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How to Clean a Pool Table? (4 Step Guide)

A pool table is built to be sturdy. Just because the construction is solid though it doesn’t mean that all components are heavy-duty. 

When it comes to pool table maintenance, there are multiple components that need to be cleaned differently in order to keep the table looking good but also in proper playing condition. 

Therefore, the below article will walk you through a step-by-step process for how to clean a pool table. The table felt and the wooden casing is two different materials you’ll need to take a few different approaches to keep your pool table in excellent condition. 

How to Clean a Pool Table

Pool tables are a costly purchase, so you’ll want to take care of them. Doing so ensures that your table has a long lifespan – and we’re sure you want it to last as long as possible. These are all the steps you’ll want to follow to keep your table clean and free of debris:

  1. Clean the table felt 
    1. Remove any chalk 
    2. Brush the table to remove excess chalk or debris 
    3. Spot clean any stains 
  2. Spot clean any stains
  3. Clean the table frame
  4. Cover the table

Step 1 – Clean the Table Felt

Removing the Chalk

You’ll first need to start with the chalk on the surface of your pool table. Some people choose to vacuum their cloth (also known as felt), although this can cause damage, especially if you use a high-power vacuum or aggressive attachment. However, if you still want to vacuum the table, make sure to use a brush attachment and a low suction level.

The best way to remove dirt and chalk is to wipe the table down with an exceptional pool table cleaner and a microfiber towel. Lightly spray down the table with the cleanser, then wipe off the dust and chalk with your towel. Microfiber is best because it’s very gentle.

You can also use some warm soapy water if you don’t have a cleanser available. This method is better than vacuuming since you won’t have to worry about stretching the pool cloth.

Brushing the Pool Table Cloth

Next, you want to use a pool table brush. These brushes come with soft, specially-made bristles- which won’t harm the fabric on your pool table. Start by brushing at one side of the table in long strokes while following the direction of the material. 

Don’t brush in circles as this can pull the cloth from the edges causing bumps or sagging and it can also tear the fabric. 

You’ll want to have a small dustpan with you to collect the debris. You also don’t need to apply a ton of pressure- working slowly and gently ensures your pool table lasts a long time!

Wiping the Pool Table Cloth

Take your microfiber cloth and get it slightly damp with warm soapy water. You’ll want to lightly wipe down the fabric to remove any remaining chalk or debris. When you brushed the table, you might’ve drawn more chalk to the surface. The wet cloth should take care of it.

You can also check out this video below for a good demonstration on properly cleaning pool table felt:

Step 2 – How to Deal With Spot Cleaning

You’ll also need to know how to perform a spot clean! You could use this method if something were to spill on the table. The sooner you react, the better so that there are no stains.

Start by blotting the spill with a clean towel. You shouldn’t use paper towels or napkins unless you’re in a pinch. These materials can break down and leave small pieces across the pool table.

Then, gently press the towel into the cloth and wait for it to absorb most of the liquid. You’ll then need to get a cloth dampened with cold water and press that into the spill. Blot the area with the dry towel again and allow ample time for the table felt to air dry.

You don’t want to play pool again until the cloth fully dries- give it several hours. If you do, there’s the chance that the balls tear holes in the felt. It’s best to avoid this severe damage at all costs!

How to Get Stains Out of a Pool Table

It would be best if you didn’t use soap on your pool table- it could be too harsh and cause damage. Instead, add a cup of cold water to two tablespoons of white vinegar. Stir the mixture, then use it to dampen a microfiber cloth.

Use the cloth to dab the stained areas. You may need to do this process a few times before the stain begins to lift. However, you don’t want to soak the stain in vinegar, which could damage the felt and is often something you’d see recommended as a general cleaning technique.

Step 3 – Clean the Pool Table Frame

Cleaning the pool table frame is an important step but only to keep your table looking in good condition and to prevent any wear and tear or damage. The reason it’s not as important as cleaning the table felt or playing surface is because it won’t impact play during the short term. 

Cleaning the table frame is, therefore, more important for the longevity of the table which is still an important consideration for people investing in these tables. 

Cleaning the table frame will depend on the material and finish that you have. Typical frames will come in either wood, hard plastic, or metal frame and each will need a different cleaning application depending on the material. The manufacturer should be the first place to check for this as they will provide cleaning recommendations based on the material of your pool table frame. 

For hard plastic frames, cleaning them with warm soapy water and drying them with a towel afterward is enough to keep them clean and sanitized. For metal frames, you’ll want to use a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar to clean any surface rust and debris from the frame before treating it with some WD-40 or equivalent lubricant to provide an additional layer of rust protection. 

For those with a wooden or varnish frame, cleaning will be similar to a plastic frame but check the manufacturer’s recommendations first as some types of wood will require a different form of cleaning to prevent rotting. 

Step 4 – Keeping Your Pool Table Covered

Finally, you should do your best to keep the table clean when not in use. Make sure to always keep it covered when you’re not playing pool. Next, regularly clean the pool balls with a specialized cleaner and check the tips of your ques often.

If you’re playing and notice large pieces of chalk on the table, you can always wipe them away with your brush. You also should implement a house rule of “no drinks at the pool table.” That way, you shouldn’t have to worry about any spills.

How Often to Clean Your Pool Table

If you’re a recreational player, you only need to clean the table about once per week. When you’re not using it as often, you shouldn’t clean it as much. However, if you play a lot, then you should clean it more than once per week.

When the cloth gets dirty, it can cause issues with the game. Debris can force the balls to roll in strange directions when they hit them. Plus, harder pieces of dirt can slowly wear away at your table cloth!

Overall, you want to make sure you’re cleaning the pool table often enough. If you notice signs of dirt, chalk, and other debris, make sure to give it a quick clean the next time you have a chance. The above steps shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to complete!


Pool table maintenance is not only essential for the longevity of your table but also to ensure the playing surface is always optimal when in use. One of the most important factors of pool table maintenance is a regular cleaning routine. 

So, how do you clean a pool table? To clean a pool table you first need to vacuum the table in order to remove any chalk or debris. Then, you need to wipe and brush the table felt to remove any additional chalk/debris that was missed when vacuuming. Next, you should spot clean any stains before cleaning the table frame, and lastly cover the table when not in use. 

Hopefully, the steps in this article have given you an understanding of how to go about cleaning a pool table to ensure it lasts longer and maintains quality when in use.