How to Remove the Smell of Smoke from a Pool Table?

How to Remove the Smell of Smoke from a Pool Table

Smoke odors can be particularly stubborn and unpleasant, especially when they cling to different fabrics, including pool table felt.

Whether it’s from cigarettes, cigars, or even a nearby fire, the smell of smoke can significantly detract from the enjoyment of your game room.

In this comprehensive guide, I will explore various methods to effectively remove the smell of smoke from your pool table, ensuring a fresh and pleasant playing environment.

Key Takeaways

  • Identifying the type of smoke and its impact on the pool table.
  • Quick steps to minimize smoke absorption.
  • Detailed methods for thorough cleaning and odor removal.
  • Preventive measures to keep your pool table smoke-free.

Quick Answer

Depending on the history of smoke exposure, it can be difficult to get rid of the stench completely, however a good place to start is by removing any ash particles, with a deep clean, that has built up in the cloth. 

With old pool tables, subjected to smokey environments for years, sometimes the best option is to replace the felt all together.

Especially if the maintenance and cleaning of the pool felt has been an afterthought.

Before doing so, there are a few things you can try, that can make a huge difference, if not get rid of the smokey odor completely.

Fact TypeDescription
Odor RemovalBaking soda and white vinegar are effective natural deodorizers.
Professional ServicesProfessional cleaning can be more effective for severe smoke odors.
Preventive MeasuresRegular cleaning and air purification help prevent odor buildup.
Removing the smell of smoke from a pool table

How Hard Is It to Get the Smell of Smoke Out of a Pool Table?

One of the major culprits for the lingering smoke smell in a pool table is the cigarette ash that has been left to accumulate under the bumpers.

  • Ash left to settle in the cloth will continue to produce a smell of smoke unless the pool table felt is cleaned properly.
  • Historical smoke damage is very hard to remove – Old barroom pool tables are very hard to restore odor free without replacing the playing cloth
  • Unless every piece of ash has been cleaned away, the odor will remain.

However, removing every particle is extremely difficult without taking the table apart.

How to Remove the Smell of Smoke from a Pool Table?

Let me now show you the best ways to remove the smell of smoke from a pool table?

Step 1 – Brush the Ash

To begin getting the smell of smoke out of a pool table, brush the playing cloth to gather any loose ash and dirt.

Brushing the cloth can also loosen firmer ash particles within the material, ones that are otherwise hard to remove.

  1. Brush in straight lines.
  2. From the head to the foot of the table.
  3. In short strokes.
  4. Sweep the gathered ash into lines and brush onto a piece of paper for easy removal.

What Not to Do

  • Never brush in rotations or side to side, as it will damage the delicate fibers.
  • Never use a regular household brush as the bristles are too hard.
  • Use a pool table brush that is gentle enough to clean without causing the felt any damage.
  • Never brush right up to the rails as it can spread ash under the bumpers.

Step 2 – Vacuum the Ash

The next step to removing pool table smoke, is to vacuum the felt.

When trying to remove the smell of smoke, it is best to dismantle the table before vacuuming in order to remove the odor completely.

  • Taking it apart allows you to get under the table easier.
  • Clean out the rail’s system more effectively
  • Put the table back together again

This is not needed every time you vacuum the cloth, but ash gathered under the bumpers is one of the main causes for the smell of smoke you are finding.

Things to Note

  • Never use a regular vacuum with high suction.
  • High powered suction vacuums can tug the felt, damaging the fibers and ruin the playing surface. 
  • Never use one with rotating brushes, as they can rip and tear the material.
  • Vacuum in the one direction straight down the table, and never side to side or circular movements.

The Eureka WhirlWind Bagless Canister Vacuum Cleaner, is one of the best budget friendly vacuums that is most suitable for pool table playing cloth.

Step 3 – Sanitize the Air

The final step, when cleansing a pool table of the smell of smoke, is to sanitize the air.

  1. Sanitizing the surrounding air will make sure it doesn’t pick up any more unforgiving smells.
  2. Spray both the table and the air around the pool table.

Alternatively, an air purifier can also be used to clean the air.

Avoid using air fresheners as they only mask and hide odors as opposed to sanitizers, like Ozium, which gets rid of bad smells in the air.

Contact Local Fire Restoration Business

If you have tried and repeated the steps above, but to no joy, you can try contacting your local fire restoration business.

They have decades worth of experience in dealing with fire restoration.

I would strongly suggest reaching out to speak with someone locally.

It may unlock a few simple trade secrets that will remove the smell of smoke from your pool table.

How Do You Prevent the Smell of Smoke on Your Pool Table?

To prevent the smell of smoke in a pool table there are a few easy steps you can take which include; operating a no smoking policy around the pool table, opening a window and using a pool table cover to protect the felt from falling cigarette ash.

A No Smoking Policy Around the Pool Table

The best way to prevent the smell of smoke on your pool table is to create a no smoking policy.

The number one rule should be to take your cigarettes outside. It’s simple yet effective.

Open a Window

If, for whatever reason, smoking outside is not an option, the next best alternative is to open a window.

Good ventilation will help prevent smoke from gathering and being picked up by the table. 

Cover and Protect the Table from Cigarette Ash

When the table is not in use, it should always be covered with a quality pool table cover, like GSE’s leatherette cover, that is both waterproof and tear proof.

It will prevent any potential cigarette ash from falling on to the material while it is not in use, but also spills and even stop your animals from tearing at the cloth. 

All of which contributes to the wear and tear of the table’s felt.

Final Thoughts on How to Remove the Smell of Smoke from a Pool Table?

Pool tables that have been exposed to smoke can carry the odor for a very long time. The smell can be difficult to remove without replacing the table’s felt, though not impossible. A brush followed by a thorough vacuuming of under the bumpers is essential to get rid of the damage.

In any case, you can reach out locally to experts in fire restoration for help which may help. If you want to prevent any smoke damage in the future, you should cover the table and keep it a smoke-free zone.


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