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Pool tables can be quite expensive, so keeping them in top condition should always be a primary concern. One thing that will need regular care is felt.
That felt can get dusty and full of stains real fast, but you can’t just spray any old cleaner on there and wipe it off. Today we are here to discuss how to clean the pool table felt the best way, all without causing damage.
How to Clean Pool Table Felt: The Two Best Methods
There are two methods for cleaning your pool table felt that you should be familiar with.
Which method you choose to go with will depend on how dirty the felt is. The first method that uses just a brush and a vacuum, is great for solid and dry debris that has not caked onto the felt. The second method, which uses some liquids, is great for cleaning up stains and stuck-on debris.
Let’s go through a step-by-step tutorial for both methods.
Method 1: Brush & Vacuum
This first method for cleaning pool table felt is ideal for things like dust, crumbs, sand, dry soil, and any other such things. This is a fast and easy way to clean your pool table felt. This is something which we would recommend doing on a near-daily basis.
The less debris builds up on the pool table felt, the easier it will be to clean and to keep it that way.
Let’s talk about how to brush and vacuum that felt. It might seem straightforward, but there are a couple of important points to be aware of nonetheless.
Step 1: Get Your Brush
The first step is to get yourself a good pool table brush. Yes, there are pool table brushes out there specifically designed for this task. These are fairly affordable and can be found in pool table supply stores and recreation stores alike. You can also get one off Amazon.
Never use anything but a pool table brush specified for pool table felt. Rough and abrasive brushes will cause damage to the delicate felt lining.
Step 2: Brush the Felt
Now that you have your brush, it’s time to put it to use.
Always start brushing from the center of the pool table and move outwards. Unlike with teeth or countertops, never use a circular motion for brushing pool table felt.
A circular motion may damage the felt and you will just keep spreading the dirt around. Always use straight strokes, always move in the same direction, and always work from the center of the pool table to the edges.
Don’t brush the dirt right to the edges, as this will make the dirt harder to vacuum up. Brush the dirt to about an inch away from the edge. Also, be sure to use fairly light and gentle strokes.
Never be rough with pool table felt, even with a special pool table brush.
Step 3: Put the Vacuum to Use
The final step here is to vacuum the pool table.
Be sure to use the standard vacuum hose or a special attachment for soft textiles. Never use a vacuum’s included floor brush, as this will be far too still and it will cause damage to the felt.
Start off by vacuuming under the cushions, and be sure to suck up all of the dirt you brushed to the edge of the pool table. To get under the cushions, you may need to use some sort of narrow nozzle attachment. Once you have vacuumed the edges and under the cushions, you can then vacuum the whole table.
Once again, just like with the brush, use straight motions, not circular.
Beware, if you are using a very strong vacuum, you may not want to hold it directly against the felt, as all of that suction can end up pulling fibers out of the felt, or in other words, damaging it.
Method 2: Cleaning Spills
This method for cleaning the felt on your pool table is for stains and spills, not dry debris.
If you do have stains and spills on your pool table, we would recommend starting with the previous method, just to remove all of the dry and solid debris, then move onto this method for getting those spills and stains out of that expensive felt.
Step 1: Immediately Soak it Up
If you do happen to spill any sort of liquid on the felt of your pool table, never let it sit.
Immediately use some kind of super-absorbent paper towel or cloth to soak up as much of it as you can.
Keep in mind that you want to use a dabbing motion to do this. Never rub the cloth over the pool table as this will just spread the mess around. The sooner you soak the spill up, the less liquid will soak into the felt and the table beneath.
Step 2: Blot with Wet Paper Towel
If you spilled anything other than water onto the felt, get some wet paper towel and keep dabbing it where the spill is.
This will help remove things like alcohol, soda, juice, or whatever else. Remember, soaking up a spill only goes so far, but you still need to remove whatever already soaked into the felt. Keep using a wet paper towel to soak up as much of the spill as you can.
Once again, never rub it around.
3. Use Vinegar or Felt Cleaner
If the spill was a sticky one, or if it created a stain, it is time to remove the remnants.
Here, mix water with vinegar at a 50/50 ratio, get a soft cloth, soak it in the vinegar solution, and start dabbing it on the spill. This should work to remove most stains.
If all else fails, the last thing you can try doing is to get a bottle of specialty pool table felt cleaner like this one. Never use normal felt or carpet cleaners as you may cause damage to the pool table.
Simply follow the directions on the pool table cleaner you got, and you should be able to remove all remaining debris and stains.
Tips & Tricks to Keep Your Pool Table Felt Looking Great
Finally, let’s go over a few other tips and tricks, both for cleaning the felt and to prevent it from every getting dirty in the first place:
- Always chalk the pool cue away from the table. That chalk can get on the felt and cause stains. Not only that, but the gritty nature of the chalk that rubs off can slowly wear away at the felt.
- Always use a pool table cover when you are not using it. This will prevent debris of all sorts from getting on it. You may use a tarp or any other type of cover that is clean, but a real pool table cover is what is recommended.
- Never eat or drink right beside a pool table, and certainly never let your beverages rest on the edge of a pool table. That’s just asking for a disaster to strike.
The bottom line is that pool table felt can be quite fragile, which makes it hard to clean, but it’s soft and absorbent nature also makes it easy to get dirty.
So, for the best results, please follow the above methods for cleaning your pool table, and remember, never use anything abrasive or else you’ll ruin the felt.