Why You Should Clean Your Air Hockey Table
You may spend a good amount of money on your favorite hockey table but it is not going to clean itself regardless of how expensive it is. There are many reasons why you should keep anything clean. As for an air hockey table, dirt, grime or accumulation of different particles will not only increase the surface friction of your hockey table but also block the air holes. Air hole blockage and high surface resistance will not allow the puck to move smoothly and cause drag which can affect the surface of your hockey table. If the blockage in the air holes is extremely high, it will overload your motor. And if there are any granular type of particles on the surface of the table it can send your puck flying out of the table and also damage the surface which then may require repair or even replacement. Let’s take a look at the ways in which you can clean your table:
When to Clean Your Air Hockey Table
This depends on a number of factors such as the frequency of usage, the location of the air hockey table and whether you leave it covered or uncovered, etc. As a rule of thumb, if you make it a habit of cleaning the table right before playing it every time, you will reduce the chances of creating scuff marks on the surface as well as the risk of your puck flying outside your table. Cleaning it after you play a game would also improve the table’s lifespan. If you live in a vicinity which is more dusty than other areas, you should do routine cleaning regardless of whether you are playing or not. If you keep your table uncovered at all times, you may need to clean it more frequently. If your puck is not moving swiftly or stops midway then it is a clear sign that your table needs cleaning.
How to Clean Your Air Hockey Table?
There are many ways in which you can clean your air hockey table and keep it smooth. Below are a few methods which can help you keep it in shape.
Use Blowers for Cleaning
Air blowers can reach where your hands cannot. Your air hockey table is also equipped with an air blower that blows air into the air holes so that the puck moves freely. This air blower can get clogged due to excessive dirt accumulation. Usually you can easily access the air blower which in most of the tables is attached right under the table. Clean it using a hand held air blower so that it supplies air conveniently and keeps the air holes open.
Vacuum the Air Hockey Table
If you do not have an air blower you can also use a handheld vacuum for cleaning the surface of your table. Be careful that you do not scratch the table with your vacuum.
Clean Table Surface
Don’t clean the table surface with a cloth that would leave scratches on your table, instead use cleaning cloths made specifically for the purpose of cleaning such as a microfiber cloth which will not leave any marks on your table. Slightly wet the cloth and wipe the table; do not throw water on the table. You can also use cleaning liquids or sprays which are ammonia-free. Just make sure that you do not wet your table too much.
Clean the Clogged Holes
If the airflow from your air hockey table’s blower is interrupted because of clogged air holes, your puck will face a lot of resistance and you won’t be able to enjoy your game .While the vacuum or air blower should unblock most of the air holes but if you still feel friction you can try opening them individually by using something like a toothpick. Although this sounds like a tedious task but if you do this even once a week it will increase the life of your table.
Wax or Polish Air Hockey Table Surface
If you clean your table regularly you may not even need to wax or polish it but applying either one of them would not only ensure proper cleaning but also improve gameplay. You can use any good wood polish but remember not to use too much of it. A slight swipe would be enough to make the surface smooth.
Clean Pucks and Strikers
The pucks and strikers after extensive usage would require replacement. Otherwise they will affect the table surface. You can keep your pucks and strikers in shape by cleaning them regularly. You can also sand them with sandpaper .This will ensure that their movement is adequate. However you can very easily judge if it is better to replace them instead of just sanding them.
Use Cleaning Products
You can use a number of cleaning products to enhance the life of your table. These include alcohol based cleansers, dish detergents, car wax, window cleaners, etc. However, please remember that you should always use cleaners that are ammonia-free .Regardless of whether you use cleaning products or water, never use too much of it. If you load the surface with wax, it might end up blocking all the air holes instead of opening them. Excess amounts can also stick to the table surface for long and make it difficult for you to enjoy the game. It is best to clean the surface using a micro-fiber cloth once you are done cleaning it with a cleaning product.
How Often You Should Clean Your Hockey Table
Wiping your table before and after use will reduce the required maintenance. However, make sure you clean your air hockey table once a week thoroughly. While doing so, keep in mind the steps and tips mentioned above.
Benefits of Cleaning Your Table
Keeping your air hockey table clean will allow smooth and uninterrupted joyful games .It will also let you identify if it needs repairs or if the pluck and strikers need to be replaced. This will increase the lifespan of your table.