Air hockey is a fun game that can be played by people of all ages. It also offers players a cardio workout and a competitive spirit and makes your hand-eye coordination better each time you play. Air hockey tables need to be maintained properly for optimal airflow and movement of pucks and to increase longevity. Clogged holes result in dead spots or slow down the pucks. Pucks that constantly bump on the table may also chip it and considering that air hockey tables cost a substantial amount of money, you would need to take the right measures to mitigate any damage. One way to do this is to learn how to clean an air hockey table.
Why and how often should you clean your air hockey table?
A dirty playing surface will affect your gameplay and even cause damage to your air hockey table. Dust, dirt, and debris block the holes which channel the pressurized air distributed by blower motors. This can slow down a gliding puck or bring it to a halt if there are dead spots. It could also prevent you from making accurate shots because the puck jumps around or flies off the air hockey table. A puck that constantly bumps the table can also result in chipping and scratches on the playing surface.
To avoid this, it is important to clean the playing surface before and after a game. Weekly maintenance and deep cleaning it after every two months will ensure the pucks glide smoothly. In the next section, we will discuss how to clean an air hockey table effectively for optimal performance and durability.
How to clean air hockey table surface
We will review everything you need to know on how to clean an air hockey table surface and the recommended cleaning materials.
Prepare everything that’s needed
You need to gather all the materials you will need so you can have everything ready before you start. This includes:
- a vacuum cleaner;
- a soft cloth;
- air hockey table cleaner;
- wax for polishing.
The first step you should take when cleaning air hockey tables is to switch on the fans so they can blow off any dust and dirt that might be in the holes to prevent obstruction of airflow. The blowers should remain on throughout this process. Vacuum while holding the hose above the playing surface to prevent the nozzle from damaging the air hockey table. Pay more attention to the air holes to remove dust and dirt particles and remember to also vacuum the legs to get rid of cobwebs and dust.
Scrub it down
The next step on how to clean the air hockey table surface after vacuuming is to wipe it with a soft and dry cloth such as microfiber to remove any particles that could still be on the table. This should be done with the blowers on. After that, dampen the cloth with rubbing alcohol and scrub off fingerprints, food and other marks. Avoid using an abrasive cloth that could scratch the surface or soap that could cause clogged air holes. Dishwashing detergent and warm water should be used in the next stage to wipe the sides and legs, but never the inside rails since some people argue that a little dust may actually be good for bank shots because of the extra puck bounce. The jury is still out on that so you will have to make your own decision on whether to clean the inside rails.
The recommended air hockey table cleaners are alcohol-based cleaners, window cleaners devoid of ammonia and dishwashing detergents.
The final step on how to clean an air hockey table is to polish it to provide a smooth coating that protects the playing surface and allows the pucks to glide smoothly. Apply a small amount of air hockey table wax on a soft cloth to apply a thin coat over the whole surface and then use a dry cloth to wipe and buff the dried wax for a glossy shine. Avoid applying a lot of wax that could cause dead spots by blocking the air holes. The same air hockey table wax could be used on the sides and legs of wooden models.
How to clean air hockey table holes
The speed and accuracy of your gameplay would be affected if the air holes that channel air from the blowers are clogged with dust, dirt, and grime. Obstructed air holes also make the motor to overwork. This is why it is necessary to learn how to clean air hockey table holes and the steps and cleaning agents you will need.
Air hockey table cleaner and tools for holes
You will need a toothpick or a drill bit, cotton swab, and pipe cleaner.
Vacuum the holes with the fans on to prevent any dust and grime from settling back and obstructing airflow.
Clean them with a toothpick or a cotton swab
Poke each hole, one at a time, with a toothpick, drill bit, pipe cleaner or cotton swab and lift out the particles, so they don’t fall further into the holes. The fan should be operating during this time to dislodge those particles.
Take care of the pucks and blower
If you are using the best air hockey table cleaners and wax to remove dust, dirt, and debris from the holes and playing surface yet the pucks still glide slowly, then they are likely the problem. Or the blower is. Check for scratches and abrasion on pucks and smooth them out gently by sanding them with an ultra-fine sanding paper. Do the same for mallets unless they have a felt bottom.
As a core component that determines performance, a blower should operate at optimal level for smooth gliding of pucks. To clean it, use an air blower or a vacuum cleaner. You may need to remove nuts to access a blower that is positioned on the underneath surface.
If you implement our guide on how to clean air hockey table holes, playing surface, blower, pucks, and mallets, you can expect to see improved performance and a durable investment. Remember to use the recommended air hockey table wax such as automotive-grade spray or furniture wax and other approved table cleaner materials.