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How to Maintain a Pool Table

How to maintain a pool table

A pool table is a fun game room investment built to last, but it requires some attention to keep it in good condition. If you own a pool table, you should know how to best clean and brush the surface and how to care for its accessories. For proper pool table maintenance, follow the guidelines in this article to minimize damage for years to come.

How Can a Pool Table Get Damaged?

Even though a pool table is a durable piece of furniture, it can be damaged when exposed to certain conditions. Common factors that cause your pool table to suffer damages include:

Spills and Leaks

Water can stain or cause decay to form in the wooden parts of your pool table. Keep your table in a room without a sink, refrigerator or another source of a potential water leak. It's best to install the table away from any bathrooms.

Wear and Tear

Burn spots appear when the friction from the billiard balls rubs holes in the table's playing surface. A burn spot is a permanent mark in the felt. Prevent burn spots from appearing by using balls made of phenolic resin. This material is safe for use on the felt surface that's common to most pool tables. Tell players to be gentle with the billiard balls and avoid the improper technique of tapping the felt with the cue when they strike a ball.


The felt on your pool table will absorb the smoke from cigarettes and other nicotine products. Keep ashtrays clear of the pool table, and use a cover to keep the felt fresh if you regularly smoke indoors.


When you move your table into a different room or rearrange your furniture, try to be gentle with it. Get multiple people to carry it at either end instead of trying to slide or push it through a doorway.

Avoid sitting on the table or leaning against the sides or on its surface. Placing strain on a pool table can cause loose pins that will make it wobbly and unstable.

The importance of maintaining a pool table

Importance of Maintaining a Pool Table

Your pool table will stay functional with minimal attention, but if you use it often, you should take certain actions to ensure this special room centerpiece lasts. Reasons it's important to maintain your pool table include:

  • Smoother, more professional playing conditions: When you keep the felt and accessories in working order, playing on your table will be a better experience.

  • A sleeker appearance: A well-kept pool table appeals to guests as one of the main attractions of your game room.

  • Easier long-term maintenance: Keeping up with routine maintenance helps you avoid having to replace the table's felt prematurely or getting other professional restoration treatments.

How to Clean a Pool Table

If you're concerned with how to take care of a pool table, the process is simple and can be completed routinely. Maintain your pool table by:

Cleaning the Felt

Clean the chalk and dust from the pool table's playing surface with a pool table brush. For how to brush the pool table, make sure you use gentle strokes directed toward the pockets. The glue on lint rollers could leave a sticky residue on the felt, so avoid using one to clean up animal hair or debris.

Wiping up Spills

If you spill a liquid that could leave a stain on the fabric, try patting the area dry and spraying it with a blend of vinegar and water. Avoid using bleach or heavy-duty cleaners on the felt, as these may remove a stain at the cost of leaving a large bleach spot.

Replacing the Felt

The playing surface of your pool table will eventually need to be replaced, even when you play using a good technique and follow all maintenance guidelines. If you regularly use the table, anticipate replacing its felt at least once every two years. If you're an infrequent player, you might need to replace the felt in about five years. Always have a trained professional replace your pool table felt for correct application.

Cleaning the Wood

Use a lightly damp cloth to wipe visible dust or stains. The cloth should be a suitable material for the treated wood and incapable of leaving scratches. Occasionally, use a citrus-based polish appropriate for fine wooden furniture to maintain the shine.

Cleaning the Leather Pockets

Use a lightly damp cloth and leather cleaner to wipe out the pockets. Only use products labeled specifically for use on leather. If your table came without leather pockets and has a ball return system instead, clean the balls regularly to avoid going underneath the table to wipe out the return tracks.

Caring for the Billiard Balls

Clean your pool balls using warm water and mild soap only. Scrub each one using a washrag, and dry them completely before returning them to the pool table. Leftover moisture from freshly washed pool balls can leave water spots in the pockets.

Using a Cover

A pool table cover has many benefits, especially if you have furry pets or small children. Put the cover on the table after each game to keep the felt safe from spills, clutter, dust and debris. The cover also keeps your pets from lounging directly on the table, so you will have less hair to clean up.

Best Practices for Maintaining Pool Table Condition

Some of the best practices for keeping your pool table in top condition include:

  • Choose your cleaning products wisely: Make sure the products you use on your table are appropriate or use damp rags moistened with water only.

  • Clean up after each use: Use a table brush to sweep away any chalk dust. Take the billiard balls out of the leather pockets and empty them into a pool ball tray or bucket after every game.

  • Use a pool table cover: Protect the felt underneath to extend your table's longevity.

  • Educate players about proper usage: Players should avoid resting on the table or setting drinks or ashtrays on either the wooden edges or the felt surface. Players should also be taught how to strike the billiard balls with the cue safely and effectively.

Buy a New Pool Table From HB Home

Buy a new pool table from hb home

If you're considering getting a new pool table to turn your basement or spare room into the perfect escape, HB Home has a wide selection of popular brands. Search for a pool table that fits your needs, and place an order that includes professional installation and free shipping. Have an unanswered question about pool table maintenance or our ordering process? Contact us to learn more about our products.

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