Summary: Learn how to properly care for and maintain your foosball table and other related equipment.
Dirt, debris, black ball marks and spilled drinks can really mess up a good foosball game, that’s why you shouldn’t neglect foosball table maintenance. Cleaning your foosball table and maintaining the individual parts protects your investment and keeps you playing a good, fast-paced game!
The rules governing cleaning your foosball table are conveniently similar to what you would do when cleaning an antique item or piece of furniture. Let’s consider some easy ways to maintain your foosball table.
Surface of table
Cleaning the foosballs
Cleaning & aligning players
Addressing other parts
How often you clean your foosball table often depends on how much you use it. During heavy usage, it’s recommended to clean your table once a week and at least once every month during low to moderate usage. And while many companies sell specialized foosball table maintenance and care products, the following maintenance tips can be found around the house or at a local home improvement store.
Surface of Table
To clean the surface, use a can of compressed air to blow the dust in hard to reach places. When the compressed air reaches into the crannies and nooks, the overall smoothness of your gameplay will be top-notch.
This next method of cleaning is arguably the easiest for your foosball table maintenance. Make sure that you wipe the table with a clean, dry cloth. Doing this will remove any of the loose dirt and debris from the foosball table.
Next, put a light amount of rubbing alcohol (70 to 90 percent) on the cloth and wipe the top surface down. The alcohol will not harm your table surface and it will evaporate quickly if used sparingly. Keep in mind that you may need to apply multiple coats on stubborn black stains.
NOTE: Never use water to clean the surface of the foosball table. This might cause the surface to wrap from getting wet.
Related article(s): Table Cleaning & Maintenance
After the surface of your foosball table is clean, you will need to take a separate cloth or cotton rag and apply a small amount of foosball silicone to the rods of your table. Rusty rods will be slower to navigate with, decreasing your reaction time and reducing your performance. Under-maintained and under-performing rods will also likely carry dust and rust which, in a cosmetic sense, won’t appear attractive (nobody likes playing on a rusty, decrepit-looking foosball table). Plus, that squeaky sound you’ve been hearing during each game? — it disappears after cleaning and lubricating the rods.
NOTE: Do not use WD-40 on your rods! This will make your rods slick and move faster for a short period of time but will dry out your bumpers and bearings and make your table wear down faster over time.
Use rubbing alcohol and a piece of clean cotton or cloth rug. After dipping the clean cloth into the rubbing alcohol, wipe down the surface of the rods gently until they’re clean.
The foosball table’s rods need to move and turn smoothly and the only way to ensure that the rods are clean and lubricated is by using silicone on the rods and bearings.
Related article(s): How To Clean And Lube Rusty Foosball Rods (Complete Guide)
Cleaning the Foosballs
The benefit you gain by cleaning the foosballs is that it improves performance and the functionality of the game table. No one likes sticky foosballs! The game becomes more enjoyable because the foosballs move around quickly as the player intends them to.
When left with dirt for a long time, the foosballs can develop complications when being used, such as being slow and moving in odd directions that weren’t intended. Here are some different techniques you could use:
Using a piece of dry cotton cloth, dip the cloth into rubbing alcohol. The wet cloth should be used to gently clean the foosball table balls until they are clean from dirt and sticky stuff.
Using some mild dish detergent and a soft scouring pad, gently wash the foosballs with the scouring pad and detergent to remove any black marks or dirt residue.
Tip: To maintain the white color for a period of time, put them in a pair of white tennis socks and run them through the washing machine cycle while doing your whites.
Related article(s): Foosball Maintenance & Care
Cleaning & Aligning Players
Your playing men can also be cleaned with rubbing alcohol to remove any scuff marks or debris; ensure you use a clean cotton cloth. Examine the players for loose screws and tighten them.
If you have other parts that need changing, ensure that they are changed during your cleaning time or as needed, so as to have a well-maintained foosball table for playing.
The players will also likely need to be realigned. This isn’t something people think about often, but the truth is that the rod players should be checked after every table cleaning. When aligning the players, remember that the players face the opponent’s goal. Regular adjustments help to prevent the players from breaking or splintering and also improve the quality of each game play.
Addressing Other Parts
Since foosball tables often experience a lot of wear and tear, pieces and parts are prone to chip, get broken, or peel. Imagine playing a solid game of foosball when of the players “legs” breaks off and flies across the table! Having loose parts on your foosball table is a definite no-no.
If you notice that a part breaks off, they must be glued down as soon as they occur to ensure the surface of your foosball table is maintained. Commercial superglue can be used immediately to glue the part back on. If you wait too long, the part may not fit as perfectly and playing with broken parts will likely damage the foosball table even more. Of course, there’s always the option to purchase new parts and replace them entirely.
For the glue, there are many good types on the market, so choose the one you have confidence in to do this job. Remember to avoid glue spilling on the playing surface — this won’t only be hard to remove but it could also damage the surface if you do try to remove it! This requires patience and other preventative measures such as keeping a cloth beneath the area you’re addressing so the glue spills doesn’t get on the surface.
Related article(s): Foosball Table Maintenance