How to Clean Your Pool Table Cloth

how to clean pool table cloth

Learn how to clean your pool tablecloth to promote smoother gameplay and a longer lifespan of the felt on your pool table. Chalk, dust and other debris get transported onto the table and, when settled, they can change the texture and appearance of the cloth. The felt is also one of the things that are not covered under warranty. The lifespan of your pool table cloth depends on how you treat it, what you expose it to, and how well you maintain it throughout the life of your pool table.

Note that a cover can protect your table from accidents and dirtiness when not in use. This is especially true in rooms that receive direct sunlight and in homes with pets.

Brush the felt gently and in one direction

You should brush your table after every game. Brushing is the least invasive method of keeping your pool table cloth clean and even. That said, if you brush too hard or in too many directions, you can fade the colours, stretch the cloth and trap dirt between the fibres. It’s best to swipe toward the pockets from head to foot. Always brush the cloth in ONE direction from one need of the table to the other. It’s best practice to brush the cloth length-wise.

Never vacuum the cloth!

Vacuuming can suck up particles left behind from brushing, BUT, it will pull the particles up from the slate THROUGH the felt. This creates tiny pinholes which can cause deviation in the way the ball travels on the felt.

Sure, you can use a vacuum to clean the pockets, however, Legacy recommends using a damp cloth instead. Don’t even bring the vacuum out because you may be tempted to use it if you see any dirt on the table

Preventing Unnecessary Dirt on the Table

As the cue strikes the ball, a small amount of chalk sticks to the surface. Most of it falls off as the ball rolls around the table, but some residue remains. Periodically, wipe the balls clean with soap and water or a special billiard polish. This keeps your table clean and gives the balls a better consistency.

It’s also a very wise idea to keep drinks and food away from the table. Don’t allow guests to get comfortable with the idea of resting a beer on the side rails. Accidents happen and the more you do to prevent them from happening, the longer you’ll extend the lifespan of the felt on your pool table.

Dealing with Stains

Spills with food and drinks can happen at any time (if you didn’t heed the advice above). Thankfully, you can easily erase fresh stains with billiards cleaner. Simply apply the solution with a damp rag, dabbing and drying repeatedly until the solution takes effect. Never rub the stain in or use a dripping wet cloth—both actions will exacerbate the problem.

Treat your table well and it will treat you well

Show your table love by avoiding as many potential accidents with food and drinks. Don’t let people climb on it, sit on it or rest ANYTHING on the felt. A pool table is a lifelong investment and the love you show it will come back to you in the form of years of play with a minimum investment in maintenance and repair.


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