Avoid the pitfalls of pool table ownership with regular maintenance.
If you’ve got a pool table, you want to keep it in pristine condition. That’s not just for aesthetics, either: it’s to keep your table in good working order. By staying on top of maintenance regularly, you can avoid the pitfalls of pool table ownership, from rips and tears to fading felt and chipped balls. Here are some pool maintenance tips to consider.
Keep it Clean
Your billiard table’s felt is especially vulnerable to anything from fading from the sun to dust collection to rips from sharp pool cues. Instead of a table brush, which you may have picked up when you purchased your table, you may just want to use a vacuum with the brush attachment. Just like you wouldn’t just sweep your carpet with a broom, you should take this same philosophy with your table. Brushing will only serve to push around the dust, dirt, chalk residue and other debris without really getting it clean. It can actually get through the cloth and into the slate, causing real damage over time. When vacuuming, rather than use a swirling motion, brush dirt towards the pockets or the ends to get the most life out of your table.
Don’t get rid of your table brush just yet, though. It’s still good for sweeping up crumbs and other dirt that can get on the table while you’re using it during a get-together. Just be sure to use a soft bristled brush.
Keep it Covered
Any time you’re not using your pool table, cover it. Period. This will keep the sun from fading the felt and prevent any scratches, tears or other imperfections to the surface. Make sure you purchase a cover that’s made with your table’s unique specifications in mind for a truly custom fit.
Take off Jewelry
Before playing pool, take off all jewelry such as bracelets and big rings. The continual clanking of these items against the wood can nick its pristine surface. Don’t throw coins on the table either when gambling because these can cause tiny tears not seen with the naked eye.
What to Avoid
Try not to over-chalk. If you must chalk, do it away from the table. The dust that chalking produces can linger on your cloth and cause damage over time. Keep pets away from your pool table, too, as their hair can shed and get all over the felt. Have plenty of coasters on nearby coffee tables for guests to put their drinks on. You don’t want anyone setting their drink on your table for obvious reasons.
Clean the Wood
The wood portion of your billiards table, just like your coffee tables and dressers, needs some regular TLC. Use furniture oil or polish to shine up the wood. Use a leather conditioner for the leather portions, such as the pockets. Try to stick with oil-based products that will bring out the natural shine and increase the longevity of your table.
Clean the Balls
Maintaining your table is all well and good but don’t neglect the balls. As the pool balls roll over the surface of your table, they pick up bits of dirt and debris that can not only affect the integrity of the ball but that can also transfer to the sides of your table. Don’t use bleach or any other harsh chemical, but instead try a furniture polish for this task.
With the above maintenance tasks, you can keep your pool table looking and working great for many years to come.