How to Clean Pool Balls: The 3 Best Ways

Home Rec World is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Something which you may never have considered before searching for this article is that pool balls can get dirty and need to be cleaned. Doing so will avoid having your pool table felt getting dirty and damaged.

It will also prevent the dirt from affecting your gameplay in a negative way.

There are a few different ways to clean pool balls and each way has its benefits. In this article, I’ll go over the three best ones.

How to Clean Pool Balls

Cleaning Method #1: Soaking in Detergent

The first method of cleaning pool balls involves using a bucket, some warm water, some laundry detergent, and a smooth rag for polishing.

Most would agree that this is by far the most effective way to clean pool balls.

Let’s go through it step by step.

Step 1: Get a Bucket

First off, you need to get a normal bucket. A three or four gallon one will suffice. This is where you will put the cleaning liquid and the pool balls.

Step 2: Fill the Bucket

The next step is to fill the bucket a little more than half way, maybe three quarters of the way, with warm water.

Step 3: Add Detergent

The third step is to add the detergent into the water.

Make sure that you don’t use harsh household cleaners. Normal laundry detergent is what you need. It is best to use detergent in powder form, not liquid form.

You want to make a mix of 10 parts water and 1 part detergent. So, for every liter of water, you want to have about 100 milliliters of detergent.

Step 4: Insert the Pool Balls

This step is very simple.

Just let the pool balls soak in this mixture for about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how dirty they are.

Step 5: Polish the Balls

This step is also very simple.

Take the balls out of the water one by one, pour a little more powder laundry detergent over them, and use a smooth and damp towel to polish them.

Step 6: Dry the Balls

To dry your pool balls, use a clean and dry cloth and give each ball a good polish.

Your pool balls should all be clean now.

Cleaning Method #2: Baking Soda

Pool balls not only get dirty, but they can also develop a yellow stain over time.

This is a bit harder to remove and may not come off with just water and laundry detergent. To remove yellow stains, you’ll need some water and baking soda.

Let’s go through this method step by step.

Step 1: Make the Mix

First off, you need to make a thick paste out of baking soda and water.

Start by mixing equal parts water and baking soda. You can then always adjust the consistency by adding more of either. A medium-thick paste is what you are going for here.

It should be thin enough to spread on the balls, but not so thin that it runs everywhere.

Step 2: Polish the Ball

This step involves using a microfiber towel.

Take your microfiber towel and put a bit of the baking soda paste on it. Now you can rub this all over the pool ball. It might take a couple minutes of rubbing to remove the stains, but it should work just fine.

Step 3: Rinse and Dry the Ball

Right after you clean each ball with the baking soda paste, you need to rinse each one off with warm water. You don’t want the baking soda drying on the pool balls.

After you have done this, take a dry and clean cloth and dry the ball.

Step 4: Repeat

Now all you need to do is repeat the above steps until you have cleaned each pool ball.

Cleaning Method #3: Pool Ball Cleaner

The other method you can choose to go with to clean your pool balls is to buy a professional pool ball cleaning product.

Now, there are a few types out there, so we can’t really give you a step by step tutorial for this method, as different products have different instructions.

However, that said, most will involve either spraying the balls, polishing, and wiping off, or soaking the balls in a special cleaner and then polishing them off.

Find a professional pool ball cleaning product and follow the directions.

Aramith Bundle of 3 Items Billiard Ball Cleaner, Billiard Ball Restorer 8.4 fl.oz. Bottles & Aramith Microfibre Cloth

Which Is the Best Way to Clean Pool Balls?

Which method you choose to go with to clean your pool balls is totally up to you.

If you want to do it the easy way, we would recommend the first method (water and laundry detergent). This method is fast, easy, and cost effective.

However, if your pool balls have yellow stains on them, you will need to resort to either method #2 (baking soda and water) or method #3 (professional pool ball cleaner). The baking soda method is definitely the less expensive of the two, although it may not work quite as well as a dedicated pool ball cleaning product.

All of that being said, beware that pool balls should be cleaned regularly, or else you may cause damage to your pool table. Plus, dirty balls can definitely affect your game in a negative way.


The bottom line is that cleaning pool balls is not hard.

You just want to avoid using harsh cleaners as you may damage the balls or remove their shiny coats.

Moreover, never put pool balls in the dishwasher as this will more or less destroy them. We would recommend starting with the first method on the list and then going from there.