Pool Table Care Tips

Here are simple steps you can take - and some common mistakes to avoid.

Keep your table in tip-top shape for decades.

Pool Table Care Tips by Tom Kat - Nashville Billiard & Patio

Pool Table Care Tips by Tom Kat Nashville Billiard & Patio

It’s simple, really...

Of course, we know that YOU never engage

in any of these activities...

but scan through them, anyway,

(just in case your friends might.)

Pool Table Issues...

Think: sweaty beer bottles, long cigarette ashes, cats playing pool, and chalk enthusiasts!

You can get so caught up in the fun of it all - challenging each other, side bets, trick shots, a slider or two, belly laughs - it might not even matter who wins.

And sometimes you downright forget that the table you're playing on is actually a fine piece of furniture!


Just watch for the little things that may not be so little!

Keep ashtrays and coasters around. Watch where you chalk. And shoo the cat off the table (if you can!)

Dripping! Disasterous for Pool Table Felt Colors - Pool Table Care Tips - Nashville Billiard & Patio

Dripping! Disastrous for Pool Table Felt Colors

Pool Table Care Tips - Careful with the Chalk - Nashville Billiard and Patio

Pool Table Care Tips -Never Enough Chalk - Nashville Billiard and Patio

Pool Table Chalk = D.U.S.T.

This is when a picture - or a gif - is worth a thousand words!

Yes, we love chalk too. Chalking your cue gives you that extra little edge - more traction for the leather tip to make off-center contact and control the cue.

But PLEASE don't drill down on the chalk! The dust is hard as h@!! on the felt. And brushing the table actually grinds in about 50% of it. Easy does it.

Brush or Suction?

We checked with our employees and customers from Franklin to Murfreesboro and Lebanon to Clarksville - all passionate pool players who swear by using chalk.

(BTW, they love to shoot pool at Dolan's in Franklin)

They agreed on only one thing ...  for ridding their table of chalk dust, all favor suction over brushing. From there, it was up to anyone's personal favorite method for eliminating chalk dust.

Some vacuums are too strong and can pull the felt loose from the table. Don't want that, so stick to a smaller hand-held. The brush attachment can be too harsh. Try gently dabbing the brush head in an even pattern over the table to gently lift dust.

If you insist on brushing, Ladies, remove your dangly bracelet, which can catch on the felt and damage it. And avoid brushing in circles - try to brush towards the pockets.

Got all that?!

Sun-Filled or Smokey Rooms...

It's a glorious feeling on a beautiful Tennessee day - you rocking a game of pool, with streaming rays of sunshine pouring through the window...

But stop for a moment, and put yourself in your pool table's shoes, er, feet. Constant sunlight is actually quite harsh. It fades felt. Fast.

Or placed next to a monstrous roaring fireplace... (heating the table's wood)... smoking the leather and felt.

Of course it's your choice, and fun is Paramount... we simply suggest you think about it.

Pool Tables + Moisture =

Here in Middle Tennessee, especially in areas that get a lot of rain year 'round, the humidity is actually a boon to the health of your pool table, or shuffleboard table! Fine wood loves humidity in the range of 40 to 60%. (We might not, but it's great for the table.)

Too much moisture, as in spills, are clearly no good for pool tables. Enough said.

You may want to watch out for any harmful, drying effects of the lighting fixture hanging directly over your table. Felt can be affected, especially by incandescent bulbs. Some experts recommend fluorescent bulbs instead.

But really, if you don't leave them glaring 24/7, you shouldn't have a problem.

Pool Table Care Tips and Pets

Your pets are family. We get it.

Just don't let them lift their leg - on the leg. The table leg.

John Quinn, production coordinator for Olhausen Billiard Manufacturing Inc. says, “It’s one of the more common problems. Nothing will pull a pool table leg apart like urine. It’s probably the most corrosive thing on the planet.”

Having said that, you also want to watch out for kitty's fascination with things like pocket fringe, which he might tear to shreds if he had half a chance. Just sayin.

More Pet Peeves

That painting of dogs playing pool is imaginary - OR IS IT?

According to Quinn, you always want to protect your table's legs from moisture when you shampoo the carpet underneath. "A wooden leg could suck moisture right up into the table." (Really?!)

“You want to keep water away from the wood,” Quinn says.

What about placing drinks on the rails? Everyone does it. But they shouldn't. Really.

As for spills, Scotchgard is your felt's friend. Apply while the felt is new, because you don't want to seal in dirt or oil.

And above all - HAVE FUN!

(Painting credit: CM Coolidge ca 1903)

Clean Table Deserves Clean Balls

The standard billiard ball today is not made of wood or ivory, but rather a special phenolic resin. As pool balls travel around the table, they effectively transfer chalk dust and dirt everywhere they roll.

So along with cleaning the pool table, "It would be wise to clean your game balls after each session and the cue ball after each game," says Jean-Noel Delentre, an area sales manager for Belgium’s Saluc S.A., which makes Aramith brand balls.

Experts recommend using mild household detergent for cleaning normal dirt and chalk build up. Don't soak for more than 30 minutes at a time. And be sure to rinse well with clear water before drying with a soft towel.

Many experts players don't worry too much about the yellowing of cue ball. That just seems to happen naturally with age. If it really bothers you, you can try bleaching or professional billiard ball cleaners. It's not likely to help the quality of your game.

Pool Table Finishing Touches

Most of the tables we sell at Nashville billiard and Patio are made from hardwoods grown in the Northeast US, including Red Oak, Maple, Cherry and Walnut.

In addition, the lumber is chosen or it's slow growth quality. Which means that the trees' Rings are closer together, so the wood is tighter, and all together it makes for a finer piece of furniture.

Once we deliver it, you'll want to keep it moisturized. That could mean a humidifier or a dehumidifier. But it certainly means dusting the wood periodically, and cleaning the wood gently with an oil-based cleaner and a soft cloth. Avoid harsh chemicals and ammonia.

For leather pockets, apply saddle soap, allow to dry for 20 minutes, then brush with a clean shoe brush or billiard brush.

First Year Table Checkup

Okay, so almost a whole year has now gone by since you brought your table home. It's time to schedule a check-up.

You just want to have a knowledgeable maintenance person go over everything, and look for signs of any issues, so they can be dealt with early.

Be sure to cover these things:

Do the balls tend to roll in one direction?
Is the Slate level?
Is the cloth still tight?
Does the cloth show signs of wear?
Has the Slate shifted?
Are the rail bolts still tight?
Is the wood frame still tight?
Are there any visible surface cracks?

If anything is out of the ordinary, contact us or the manufacturer. Our quality pool tables are covered by the manufacturer's warranty, at least for the first year - and for certain repairs, for Lifetime.

So remember to have FUN, enjoy your table, and treat it with at least a little tender loving care.