calcium usage in your bones. It also has the potential to cause cell death and damage to organs that process waste.

Plus, even if you have non-flouride toothpaste on hand, toothpaste is primarily meant to be an abrasive compound that will just hurt your skin cells.

Overall? Not worth it! Pass, and wait for your new bottle of iTac to come in, instead.

Can Baby Powder Be Used as Pole Grip?

I get it. You’re looking for a tackiness that only baby powder can solve. Actually, baby powder is prone to causing additional slipperiness which can be dangerous on the pole. Baby powder should not be used as pole grip because it will minimize the amount of friction you have between your skin and the pole.

There are also ongoing studies that showcase the potential risk, as well as the dismissal of that risk, (2) (3) that Talc powder (baby powder) in some use cases is linked to ovarian cancer. It’s important to note that in the linked study, it does state that data for cosmetic talc has not shown that it causes ovarian cancer.

While this back and forth firmly makes it a personal decision based on research, it has become enough of an issue that popular U.S. manufacturer Johnson & Johnson has announced it is discontinuing its production of Talc-based powders in 2023 in light of “[…] tens of thousands of lawsuits filed by customers.” (3)

How Do You Use Shaving Cream as a Pole Grip?

Finally, a household grip aid alternative that we can say does actually work. Best of all, it seems to be safe on brass according to many faithful shaving cream users. This is especially useful on the legs and body, where larger points of contact need to remain tacky without impeding any kind of motion.

Spray a small amount where you want to stick, spread it around, and pat it in until tacky.

Once you’re done with your pole session, be sure to take a quick rinse in the shower to get all the tack off! Shaving cream is also relatively easy to clean off the pole with alcohol and water. A lot of people recommend Gillette Men’s regular shaving cream for the perfect amount of tack.

Hairspray for Pole Grip

This is a famous grip aid that has been used for ages in clubs and studios alike. This household alternative does work. It’s best if you use any extra hold hairspray, and you can even find mini travel-size versions to stick in your bag so you’re not carrying around a full-size hairspray for extra grip.

Simply spritz the area that needs extra grip lightly – taking care not to over-do it or douse it. You can use hairspray on the legs, body, or hands, no matter where you need some tack.

Can You Use Dish Soap for Pole Grip

Dish soap for pole grip? Who would’ve thought? Well, we got mediocre results with this one. It really helps if you have sweaty hands, as it dries your hands a little extra. The reason why this might work is that most “hand soaps” that you’d use regularly contain a moisturizing agent to help keep your hands moist after washing away the natural oils. Dish soap doesn’t contain any additional moisturizer because it’s intended for dishes, not for your hands.

Moisturizer is a common no-no before pole practice, so while we might avoid moisturizers by themselves, we don’t always think about products we use that contain moisturizers.

Recommended Grip Aids

Wow, what a ride this has been.

If you’re looking to learn more about specially-formulated grip aids, then you’ll be happy to know that here on PolePedia, we have a whole guide on proper grip aids, telling you how they work, for what problem they work best for, and where you can purchase them.

This grip aid guide is one of our periodically updated guides as well, so we’re always adding new grips as we hear about them. Click the button below to go straight there:


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  1. Google Scholar, Flouride Toxicity,
  2. PubMed, Perineal Talc Use and Ovarian Cancer: A Critical Review,