How to Clean a Pool Table

What You'll Need
Furniture polish
Billiard brush
Vacuum cleaner with upholstery attachments
Paper towels
Fabric cleaner for pool tables

 Cleaning expensive pool table fabric gives it longevity. Particles left on the surface of the pool table can interfere with the balls rolling across the playing area. Chalk build-up, lint, dust and dirt are all things that can damage the fabric on the pool table if not removed.  

Pool Tables

Pool tables are made of wood and topped with slate that is covered in fabric. The fabric is called felt and is a blend of wool and nylon. Different grades of felt are available for a pool table. There is tournament grade fabric for casual use or Teflon coated fabric to resist stains. Fabric with larger wool content is stronger because of the tighter weave. Also, a higher grade fabric tends to have less pilling. Pilling happens when the nylon fibers unravel due to friction against the fabric. The loose fibers become balls on the fabric. Felt for pool tables are found in many colors. The most common color is green but pool table felt also can be blue, red, gray, tan or black. 

Cues and Balls

It is not only important to clean the felt on the pool table, but the cues and balls also need maintenance. Check the tips of the cues to see if they are loose and properly glued. Any rough spots on the cue can tear the pool table felt. Regularly wash the pool table balls to rid them of dirt. To clean the balls use water and a mild soap.


Step 1 - Cleaning the Wood

Wipe sides and legs of the pool table with furniture polish. 

Step 2 - Brushing the Felt

Using the billiard brush sweep the felt starting in the middle. Brush the dust and dirt into the nearest pocket. 

Step 3 - Vacuuming the Felt

Vacuum the felt using an upholstery attachment. Be sure to get the space between the bumper and table surface where grime can accumulate. Place the vacuum hose in the pockets to get all of the dirt brushed off of the felt. 

Step 4 - Fabric Cleaner

Apply a fabric cleaner that is formulated for use on pool table felt. Follow the directions on the fabric cleaner label. Generally, the fabric cleaner is left on the felt for about a minute and then wiped off with paper towels. The fabric will be dry after cleaning. 

Step 5 - Pool Table Cover

When you are not playing pool the table should be covered to reduce the amount of dust that falls on the felt.