A pool table not only facilitates the play of one of the most fun games and hobbies around, but can also be a great centerpiece to a living room, basement, or game room in any home!
However, if your pool table is covered in burn marks, it will look terrible and possibly affect the gameplay. Burn marks are caused by improper shooting, low quality billiard balls, and buildup of dirt and debris on your pool table’s felt.
The best way to remove burn marks is by using a pool table brush in tandem with a high quality felt cleaner. Cleaning and maintaining your pool table is the number one way to prevent and clean burn marks from ever appearing.
Removing Burn Marks from Pool Table Felt
There are a few ways you can go about removing the burn marks from your pool table felt. The first method requires a pool table brush, a damp cloth, and a little bit of elbow grease.
Another great option for removing burn marks is by using a specialized felt cleaner. Although a little pricey, a spray cleaner is gentle on the felt and does a great job of cleaning.
Use a Pool Table Brush and Damp Cloth
In order to clean and remove burn marks from the pool table felt, you’re going to need a pool table brush along with a cloth.
We recommend this pool table brush set by OESS. It comes with a pool table brush as well as a rail brush. The bristles are made of a soft nylon material that will not pill your billiards felt during use.
First, clean the bumper rails with your pool table brush, knocking all the dust and debris onto the table to be scooped up while you clean the burn marks themselves off.
The easiest way to get the burn marks off is to take a lightly dampened cloth and give the table a solid once-over. Wipe lightly and cover every part of the table. Do not push too hard, as you don’t want to damage the felt further.
If there is a solid amount of dust or debris on your pool table, a vacuum can sometimes be warranted. Use it on a low setting and gently move it across the surface of the table.
Only do this if your felt has no pricks or snags in it, as these issues can be made far worse by sucking up the loose ends of felt with a vacuum cleaner. Check closely before you put the vacuum on the felt!
Lastly, some homemade cleaning solutions, such as 1 part vinegar and 1 part water, are able to deal well with stains and burns on your table. Lightly dampen a rag or paper towel in the solution and gently wipe down the felt.
Let it sit for a minute or so and dry it up with a dry rag or dry paper towel. This is usually more effective on spills such as food, sauce, or drinks, but has been found to work on burns sometimes as well.
If none of the home remedies are working for your table, perhaps it is time to move on to something with a little more firepower!
Using Spray Cleaners
There are also plenty of spray cleaners you can purchase to get rid of burn marks on your pool table’s felt. Although this route is a bit more expensive, it is quite effective. Sprays are perfect for home tables that see a lot of use or have a burn mark here or there.
We recommend this felt spray cleaner by Game Room Guys. It’s highly effective and is simple to use. Simply spray it on your pool tables felt and then wipe it down for a few minutes with a microfiber cloth.
In order to use a spray felt cleaner, do the following. First, spray the cleaner over the entire surface of the table, not only on the spot with the burn (and not any extra on the spot with the burn either).
Next, the spray will begin to foam. This is normal, so do not panic and do not remove it before it is done foaming. This process will bring any chalk, dust, and debris to the top of the foam to be cleaned, and also help with cleaning the burn marks.
After the spray has foamed sufficiently, wipe it up with a microfiber cloth. Wipe lightly, and do not put any elbow-grease into it, or scrub back and forth. This will further damage the felt.
Preventing Burn Marks
Firstly, the easiest way to avoid burn marks is to prevent them from ever happening in the first place! There are a few easy ways to do this.
Firstly, a good set of balls is important in making sure you don’t scuff up the felt on your pool table. If you play a lot of pool, low-quality balls can eventually take a toll on the quality and appearance of your felt.
Try to avoid a set of cheap polyester balls and opt instead for a nice set of resin balls. They might be a bit more expensive, but they will protect your table in the long run, and also roll more nicely on the felt, and make the gameplay better as well.
Cover Your Table
Second, it is imperative to cover up your pool table when you’re not playing. Sure, it is tempting to show off that beautiful pool table to your guests and maybe tempt some people to play a quick game!
However, protecting the sensitive pool table cloth from sunlight, dirt, dust, debris, pets, and other hazards is extremely important for maintaining the quality of the felt. One minor spill or hot summer day can cause a lot of damage on the cloth, leaving you wishing you’d just covered it up.
It is also important to not wear any watches, rings, or bracelets with jagged edges while playing pool. These edges can snag the felt and put small pricks and tears on the surface.
This may not seem like a big deal at first (although it can be very obvious), but enough of this damage can pile up and seriously hamper the look and the function of your pool table’s felt.
No Food or Drink
As a side note, never allow food or drinks near your pool table. It is understandable that you might want to have some finger foods or beers near the table for quick access while you play with your pals, but one spill can permanently ruin your pool table’s felt!
Be careful to avoid getting other foreign objects on your table as well, such as the chalk for chalking the cue sticks.
Try having a separate table for snacks in the same room, so you can have the best of both worlds.
Lastly, do not shoot your cueball improperly. This usually occurs when you angle your stick too far down towards the felt. This increases the impact, heat, and friction applied to your table’s cloth, increasing the chance for a burn mark to appear.
So, the easiest way to get rid of burn marks on the surface of your pool table’s felt is to avoid them ever happening in the first place. Good habits such as no food, no drinks, covering the table, playing properly, and avoiding jewelry near the table will help reduce the chance that burn marks and other felt damage occur.
However, if burns do occur, there are a number of ways to clean them. Whether you decide to use more traditional methods, or spray cleaner to foam up and get rid of debris and burns for you is up to you. Both methods work, so try both and see what works best for your table!
Once your table is clean, dry, and ready to go, you’re all set to play again. Hopefully your new and improved, clean felt will allow you to sink some nice shots and win some games of pool!