Cleaning & Maintaining Your
Air Hockey Table
Air hockey has only been around for about fifty years, and it's already turned into a classic American pastime. Anybody that has ever played air hockey knows how exciting and fun the game is, and that's why many people choose to invest in an table themselves. Owning an air hockey table combines the thrill of the game with the comfort of your own home.
If you're reading this, you probably have an air hockey table yourself. However, many air hockey table owners are unaware of the costly repercussions of not cleaning their table properly.
Why Should You Clean Your Air Hockey Table?
Let's face it, nobody likes cleaning. When you have a whole house that needs dusting, sweeping, and washing, it's natural to forget to clean your air hockey table. Whether it slipped your mind or you didn't think cleaning it was important enough, here are some reasons why you may want to consider picking up the cleaning gloves once more.
Dust on the surface of your table affects the speed, your puck travels at. A dusty table means a slower puck movement. The fun and excitement of air hockey mainly come from its fast-paced gameplay.
The tiniest object can tremendously affect the trajectory of the puck. Unnoticed bits and pieces on your table can even send the puck flying off the table. Air hockey pucks have been recorded at traveling up to 80mph. That's not something you want coming at you in the face, now is it?
Enough blocked air holes can lead to dead spots on the surface, causing the puck to come to a halt mid-game. This defeats the purpose of the game.
Congested air holes can cause your table's motor to overwork, and possibly shorten the lifespan of your table.
However, the good thing is that cleaning and maintaining your Air Hockey table isn't difficult. The cleaning steps are more or less similar to other table games like Ping Pong, Foosball, or Pool.
How to make your Air Hockey Table Slide Better?
Are the pucks not sliding properly? Is your Air Hockey table not smooth enough? Don't worry, follow these options and your table would be spick and span in no time.
The steps remain the same whether you're cleaning a mini air hockey table or a regulation-sized table.
Luckily, you won't need any unique materials to clean your table correctly. Start by turning on your air hockey table and grabbing your vacuum cleaner. Keeping the table on while you clean it will help push dust and debris out of the holes.
Next, run your vacuum cleaner's hose over the entire playing surface of the air hockey table. Be careful to not let the hose touch or drag across the table as this could scratch the surface.
This process shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes.
2) Scrubbing Down The Table
Keeping the table on, grab a lightly dampened cloth and wipe down the playing surface of the table. Be careful, not over-saturate the cloth, as you want the table to dry quickly.
Only using water to clean the surface of your table is acceptable, but many people choose to use rubbing alcohol or an ammonia-free window cleaner instead. Avoid using heavy cleaning proceed like soap, as it can easily clog the holes of the air hockey table.
I recommend using the Windex ammonia-free glass cleaner.
Next, give the legs of your air hockey table a thorough scrub down. While this doesn't affect gameplay, it does make your table look nicer.
Since air hockey tables take up so much room, you might as well spend the extra few minutes making sure it's looking good, right?
This process can be done with water and soap and doesn't take long at all.
3) All Those Holes
The holes on the Air Hockey tabletop must be free for any dust or debris to distribute the air evenly. Clogged holes might result in dead spots on the surface, affecting the overall gameplay experience.
So, it's quintessential that all the holes must be thoroughly cleaned. However, this is quite time-consuming. Although, with practice, you'll become more efficient over time.
Grab a toothpick, or anything else of similar size and shape in your home, and go through and poke each hole individually. By doing this, you can dislodge any dirt or debris the vacuum cleaner may have missed.
Be careful not to accidentally push any debris further down into the hole during this process. Remember to keep the air on as you go through and clean each hole. The flowing air will help you remove any dirt.
While this process takes a lot of time, it doesn't need to be done every time you clean your table. Uneven airflow is the most significant indicator of when you should clean individual holes.
Polishing isn't necessary to upkeep your table, but it does improve gameplay. By polishing your air hockey table, the puck can glide faster, and wear-and-tear of your table is reduced.
You can use any furniture wax to polish the surface. Just make sure you don't overdo it; otherwise, it would become too slippery to play.
Alternatively, you can also use any automotive grade spray wax.
Recommended Polish: Original Bee's Wax Old World Formula Furniture Spray Polish
Use only a small amount of wax and apply it to a cloth, not directly to the table. Once the wax dries, use a clean cloth to give your table a good buff.
This should produce a shiny surface that will make your table look brand new. If you feel like going the extra mile, use a basic polisher on the rest of your table to give it a good shine.
5) Clean the Blower
The blower is like the heart of the Air Hockey table. It ought to function properly, so that the pucks can slide smoothly. The best way to clean the blower is by using a vacuum cleaner or an air blower.
In some Air hockey tables, you might need to unscrew a couple of nuts to access the blower. But in most cases, the blower is directly attached to the underneath surface.
6) Check The Pucks
If the pucks are scratched or have abrasive marks all over, it's about time to change them. A smoother puck slides much more easily while offering the least resistance.
Want To Clean Your Table Less Often?
Want your air hockey table to look and work like new, but don't feel like cleaning it? While we don't recommend never cleaning your table, there are certainly ways to reduce the build-up of dirt and grime.
Investing in an air hockey table cover is the simplest way to keep your table clean. It's surprising how quickly dust can build up on surfaces, and a cover is the easiest way to prevent that.
Take the time to clean your pucks and strikers (or mallets). These objects can build up grime, which can be transferred to the table or even damage the table. A quick soak in soapy water is all that needs to be done for most strikers and pucks.
Most strikers have a felt bottom. If this is the case, change the felt pad out periodically. Dirt sticks to felt very easily, and the pad can become dirty very quickly. This dirt build-up can easily scratch the surface of your table.
Owning an air hockey table will ensure that your home is the go-to hang out spot for friends and family. Keep the good times coming by, taking a small amount of time out of your schedule to maintain your air hockey table.
You'll be glad you did when you're surrounded by loved ones having a great time. Have fun, and enjoy it!