How to Clean Chalk Off Pool Table Felt

There are several ways to clean chalk marks off of a pool table.

You can use a professional pool table cleaner or a pool table brush. Either method works well to clean the pool table. 

How to Clean Chalk Off Pool Table Felt 

If you’re trying to clean the chalk off a pool table, you can’t just clean it with anything. Your most important priority is to ensure that the felt doesn’t get damaged in the cleaning. 

After all, it’s much easier to clean a stain safely than to replace the felt on your entire table. If you take care of your pool table well, you’ll be able to make it last for years.

To do this, you’ll need some supplies. There are two main methods: using a pool table-friendly cleaner or using a pool table brush. 

Using Pool Table Cleaner 

The most common way to clean a pool table is with a certified pool table cleaning solution. These cleaning supplies are easy to use, adequate, and inexpensive. 

To use a pool table cleaner, spray it on the entire surface of the pool table and wait for the foam to rise. The foam takes out the chalk and any other foreign substance from the felt. 

Once the foam has risen, use a microfiber or lint-free cloth to wipe down the surface of the pool table gently. It’s best to clean the entire table to prevent uneven discoloration. 

After you’ve wiped down the table, you only have to wait a few minutes before it’s dry and ready to play pool again! 

Using Pool Table Brush 

Of course, the oldest method for cleaning a pool table is the pool table brush. Traditionally made of horsehair, this brush can clean the chalk off without damaging the felt. 

To clean your pool table with a brush, start at the top and brush gently and straight strokes down to the bottom. Do not use circular motions, or you will damage the felt. 

Once you’ve brushed the entire surface of the table, dust it off gently with a cloth. Brushing the table will loosen the chalk mark but not remove it from the felt. 

What Type of Brush Do I Use? 

As we know, the felt on a pool table is incredibly sensitive and easy to damage. Therefore, you can’t just use any brush to clean the chalk off your table. 

The most common types of pool table brushes are horsehair brushes, microfiber brushes, or nylon brushes. Any of these brushes will work well to clean your pool table. 

Using Other Options to Clean Chalk from Felt 

If you don’t want to damage the felt on your pool table with a brush but don’t love the chemicals in regular pool table cleaners, there are a few less common methods. 

There are clothes sold especially for billiards and pool tables. These are more gentle than microfiber, can be used safely on felt, and work well for cleaning dust or animal hair. 

Another way of cleaning a pool table is to buy an electric pool table cleaner. These use static electricity to clean the felt without pulling or flattening it. However, they are expensive. 

Finally, you can get your pool table professionally cleaned. This is an option if you have serious concerns about the felt’s state or multiple large stains. 

Regular cleaning companies might be able to do this, but double-check that they have the equipment and expertise to clean your pool table without damaging it. 

How to Clean Other Stains off Pool Table Felt 

If you own a pool table, you’ve probably seen the effects of playing pool on the table itself. A pool table you use frequently will almost certainly get more stains than just chalk. 

Playing pool and drinking or eating can end in spills. Unfortunately, some of these stains aren’t as easy to clean as a simple chalk mark and could take a bit more work. 

However, there are ways to clean up every different kind of stain without damaging the felt on your pool table. If necessary, don’t be afraid to call a professional for cleaning help. 

Food or Oil Stains

Oil stains on a pool table are generally caused by eating greasy food while you’re playing. These stains are tougher to get off and take a little more work. 

If you’ve spilled oil or greasy food on the pool table, lay a tablespoon of baking soda on the stain. The baking soda will soak up the grease without harming the pool table. 

Let the baking soda sit for a few minutes, and then use a regular pool table cleaner to get it off. It will rise with the foam just like chalk does. 

This method should effectively take care of any food or oil stains, especially if they’re fresh. You’ll be able to play without worrying about the state of the felt on your pool table. 

Drink Stains 

Drink stains are a common issue. If possible, deal with the stain as soon as possible after the spill. Taking care of it will lessen your likelihood of a deeper stain later on. 

Immediately after someone spills a drink on your pool table, place a microfiber cloth on top of it to soak up as much of the liquid as possible. 

After the excess liquid is cleaned up, use a mixture of vinegar and water to clean the stain out of the felt safely. Of course, don’t rub the felt with anything, or else it will pill. 

Unless the stain is ancient and stuck into the felt, vinegar and water should restore the pool table to its original clean state. 

Smoke Smell 

What if your pool table isn’t stained but instead smells like smoke? After years of being owned by a smoker or in a smoking lounge, a pool table can soak up those smells. 

A musty or smoky-smelling pool table is best dealt with by letting it air out well. Please don’t put it down in the basement until you’ve allowed it to air out very well. 

If you’ve aired out your pool table and it still smells like smoke, you can use a very gentle fabric spray or air freshener on it (Febreze Gentle works well). 

Smoke is one of the hardest smells to eradicate, especially in fabric or furniture. If you can’t stand the smell but want to keep the pool table, you might need to call a professional. 

The Best Way to Keep Your Pool Table Clean 

Of course, the best way to keep your pool table clean is to be very careful when you’re playing pool! Here are some suggestions for preventative maintenance: 

  • Don’t allow food or drinks around the pool table 
  • Keep a cover on the table when it’s not in use 
  • Clean your pool balls and cues
  • Establish an age limit for playing pool or supervise children when playing
  • Apply chalk far away from the table 
  • Keep your pool table in a climate-controlled environment
  • Dust your pool table regularly 
  • Ban smoking in the room with the pool table 

If you take even a few of these measures, you’ll be able to enjoy your pool table for much longer, up to 50 years, in some cases. With a clean pool table, the game is better and more professional. 

Final Thoughts 

Chalk stains might be annoying, but they are relatively easy and inexpensive to clean. The felt is sensitive and needs specific cleaning to be clean without getting damaged. 

Playing pool or billiards is a great pastime for many, and keeping a pool table clean makes the game more enjoyable. Clean the chalk off, and enjoy your pool! 

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