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How To Clean Pool Table Felt

How To Clean Pool Table Felt

Your pool table is like any other piece of furniture in your home. It is bound to get dirty if you use it frequently and you need to clean it to keep it looking neat. The surface felt is one area of the pool table that is incredibly difficult to clean. Read this article to learn how to clean pool table felt properly.

The felt surface is much different from the other parts of the pool table and you can’t clean it with just any type of washcloth. Felt is pretty tender and vigorous scrubbing can ruin the material, which in turn, will negatively affect the accuracy of your shots when you play.

How To Clean Pool Table Felt Properly

You can have your pool table looking brand new again in just a few steps.

Gather The Following Supplies

Gather The Cleaning Supplies

Every cleaning task requires supplies, so ensure that you have them ready. Here’s everything you’ll need to clean the pool table cloth.

Removing Surface Chalk

Removing Surface Chalk

Here’s an easy way to remove chalk from the felt. Use a pool table cleaner to remove chalk from the table before wiping it with a lint-free cloth. This is an effective cleaning method if you want to prevent the felt fiber from stretching.

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Brushing It Off

Brushing It Off

Use a pool table brush to sweep the dust off the table’s cushions, corners and pockets. These brushes have soft bristle tips, ensuring that you don’t damage the game table cloth while cleaning it.

Wiping It Down

The next step is to wipe the surface of the pool. Use a damp cloth to remove any dust that may have accumulated on the tabletop while brushing.

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Cleaning Spills

Ensure that you use a dry rag when cleaning spills. Scrubbing might cause the felt to wrinkle, so blot the area instead. After absorbing most of the spilled liquid with a cloth, use a microfiber towel to lightly dampen the area with cold water. Finally, use another dry cloth to clean the spot again.

Warning: Avoid using paper towels to absorb liquid from felt as they might further stain the material. 

Cleaning Stains

Cleaning Stains

Sometimes you don’t detect spills until it’s too late, which results in stains on the table surface. The process of stain removal is quite similar to cleaning up spills. You need to blot out the stain from the affected area with a damp cloth. In some cases, when using water isn’t enough to remove the stains, many professionals recommend using cleaning products. However, many cleaning products are harsh and will affect the texture of the felt.

We suggest you use a mixture of water and vinegar to remove stains instead. The mixture ratio should be one cup of water to two tablespoons of vinegar. Blot the affected area with this vinegar and water mixture several times until you have removed the stain.

Tip: If the water and vinegar mixture doesn’t work, you can use a soft cleaning product on felt. These products are designed to remove stains without damaging felt.

Cleaning On The Spot

You must act quickly to prevent permanent stains on the table felt when spills occur. Use a clean cloth to blot up liquids. Press the cloth against the affected spot to absorb as much of the spill as possible. After that, apply some cool water to the area and pat it down. Finally, let the felt air dry completely.

Note: Don’t play on the pool table until the surface is completely dry. Dropping the ball on a wet surface can create holes in the cloth.

Preventative Measures

Preventative Measures

The best way to keep a clean pool table cloth is by taking preventive measures to keep it from getting dirty. Here are a few things you can do to reduce your time cleaning the table.

Don’t drink at the table – Spills are more likely to occur when you’re drinking while playing pool.

Don’t smoke at the table – If you smoke while playing, there’s a chance that the cigarette ash will fall on the table and damage the felt.

Cover the table –  Cover the pool table surface when you’re done using it to keep dust at bay.

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What You Should Never Do

The most important thing to note when cleaning felt is never to use a vacuum. This would put a strain on the material, making it less durable. Vacuuming can also cause wrinkles in loose felt, which can make your shot go in the wrong direction when playing pool.

Tips For Cleaning Pool Table Felt

Tips For Cleaning Pool Table Felt

Here are some helpful cleaning tips for pool tables.

#1. Use A Pool Table Brush

You need a pool table brush to make your cleaning tasks easier. Ideally, this brush should have one end with longer bristles.

#2. Always Brush The Felt In A Straight Direction

Avoid brushing in a circular motion or moving the brush back and forth. Instead, start from one end and brush all the way to the other end of the table.

#3. Clean The Brush After Each Pass

After brushing from one end of the table to the other, stop to clean the brush and remove dirt.

#4. Start By Cleaning The Felt On The Rails First

Use a microfiber cloth to cover the part of the brush that will run over the wooden part of the rail. You want to ensure that the bristles only brush over the felt on the rails.

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#5. Clean The Surface Playing Area On The Pool Table Second

Clean the playing area only after cleaning the rails. This ensures you don’t brush chalk, dust and dirt from the rails onto the playing surface.

#6. Use A Clean Damp Microfiber Cloth To Clean The Pool Table Pockets

Using a vacuum to clean the table’s pockets might tempt you to use it on the felt. Instead, wipe the pockets with a wet cloth.

#7. Use A Wood Cleaning Product To Dust And Clean Wooden Areas

Ensure that you only use approved cleaning products to clean the wooden parts of the table.

#8. Clean The Pool Balls

Use a mild dish detergent mixed with warm water to clean the pool balls, then allow them to air dry.

#9. Clean Stains Using A Clean Cloth

Clean stains using a clean, damp cloth. Dip a clean cloth in warm water and wring out most of the water.

Note: Ensure that you don’t use soap or detergent when cleaning to avoid leaving residue on the felt.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, you can’t vacuum the felt on a pool table. Vacuuming puts strain on the pool table felt, causing wrinkles. These wrinkles can affect the accuracy of your shots when playing. Instead of using a vacuum, clean the table with a soft brush. If you must use a vacuum, set the suction to a low setting.

To clean felt on a pool table with vinegar, you first have to dilute the vinegar by adding water. Pour in 10 ml (0.3 ounces) of water for every 20 ml (0.6 ounces) of vinegar and mix the two liquids. Blot the affected area with the cleaning mixture until the stain comes out.

You can get chalk off of the pool table felt by removing the stains with a pool table cleaner. The cleaning solution removes chalk dust from the table felt. Following this procedure, clean the pool table cloth with a lint-free cloth. Avoid brushing the table felt as it will only cause the material to stretch.


The best way to keep your pool table felt clean is to prevent it from getting dirty in the first place. However, sometimes mistakes happen and stains are unavoidable. If you have read this article to this point, you now know how to clean pool table felt without damaging the material.

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