: Mike Feiman
You just dropped some serious cash on a brand new pool table. You've wanted one for ages and now it is finally yours! So what's the most important thing to know now that you have your table? How to properly take care of it.
The first thing you need to know is that good pool table cloth does make a difference, both in playability and durability. Here are a few things to consider when choosing cloth for your pool table:
Worsted or Woolen?
There are two types of cloth available for pool tables - woolen cloth and worsted cloth. Worsted cloth tends to be quite a bit more expensive. The reason for this is that it is a more difficult and expensive process and the result is less napping of your cloth. In terms of playing pool, less napping means less maintenance and a more consistent playing field. Worsted also tends to play faster and last longer than woolen, as the weave pattern is tighter than a plain weave that is standard for woolen cloth. Because the weave is tighter, this will also help your cloth naturally repel liquid spills and stains.
Do You Have a Need for Speed?
If you like it fast, you're going to look for cloth that is made with a higher percentage of nylon (in addition to being worsted, which is typically faster than woolen). Generally speaking, the more nylon, the faster the cloth. Take Simonis 760 vs 860 for example. Simonis 760 is a 70% worsted wool/30% nylon blend. Simonis 860 on the other hand is 90% worsted wool and 10% nylon. The result? 760 plays about 15% faster than 860.
To Cover or Not to Cover?
Pool table covers are like dental floss. We all know we should use it, most of us have it, but very few of us actually use it. When we don't use it, we find that the results can be somewhat unsettling. When you leave your pool table uncovered, a few things are going to happen. If you have pets, pet hair will find its way onto your table. It doesn't matter if your pets get on your table or not, the hair will find its way there. In addition, claws + cloth = tears (referring to both the rips in your cloth and the ones that come out of your eyes after seeing the rips in your cloth).
So if you don't have pets, you don't need a pool table cover, right? Well, not exactly. If your pool table is in a room that gets natural light, that light is going to fade and damage your cloth over time if your table isn't covered. Keep in mind that if you buy a table cover, it only protects your table if you use it. Don't be like me and leave your table cover in a pile underneath your pool table. It only takes a minute to put the cover on and trust me, when you see a full grown St. Bernard standing, shedding and drooling on your brand new Simonis cloth, it isn't terribly pleasant. How do I know? Because my home table has a couple small tears and some serious drool stains from the time I found this guy standing on my table with a cue ball in his mouth.
What Are Those White Dots On My Cloth?
The reality of pool is that your table will get burn spots over time. Especially when you're breaking. You know those little white dots you see on your cloth that won't come out no matter how many times you brush and clean your cloth? Those are burn spots. A 15-20mph break is going to cause some serious heat and when you consider the fact that wool starts to decompose at 212°F, you just have to accept the fact that you're going to get some burn spots.
That said, you can minimize your burn spots. The easiest way to do this is to buy high quality balls. Phenolic resin balls are going to create fewer burn spots than pool balls made with polyester material. Unfortunately, phenolic balls tend to be quite a bit more expensive than polyester and the higher quality the resin, the more expensive the balls.
How Should I Clean My Pool Table When It Gets Dirty?
Over time, all pool tables will get dirty and need to be cleaned. Even if you keep your pool table covered, you're still going to get some chalk residue, hair and debris on your cloth. That's why you're going to need some cloth cleaning tools. Some people prefer brushes, others use low powered hand held vacuums (keep in mind that anything with suction can stretch your cloth). Me, I use the Simonis X-1 cleaner and Quick Clean foam cloth cleaner. The X-1 does a nice job pulling chalk from the cloth fibers and the Quick Clean tends to pick up anything that got missed.
As always, if you have any questions or need help figuring out what cloth, cover, balls and cleaner are best for you and your pool table, just give us a call at 866-843-3294 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll help you find just what you're looking for!