How to Maintain a Snooker Table Cloth So It Lasts Longer For You…

A clean and well maintained snooker  table means a better table experience for you and your opponent!

With any piece of furniture you need to take care of it – so it lasts longer, preferably doing the maintenance on a daily basis. A little tender loving care goes a long long way!

A snooker table is a piece of furniture that is no exception.  Not only is there brushing, ironing and blocking, there’s also making sure the cloth is replaced yearly and knowing when that is nigh! Not to mention little things like not laying drinks on the rails, checking the cloth hasn’t faded because it’s in a room that’s too bright for sunlight! However, this will not apply if you’re in an old style dark snooker club!

In this page, SnookerZone will explain the basics of brushing, ironing and blocking, but first, let’s just explain a couple of things regarding the table and what you might have heard on the TV!

What you will learn in this piece:

  • What is the nap of the cloth and how it affects your shots and why you have to adapt to certain tables
  • Why you need to brush, iron and block regularly
  • How to brush, iron and block a snooker table (with videos)…

Let’s start now!

What is the Nap? 

Before the days of very fine tournament cloths such as Strachan 6811, the cloth used on the professional circuit, snooker tables have (and still do have) a nap on the  cloth – which is mainly in clubs (older ones) and some newer ones.

The nap is simply the way the table-cloth runs due to its thickness and, if you watch Dennis Taylor explain it on his Play Snooker with Dennis Taylor, below, he explains it’s like running your hands down the fur of an animal like a cat. One way it’s soft and the other is quite rough.

How does the nap affect shots on a snooker table? 

Depending on the direction and amount of the nap on a cloth, you will have to when rolling a ball into a pocket adjust your aim to account for this. On much older tables in clubs you will see the ball roll in a particular direction and will have to use your memory to account for that roll! This will be trial and error if you’re a complete beginner.

On a tournament table at top amateur or pro level, there may well be no nap at all so your aiming accuracy will have to be much more accurate! Again, a case of adapting to the conditions! You may well hear in commentary the commentator say: “He’s not adapted to the pace of the table.” Some tables run faster than others.

Maintaining a Snooker Table: Brushing, Blocking and Ironing…

You need to maintain a snooker table daily! This includes brushing, ironing and blocking.  This will help the table run smoother and get rid of unwanted chalk marks, (these can affect bounces and cause kicks on fine cloths) dust and anything else that gets on the bed. When brushing the most important key is to brush in the direction of the nap in gentle strokes!

Clean Your Snooker Balls!



Clean your balls after each session…

Remember: If you have your own set of quality snooker balls, (like the ones above) it’s important you clean them after every session to prevent marks of dust etc getting onto the table bed. This can linger on balls and can affect your play! REALLY!

Why Block a Snooker Table Cloth?

Blocking a snooker table is done after brushing and prior to ironing. A table is brushed to get rid of unwanted chalk dust and marks on the bed, and then blocked to smooth out the cloth as brushing will leave brush marks on the bed! Then you’re ready to iron the table!

For a smooth playing snooker table cloth you will need…

Every stage of the snooker table maintenance should be done with the utmost care and attention! This should be one of the snooker player’s essential jobs in caring for your equipment and table.

SnookerZone says: Try and let your snooker club owner or member of staff let you have a go at the brushing (under supervision), ironing and blocking so you can do it for yourself before every practice session! Even if you don’t, at least you will know what you’re doing when you do need to do it!


Applying your new found skill of properly maintaining a snooker table may well get you a job in a club so you can get FREE table time to practice!

Enjoy your snooker!