How to Care for Your Pool or Snooker Table
In all honesty, pool and snooker tables don’t require much maintenance. In fact, compared to cars or other large investments, maintenance is next to nil.
Nonetheless, there are a few things you can do to protect and maintain your pool table’s surface, pockets, rails, and other essential parts. By following these helpful tips, you can help ensure your pool or snooker table lasts not just one but several lifetimes and provides generations of fun!
Use a Dust Cover
Pool table covers are an accessory everyone knows they should use, but very few pool or snooker table owners actually do. This is a big mistake.
When you don’t use a cover, you leave your table exposed to dust, pet hair, and sunlight. Dust may not ruin your table, but it certainly makes for more work. Pet hair, drool, and claw marks from dogs or cats, on the other hand, can do a real number on any pool table.
Lastly, most people don’t think about sunlight and the damaging effect of UV rays. Without a cover, the natural light can fade the cloth and even cause considerable damage over time. This will result in the need for cloth repair or replacement.
In other words, don’t let your pool table cover sit idly in the closet. Pull it out and put it to use whenever you’re not playing to keep your QUEDOS table looking and performing like new.
Minimise Direct Sunlight
As we just touched on, pool table cloth is extremely sensitive to sunlight as it will begin to fade and deteriorate with too much sun exposure. Therefore, if you choose not to use a dust cover, you should take other precautions to protect your pool table from sunlight.
One way to do this is to place your table in an area away from large windows. If you have your pool table in front of windows and have nowhere else to place it, invest in some sun shades to at least dapple the light and decrease its destructive power on the cloth.
Brush the Cloth
At QUEDOS, the cloth we use is made in England by Hainsworth and consists of nothing but 100 percent premium wool. Unlike poorer quality pool table cloths, it has a fine nap, which makes for a straight, ultra-smooth roll.
If you have one of our tables, or any pool or snooker table for that matter, caring for the cloth is critical. Dirt, chalk dust, and other particles can break down the cloth’s wool fibres over time, so each should be kept to a minimum in order to prolong its life.
Many pool table owners use dust covers to keep the cloth clean. However, even if you use a dust cover, regular brushing with a quality pool table brush is a must. Ideally, you should brush the cloth after every playing session. Doing so will extend the lifespan of your pool table’s cloth and keep it looking and performing like new.
That being said, there’s a wrong way and a right way to brush the cloth. The correct way is to use short, straight brushstrokes and brush in the direction of the nap. You should brush the table in a single straight line and slightly overlap each stroke of the brush. At the end of each stroke, lift the brush up. This will lift the dust up and away.
In a perfect world, you would use a handheld vacuum to suck up all of the dirt and dust particles. If you don’t have a handheld vac, a standard floor vacuum with an optional hose and nozzle will work just fine. When vacuuming, only go in one direction just like you would when brushing.
While vacuuming will get the cloth the cleanest, it also stretches it out and should only be done every few months at most. Therefore, sometimes it’s best just to brush the particles along the bottom of the rail cushions into one of the pockets.
Avoid Cleaning Chemicals
While it isn’t exactly necessary like cleaning the cloth, chances are you’ll want to dust and clean the rail and other hard surfaces of your pool table as well. Unfortunately, wood cleaners and other cleaning products can actually do more harm than good. Rather than cleaning chemicals, we recommend using a damp cloth to dust and remove finger marks.
Don’t Forget About the Pockets
Most pool table owners concentrate on keeping the cloth, rails, and rail cushions clean and protected, but the pockets often get neglected. Like other parts of the table, the pockets should be protected from sunlight, heat, and humidity.
If your table has traditional leather pockets, it’s best to store the balls evenly between them, or you can remove them from the pockets completely and keep them stored somewhere else. Having too many balls in a single pocket can weight it down and loosen the staples or tacks.
To clean the pockets, use a mild detergent and damp cloth. Then, dry the pockets with a clean cloth. A soft dry cloth works best, especially when it comes to removing dust. If they’re leather, make sure to also apply a leather cleaner and conditioner once every few months to keep the leather supple and strong.
Never Move the Table by Yourself
No matter how careful you may be, moving a pool table by yourself is never recommended. Why? Because sliding the table will break the shims and result in an uneven playing surface. It may also disrupt a slate joint, or worse yet, crack or break one of the legs.
Needless to say, if you’re installing new flooring or need to move your pool or snooker table for any other reason, it’s best to hire a professional.
Create and Abide by Pool Table Rules
The best maintenance for a pool table is to create and abide by a set of preventive rules. For instance, a pool table should never be used for anything other than pool. Here are some more smart rules to live by:
-Never sit or stand on the pool table surface.
-Avoid bumping or leaning against the table.
-Keep all food and drink off of the table.
-Never toss coins or drop balls onto the pool table cloth.
-Don’t chalk cues overtop of the table.
While abiding by these rules will undoubtedly prolong the life of your pool or snooker table, accidents do happen. One of the most common accidents is spills. If a drink does spill onto your table, use a clean damp cloth to blot the stain. The process may be slow depending on the severity of the stain, but it’s best to avoid cleaning chemicals as they can damage the cloth.
For more pool table tips and info on how to care for your Pool Table please visit our Care for your Quedos Table section or feel free to give us a call or stop by our WA showroom.
In addition to creating first-class pool and snooker tables, our experts have a wealth of information and are always happy to help!