Why Are Pool Table Brushes Shaped? (Explained)

Pool tables are funny pieces of furniture. On the one hand, a full size one is huge and extremely heavy depending on the type of pool table you own. However, despite their size and weight, they are delicate and damage easily. One of the materials that usually show the first signs of wear and tear is the table’s felt, aka cloth.

As such, it is commonly the first part of the table that usually requires replacing. Regular brushing and table maintenance can help slow down the aging process of the material, while also helping to make the cloth play as fast as possible.

But why are pool table brushes shaped?

Pool table brushes have a very particular shape. They are narrow in the middle and longer on the sides. Their very specific design makes it much easier to clean every part of the cloth, including the corners and along the rails, more effectively.

The corners on a pool table can be hard to clean, especially if you were using a regular shaped brush. However, the long ends make the job of cleaning way easier. Otherwise, they can be pretty hard to get to with normal shaped brushes. If left untouched, dirt, dust and even your cat’s hairs can accumulate fast. The dirty cloth will affect how your table plays and performs. It will also shorten its lifespan.

If your little feline member of the family is getting up on your pool table, check out the most effective ways to clean the cat hair off the playing cloth completely. You can alternatively use a Lint roller, which can be very good at lifting hair out of the playing surface.

What Are Pool Table Brushes Made Of?

Just as important as the shape of a pool table brush, is the materials used to make it. The materials used serve a very specific purpose.

They provide a soft touch and gentleness on the playing cloth, yet are strong enough to lift particles of dust, chalk, cigarette ash along with other substances out of the cloth without causing damage.

Pool table brushes are most commonly made of Horsehair, Nylon and Microfiber materials. The bristles are softer than regular brushes and are made specifically for pool table use. Anything made exclusively to be used on your table will be the better option and, generally speaking, the safest method of cleaning.

Horsehair brushes in particular are widely recognized for their high quality, durability and soft ends.

Can You Use a Regular Brush?

Some people consider using regular household brushes instead. But why is this a bad idea?

The bristles used on domestic brushes are required to clean away tough, heavy-duty materials. Their ends need to be hardened to cope with the different types of substances it may encounter.

They are not designed to be used on the delicate fabric used on pool tables, as they are hard wearing on the Wool and Nylon material. The rough, hard and tough bristles can pull the delicate fibers of the cloth, or wear the material away faster over time.

How Often Should You Brush a Pool Table?

The more traffic a table sees, the more it will need to be cleaned.

Oily hand residues, chalk, dust and other particles of dirt easily transfer to the playing surface. More substances than you may think, even after just a few games played, can transfer. By the end of a session, the table can accumulate lots of build up, even if you don’t necessarily see it all.

If you play very often, you should lightly brush your pool table after every session. This helps remove the debris before it sets in the cloth, making it more difficult to remove in the future. Some people like to brush once a week as part of the maintenance routine.

If you are a casual player, one that plays fairly infrequently, you won’t need to brush with quite so much regularity. I would still advise a light brush after each playing session, however it’s going to be important that you keep it covered when it’s sitting idle.

Without a cover, it will collect tonnes of dust and other debris on a daily basis. You will be forever cleaning it, even when you are not using it, which will become pretty annoying.

Pool table covers are water-resistant and keep it protected from dirt when not in use. The condition the table is in when it is covered will be the same when the cover is removed.

What Is the Proper Way to Brush a Pool Table?

Before you begin, it’s important you know where the head of the table is located. In case you are unfamiliar, the head of the table is the side of the break line. The foot is the opposite end of the break line.

When brushing, you should always go from the head of the table to the foot in short, straight strokes. This places the felt under the least amount of pressure. Never brush in rounded circular motions as it can interrupt the tightly woven fibers, creating “fuzz” balls in the cloth.

It’s also important that you don’t press too hard with your pool table brush. Pressure needs to be firm enough to lift the particles, but soft enough to not cause damage. Pressing down hard can damage the integrity of the playing surface. Just let the bristles make contact with the surface lightly.





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