Regularly cleaning your pool table felt promises smoother gameplay and a longer lifespan. Chalk, dust and other debris get transported onto the table and, when settled, they can change the texture and appearance of the cloth.
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.
Brushing and Vacuuming the Felt
You should brush your table after every game. Brushing is the least invasive method of keeping your 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 towards the pockets from head to foot.
Vacuuming can suck up particles left behind from brushing. It also cleans the pockets, where the brush deposits debris from the table. If you choose to vacuum the tabletop, use a brush attachment—without one, you will pull the felt up. As well, set the vacuum to its lowest power setting to keep suction to a minimum. Unlike brushing, you can get away with vacuuming every few weeks (or months).
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.
Dealing with Stains
Spills with food and drinks can happen at any time. 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.