How to Maintain a Pool Table

You should feel pride in investing in a pool table, as it’s undoubtedly one of the coolest items to have in your home. With this in mind, however, it’s important to regularly care for a pool table. Simple weekly or biweekly maintenance is the key to maintaining your pool table for years to come.

Lining up a pool table shot

Photography by Parker Knight (CC)

Types of Care

There are two primary types of maintenance for a pool table: preventative care and regular upkeep and maintenance.

Preventative care consists of taking measures to prevent damage to the table. Simple actions beforehand can go a long way to make your table last and avoid costly repairs. Here are a few easy ways to prevent premature  wear of your table.

  • Placing a cover on your pool table when not in use to prevent the cloth from fading or gathering dust
  • Not leaning against the tables while playing, to prevent stress on the rails
  • Keeping the pool table away from hot and humid temperatures to prevent moisture buildup

On the other hand, regular upkeep and maintenance deals addresses cleaning the pool table just as you would the rest of your home. This can be done by

  • Brushing the billiard cloth to remove dust, chalk, and other particles, followed by a gentle vacuuming

There are many steps that you can take beforehand to protect your table from damage. Know that the more often you service the pool table, the less damage you’ll see between cleanings. Each part of the table must be cared for differently as well, as the pieces are made from different materials and serve different functions.

Caring for the Pool Table Frame

The frame, or cabinet, of the pool table holds the slate, and is typically made from hardwood, veneer, or laminate.

  • Use a dry cloth to clean wooden surfaces
  • Use a damp cloth with a weak detergent to wipe down manmade surfaces
  • Use furniture wax to clean railings
  • Use a pool table cover to prevent the cabinet from fading
  • Don’t use ammonia-based cleaners on wood surfaces
  • Don’t move an assembled pool table without professional assistance

Caring for the Pool Table Cloth

How to clean pool table felt

Photography by Creative Commons (CC)

Dust and chalk particles easily build up within the billiard cloth, degrading the integrity of the felt and also making your table look worn down. Servicing pool table felt is actually very simple and straightforward. Even if it’s your first time, you should be able to take the following steps to prolong the lifetime of your felt.

  • Brush and gently vacuum the cloth as often as you clean your home
  • Rack the pool balls in one motion to minimize wear on the cloth
  • A hot, damp cloth should be used to clean excess chalk
  • Alternate where pool balls are racked and broken
  • Don’t vacuum the cloth too often as it will pull the felt away from the slate
  • Use a pool table cover to prevent fading and particle buildup

READ MORE: A Player’s Guide To Pool Table Felt

Caring for the Pool Table Pockets

Leather Pool Table Pockets with Fringes

Photography by Kokopoko (CC)

The pockets of a pool table house the pool balls, not only when you score but also when the table’s not in use.

  • Don’t lean or sit on pool table pockets
  • Store the balls evenly in the pockets- excessive weight in one pocket can disconnect it from the table
  • Regularly check if any tacks or staples came loose from the pocket, to protect cue balls
  • Use a damp cloth with a weak detergent to wipe down the pockets, and a soft clean one to dry
  • Avoid placing liquids near the pockets, as they can stain easily

Pool Table Maintenance Supplies

Knowing how to properly care for your pool table is the sign of a master player looking to make their investment last for the years to come. GameTablesOnline.com has a wide variety of pool tables, accessories, and advice to make your playing experience one-of-a-kind. Whether you’re new to the sport or up-and-coming, you’ll find everything you need so that you can take on the next champion.

More Tips

  1. How to Prevent Pool Table Slate From Warping
  2. How to Replace Pool Table Cushions in 1 Hour
  3. Pool Tables: Carpet or Hardwood Floors?