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Cleaning pool table felt

phil

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Slate pool table had unknown substance spilled on felt - can I clean this w/drimaster uph. tool? Avenge HD okay? Pro solv and power gel okay on this? Thanks.
 

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I would stay away from any solvant based cleaners or gels as they will probably eat up the adhesive holding the felt in place. I would start with just a freshwater rinse and keep the presure at a minimum and keep the felt as dry as possible. If water will not remove the stain go to a mild pre-spray just misted on the stain. I would take a hair dryer with you and speed dry the area cleaned to reduce the risk of a water stain, use the dryer on the low heat / no heat setting.
 

Timothy

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I will clean a lot of things but pool table felt would make me pause and think about it.....nope I wouldn't even try it, good luck man
 
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Todd the Cleaner

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I will clean a lot of things but pool table felt would make me pause and think about it.....nope I wouldn't even try it, good luck man
Definitely a high risk job, I would be sure to have SIGNED DISCLAIMERS AND PICTURES of the table before even attempting the job. The customer needs to understand that at this point the felt is ruined and this is an attempt at restoration. Offer no guarantees and have a release of liability signed by the customer before doing any work. Under promise and over deliver.
 

LeeRoy

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I don't think it is alot of money to have someone come in and lay down new felt. I'm with Timothy on this one, I'd stay away from it.

Lee
 

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Why is everyone afraid of even trying? As long as the owner understands that you can not guarantee success and you are going to try your best to save them from having to replace the felt why not at least try?
 
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Nutstyle

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I heard it can damage the felt , like possible shrinking, or separate from the slate, bumps or things like that.
 

Shawn Abbey

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I've cleaned them before..... (blood from a fight in a bar)! I used a Prochem Upholstery Tool. But, I would get the disclaimers/waivers/ etc. out of the way before I started, though.

Your Drimaster should be a much more effective tool for rinsing. Apply your pretreatments and gently agitate (TAKE YOUR TIME!), and rinse carefully, not allowing the tool to pull on the felt. If I understand correctly, the surface underneath is slate, so no acidic pretreatments or rinses!
 
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Timothy

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Why is everyone afraid of even trying? As long as the owner understands that you can not guarantee success and you are going to try your best to save them from having to replace the felt why not at least try?
I personally wouldn't touch it, I wouldn't make enough to even mess with the stress of fooling with it, just one of the beauties of being owner...I can pick and choose on job's like that.
 

Scott W

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Cleaning felt can certainly damage a table. Be cautious. Get disclaimers. But, no reason to run if you are up to a challenge.

See what can be removed dry, brush, vacuum ,etc.

Under the felt on a quality table is usually slate, but there are some cheaper tables with wooden beds. You don't want to get the surface overly wet. This can affect the adhesives holding the felt on or if a wooden bed can cause warping. Use an upholstery prespray not a carpet product. It will not penetrate the fabric as deeply and will dry quicker. Have air movement, maybe a hair dryer available. Move air across the surface of the table not down into the table.
 

spotman123

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Why is everyone afraid of even trying? As long as the owner understands that you can not guarantee success and you are going to try your best to save them from having to replace the felt why not at least try?
Nope not afraid, It's called being smart and not stupid!!!!!
 

dmreed4311

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I got my pool table refelted for 190.00 after I cleaned it with host sponges :)
 

phil

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Thanks,

It is in a vacation rental home and will be part of a large carpet/tile job. I have cleaned this house for the last 4 years so I will give the owner a heads up. The reason I asked is that I went to clean an empty rental about a month ago that had a 2 story flood going on. It was dripping down on the pool table and all the rental co. did was wet/dry vac the felt and let it air dry. It looked perfect 2 weeks later when I returned to clean the carpets. I asked if they had the felt replaced and they said no. Thanks for the tips - if I clean it I will let you know the results.
 

Todd the Cleaner

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Nope not afraid, It's called being smart and not stupid!!!!!


To each their own I guess. I have successfully cleaned a couple pool tables before. As long as you have signed disclaimers and the customer is understanding of the fact that the job may in fact not be successful I am always willing to try.
 

CoastalCleaning

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I've addressed this many times. I was a billiard mechanic for many years. I have serviced every kind of table imaginable. Unless you have a rock solid waiver I would never advise anyone to clean table felt. Too many things can go wrong and this is one place where experimenting and not being afraid could leave you with an enormous bill.

I don't mean to have a swollen head here but take it from me I am an expert in table mechanics and playability. I've have written many estimates and restoration claims for damaged tables from people attempting to clean them. I've restored thousands of damaged tables including my own. Aside from all the things that could go wrong with a slate table god forbid you get into a table purchased from Sears or some other low end company. Those tables don't have slate beds but actual particle wood, and we all know what happens to particle wood. Some slate can even be backed with particle wood, some with oak, some with plywood, some without backing at all. Its a risky venture and a refelt from a reputable mechanic would run 300-450 bucks. If you damage the slate you're in the thousands or worse if you damage the body of the table. A new cushion job could run an extra 200 easy and believe me its real easy to separate the cushion from the rail.

Most importantly if your customer is an actual player who uses their table they will know right away that something is off. The moment you wet that cloth it will lose some of its stretch causing the table to play slow.

This is probably one of the worst threads for having the mentality of "hey why not" or "just go for it". I cannot stress enough what a bad idea this is. Plus you run the risk of damaging something that may be special to someone. My table means a lot to me. Image taking steel wool to an antique gun or spray paint to grandmas family buffet table or polishing that highly collectible coin collection. Some things are just not to be done and cleaning felt is one of them. There is a professional process to servicing a pool table just like there is a profession process to cleaning carpet.

As a professional I would hope none of you would put a rug doctor on someone's carpet. Same rules apply to servicing a pool table with inappropriate equipment and procedures.

Sorry for the rant I'm just trying to help.

Read on here.

Here's a visual.






Here you can see the three separate pieces.











The seams stretch full across so it's unavoidable.
I find value in this post however any amount of moisture even minor would cause felt to lose its stretch. Stretch being the most important thing once you get beyond level slate. The speed at which the balls travel depend greatly on the amount of stretch you put on the felt. Its not just tacked on snug. There is a very specific way to installing the felt on a table. This is why spilled beer and drinks on a table can wreck havoc on playability. If even a small portion of the felt ends up being more moist than any other portion of the felt you'll have a dead spot where the ball slows its roll and begins to follow the nap of the felt.
CoastalCleaning said:
I'm a journeyman billiard mechanic. Absolutely do not clean pool table felt. Even vacuuming with a truck mount can be harmful. A truck mount has way too much vacuum power. The felt is either stapled on or glued on. You run the risk of popping some staples or ungluing the felt. Lightly vacuum with a residential vacuum cleaner using an upholstery attachment. Finish it up by brushing in one direction from the head of the table to the foot. Do not brush towards the pockets. Brush one direction end to end in long straight stokes.

If the table isn't vacuumed regularly you may end up making it worse. Chalk gets embedded under the felt and vacuuming pulls it up and sometimes you can't vacuum it all out and you end up leaving chalk stains all over the place.

If the customer thinks you caused damage a re-felt on a table will run you 300-450 bucks. More if it's Simonis Felt or Tournament felt. I'd be cautious.