The Steps to Cleaning Your Billiard Balls

If you are passionate about billiards, you want to make sure your belongings are kept in top condition. Cleaning your billiard balls is essential for their longevity and improved play.

In this article, you’ll learn how to make cleaning billiard balls easier and ensure you can enjoy the game of billiards with well-maintained equipment.

Overview of Billiard Balls

Billiard balls are often used in game rooms and playing areas and need to be taken care of with regular cleaning. Billiard balls typically vary in size and style depending on the game they are used for. The more traditional billiard ball is a hard, round, white sphere with a blank surface, while other types may have various logos or numbers printed onto them. Knowing the right way to clean your billiard balls is essential to make sure that they last as long as possible and play their best.

How to Clean Billiard Balls

To keep your billiard balls in top condition, it is important to familiarize yourself with their particular material. This will determine the cleaning method you use. Some of the most popular materials used for billiard balls are phenolic resin, acrylic plastic, Aramith Super Pro-Cup TV Balls, urethane cushion rubber mix, and celluloid plastic. While each of these materials requires its own specific cleaning methods; most involve lubricating or polishing compounds such as alcohol wipes or specialized rubbing compounds designed for pool balls.

In addition to this material information being important for keeping your billiard balls in good condition through regular cleaning, it also helps when determining what type of cleaning product to use and how frequently you need to clean them based on their general wear and tear when exposed to the elements over time. Remember that like all things worn, with proper care these bills can last years!

Cleaning Supplies Needed

Before you begin cleaning your billiard balls, make sure to gather the necessary supplies. You will need a soft cloth, mild detergent, warm water, and a bowl or bucket large enough to fit all of the billiard balls. If the cloth is too abrasive or the cleaner too harsh, it can scratch or damage the surface of your balls.

Once you have these items ready, you can begin properly cleaning your billiard balls.

Preparing The Billiard Balls

Prior to cleaning billiard balls, it is important to prepare them for the process. Take the balls off the table and place them in a bucket filled with warm water. Allow them to soak for 5-10 minutes so that dirt, grime, and other debris loosens from the surface of each ball. Gently use a soft cloth or sponge to remove debris while the balls are still submerged. When finished soaking, carefully remove each ball from the bucket and place on a clean cloth.

Removing Dirt And Grime

Removing dirt and grime from billiard balls can be done with a bit of effort and the right cleaning supplies. To begin, use warm water, dish soap, a soft brush, and a damp cloth to remove any surface dirt. If the dirt is embedded deep into the ball material it may be necessary to scrub more vigorously with the bristles of the soft brush or use a specialty cleaner specifically designed for this purpose.

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After removing surface dirt, rinse off the balls with warm water and dry them thoroughly before storing them back in their container. To keep your billiard balls clean in between instances of cleaning it is recommended that you wipe down each ball after play. This should be done using a dry cloth that is clean and lint-free. The wiping motion will help keep stubborn dirt particles from settling on your billiard balls and further prevent scratches during storage or when handling them as these particles can act like sandpaper if not taken care of quickly.

Polishing The Billiard Balls

Once the billiard balls have been cleaned, you will need to polish them in order to keep them in top condition. Before you begin, make sure that the newly cleaned balls have completely dried before starting the polishing process. Use a soft cloth or buffing pad and a gentle polishing compound or cream to polish the pool balls. Rub one area of the ball with a small amount of compound and then use circular motions until the entire surface has been polished. This can be repeated for each ball if desired, but remember not to apply too much pressure when buffing to avoid scratching or damaging the surface.

Once finished, let them sit for several hours so that any extra residue can be wiped away with a damp cloth.

Proper Storage of Billiard Balls

Proper storage of billiard balls is important to preserving the life of your set. While long-term storage of the whole set may include accessories such as racks and brushes, just storing the balls is relatively straightforward. You should always store your billiard balls in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. We recommend an area with good ventilation and low humidity, such as a cabinet in a game room or living space. Before storing your pool balls, use soap and warm water to thoroughly clean and rinse each one separately. This will remove any physical impurities and leave them feeling smooth while eliminating unnecessary moisture that can cause molding or mildew growth over time. Once all the individual billiard balls have been washed, use a commercially available ball polisher to buff them and restore their original luster.


Once you’ve cleaned all of the pool balls, line up a plastic container with cushion material like foam or velvet pillows on the bottom. Arrange the billiard balls in a single layer so that none touch and cover with material like terry cloth before closing securely for storage; this will help further protect from dust, dirt or moisture related damage when not in use!

Troubleshooting Common Problems

When using billiard balls on a frequent basis, it is important to keep them clean and maintained in order to achieve the best performance. Over time, dirt and grime can build up on the surface of the balls, making them less reactive to shots and causing them to react differently when they make contact with one another. Here are some tips on troubleshooting common problems and how to keep your billiard balls clean:

Oil & Dirt Build-up: If you notice a shiny or greasy film developing around the surface of your billiard balls, this could be due to oil or dirt build-up. To remove this residue, use a soft cloth and mild detergent. Dip the cloth in warm soapy water before lightly wiping down each ball one by one until all residue is removed. Allow the balls to dry completely before returning them back into play.

Blemishes & Scratches: Over time, some billiard balls may develop blemishes such as scratches or nicks that could affect game play. To remedy this issue, try rubbing a cotton ball soaked in furniture polish over an affected area using circular motions until it disappears. You should change cotton balls regularly to ensure you are not transferring any previous residue onto other parts of your billiard ball set.

At the end of the day, cleaning your billiard balls is essential for keeping your table looking sharp and playing its best game. Utilizing a gentle combination of rubbing alcohol and soap should be more than sufficient for tackling dirt, smudges and grime, but if more serious action is required then you can either try a home remedy or call in the professionals.

Just make sure that whatever you choose is something suitable for plastic-based items since billiard balls tend to be made out of acrylic or polyester resin plastics. So keep it clean, take some time to care for your table accessories – like those 8-balls – and have fun at the pool table!

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