How to Get Chalk Marks off a Cue Ball

how to get chalk marks off a cue ball

You will need to clean the cue ball, or any of your pool balls, for a number of different reasons. Basically, you need friction efficiency to exist between your cue ball and any other pool ball during a game. For this to be achieved, you will need to keep your cue ball and other balls clean from chalk.

This includes getting rid of troublesome red, blue, or green chalk marks. There are several different ways to get chalk marks, or anything else along similar lines, off your cue ball. If you own plastic or resin-specific cue balls, a simple cycle through the dishwasher with a gentle soap will probably do the trick.

Polyester cue balls can be washed with some warm water, a microfiber cloth, and more of that gentle soap. There are also specialty polish products for cue balls. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to do to clean a cue ball, or whatever the case may be.

How Do You Clean Chalk off a Cue Ball?

We’re going to go over the different ways to clean your cue ball. Before you attempt any of these, you should make it a point to figure out which type of pool balls you own in the first place. The wrong cleaning method, or cleaning too roughly, can actually cause additional damage.

Here are the most common and simplest ways to get chalk off your cue ball:

The Dishwasher

We mentioned this option before, but it is worth covering the option in greater detail. Generally speaking, this is going to be the easiest way to clean a cue ball of chalk marks, yellow stains, or whatever the case may be. A gentle dishwasher cycle, combined with gentle soap, should do the trick.

Magic Erasers

This is another option with a long list of fans. Available from Mr. Clean, there are a number of alternatives to their Magic Eraser product that you can explore in greater detail. With just a little bit of water, a magic eraser can get rid of just about anything on your cue ball.

This includes not only the chalk marks, but anything else that has perhaps made them unsightly or even less-than-flawless in their functionality.

One downside with the magic eraser is that it is slightly abrasive and may cause scratches to your billiard balls.


While this measure is designed for particularly tough examples of stains and yellowing, this pool ball cleaner hack can really work under just about any situation. All you need to do is grab your old toothbrush, apply some water and then toothpaste to the brush, and begin scrubbing the cue ball.

Move quickly, but carefully, and you should be finished getting chalk off the cue ball in hardly any time at all.

Professional Ball Cleaners

Click Image for More Info

There are also products available on the market which have been made specifically with pool table owners in mind. Aramith is a well-regarded company with a solid reputation for quality, and for having a wide array of products.

We recommend using this pool ball cleaner kit by Aramith. It comes with a billiard ball cleaner as well as a restorer for older, more worn out billiard balls.

One example of their offerings comes in the form of professional-grade ball cleaning liquid. All you need is the cleaner product itself, as well as a dried cloth. Make sure to follow all instructions for using the ball cleaner correctly.

Baking Soda

As a last resort, you can also try baking soda. This is really only for those particularly annoying yellow stains or deep chalk marks. Combine water with the baking soda carefully to create a fine paste. 

With an old toothbrush, begin the process of having the baking soda gently applied to the cue ball. When you have thoroughly but lightly covered the cue ball in this paste, all you need to do rinse the cue ball with lukewarm water. A dry cloth can then be used to finish the job.

These are five of the simplest ways to clean your cue ball, or any of the pool balls for your table. Some find that simply using warm water, a gentle cloth, and some non-abrasive soap can take care of most of your problems.

Nonetheless, one of the above suggestions should work just fine.

Your next step is going to be to learn how to whiten your cue ball. While this is not always necessary, there are probably going to be situations in which this is your best bet for completely restoring the cue ball to its former flawless condition.

How Do You Whiten a Cue Ball?

If you have cleaned your cue ball thoroughly and carefully, the ball should return to its former whiteness, as opposed to being covered in yellowing, chalk signs, and other unsightly things.

We’re going to offer up one more suggestion for cleaning and removing assorted stains, including the yellow ones, from your cue ball:

  • Get yourself a pot of water, two buckets, a non-abrasive soap, one microfiber cloth, and one towel. You will want to have all of these things with you when you start the work.
  • The soap and water should be mixed together thoroughly in one of your two buckets. You aren’t going to need a lot of soap for this, and the water does not need to be particularly warm. We’re going to transport the cue ball or any other pool balls to the second bucket, and that water will need to be at least a little bit warmer.
  • Once you’ve mixed everything to your satisfaction, put your cue ball or other pool balls in the mixture. You want to leave them in there for at least a little while, but no longer than fifteen minutes.
  • Remove the balls from bucket one, and begin buffing them for 10-20 minutes with the microfiber cloth.
  • Transport the ball or balls to the second bucket. This bucket should be filled with warmish water. Not boiling. Rinse them thoroughly in this bucket.
  • Dry with a towel.

Final Thoughts

Over time your cue ball will most likely start to show chalk marks and other signs of wear due to how frequently the ball is hit with a cue stick.

The easiest way to remove these chalk marks is to either place your cue ball in the dishwasher, or use a professional grade billiards ball cleaner.

Remember, it is important to perform proper maintenance on not only your cue ball or billiard balls, but with your entire pool table as well as your cue sticks. Proper pool table maintenance is key to a long lasting pool set.

Indoor Game Bunker

We are Indoor Game Bunker, a group dedicated to providing reviews, how to guides, and helpful information to those interested in a wide variety of games and hobbies.

Recent Posts