A pool table is a piece of equipment that requires maintenance, if you want it to last and to allow for countless hours of quality games. To achieve this, you must keep it clean, perfectly leveled, free of scratches and dirt. Even the top tier models, the greatest out there, will still lose their shape and quality with time, when they’re not being properly maintained.
To keep a table in great condition, know that it’s more about being disciplined and not about hard work. Any user needs some pool table maintenance advice from the most passionate players; after all, you want to enjoy as many hours of enthusiast pool playing as possible.
Even though you may not have believed it, the placement of your pool table matters greatly. You should never position it in the sunlight. Therefore, avoid the window areas, which get the most direct sunshine inside the house. The sun can damage not only the cloth, but also the wood itself. Also, consider the moisture level inside the room you chose. You need to strive for balance here – a too dry room gets the wood to dry and crack, while a too moist one will lead to the formation of molds.
Cleaning the Felt Surface
Dirt build-up on the felt surface of the table should be cleaned and then definitely avoided. There are special pool table brushes on the market, but you can also use a random one with soft bristles to clean the surface as needed. Brushing will prevent the chalk dust from settling onto the cloth and creating a buildup. Use a sweeping movement and do not draw circles with the brush. Swipe towards the pockets so the dirt will accumulate there, where you can clean it with much more ease.
Vacuuming also works so don’t hesitate to do this. Keep the vacuum brush away, you want to keep the damage to a minimum and vacuum brushed can be very aggressive to felt. Also, go for a low setting. The vacuuming method should be employed more frequently than the brush, because it is a lot milder.
Cleaning the Table Frame
Wooden parts should be well lacquered and polished, as well as brushed on a regular basis, with the same soft brush. For cleaning wood you may also use a cloth that catches all the dust. Make sure it’s dry, don’t be tempted to use it moist. When the table is already dirty due to poor maintenance, you will have to use a special cleaning product for wood, made to remove the accumulated grime.
The leather parts call for different measures. These are in need of oil conditioning, so find products that are based on this. The lather will get out of shape soon if you’re not using something appropriate to condition it. Do not skip this step. It will keep the leather pockets elastic and perfectly functional for many years to come, without tearing and cracking.
Cue and Ball Maintenance
Don’t ignore these. While there isn’t much to do about the cue except for chalking it no more than is necessary, you should pay attention to the balls as well. These may accumulate dirt and thus require a good cleaning. Sometimes, using only a cloth is enough, but other times the dirt needs to be removed with a special cleaning solution.
You must pay attention as you play pool and avoid being aggressive or careless. Certain moves can be too rough and the cue may easily damage the surface. As soon as you see any trace or scratch on it, reconsider your style. It will only get worse if you don’t. An already scratched surface will be easily damaged further and even torn. Also, using chalk too frequently will add to this. Remember to tell these rules to your friends as well.
Shield the table from the elements by using a special cover. This is the best way to protect it, to maintain its color and shine. Don’t just pick any cover, however. Get one that matches the size of the table.
Last but not least, avoid wearing jewelry (especially bracelets) when playing pool. Inevitably, this will come in contact with the delicate felt surface and will cause damage without you realizing it.