How To Maintain Your Pool Table Felt
A clean pool table will last longer and play better than one that is neglected, and simple maintenance is one of the best ways to protect your investment.
Start by making sure your table is covered whenever you are not playing. A pool table cover will protect your cloth from flying dust particles, kids, pets, spills, and most other random contaminants.
When playing, wearing loose jewelry, wristwatches, and/or bracelets, may potentially "catch" the cloth. All it takes is a very small pick in the cloth to start a process that will eventually grow until a sizable hole. If that happens you'll have to re-felt the table. These can also scratch and dent the rails of a table, and if you have spent a lot on a furniture style table, You surely want to protect it from such dings and scratches.
Every now and then, wipe the balls down with warm soap and water. You can also use any number of billiard ball polishesavailable. Keeping the ball set free from dust and dirt will not only make them play better and more consistently, but will also help keep these particulars from sullying the table.
When chalking cues, keep the tip and the chalk away from the cloth. Chalk dust is fine and abrasive, so the less you chalk, and the farther from the table you do it, the less likely it is to affect your pool table cloth.
Keep a brush handy, but use it only for larger particles during play. Always brush in the same direction, and towards a pocket. Using a brush for regular table cleaning is ineffective as a brush will simply push dirt and chalk dust further into the cloth fibers, causing them to deteriorate quicker. It is instead recommended, for regular cleaning, to use a low powered vacuum. This will remove chalk dust and dirt from the table entirely rather than simply rubbing it around and through the table cloth.
There are also table cleaners that have been specifically designed to remove dirt and soot from pool table felt, in much the same was as carpet stain removers. Because of the exact milling needed for billiards cloth, these carpet cleaners are not recommend for use on a pool table though.
For the cabinet and rails of the table, regular household wood cleaners and waxes should work fine. It is a piece of furniture after all. Use common sense too, and use the proper products accordingly. Don't use wood products on leather and vice versa.
Lastly, keep drinks and cigarettes/cigars away from your pool table. Accidents happen, but the farther away from your table a spill takes place, the less likely you are to have any damage or staining of your cloth. Make sure that your gameroom has shelves or tables for your guest to keep their drinks, and ashtrays for them so they don't bend over your table and let ashes fall on the cloth.
All of these tips should help ensure you get the most from your pool table and overall billiards experience.