How to Clean Pool Table Felt Correctly – Tips & Tricks!

Playing pool is an enjoyable pastime for many, but maintaining the table, especially the felt, is crucial for a good game experience. This guide will cover the essential steps and techniques for effectively cleaning pool table felt.

Pool Table Felt

Pool table felt is delicate and requires careful handling. It’s typically made from a blend of wool and nylon, which provides a smooth surface for the balls to roll. The felt’s quality can significantly impact the game’s playability, so maintaining its condition is paramount.

Alongside felt maintenance, ensuring your pool table is perfectly level is another critical aspect for a flawless game, as even a slight tilt can affect ball trajectories.

Routine Dusting and Brushing

Regular cleaning is key. Dust and chalk residue can accumulate on the felt, affecting ball movement. Start with a soft brush designed for pool tables. Gently brush the felt, following the direction of the weave, to remove dust and loose particles. Avoid using circular motions as this can stretch or damage the felt.

Dealing with Spills and Stains

Dealing with Spills and Stains - on the pool table

Accidental spills happen, but prompt action can prevent lasting damage. If a liquid is spilled, immediately blot it with a clean, dry cloth. Do not rub, as this can push the liquid deeper into the felt and cause a stain. For tougher stains, use a mild cleaner specifically designed for pool table felt. Apply a small amount to a cloth and gently dab the stained area.

Vacuuming the Felt

Vacuuming is a deeper cleaning method. Use a hand-held vacuum with a soft brush attachment. Set it to low suction to avoid pulling on the felt fibers. Vacuum in straight, overlapping strokes, moving along the felt’s weave. This method helps remove ingrained dirt and chalk that brushing can’t reach.

Steam Cleaning for Deep Cleansing

For thorough cleaning, consider steam cleaning. This should be done infrequently and with caution. Use a steam cleaner with a soft cloth attachment. Move the cleaner gently across the felt, ensuring not to oversaturate the area. Let the felt dry completely before using the table again.

Professional Cleaning Services

When in doubt, or for extensive cleaning, professional services are the best option. Professionals have the right tools and expertise to clean without damaging the felt. This is particularly recommended for high-quality or older pool tables where the risk of damage is greater.

Avoiding Common Mistakes

Certain practices can harm pool table felt. Never use harsh chemicals or abrasive brushes. Also, avoid placing heavy objects on the table, as this can create indentations in the felt. With regular care and proper cleaning techniques, your pool table felt can remain in top condition, ensuring many enjoyable games to come.

Preventative Measures for Felt Longevity

Maintaining pool table felt also involves preventative measures. Ensure that the room where the pool table is located is free from excessive humidity and direct sunlight, as these can cause the felt to fade or warp. Also, educate players about proper cue handling to prevent tears or punctures in the felt.

Choosing the Right Cleaning Products

Selecting appropriate cleaning products is crucial. Avoid general household cleaners as they can be too harsh. Look for cleaners specifically designed for pool table felt. These products are formulated to clean effectively without leaving residue or causing damage. Always test a small, inconspicuous area first.

Regular Inspection and Maintenance

Regularly inspecting your pool table felt for signs of wear and tear can prevent larger issues. Look for signs of stretching, fading, or damage. Addressing these issues early can extend the life of the felt. Also, tightening the table’s bolts and checking the balance can ensure an even playing surface, reducing stress on the felt.

Educating Users on Felt Care

Educating Users on Felt Care - pool table

Educating others who use the pool table about proper felt care can go a long way in maintaining its condition. Simple rules like not placing drinks on the table, using hand chalk sparingly, and avoiding sharp objects can prevent most common issues.

When to Replace the Felt

Even with the best care, pool table felt will eventually need replacement. Signs that it’s time to replace the felt include visible wear, consistent poor ball roll, or aesthetic concerns like fading or pilling. Replacing the felt can rejuvenate your table and enhance the playing experience.


Can I use a regular household vacuum cleaner for my pool table felt?

It’s not recommended to use a standard household vacuum on pool table felt. These vacuums can be too powerful and may damage the felt fibers. Instead, use a handheld vacuum with a soft brush attachment and set to a low suction mode.

How often should I clean my pool table felt?

The frequency of cleaning depends on usage. For home tables with moderate use, a thorough cleaning every month is sufficient. However, for tables in commercial or high-use settings, weekly cleaning might be necessary to maintain optimal condition.

Is it safe to iron pool table felt?

Ironing pool table felt is not generally recommended, as high heat can damage the fibers. If wrinkles or folds are present, it’s better to use a specialized pool table brush and gently stretch the felt back into place. For severe issues, consulting a professional is advisable.

What is the best way to remove pet hair from pool table felt?

To remove pet hair, lightly dampen a microfiber cloth and gently sweep it over the felt. The dampness helps capture the hair without soaking the felt. Alternatively, a lint roller designed for delicate fabrics can also be effective.

Can sunlight damage my pool table felt?

Yes, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause the felt to fade and even weaken over time. It’s best to position your pool table in a spot where it’s not exposed to direct sunlight, or use window treatments to block harmful UV rays.

What should I do if the felt gets stretched out or loosened?

Stretched or loosened felt can affect gameplay. In most cases, this requires re-stretching or even replacing the felt. This task can be complex and is best handled by a professional pool table maintenance service to ensure it’s done correctly and without causing additional damage.

Final Words

Cleaning and maintaining your pool table felt is not just about aesthetics; it’s essential for the longevity of the table and the quality of play. Regular dusting, careful cleaning of spills, appropriate vacuuming, and occasional professional cleaning can keep your pool table in top condition. Remember, preventive care is just as important as cleaning. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy a beautiful and functional pool table for years to come.