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How to Clean an Air Hockey Table
If you're experiencing problems with your air hockey table where the puck isn't gliding across the surface as it should, your table might need a cleaning. Regular cleaning and maintenance help ensure the puck slides smoothly across the surface. Cleaning your table also preserves its life span so you can enjoy it for as long as possible. Here's how to make your air hockey table slippery again.
Why You Should Clean Your Air Hockey Table
Regularly cleaning your air hockey table helps make it last longer. A clean table also makes for a better gaming experience. When dust and dirt particles clog the holes which channel the airflow from the blower, it slows down the gliding of the pucks or results in dead spots — an area on the table where the puck doesn't move.
When the table's surface is dirty, it affects how the puck glides and the accuracy of players' shots. A clean surface ensures smooth gliding and prevents chips and scratches that can occur when the puck comes in contact with dirt particles.
How Often You Should Clean Your Table
You may want to wipe down your air hockey table before and after each game. Wiping between breaks in your game will also help keep the puck gliding smoothly across your table. You can use a soft microfiber or cotton cloth to wipe down the table. Even when you're not using your table daily, you'll still want to clean it weekly to keep dust and dirt particles from building up on your table and in the air holes.
Regular deep cleanings are also beneficial. While more intensive, deep cleans can help make your table last longer. How often you deep clean your air hockey table will depend on how often you play and whether you cover your table.
If you only play a handful of games each month and invest in a cover for your table, a deep clean every few months will suffice. If you play regularly, doing a deep clean once per month is wise. You can also keep an eye out for signs — like the puck moving slower or scratching the table — that it's time for a deep clean.
How to Thoroughly Clean Your Table
Regular maintenance and cleaning are essential for the greatest game experience and keeping your table looking its best. You can follow a few cleaning and maintenance steps to keep your air hockey table in pristine condition.
What Parts Must You Clean?
Different parts of your air hockey table will need to be cleaned to help ensure optimal performance. Here are some steps for cleaning the different parts of your air hockey table:
Remove dust and particles from the blower: The blower is an essential part of your air hockey table. It projects air through the holes in your table and causes the puck to glide across the table. A deep clean of your blowers can keep them from becoming damaged. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust. You may need tweezers to remove other particles, like hair, from the fan.
Vacuum and scrub the tabletop: Start by vacuuming the tabletop to remove surface dust and dirt. Be careful not to touch the table with the vacuum nozzle. Hover the vacuum over the table, around the edges, in the goals and other areas where dust can collect. Next, wipe down the table with a clean, soft cloth like a microfiber cloth. Dampen the cloth with isopropyl alcohol or ammonia-free window cleaner, and wipe the surface with the blowers turned on. Having the blowers on will make it easier to remove dust. Apply the cleaning liquid to the cloth and not directly to the table. Excess fluid on the tabletop can cause more problems in the long run.
Unclog the air holes: Cleaning the air holes helps maintain good airflow. You can use a toothpick, cotton swab, pipe cleaner or a 1/32-inch drill bit or smaller to remove any dirt left behind after vacuuming. Turn on the air blower as you clean the holes to help dislodge dirt and carefully rotate your chosen cleaning agent in each hole.
Polishing: The final step is to polish your table with a silicone lubricant. Apply the lubricant to your cloth, then polish the surface of your table. You can then buff the table for a smooth, glossy finish that protects the surface and enhances your puck's glide.
Sanding: To keep your pucks and mallets gliding smoothly, you'll need to sand them. Wear can cause slight imperfections that affect your games. Sanding your pucks and the bottom of your mallets will ensure they are smooth.
What Can You Clean Your Air Hockey Table With?
Isopropyl alcohol and ammonia-free window cleaner are ideal products for cleaning your air hockey table. These products evaporate quickly and can help you achieve a streak-free finish.
For the smoothest finish, silicone lubricant is the best air hockey polish. However, using too much can cause your table to become too slippery. All you need is a small amount to polish your table. The best part is that it can last for up to two to three months before you need to reapply it.
Remember to steer clear of wax or anything similar. Products like wax can coat your table's surface, which can affect its performance.
How Do You Make Your Table Last?
Here are some other things you can do to make your table last longer:
Keep it covered: When you are not playing, covering your table is the best way to protect it from dust clogging up the air holes.
Avoid spills: Keep food and drinks away from your table. Any spills can damage the surface and even leak into the blower motor.
Check electrical parts: If your air hockey table features electrical components such as LED lights or a digital scoreboard, check these components regularly for any loose or faulty wires.
Repair the surface: If the surface of your air hockey table gets damaged, you can use clear epoxy to repair it. Fill the damaged area with the clear epoxy, wait for it to harden and then carefully sand down the affected area with fine sandpaper to level it with the rest of the table.
Add an HB Home Air Hockey Table to Your Game Room
Air hockey is the perfect activity for a fun-filled night at home with friends and family. At HB Home, we have a range of modern air hockey tables that will surely fit the design of your game room and complement your decor.
Browse our selection today, and enjoy free shipping on all air hockey tables!