Game Room Hideaway is supported by its readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Also, as an Amazon affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

How to Clean Foosball Rods: Clean, Remove Rust, and Lubricate

Foosball is a fast-paced tabletop game and one of the key reasons for this is the table rods. These rods move with incredible speed and while ‘spinning’ is technically an illegal move, it demonstrates just how quickly the rods can move when properly maintained. 

This means that in order to get the most out of your foosball table, you’ll need to be performing regular maintenance and cleaning the rods. This is definitely a boring task for most people but there are some simple steps you can follow to ensure your rods are always working at full speed! 

In this article, we’ll walk you through how to clean foosball rods and give some additional tips to keep your foosball table in good condition year-round. 

How to Clean Foosball Rods

There are three key steps to take when cleaning foosball rods which are:

  1. Clean the players (figurines) 
  2. Clean the rods 
  3. Lubricate the rods 

Step 1 – Clean the Players 

The first step to take when cleaning foosball rods is to clean the actual players (foosmen). These need cleaning to prevent the buildup of dust or dirt but primarily to stop dirt or moisture from gathering around the players and damaging the metal rods. 

To keep the foosball figurines clean you will need to use a lightly damp cloth and run this gently over the figure, making sure to get into any nooks as this is where dust will usually build up. 

Step 2 – Clean the Rods

For the rods themselves, you will need to dampen a cloth with a little bit of rubbing alcohol. The rubbing alcohol will remove any dust and other debris from the rods whilst still allowing them to be usable. 

The key with this step is to clean the rod once when it’s fully inserted into the table and then clean it again once fully extended out of the table. This is to ensure full coverage and that the parts around the holes in the table are not missed. 

Step 3 – Lubricate the Rods

After you have applied this you will need to then use a lubricant to ensure that the rods are able to slide back and forth when in use. 

If you forget to add lubricant after cleaning your foosball rods then you may find then they easily get stuck when in play and you will be subject to a rather unpleasant squeaking sound due to the friction from the metal on metal or metal on wood contact. 

Silicone is a great option to prevent this and it is also relatively cheap. If you do not remember to keep your rods clean and lubricated then this will have an adverse effect on your games. 

However, you should shy away from using WD-40 as this will only lubricate the foosball rods for a short amount of time and will quickly wear away. Over time this will weaken their structural integrity and actually worsen your games rather than improve them.

Be careful not to get any of the silicone onto the handles as this can cause damage to them and can be very hard to remove. 

How Often Should You Clean Foosball Rods

There is no golden number when it comes to how often you should be cleaning your foosball rods.

However, the general rule is that the more often you use it the more often they will need cleaning. So, if you use your foosball table a decent amount then try to clean and lubricate the rods about once every 2 – 3 weeks.

This will ensure that your table stays in good working order and that you will not have any problems with your foosball games. 

Why Should You Clean Foosball Rods

Obviously, the main reason why you should ensure your foosball rods are cleaned is so that your table can last as long as possible. The better care you take of your foosball table the more years that you will get to enjoy it. 

By cleaning it often enough you can prevent any rust from forming on the metal. If there is any rust on the rods then this means that they will create more friction when in use, resulting in a worse experience for everyone. Not only is the rust not particularly appealing to the eye but it can also cause the rods to break, leaving you with an unusable table.

How to Maintain Your Foosball Table

The best way to maintain your foosball table is to ensure that you keep every single part of it clean. This means not only cleaning the all-important foosball rods, but also the figurines, ball, and table surface. 

For the vast majority of the foosball table, a lightly damp cloth is sufficient for cleaning as this will pick up a lot of the dust and dirt that builds upon the surface of the table and the handles. Be careful not to use any strong chemicals on the surface as these may be corrosive and ruin your table.

For the corners, you may find that you cannot reach them properly with a cloth. In this case, use a can of compressed air with a nozzle as this will blow out any dust that has collected in the corners. 

For any particularly sticky or dirty spots apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol and gently wipe. If anything spills on the table whilst you are playing make a point of cleaning it up as quickly as possible as this will be much easier than cleaning it later on once it has dried.

Another way to ensure that your foosball table stands the test of time is to place it in the right environment. The best type for a foosball table is a cool, dry place. Remember not to place the table in direct sunlight as this causes the colors on the table to fade and the metal to swell, worsening your play.

If you need to move the foosball table from one place to another, ask a friend or family member to help you to lift it. Try not to drag it as this can easily cause damage to the legs and cause the table to warp. 

If this is the case then you might find your table is lopsided, meaning that your game will not be fair as one player will be at the bottom of the slope. 

Final Thoughts 

If you want to play a full-speed game of foosball, you need to ensure the rods are properly maintained. The key to maintaining foosball rods is to regularly clean them, remove any rust, and lubricate them regularly to ensure they glide smoothly and that the bearings don’t get stuck or damaged. 

This is a routine task that only takes 10 minutes and only needs to be done every 2 – 3 weeks so it’s well worth the time and effort to keep your foosball table in top working condition.