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Cleaning a Pool Table

Lots of people search for how to clean pool table felt. Cleaning the pool table cloth is just one part of keeping the pool table clean and in good working condition.

Cleaning a Pool Table

Chances are very good that you just spent at least $2000 on your new pool table. That's a big chunk of change and you'll want to keep the investment looking nice for years to come. I'm certain there are additional methods for caring for pool tables, but I'm going to discuss the four methods I use: cover, brush, vacuum, and buff. All four of those tools are shown in the photo.

Cleaning a Pool Table

Always use a Pool Table Cover

Prevention is the best way to clean a pool table and keep the pool table cloth clean. A good quality pool table cover is probably the most important care item you can purchase for your table. If you are not using your pool table, the cover should be on it. Bottom line.

Brushing the Pool Table Cloth

The brush is the next most important item. If anyone can tell me why pool table brushes are made with shorter bristles in the center, I'd like to hear about it. I'd guess that it is to make it easier to get the ends of the brush under the cushions - but they make a rail brush for that purpose. (Which, by the way, I accidentally left out of the photo; but I seldom use it anyway.)

You should always brush the cloth in one direction, the same direction each and every time. The most recommended direction is from head to foot (from where you break with the cue ball to where you rack the balls). Because of the corny way the bristles are designed, the tendency may be to put a lot of pressure on the brush in order to make the bristles contact the cloth. I did this myself at first. This is not necessary. Look at the front of the brush as you are brushing and notice how hard you have to press for all the bristles to contact the cloth - it won't be as much as you think. Use that amount of pressure and no more. Using too much pressure can actually stretch the cloth over time. If you have open mesh drop pockets, you can brush any lint and debris right into the pockets.

How often you brush depends on how often you play. I would estimate that I brush our table after about every ten hours of play. When the table was brand new, I'd brush it every day even if we only played for an hour or two. Such diligence is admirable but probably not necessary.

Vacuum Pool Table Cloth

An occasional once-over with the vacuum cleaner will really help to keep your cloth looking like new. The vacuum will pick up the stubborn lint and micro-fine cat hair that the brush misses, as well as suck any chalk and powder out of the fibers.

I prefer to use the dusting attachment (shown above). The bristles help loosen the chalk as you vacuum the surface of the cloth. They also keep you from applying too much suction to the cloth, which can also stretch the cloth. Some vacuum cleaners have a slide-adjustment on the metal tube that lets you adjust the amount of suction. The slide is usually a piece of plastic covering an opening in the tube. I always open mine a bit to decrease the suction power of the vacuum.

I advise against using a rotating brush type of attachment on your pool table. The force of those brushes, in my opinion, will do more damage than good over time. Their strong rotating action may also stretch the cloth.

You don't need to vacuum as often as you brush. If you use the vacuum every third or fourth time you brush, that should be sufficient.

Buff the Pool Table Wood and Rails

The last item I use is a soft chamois. I use it to lightly rub the rails and other wood surfaces of the table. Never wet the chamois because you want to keep it as soft and smooth as possible. You can also lightly rub the leather pockets to keep them clean and shiny. I use the chamois about every second or third time I brush the table.

If you want to use oil or furniture polish on the wood of your table, be careful not to get any in the cloth.

Other actions you can take to keep your table looking new is to not let anyone put drinks, cigarettes, ash trays, or anything else on the rails of your table. Drinks can spill or leave rings, cigarettes can burn. Think of what bar tables look like. I don't even keep chalk on the rails of my table because our wood is a very light maple (just like the maple of a cue) and I'm sure the chalk would stain the wood. Preserve your investment by performing simple, routine pool table cleaning and care. Also, when you rack the balls, don't slide the rack around on the table. You know, people usually rack near the back rail, then slide the filled rack up to the spot. This causes unnecessary wear on the cloth, especially if a well-used wooden rack has rough edges. If you just lift the rack slightly off the cloth when you move it, you can accomplish the same thing - and the only things sliding across the cloth are the balls.

Cleaning a Pool Table

  • Title: Cleaning a Pool Table
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 1/7/2017 3:37:06 PM
  • Last Updated: 1/7/2017 4:02:22 PM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum
  • Source: Cloudbow Billiards

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