Bristle Dartboard Maintenance: 6 Tips to Extend the Life of Your Board

After buying a bristle dartboard for your man cave, very few of us give a second thought to maintenance and upkeep. Since the bristles are a vegetable fiber that is similar to hemp, your board will be subject to wear and damage that any natural rope fiber sustains. 

This information should be enough to open your eyes to the reality that you must maintain your bristle dartboard if you do not want to replace it sooner than later. Think of it like a rope doormat that becomes brittle and starts to fall apart after you walk on it a few times.

There are a few things you can do to extend the life of your board:

1. Avoid Light

Obviously, when you have it in your man cave, the dartboard will not be exposed to sunlight. However, when you have a bristle dartboard that has bright spotlights on it for continuous hours each day, the colors will fade which causes fibers to become brittle. When setting up your darts area with lights, don’t overdo it. Don’t focus “spot” light bulbs on it but choose fluorescent, LED or floods.

2. Rotate Your Board

A dartboard always shows wear more around its most popular numbers. To even out the wear pattern, dartboard manufacturers came up with the perfect solution to give you value for money. It is designed to be rotated to even out wear. Numbers like the double 16, triple 19, and triple 20 often shows more wear than the rest of the board. 

Usually, you would mount the dartboard on a single pan-head screw at the board’s center back. The wall-mounted bracket should be of a kind to make sure the dartboard can be turned. You can even out wear by removing the wire number ring and rotate the board. 

Be sure that another black wedge is a the top and with the 20 at the top, replace the wire number ring. When you use your dartboard often, you can consider doing it weekly.

With the number of black wedges on the board, you have plenty of opportunities to preserve the appearance and keep the bristles in shape. If you are worried about the bull’s eye, don’t, rotating the board has no effect on the bull’s eye position. Rotating your dartboard may be tricky if you own a freestanding type as more often than not, these are screwed to the stand.

3. Avoid All Liquids

This includes water! If you hear people recommending gentle cleaners and water to keep your dartboard clean, disregard that advice. The natural fibers are not designed to get wet. Your man cave is obviously enclosed, and you probably have a humidifier and a fan or air conditioner to keep the temperature cool and comfortable, therefore would the dartboard not be in an excessively humid spot, to begin with.

4. Maintain Your Darts

While you can rotate the dartboard there is nothing you can do to prevent ruining the bull’s eye or is there? Yes, you can keep the bull’s eye in a good condition when the dart points are in good condition. When the dart points are slightly rounded, the fiber will not be damaged as much as a flat or too sharp dart tip.

When your dart tip becomes flat on its end, it crushes the fiber and you will end up with a rock-hard bull’s eye area. Most dartboards are ruined simply because many dartboard owners and casual players are not aware of the fact that the dart tips must be in a particular condition. 

A dart point that is too sharp, damages the board as it cuts into the fiber. A too sharp tip will burr as well since the sharp tip end bends over. Feel for potential burrs by running the tip of the dart over your finger. Throw out darts with burrs as they act like a darning hook and jerk our fibers from your board. 

When you inspect your dartboard closely after you found burrs on the darts, you will notice that fibers that stand up from the surface of the dartboard have been pulled out. This is exactly what you want to avoid as well.

A sharp dart point will spread the fiber apart instead of cutting it or crushing it.

5. Remove Darts Properly

The action used to remove the dart could often be more harmful than actually throwing the dart. When a player pulls a dart from the board it can damage the tightly packed bristles. For example, a mechanical steel tip dart should never be forcibly pulled. It is designed to sit firmly in a board, which is great for minimizing deflections and reducing bounce outs, but this same technology makes it harder to remove.

When you yank a mechanical steel tip dart from the board, it damages the fibers. Tell your friends to twist the darts to remove them instead of pulling it straight out.

6. Buy A Quality Cabinet

You want to make your dartboard a focal point in your games section, but as with the lighting, be mindful of overdoing it with a wood-carved heavy cabinet with excessive fixtures. You can add backing to protect the walls and act as a barrier between the wall and the board that will prevent warping. Investing in a quality dartboard cabinet will also protect it from sunlight.

Final Thoughts

Darts is a fun game. What’s not fun is playing darts on a worn out, crappy board. These tips on how to maintain your bristle dartboard will maximize the lifespan and keep it looking like new. Don’t bake your board in harsh lighting, avoid water, rotate it regularly and always keep the dart points sharp for years of man cave pleasure.