Your new billiards table was a substantial investment and you want to take care of it so that it lasts a long time. Now that the newness factor has subsided a bit, you may be wondering, “How to clean my billiards table,” without completely making a mess of things or possibly even damaging it. The billiards experts at Juniper have pretty much seen it all when it comes to how people care for their billiards tables and can offer some sound advice on what NOT to do and also on what methods and products work best to keep your table in pristine condition.
What Not To Do To Your Billiards Table
Let’s get some “Don’t’s” out of the way first. If you want your billiards table to stay nice for as long as possible, be aware of these no-nos.
- Don’t lean or sit on the table. The wooden rails of the table can be scratched, so take care to prevent that. Also, just sitting on the rails can cause the cushions to separate from the wooden part of the rails. The slate that covers the table has been milled precisely and is fragile and not meant to support weight. It is brittle and could crack or break under pressure.
- No food or drinks on the billiards table. Having food and drinks on your table is just asking for trouble. Sticky fingers and spilled drinks will ruin the fabric covering your table quicker than anything. We know you want to serve snacks to your players, but keep food and drinks well away from your billiards table itself.
- Don’t chalk over the table. Being careless with chalk is a common cause of the cloth on a billiards table being dirtied. Chalk is abrasive and can actually sink into the fabric of the table and cause pitting or small tears.
- No rough play. Using excessive force to shoot the balls can lead to the cloth tearing and may even cause the slate to chip.
- Keep pets away. Pets and pool tables don’t mix. Keep them off the table, as their sharp claws can catch in the fabric and damage it. Do not let dogs jump up and rest their front paws on the wooden rails as it could leave scratches.
Routine Cleaning My Billiards Table
There is no escaping the fact that your billiards table will need some routine maintenance to keep it in good shape. Chalk, dust, hair, and other airborne material can end up on your pool table and need to be cleaned off. Your best tools are a special brush specifically intended for brushing the fabric covering the table, microfiber cloths, and plain old water. Using a vacuum cleaner is NOT recommended because it can pull the fabric up and away from the slate, stretching it and causing wrinkles that will disturb the play of the balls.
- The brush. A billiards table brush is made with longer bristles on the two ends and shorter stiff bristles in the center. When you run the brush down the sides of the table, the longer bristles will clean under the rails/bumper cushions. Brush in one direction from one end of the table to the other, cleaning the sides first, then the center of the table. Brush the dust into the pockets on the end of the table and then wipe it out with a damp microfiber towel.
- The wooden rails. You can use a microfiber towel with a small amount of furniture polish to wipe the wooden rails. Take care not to use too much product and stay clear of touching the table fabric itself.
- The balls and cue sticks. Remember to clean the billiards balls and cue sticks from time to time with a damp microfiber towel.
How to Clean Stains on Your Billiards Table
If, in spite of your watchful care, a stain does occur on the fabric of your billiards table, act promptly. Use a small amount of plain water to clean it. Never use soap or detergent. Blot the stain gently and do not over-saturate the cloth. Do not rub the fabric.
Juniper and The Pool People are your Wisconsin Billiards Experts. In addition to carrying tables from the world’s top pool table designers, we have all the supplies and expertise to help you keep your investment in its best possible shape. When you wonder, “How to clean my billiards table?” don’t panic. Prevention is half the battle and as for routine maintenance…it is easier than you think!