After awhile you may notice your dartboard starting to get dirty, or drying out. It just doesn’t look or perform as good as it once did, and before buying a new one you may want to clean it up or restore it. This may lead up to asking a common question. Can dartboards get wet?
The answer to this question is, yes but only to a certain extent. Most modern day dartboards are made out of sisal (also known as bristle), and when this material absorbs large amounts of water it can dry unevenly or cause warping. It is not safe to soak your dartboard in large amounts of water or leave it in the rain.
There is a lot of misinformation about using water to restore or clean a dirty dartboard, or to help keep it from drying out. Using large amounts of water can actually permanently damage your dartboard. However, there are a few things you can do to help keep your dartboard from drying out, or getting dirty.
Lets take a look at some proper dartboard maintenance and how other elements may be affecting your dartboard.
How Do You Clean a Dirty Dartboard?
This might be hypocritical to what I just said above, but all you need to clean a dirty dartboard is a spray bottle with plain water and your dartboard itself. That’s it! The main strategy when cleaning your dartboard is using a spray bottle.
- Wipe off any dirt and debris buildup with a small cloth before spraying your dartboard.
- Lightly spray your dartboard all over to lightly moisten your board. I recommend using a spray bottle that has a mist setting like this one from Amazon. A spray bottle with a mister setting will ensure that you don’t soak it with too much water. Lightly coating your dartboard with water will prevent too much water being absorbed and causing problems like blistering, mildew, and warping.
- Remove the outer wire metal ring with the numbers attached around your dartboard. The number wiring will be attached and held in place by tabs. Make note of the positioning of the numbers. 20 will be on red and be exactly at 12 o’clock. Carefully pop the wire off of the tabs and remove it from the dartboard. Clean the wiring of any dust and debris buildup.
- The last step is rotating your dartboard. With the metal wiring removed, move your dartboard in a clockwise motion until the next red space is again at 12 o’clock. Sticking to a clockwise motion is important as this will ensure that you are wearing your dartboard evenly. I recommend cleaning and rotating your dartboard at least once a month. This will also help keep your dartboard from drying out.
Here is a great video tutorial that walks you through cleaning and rotating your dartboard:
How Long Do Dartboards Last?
There are a few different types of dartboards, but to keep things relevant we will be talking about a bristle dartboard. There are a few characteristics to a dartboard which will determine its lifespan. A good quality dartboard can last anywhere from 4-5 years depending on use and maintenance. If you practice multiple times a week with long sessions then you are looking at about 2 years. Let’s take a look at some factors that can contribute to a long-lasting dartboard.
Picking a high quality dartboard will contribute significantly to your dartboard’s life. Two of the biggest brand name competitors in the industry are Winmau and Unicorn They both make phenomenal competition style bristle boards and you can’t go wrong with either of them. This dartboard on Amazon, by Winmau, is a high quality competition style dartboard that will last years of abuse.
Just having a top-end dartboard doesn’t mean it will last a long time. You also need to take care of it and give it proper maintenance.
I’ve already went over this thoroughly up above so this will be a quick recap.
- Make sure to wipe off your dartboard regularly of dirt and debris that will buildup over time. The longer it stays on your board, the less likely it will come off easily.
- Spray your dartboard once a month with a mister bottle to keep it clean, and from drying out.
- After you spray your dartboard, remove the wire frame with the numbers and rotate your dartboard.
Amount of Use
Everybody will use their dartboards differently. You have the collector, the casual dart player, and the aspiring pro or professional dartboard player. All of these play styles attribute to how often you will need to purchase a new board.
The Collector- This is the type of person who has a dartboard in their game room just to have one. They may use it a few times a month, or even a few times a year. This dartboard will typically last them forever since it won’t be seeing much use other than being a conversation piece.
The Casual Dart Player- This type of person will most likely play a few times a week with friends or family. They may play the sport as one of their favorite pass times or hobbies on the weekend or in their free time. If proper maintenance is done, then the dartboard should last a good 4-5 years.
The Aspiring Pro/Professional Player- This is where your dartboard can take a real beating. With routine maintenance and care, you can expect this dartboard to last about 2 years or less. If you are a competitive darts player or training to become one, it is probably recommended to change out your dartboard every 6-8 months for optimal performance.
After repeated use, even with proper dartboard maintenance, darts may drop out of the board. This is pretty rare, but does happen when a board gets very worn out. This is usually a tell-tale sign that it may be time to replace.
Can Dartboards Go Outside?
You can definitely use a dartboard stand or hang a dartboard on a tree to play outside. Leaving it outside permanently is a different story. There are are a few things you need to consider when playing with your dartboard outside if you don’t want to ruin it.
If you live in an area that often has rain, it is not a good idea to keep your dartboard outdoors. Rain can be the epitome of a ruined dartboard. Your dartboard will soak up so much water that it will start to warp and become disfigured.
Humidity can also ruin your dartboard. Humid weather means that their is actually water vapor in the air. Your dartboard will absorb this vapor, and over time cause your dartboard to warp or blister.
Heat or Cold
Dartboards are pretty resilient when it comes to being exposed to heat or cold. Many people have dartboards in their garage where temperatures can fluctuate from very hot to extremely cold. Having a dartboard outside is no different, and not something you will need to worry about.
Do not leave your dartboard out in the rain or extreme humid weather. If you need to clean your dartboard, make sure to use a mister spray bottle as to not overly soak your board.
If you have a high quality dartboard and follow a routine maintenance routine, your dartboard is likely to last you for years to come.