Pool tables are generally big investments that can last for years if you maintain them.
The most important part of the pool table is the top, which is covered with felt. Cleaning this felt overtime to maintain its smoothness is essential.
However, you can’t just dump the felt into the washing machine every time it gets a little dirty.
So here are some great tips you can use to clean your pool table felt.
Can You Wash a Pool Table Felt?
No, you shouldn’t wash the pool table felt. You can, however, blow-dry or treat your pool table felt with water if possible.
In the case of stains, there are things you can do to clean it up that involve little to no water.
How to Clean Small Spills on Pool Table Felt
The best way to clean up small spills from your pool felt is to use a dry towel.
You should use this method to clean up spills as soon as they happen. Don’t wait; otherwise, the stain may dry, making it impossible to remove it.
Method 1-Dry Towel Method
- First place a dry, white fabric towel on the spill immediately. Use a white towel since any other color can bleed on to the felt. You can also use a paper towel to dry the stain. Make sure that you don’t press down while you’re cleaning up the spill. This can push the material into the felt and make it harder to remove.
- Keep replacing the wet paper towels with dry ones until the majority of the spill is absorbed.
Method 2-Wet Towel Method
- Use a white fabric towel dampened with water to blot the spill. If you’ve spilled something other than water, gently dab the spot with the towel. Rinse the towel repeatedly to pull up the spill as far as you can. Don’t apply pressure as you dab to not force the spill further into the fabric of the felt.
- Don’t use a scrubbing motion since this will ruin the felt material.
- After blotting the stain away with water, dab the area with a dry paper towel or fabric towel. This will help it dry out faster.
- After you’ve dried out most of the water, allow the felt to air dry naturally.
Method 3-Vinegar Method
- This is a method to use as a penultimate resort. If blotting out the stain hasn’t sufficiently removed it, then mix a solution of equal parts of vinegar and water. Dip a cloth in the solution and dab the stain. Do this repeatedly so that the vinegar solution breaks the bonds of the stain.
- Vinegar not only breaks the chemical bonds in the stains, but it is much less harsh than other cleaning products. Hence, it will also retain the makeup of the felt. It’s also safer for felt tables.
Method 4-Use a Table Felt Cleaner
- If nothing else works, then use a cleaning product like a table felt cleaner. It will remove the effects of the spill completely. Make sure to get a cleaner that is made specifically for the table felt. No carpet cleaners or stain removers should be used; otherwise, they may irreparably damage the texture of the felt.
- Use cleaners as a last resort only if the stains can’t be blotted away by the other three methods.
- Seek professional help before you use this option. If the manufacturer of the table suggests something else, use that instead.
Best Way to Clean Pool Table Felt
The best ways to clean pool table felts don’t involve water or dabbing at all.
If you have a stain or a spill or even dust on the pool table, cleaning it involves brushing and vacuuming.
Use a Vacuum Cleaner
Vacuuming your pool table felt is encouraged by a lot of professionals. At the same time, many professionals think that it’s detrimental to your table felt.
Nevertheless, it’s a great way to suck up the dust, ash, or even stray debris that may have snuck into the pool table felt. This includes pool cue chalk, general dust bunnies, and even sand or dirt from the outside.
Make sure that you keep the vacuum you’re using on the lowest setting possible. You don’t want to ruin the pattern on the pool felt or damage the felt in any way. High vacuuming settings can actually stretch and warp the felt.
Use a Pool Table Brush
The second method, which is much safer than vacuuming, is brushing. You should buy a soft, light, billiard tables brush to get out the stains and the dust easily.
While brushing, remember that you have to start at one end and make your way down the table. Never end up in the middle.
Also, make sure to not drop the gathered dust in the pockets of the table. Use a piece of cardboard or a small dustpan to pick it up.
Make sure that your motion is straight and that you never use a circular motion. Also, make the motion swift. That way, you’re less likely to push inwards and warp the felt.
Preventive Measures to Keep Your Pool Felt Clean
You can take some simple measures to clean your pool table felt. Avoiding spills and not letting any drink or food near the table is just common sense.
However, many people make this mistake without thinking.
If you’re having a party, you can label the pool area food and drink-free zone. So remember that prevention is always better than finding a remedy, whether it’s for table felt or something else.
Keep the Table Clean
You should obviously keep your pool table as clean as possible. It’s not a coffee table, an end table, or a kitchen table.
Hence, your purse, grocery bags, paint supplies, or anything else shouldn’t rest on it. This goes for the pockets, the sides, and even near the table.
Also, never think about sitting on the sides or on top of the table. Your pool table may be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars and constructed like a beast.
However, you should treat it as delicately as possible.
Remember that you carry all sorts of things on your person. If that’s ever something that can spill over on to the table, you’ll regret not being more careful.
Clean the Pool Balls
The pool balls that roll around the table may gather dust or stains too. Wash them with soap to make sure they don’t track any of those stains onto the pool table.
For standard cleaning, you only need dish soap and warm water.
Just give them a good scrubbing and dry them off before placing them back on to the table.
Don’t Eat or Drink Around the Table
This goes without saying, of course. However, as stated, people can bring in food and drink in the heat of the moment.
If you’re cracking a few beers or even indulging in sports drinks or soft drinks, you should keep away from the pool table.
The felt absorbs moisture quicker than you can say “my bad”. Also, the moisture from the drink can do more than just stain the felt; it can also warp the wood.
Your felt may be salvageable even after the stain dries, but the wood will stay warped. Then there’s nothing you’ll be able to do and will have to put in a deposit for repair or a new table.
You can’t have crooked surfaces on the pool table after all.
Food Spills Mean Dry Stains
This also means no pizzas, cookies, burgers, fries, etc. Crumbs, condiments, and cheese can stain the pool felt and damage it forever.
Remember that a dry spill like a piece of cheese or mayonnaise is much worse than a wet one. To get off a dry stain, you’ll have to wet the felt first and actually expose it to moisture.
Don’t Allow Cigarettes in Your Pool Room
You shouldn’t bring any cigarettes near the pool table as well. If you keep your pool table in the basement or the garage or the attic, you may get some smokers there.
It’s a private place where people can smoke in peace. However, the safety of your table comes first. You should keep the pool area a no-smoking zone just to be safe.
Any floating ash or cigarette butts that are thrown around can damage your pool table.
If small pieces of the ash or even a whole burnt cigarette butt come in the vicinity of the table, it can damage the felt. This can burn the cloth and destroy it irreparably.
However, even if you have the most careful smokers in the pool area, there’s one thing they can’t control.
That’s the smell of the smoke. The pool table felt or even the entire area may absorb the stench and ruin the entire table for you.
Use a Cover
One of the easiest ways to keep your pool table stain, spill, and stench-free is to buy a cover. This way, you can put your mind at ease that it won’t absorb anything foreign or external.
Using these tips, you can get rid of any stains on your pool table felt.
Other Pool Table related articles you may like:
- How Much Does It Cost to Refelt a Pool Table?
- Can You Iron a Pool Table Felt?
- How to Stretch Pool Table Felt?
- How to Clean Billiard Balls