How To Clean a Pool Table: Easy To Follow Guide + Prevention Tips

Pool tables are a great investment. You can easily spend thousands of dollars on one. While they’re not cheap, they last for years and provide a space for your entire family to have fun. Given the expensive nature of a pool table, it’s important to understand how to properly care for it to maximize its lifetime. So, how to clean a pool table?

To clean a pool table, wooden parts should be wiped with a fine, damp mop like any other piece of fine furniture. If the table felt gets dirty, brush and vacuum clean it. For stains, use chemicals while they’re wet, but don’t rub – blot it and then use a dry mop to wipe it.

Whether you are getting your very first pool table or you have purchased a table before, hopefully, you will find some useful information below in the form of tips, advice, and what to consider before buying a pool table.

How to clean a pool table?

How to clean a pool table

A pool table can be a very expensive investment, but the good news is that with proper treatment it will last for years.

If you want to extend its lifetime, taking proper care of your pool table shouldn’t be a matter of choice, but a must.

When cleaning, you should pay attention to the table’s main components: felt, rails, and pockets.

Pool table cleaning service

As always, you have two options when thinking about how to clean a pool table. One is to contact the pool table cleaning service and the other is to clean it yourself at home.

If you go with the first option, first check the price since it can vary a lot from service to service. 

How to clean a felt at home?

So how do you clean felt at home? It seems like a daunting task at first – and, indeed, you don’t want to damage the felt. But it is possible to clean your table without damaging it. Here’s how:

  • Brush off any dust and chalk before it has a chance to be ground in. Use a hard-bristled pool table brush and brush the table thoroughly in a back-and-forth motion.
    Vacuum clean your pool table. If you have an attachment that will allow you to use this device as an upholstery cleaner, use it now. Otherwise, just use your handheld aspirator.
  • Liquid spills: If you spill a liquid on your pool table’s playing surface, clean it immediately! Blot up as much liquid as possible with a thick towel or cloth, then dab some mild detergent onto the area where the liquid fell with another cloth or towel. Blot away at this until the stain is gone.

Can you wash the pool table felt?

If you need to wash your table felt, use WATER ONLY. Soap may leave marks on it, so avoid using it. The best option is to use hot water and a clean towel to clean the felt. Soak it with gentle moves and repeat the process until the stain is gone.

How to clean a pool table felt stains?

If a liquid (soda, beer, or juice) spills on your pool table playing surface, don’t panic! Just blot it up with a towel as much as possible, then dab some mild detergent on and repeat the blotting until the stain is gone.

How to brush a pool table felt?

When it comes to cloth brushing, I recommend you use a specialized brush, with soft edges. This way, you’re reducing the risk of the cloth damaging to a minimum. When you’re brushing the felt, don’t use circular, but straight strokes, and don’t push it too hard!

Pool table cleaning brush

I’ve mentioned above a specialized pool table cleaning brush. If you’re wondering where to buy it, I have good news for you: you can purchase it in every billiard store.

The most important feature of this brush is its bristles–they’re soft and their tips won’t damage or tear the cloth.

Also, the brush has rubber edges, so you can’t damage the cushions.

Mold on the pool table felt

If you spill the liquid over the table and don’t clean it immediately, don’t get surprised if the mold appears on your felt.

But don’t fall into despair, there’s a solution for it: A MIXTURE OF LEMON JUICE AND SALT WILL DO THE WORK. 

Mistakes to avoid when cleaning a pool table felt

One of the most common mistakes you should avoid when cleaning your pool table is the use of chemicals.

If possible, try to avoid them. Try to clean your table felt with hot water and a clean towel.

If the chemicals are inevitable, try not to use strong ones and the ones that are colored. They may leave marks on your table, or bleach the cloth.

Pool Table Care: Prevention

Even though WE KNOW what we shouldn’t do around our pool table we still do all those little nasty things that harm our pool table.

However, if you decided to turn a new page and start taking care of your pool table, or you just bought a new one, here are a couple of hacks that could endure its lifespan:

1. No cigarettes near the table

Cigarette butts turn into little piles of ash and glue that soon become a big mess.

2. No drinks and food on the table

Spilled drinks and any spill of food or drink items are sure to stain the felt on your table.

3. Don’t put anything on the table

When you want to store something other than your cues, don’t use your pool table for storage.

Don’t confuse your gorgeous pool table with a mere countertop! It’s not the spot to store grocery bags or that briefcase you use to run everyday errands.

Using your pool table as a storage area dirties, stains, and misaligns the felt underneath.

4. Get a cover

Pool table covers are usually a cheap investment, if you’re not choosing custom-made ones,  and they can do a lot for your table.

It will protect your table from dust and also from sun damage.

How to clean pool rails?

Pool table rails are cleaned just like any other fine wooden furniture in your house.

You should use a wet mop and clean it with gentle moves. Remember, warm water is your best friend.

Don’t use strong chemicals, they could damage the wood coating.

How to clean pool table pockets?

If your pockets get dirty, use a vacuum cleaner to clean them.

You can also use it for areas around the pockets for any dust or debris that has accumulated there over time.

If you don’t have a vacuum cleaner, you can clean table pockets with the mop and water.

But remember, don’t use too much water, you don’t want mold and bacteria on your table.

The best pool table felt cleaner 

One of the most practical ways to clean not only pool table felt but also pockets, rails and balls is to use pool table spray.

These days on market you can find multiple products and some of them are better than others.

From my experience, the best pool table felt cleaner is a Quick Clean pool table cleaner. 

Quick Clean pool table cleaner 

  • Quick cleaning
  • Ease of use
  • For all felt types

Quick-Clean is the only pool table cleaner that cleans in less than 60 seconds. This product is a dry-foam cleaner that does not fade, harm, or shrink your felt, and it will extend the life of your cloth by 40-50%.

You can spray this foam onto your table felt and wipe it off. No need to vacuum or wash the cloth.

This product is perfect for home or commercial use. It does not fade your tablecloth, and it saves you time and money.

It works on all types and grades of felts, so you never have to worry about whether you’re using the right product.

And don’t worry: you won’t have to wait long to play your next game, because Quick-Clean pool table cleaner doesn’t leave a residue or liquid film on the cloth – it’s ready for action as soon as you wipe it off.

Not only does Quick-Clean keep your table clean, but it also can make your pockets and balls free from chalk dust, which can cause premature wear on both pockets and balls.

It’s even safe for furniture and fixtures.

Homemade pool table felt cleaner

If you’re more into homemade, natural cleaners, the good news is that with a couple of simple ingredients, you can clean the pool table easily.

My personal favorite homemade table felt cleaner is based on vinegar. 

This is an easy stain-removal technique. You should make a mixture of one tablespoon of the best cleaning vinegar and a cup of cold water in a bowl or a bucket.

Afterward, blot the stained felt area with the moistened cloth. Rinse the cloth often and remoisten it with the vinegar and water mixture.

After the stain is removed leave the area to dry completely. If needed repeat the process after drying. 

Pool Table Cleaning Kit 

Besides pool table sprays you may consider buying a pool table cleaning kit for flawless results.

Since these accessories are something you can use for years and they aren’t expensive you may want to invest in them. 

Kits like this usually contain a billiard rail brush, hand-held table corner brush, cue shaft slicker snooker cloth cleaner, and cue chalk.

You can find a rich selection on Amazon. I personally have used the DML Set of Billiards Pool Table & Rail Brush Cleaning Tools for years and I’m satisfied with it.

I’ve also gifted a few of those to my friends and they are more than happy with them. 


Can you vacuum a pool table?

Pool tables can be vacuumed. Vacuum cleaners should use a non-rotating brush to avoid damaging the felt. Dust, dirt, and other debris can accumulate on the felt over time, making it necessary to clean it this way regularly.

How to clean chalk marks off the pool table?

Chalk marks can be removed by using a pool table cleaner. A brush can also be used to remove chalk marks that players regularly make. 

How to get coke out of the pool table? 

Microfiber cloths are great for cleaning up spills. You should blot stains with a damp cloth first. Then you should rinse the coke stain off with clean water.

What we’ve learned about cleaning pool table

All in all, pool tables are quite expensive to mend. Just like any other form of furniture, they undergo natural wear and tear.

However, owners can take precautions to minimize any damage to their pool tables. 

Anyway, cleaning the pool table shouldn’t be challenging. You must always remember that the surface of a pool table is delicate and should be treated with care.

The proper treatment should be taken when cleaning the table for this will prolong its overall lifespan.

I hope my guide and advice in this article were helpful and your tables will serve you for a long time. Good luck!

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