Are wrinkles affecting how your cue ball rolls on the felt and don’t have the pool table iron to straighten them? Most of us don’t own a pool table iron so you might be wondering, “Can you iron pool table felt with a home iron?” After all, you want to improve the gameplay of your table.
A standard pool table iron can do a perfect job of ironing out the wrinkles on the felt. What matters is how you do it. The settings on the iron will dictate whether you straighten the wrinkles or destroy your felt completely.
Why Should You Iron Pool Table Felt?
There are so many misconceptions about what ironing the felt is aimed at. Most people think it only helps in straightening the wrinkles, but that is just a part of the reason why iron. The main purpose for ironing the felt is to increase the performance and rolling speed of the cue balls.
Will Ironing Pool Table Felt Damage It?
As already mentioned, you can iron a pool table felt using a normal home iron. But you’ll have to pay a lot of attention to detail not to damage it. The main reason why a felt would get damaged by using a standard iron is due to negligence. Damage may also occur if the iron isn’t set at the right temperature, and it gets hotter than 300F. stains on the surface of the iron can also cause irreversible damage, therefore, always ensure it’s clean before use.
If your iron has a water reservoir, don’t sprinkle it on the felt. The pool table cloth is very delicate and can also get damaged easily by water.
If all these precautions are too much for you to take, consider using the specially designed pool table iron to straighten the felt. Using a normal iron requires a lot of care, which not everyone is not good at. So, it’s better to invest in a suitable felt iron than to be sorry for damaging your pool table and have to bear the cost of replacing the table.
Best Types of Irons to Use
Can you iron pool table felt? You already know the answer, but what are the best iron types to use? The best iron for removing wrinkles on the felt is the pool table felt iron. When you purchase a pool table, the iron is included as an accessory. However, if yours didn’t come with it, you can always shop online for one.
Pool table irons are special in that they’ll automatically adjust their heat settings accordingly to ensure the felt receives just enough heat to straighten the wrinkles. They also produce very low heat with no steam components included.
If you can’t find these types of iron, you can always opt for the basic dry iron models. They’re among the least expensive types in both offline and online stores. They only feature a temperature control knob and metallic soleplate, which is very heavy with no additional features.
When using the home dry iron, take extra precautions not to burn the felt. Before use, ensure its surface is clean and the temperature regulated to 300F or below.
How to Iron Pool Table Felt
Whether you’re using the right iron for your pool table felt or have a normal home iron, you’ll have to pay attention to certain important factors that will determine if you’ll be successful or not. These include temperature, cleanliness, moisture, ironing direction, and speed.
1. Clean The Pool Table Felt Thoroughly
Ironing a felt with dust or dirt on it will only heat the debris on the cloth, causing the material to stiffen and increase the rate of wearing out. Before ironing, always clean the table thoroughly and ensure your iron surface is also clean. If the iron has stains, the felt can contact them and make it harder to remove.
2. Set the Temperature Lower
Normal home iron usually has a wool setting as the lowest temperature setting. Use it if you don’t have a pool table felt. Always test it on a piece of paper first and if it gets burnt, the heat is certainly high and will damage the felt.
3. Avoid Doing Wet Ironing
Always dry-iron the felt. Spraying or sprinkling water on the cloth will damage it. It’s good practice to keep a dedicated home iron with no water reservoir for this purpose if you don’t have the pool table iron.
4. Iron at Slow and Steady Speed
Move slowly while ironing, but not too slow as that may increase the contact time with the felt. Also, moving too fast can produce ineffective results and increase the chances of tearing the cloth or gouging the cushion.
5. Iron in The Direction Of The Nap
The main reason for ironing the felt is to smoothen the nap the restore its direction to default. Making erratic motions such as in circles, sideways, or in an opposite direction will make the felt inconsistent and more chaotic.
What Not to do When Ironing Pool Table Felt
Can you iron pool table felt? Yes, you can! But how you do it matters. Ironing the right way will make the difference between perfecting the felt and damaging it completely. We’ve already looked at how you should iron the felt but since most of us tend to be creative while doing something, it’s possible to make a mistake while trying to get the best results.
These are the things you should NOT do while ironing your pool table felt:
- Don’t use an iron with a dirty surface (Doing so will transfer the stain to the felt and cause damage)
- Never iron the felt hurriedly, it can tear it, apart from doing an ineffective job
- If using a normal home iron, don’t spray the water on the felt (Ensure the steam setting of the iron is off before use)
- Never multitask while ironing the felt (Total concentration is important to ensure there’s no room for carelessness)
- Never iron a dirty pool table felt to avoid debris getting stuck and forming minute bumps on the surface
- Never iron the felt in opposing direction, circular motions, or side to side (Always maintain the same direction as that of the nap)
- You shouldn’t iron the pool table rubber cushions as that can also damage them
Other Options if Ironing Doesn’t Flatten the Felt
If you feel that ironing requires too much attention to detail, which you’re not good at, you can opt for other options. As mentioned earlier, ironing isn’t done mainly to remove the wrinkles, but to improve the speed and performance of the cue balls on the felt.
You can purchase a proper pool / billiard table iron. They are a little hard to find but check with you local billiard shop.
So, if ironing doesn’t remove the wrinkles, you can use other ways to ensure they’re straightened and enhance your gameplay.
Sometimes ironing may not be the solution to removing the wrinkles. In most cases, the wrinkles form when the pool table cloth becomes loose. So, it doesn’t matter how many times you iron it, the wrinkles might not go away if it’s caused by loosening. Also, over-ironing can tear off the felt, therefore, it’s not an ultimate solution.
You can also take precautions to prevent wrinkles from forming. For instance, humidity is also one of the main causes of pool table felt wrinkles, so dehumidifiers can help straighten the cloth. But the result won’t be long-lasting compared to re-stretching.
When you have a pool table at home or run a bar with one, it’s crucial to keep it at its optimal performance state by doing regular maintenance. Apart from cleaning and brushing the felt, ironing can help straighten it and improve your gameplay.
Can you iron pool table felt without reducing its lifespan? Yes, it’s possible, if you use the right iron and practice proper ironing methods. Keeping the pool table flat improves game enjoyment, and your buddies won’t have excuses for losing a match to you!