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Pool Table Maintenance Guide

Updated: Feb 26

No matter the make, style or price point, a pool table is an investment that requires routine care to keep it playing sharp and in the best possible condition.


Our pool table maintenance guide provides preventive maintenance tips and cleaning instructions for the different parts that make up your pool table.


The Importance of Proper Pool Table Maintenance


Better playing conditions: When the felt on your pool table is adequately maintained, you'll experience smoother conditions, making for accurate shots.


Attractive-looking table: Maintaining the upkeep of everything from the wood to the felt, pockets and other components of your table ensures it looks good for years to come.


Extended life span: Regular maintenance keeps your pool table in good condition for longer, reducing the need to replace or repair parts and increasing its longevity.


How to Maintain a Pool Table


We recommend that you follow these basic pool table care guidelines whether you are a new owner or are looking for tips on caring for a pool table that you already own.


  • Keep your table covered: Placing a pool table cover over your table minimizes dust accumulation and protects your cloth from debris, sunlight, moisture and other things that could damage the fabric while the table is not in use.

  • Brush your cloth often: We recommend using a pool table brush to brush the cloth at least once a week, especially in the first few months after purchase, and before and after play to remove debris and chalk dust.

  • Avoid extreme temperatures: Extreme high or low temperatures in the room where your pool table is kept can cause wrinkling on your felt.

  • Keep food and drinks away: This helps to avoid drops and spills on the cloth and blemishes on the wood or synthetic parts of the table.


How to Clean a Pool Table


Cleaning your pool table with the wrong cleaning agents or methods could cause lasting damage. Understanding the appropriate cleaning approach helps your pool table stand the test of time.


Cleaning the Wood on Your Pool Table




We recommend wiping surfaces with a dry cloth. This is the best method for keeping your wood table clear of dust without using cleaning agents that could harm your table’s finish. Never use glass or ammonia cleaners on wood.

You can use high-grade furniture wax to clean the rails. This will keep your table looking sleek and new through use.


When it comes to scratches, use high-grade wood polish. Should your table sustain any damage, high-quality wood polish can help fade visible surface scratches.


Cleaning Synthetic Pool Tables



Wipe with a damp cloth and a small amount of mild cleaner. For tables made of materials like vinyl, it is acceptable to use water and gentle cleaners for basic cleaning.


How to Clean Felt on a Pool Table


Cleaning dust and loose debris off your felt surface can be done with a soft-bristled brush, especially if your table is left uncovered. But you should avoid using a vacuum cleaner on the felt.


If any liquids get on the felt playing surface, act quickly to keep stains at bay. When a spill occurs, grab a dry cloth, soak up the excess liquid, and blot the affected area without rubbing. 


If the felt stains, you can clean it with a clean microfiber cloth and warm water. Soak the cloth in the water, wring it out, and apply the damp cloth to the stain, holding it down and avoiding rubbing. To clean persistent pool table stains, look for a gentle foam cleaner made specifically for use on pool table felt.


Caring for Cabinetry and Pockets


It's best to avoid extreme temperatures and humidity. As with cloth, your table cabinetry could be affected by extremely high or low temperatures, as well as excessively high or low levels of humidity in the room where your table is kept. We recommend using a dehumidifier in rooms where humidity levels can fluctuate beyond normal.


Intense sunlight can harm your table’s finish, so you should keep your table out of direct sunlight. As with billiard cloth, a table cover is recommended to help protect against damage caused by sunlight.


Another way to keep your cabinetry and pockets looking like new is to avoid sitting, standing or leaning on your pool table. This could cause harm to the table’s structural balance and warp or damage the playing surface. Wipe your table’s pockets with a dry cloth to clean off dust and debris.


If your table has external pockets, remove the balls and store them elsewhere, such as a wall rack, when the table is not in use. If you choose to store your billiard balls in the table’s pockets, evenly distribute the balls between bags to reduce wear. 


Get Essential Pool Table Maintenance Accessories From Imperial


As a fourth-generation family-owned and run business, Imperial delivers quality pool tables and accessories with the utmost care and commitment to customer satisfaction. We provide world-class pool tables, game tables, and accessories to suit any style.


Find that perfect retro, modern, traditional, professional or dining pool table from Imperial or to learn more about the best way to maintain your pool table.


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