Just as you brush your table and chalk your cues, you should clean your billiard balls regularly. Besides enhancing the sheen, keeping your billiard balls dust-free has a few benefits.
#1. Cleaning ensures consistent playability
Clean, polished billiards balls roll smoothly. With an even surface—not raised or bumpy with dust—your strokes are cleaner.
#2. It reduces table maintenance
Chalk from the pool cue powders the cue ball. During its travels, some of that chalk falls onto the table. Consequently, object balls collect this debris and transport it during gameplay. Such chalk is abrasive and can damage the table.
We recommend wiping your billiards set with a microfiber cloth between uses. Occasionally, you should give the entire set a thorough cleaning.
Washing Your Billiards Balls
Balls made from phenolic resin require special cleaning products. Regular detergents often leave an unwanted film around the surface. That said, phenolic resin is a slick and durable substance that needs little attention. A simple wipe-down should be sufficient.
You can always purchase Aramith Ball Cleaner or a similar product from your local billiards store to refresh your set. Hot water, too, can dissolve dried chalk and buff out minor imperfections.
For other materials like plastic and polyester, avoid harsh liquid detergents. The wrong product can lead to scratches—worse it can remove the finish! Of course, ensure your balls are dry and rinsed before placing them back onto the table. As harmful as chalk can be to cloth, residual detergent is a far greater threat.
You can buy billiards balls of various materials, and each set may demand a different cleaning agent. Always consult the manual in the box or swing by the manufacturer’s site for advice. Do not assume regular detergent works without doing a little research first!