How to Polish Pool Balls

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Over time and with frequent use, pool or billiard balls can become dirty. Cleaning methods depend on the material from which the balls are constructed. Balls made from polyester (such as Supapro) are cleaned differently than ones made from phenolic resin (such as Aramith). Using the wrong pool ball cleaner can cause scratching, pitting and even more dirt over time, changing the physics of the pool balls when playing. Read on to learn about safe cleaning methods for different types of pool balls.

Things You'll Need

  • Liquid glass measuring cup
  • 4 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons dishwashing liquid
  • Spoon
  • Lint-free cotton cloth or no-scratch sponge
  • Dry microfiber cloth
  • Dishwasher
  • Dishwasher detergent (not citrus-based)
  • For polyester-based pool balls, in a liquid glass measuring cup, mix the 4 cups warm water and 2 tablespoons dishwashing liquid with a spoon until completely blended.

  • Dip a lint-free cotton cloth or no-scratch sponge into the cleaning mixture and gently rub the solution onto a pool ball, concentrating on areas with stubborn stains.

  • Repeat the above process for each pool ball.

  • Dry off each pool ball with a dry microfiber cloth for optimum shine.

  • For balls made from phenolic resin, place them carefully in the top rack of the dishwasher, making sure that the balls are not touching.

  • Use a regular dishwasher detergent (not citrus-based) and run a load of dishes according to the dishwasher manufacturer's instructions. The balls' resin acts similarly to glass.

  • Dry off the pool balls with a dry microfiber cloth for extra shine.

Tips & Warnings

  • Commercial pool-ball cleaning liquids and cleaning machines are also available.
  • If you choose to wash your resin-based pool balls in the dishwasher, do not use a high-heat or sanitize setting to avoid heat damage. Also, citrus-based dishwasher detergents can cause etching over time.

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