How to Clean Your Pool Table

If you own a pool table, it is imperative that you keep your pool table clean and fresh so that your balls can continue to hit with as little friction as possible.

As long as you keep your pool table clean, you can ensure that there isn’t any dirt and that the balls will move around the table as they did when you first bought your pool table.

Just as you would clean the carpet in your home, it is important to keep your pool table home.

This is something that can be done every week or month depending on how much you use the table and your personal standard of cleanliness.

If you are learning how to clean your pool table, this should serve as an easy-to-read resource.

Materials Needed

  • Pool table brush
  • Vacuum with hose attachment
  • Wood polish
  • Towel
  • Vinegar (for easy-to-clean spills)
  • Pool table felt cleaner (for hard-to-clean spills)

How to Clean Your Pool Table in 5 Steps

Step 1: Brush from the Middle of the Table

To start off, you will want to gather as much dirt from the middle of the felt as possible.  

The idea here is that you want to move all of the dirt from the middle of the table out to the outer edges so that you can vacuum it up easily.

Instead of doing circular motions, use quick straight strokes.

If you brush in a circle, you will simply be moving the dirt around in a circle, and this is dangerous for the health of the felt.

Make sure that you use a brush that is specifically designed for pool tables.

Felt can be very delicate, and it is important that you use a brush that is specifically designed for brushing on pool tables.

These can be easily found at any sort of shop that sells pool table equipment.

Step 2: Slowly Push All of the Dirt to the Outer Edges

Being sure to go in short straight motions the entire time, slowly start to work all of the dirt and dust particles that are sitting in the middle of the table to the outer edge of the table.

This will help you keep all of your dust organized as you get ready to vacuum it up.

For best results, start by creating a rectangle of dust in the middle of the pool table, and then slowly push it further out to the edge of the table.

Over time, the rectangle should become larger and larger as you push the dirt towards the outer ring.

Push it as far as you can, making sure to clean as much table space as possible while still leaving room to vacuum it up at the end.

Step 3: Vacuum The Outer Edge

Now that the dust is sitting on the outer edge of the table, you are now ready to vacuum. Start by collecting all of the dirt that you collected into a giant rectangle.

Since vacuums will be able to pick up tiny particles that your brush may have missed, then run over the entire surface of the felt a few times to ensure that you got as much out as possible.

As long as you see the vacuum picking it dust, you might as well continue vacuuming softly being sure not to dig into the delicate felt material.

Step 4 (Optional): Clean Out Stains

If you are cleaning your pool table to eliminate stains, this is the step you have been waiting for.

Make sure that you don’t skip the other steps before coming here since the dirt can grind into the felt, making things a lot worse than just a stain over time.

Cleaning out stains is one of the most difficult parts in learning how to clean your pool table.

Since stains can be difficult to get off depending on what type of liquid was spilled on the table, it is extremely important that the dirt is out of the area first so that you can get the stain out more effectively with a towel.

If you are sure this is the case, you are ready to clean out any stains as well as possible.

If you were quick to act, you were already sure to use a towel to soak up the stain immediately after it happened, and then get the dust out of the area.

Start by now blotting the area with water on the towel to see if the stain comes off.

If it doesn’t immediately lift off, then try adding in a mixture of vinegar and water on the towel.

Make sure that you do not scrub the felt since this can damage the felt.

If the stain still doesn’t come off, go buy a pool table felt cleaner and repeat the instructions above using it.

Step 5: Clean the Wood

People will often lean on the wood of the table, put their hands on the wood, or leave the chalk on the wood of the table while playing.

Although these actions are normal, they can also leave marks on the wood of the table. However, cleaning these marks is a pretty straightforward thing.

Start by using a damp cloth to wipe off the marks left behind from periodically using the table.

All of these marks should come off rather easily simply by stroking the wood with your damp cloth. Make sure to get as many of the marks as possible.

Once you get the marks off the wood, it is now time to protect the wooden surface.

Using wood polish, put a generous amount on either the towel or evenly applied across the surface of the wood.

Then, simply wipe the polish into the wood, carefully being sure not to get any of the polish into the felt.

Optional: Clean the Pool Balls

Once the entire surface of the table is clean, the pool balls are another component which can use a little attention.

Cleaning these items can easily be done by dampening a cloth and wiping them down.

Any sort of fingerprints should easily come off of the pool balls by wiping them down with a damp cloth.

Although the balls will be very easily cleaned, you might need some extra help with the pool cues. Be sure to check out our article on How to Clean a Pool Cue.

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