Keep Your Valley Pool Table Game-Ready: How To Properly Maintain Your Billiards Table
Pool and billiards have a long history, dating back centuries. The modern pool as we know it was invented in the early 20th century with 8-ball, and 9-ball followed in the 1920s. Nowadays, having a coin-operated Valley pool table is beneficial for bars, hotels, game rooms, community centers, and anywhere you have people gathering for a good time.
Pool tables are an investment and at Penguin Amusements, we understand the importance of keeping your table in shape.
How Long Does a Valley Pool Table Last?
Your pool table is an investment. Whether you are a pool enthusiast gathering friends at your house or a bar owner with pool-loving customers, you want your table to last. Like any piece of equipment, its longevity depends on how you take care of it.
How Can You Maintain Your Valley Pool Table?
First, require that your guests or customers respect your table. People tend to practice more care around valued furniture. If players see others misusing the table, they may casually join in.
In addition to how others treat the table, you need to take steps to extend the lifespan of your billiard table.
Clean Pool Equipment
Dirty pool cues do not slide properly through a player's fingers. Not only does this interfere with the game, but players may use more pressure and damage the table's felt. Clean the cues regularly with a microfiber cloth, or an alcohol wipe (wood cues might need reconditioning after cleaning with any level of moisture, including alcohol wipes)
Wipe the shaft with alcohol-based wipes or cleaner to rid the cue of dirt and oil. Next, use a cleanser and burnish on the stick. To finish, apply wax to protect it from damage. (Carbon fiber shafts just need the wipe)
Balls gather dust and chalk during the game and if you do not clean them regularly, you are reapplying the debris to the felt and rails of the table. Use a ball cleaner solution or a sink filled with detergent and water and soak the billiard balls for about 10 minutes, followed by a scrub session - or if you are running a business, consider investing in a Ball Cleaner.
Invest in a Cover
Dust and debris gather on furniture, even when no one's playing a game. Invest in a pool cover instead of spending all your free time with a duster or worrying about sun damage.. Additionally, a quality cover protects the table against any accidents.
Clean the Felt
There are a couple of different ways to clean the felt. Pool table brushes are convenient to keep around. Players can sweep abrasive talc and dust off the table during game time. Soft-bristled table brushes cause the least amount of damage. Brush in the direction of the pockets from one end to the other, rather than in circles.
In addition to a brush, a handheld vacuum at the lowest setting can keep the table clean of all dust and debris. It removes all of the excess dirt without pushing it around the table.
Be Careful With Chalk
Never chalk over the felt. While you should chalk the cue before every shot, try to do so away from the table. Chalk dust builds up on the felt and may enter the cracks and crevices of the table. Excess chalk belongs on the floor where you can easily clean it and not the table.
Be Aware of Sunlight and Humidity
Don't play pool in direct sunlight. The sun discolors the felt and decreases the lifespan of your cushions. While your table isn't going to fall apart because of the sun, it's easy to keep it out of the sun. Position your table in an area of the room where it doesn't have direct sun exposure.
Additionally, be careful of extreme temperatures and humidity. Excessive heat may warp wood frames. While slate does not warp, most slate tables still have wooden elements that can bend in the heat. Keep your pool table in a temperature-controlled area.
Care for the Frame
Clean and dust the frame regularly. Use a soft brush over the rails, legs, cabinet, and other flat surfaces. Apply wood cleaner with a soft cloth to polish wooden tables. Wood and leather should be conditioned with special furniture polish. Leather components like pockets or cushions require an oil-based cleanser to keep the leather from cracking.
Replace Necessary Materials
Did you know there are still working billiard tables from nearly 100 years ago? Caring for your Valley pool table can ensure you have your table longer than its life expectancy. Over the years, however, you may need to replace the following components:
Rails can be replaced and covered. Materials like felt may need a replacement as often as every three to five years in cases of extremely high use (or misuse). Even if you notice only a slight fading, you may want to replace the felt. People often begin to take less care of their tables when they start looking faded.
Cushions should last longer than felt, up to 20 to 25 years if well made. Bumpers (cushions/rails) need replacement when you notice the bounceback changes. If the rubber provides a ‘dead’ bounce or feels like it is has come loose from the wood mounting, it’s time for a repair, to get your playing experience back to what it should be.
Set Up Rules for Your Table
The first rule of your table should be to play the game correctly. Do not allow players to dig a cue tip into the table, as this can create tears. Likewise, be careful of metal on the table. Ask guests to remove hand and wrist jewelry before playing is an option. Small pieces of metal pose a threat to the felt.
A Valley pool table is not for food or drinks, either. Placing cans and bottles on the table encourages moisture damage and spills.
Let Penguin Amusements Care for Your Table
At Penguin Amusements, we understand the importance of your Valley pool table. To continue playing billiards for years to come, you need quality replacement products. We can create custom replacement parts based on your original table. Contact us today with any questions about our products and services.