Definitely, a pool table's bed made from solid hardwood with full slate backing won't easily get ruined after years of dealing hard shots with ceramic balls. Rather, the rail cushions and billiard cloth are the ones that constantly get ruined from beer and wine stains, exposure to sunlight and moisture seepage, and the usual effects of wear-and-tear, such as loose rails or pulling away of the cloth. These are also the reasons why the bumpers and cloth cover are the most frequently replaced parts of cheap pool tables. To prolong the quality of your table's side rails and cloth-covered surface, take note of the following suggestions and ideas in cleaning and maintaining these particular parts.
Brushing Down the Cloth-Covered Surface
Of course, before you start cleaning the table, everything on its surface and inside the pockets must be set aside. Take this opportunity to quickly wipe clean the ceramic balls of dust particles and oily residue from human hands. When the table's surface has been cleared, use a pool table brush to remove dust motes and chalk powder from the felt. The brush with its elongated bristles at the edge and shorter ones in the middle has been specially designed to sweep away all these dirt without leaving scratches or faint marks on the cloth.
Better brush the rails first before moving on to the cloth cover to allow the grime particles dislodged from the rubber cushions to fall on the table's surface. Next, sweep away all the dirt, dust, chalk, and grime from the edges towards the center of the table before letting them fall into one of the pool pockets for disposal. Make sure that you apply your brush strokes in a singularly straight direction instead of the usual back and forth brushing or making circular motions. These actions rub against the surface the wrong way and disrupt the fabric's weave pattern causing patches of micro threads to separate and form unsightly hairy balls.
Some people use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the dust and dirt from the pool table's surface and rails, but if you're going through this route, be very careful with your machine's settings. Too much suction strength may loosen the cover or the cushions in the end. Also, avoid using rotating brushes with hard bristles that aren't suited to long and wide sweeps on a fabric surface. Instead of a regular machine, get a handheld vacuum that's often used to clean dust and other particles from computers and keyboards.
Polishing the Pool Table's Top, Sides and Legs
Most of the furniture crafted for playing pool, billiards and snooker were made from solid hardwood, such as teak or chemically treated to withstand color fading and moisture stains for a very long time. These parts need cleaning once or twice a month with a citrus-based wood polishing wax or oil. For the table's surface, many pool or billiard cleaning products claim to protect the fabric's color fastness and thread quality. Check out the effectiveness of various brands by getting feedback from customers who've used the product and asking for suggestions from sports specialists in retail stores before settling on one or two brands for your regular use.
Finally, the job of replacing rubber cushions or the cloth cover takes no more than seven steps, which requires the use of a screwdriver, a hammer, a staple gun with staple remover, a utility knife or a pair of sharp scissors, a can of contact cement, and a pencil or a chalk to mark areas where you need to cut the cloth or slice the rubber rails. Many blogs and forums provide DIY instructions to changing the old and worn bumpers with new rails and replacing a fresh sheet of billiard cloth to the faded and torn pool felt.
In case of beer and wine spills, don't wait for the liquid to get absorbed into the felt cover and dry up. Immediately, splash a little water only to the spill area without using soap and cover the wetness with absorbent cloth to soak up the moisture. Never rub the cloth, just press down several times, blotting dry the remaining moisture from the surface. When there's still residue of the beer, wine, or any spilled beverage, sprinkle again some warm water onto the area to dampen it and repeat the process of blotting and pressing dry with clean pieces of absorbent cotton cloth.