Last Updated on by William J. Lopez
To ensure your air hockey table lasts for years, it’s important to know how to clean an air hockey table. Gather the necessary tools and supplies to get started on proper maintenance. Here’s what you’ll need:
- A large plastic trash bag
- Air hockey table cleaner/degreaser (I use the “Fantastic” brand)
- A sheet of medium sandpaper (available at most hardware stores)
- Screwdriver or drill with a wire brush attachment
- A hand sander
- A broom and dustpan
- Paper towels
- A large plastic trash bag
- Protective gloves (they sell them at the dollar store)
- and safety goggles.
Steps to Clean An Air Hockey Table
Step 1 – Remove All Accessories From Your Table
Suppose it has any accessories, i.e., pucks, pushers, etc. After doing so, lay down your large sheet of plastic trash bag to cover the area where you will be working.
Next, use your screwdriver or drill with a wire brush attachment to remove any rust or gunk that may have accumulated on your table’s surface. If there is scoreboard lighting, it can be removed by simply unscrewing the light bulb and pulling the wire mesh cage that holds it.
Just follow the wire mesh up to where it is attached to the board and remove the staple or tacks holding it in place, same with any other padding areas on your surface. Suppose you have an electronic scoring unit.
Unplug it now, so you do not accidentally shock yourself later. You can either unscrew or cut any attached wires to your unit and remove them from the table.
Use your hand sander with medium sandpaper. Go over each area by hand until all the rust is removed. After removing all the rust you can, use your broom and dustpan to sweep any excess debris from the table.
Step 2 – Remove All Moisture
Remove all moisture from the surface. Using your air hockey table cleaner/degreaser, spray down the entire playing surface and wipe it off with a paper towel until all cleaners have been removed. If left standing, water will cause more rust and damage your table.
The next step is to use your screwdriver or drill again with a wire brush attachment to “rough up” any areas that still feel slippery from any cleaner that may have been left on the surface.
Sometimes you might feel you have cleaned and sanded your table enough, but it is essential to go over the entire board again, especially if there were any standing water issues.
I can’t stress this point enough. Again use your wire brush attachment with your drill or screwdriver and give the entire surface a good scrubbing. Next, make sure you sweep or vacuum up any debris left behind.
Step 3 – Apply a Protective Layer
Apply a protective layer to the surface of your table. It would be best if you had already cleaned and sanded off all rust, moisture, and debris from your board; you are ready to move on.
You must wear protective gloves for this step because once you begin applying the “Fantastic” brand air hockey table cleaner/degreaser, it will cause a chemical reaction with the metal on your table and turn whatever liquid is left on your surface to rust instantly.
When applying this product, use generous amounts of the cleaner. Spray your entire playing surface liberally until you have a very wet layer of liquid across the board. If any areas are filthy or have surface rust, go over them twice with the cleaner.
The next step is immediately taking your sandpaper sheet and sanding the entire playing surface. Just fold up a section of the medium sandpaper into fourths and sand in all directions, being careful not to gouge the metal on your table.
Air Hockey Table Maintenance Tips
The following tips will help you maintain your favorite air hockey table so that you can get more years of enjoyment out of it.
Keep the playfield free of damage
One of the most important things to do is keep your air hockey table’s playing surface as clean as possible. Most manufacturers recommend using a damp cloth to clean the playing surface of dirt, dust occasionally, and other debris accumulated over time. Replacing a damaged playing surface will be expensive and is often not covered under warranty, so doing what you can protect it is essential.
Keep your pucks clean
Air hockey pucks are made of durable plastic materials that withstand high speeds. However, this also means they can easily pick up dirt and debris from the playing surface. To prevent this from happening, wipe your table’s pucks off with a damp cloth. Picking up stains and dirt will reduce the quality of play.
Use a brush to remove dust
Another thing that can take its toll on an air hockey table is accumulated dust and lint from clothing. It can be prevented using a lint brush, available at most home improvement stores, to regularly remove dust and other particles.
Use felt cleaner
Felt cleaner should be regularly used on the playing surface, but only sparingly. Some players use it on non-new cloth surfaces to restore the luster of their games. Before applying the felt cleaner, read all instructions, as some are better than others for various surfaces.
Vacuum your air hockey table
If you have hardwood floors, picking up loose hair, thread, and other debris accumulated on the playing surface can be done with a regular household vacuum cleaner. Remember that you should always turn off and unplug the vacuum before attempting to clean your air hockey table.
Use a good air compressor
The air compressor included with many models will eventually lose its ability to pump enough air to keep your game going. If this happens, it is best to replace the entire thing rather than spend money on replacement parts. When shopping for a new one, look at compressor warranties and consider getting two to have an extra on hand when the time comes.
Keep your pucks in good shape
Playing air hockey can cause your game’s plastic pucks to warp slightly over time. While this does not affect their ability to play, it affects your game’s aesthetics. You can remove warped pucks and get replacements from the manufacturer or gently bend them back into shape.
Keep records of how long you have used your air hockey table
Keeping track of time will help you know when to replace certain parts.
In conclusion, cleaning an air hockey table is essential to maintain its optimal performance and prolong its lifespan. To clean the table, you should first remove any debris or dust with a soft brush, then wipe down the surface with a damp cloth and a mild cleaning solution. Be sure to clean the air holes and fans as well to ensure proper air flow. With regular cleaning and maintenance, your air hockey table can provide hours of fun and entertainment for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I make my air hockey table slippery again?
You must coat the table with a skinny layer of silicone from most hardware stores. Use a narrow roller or paintbrush and apply the silicone in one direction only, not in circular motions. Allow it to dry for at least 24 hours before playing again.
How do you clean and wax an air hockey table?
To clean an air hockey table, check if it’s constructed of hard plastic or wood. If the surface is made of hard plastic, wipe off any dirt with a damp cloth and let it dry. Then use air hockey table wax designed explicitly for this playing surface. (It goes without saying that you should carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning; using the wrong cleaner can damage your air hockey table.)
If the surface is wood, use a paste wax and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
How do you maintain an air hockey table?
Maintaining your air hockey table is essential to enjoying your game. Even if you have a well-built model, it can become worn out over time. As things lose their luster, play will also begin to suffer, and you will likely consider getting a new one.
How do I make my air hockey table smooth?
You need to level the surface with a self-leveling compound; this compound works by having the particles swell when they come into contact with water, and one part of the compound is mixed with up to four parts of water.
Use an acid brush or a roller to apply it in strips until smooth. You can also use a floor leveler; the key is to level it out and apply several coats, allowing each one to dry before applying another. Then you can paint it or add a finish.
Most people have trouble with air hockey tables because they aren’t appropriately leveled. It’s a misconception that all you need to do is set up the table, and it will be level; that might work for a couple of days or weeks until it starts to warp.
Any slightly higher place than the surrounding areas causes pockets of air, which throw off your game. There’s nothing more frustrating than playing an air hockey game and not knowing where the puck went when it goes below the surface of your table!
How do you clean an air hockey table without damaging it?
Air hockey is a game that most people of all ages enjoy playing. This game is often played at home or in some entertainment/recreation center for fun and competition. It has become so popular that air hockey tables are even found in many schools across the country.
As with any recreational activity, safety precautions must always be taken to protect you. Severe injuries are known to occur on air hockey tables because of the hard-hitting puck used in the game.
However, safety should not be a concern when cleaning an air hockey table. If proper steps are followed, there won’t be any damage to your table!
What is the best way to make the air hockey table slide work better?
The playing surface is one of the most critical parts of an air hockey table. Most tables have a similar design, with a metal grid running across underneath and an aluminum sheet that acts as the playing surface on top. However, a few things can be done to make some tables play better than others.
First, the air hockey table should always have a fresh air supply. Playing on a dusty or dirty surface does not allow for consistent puck movement and makes it very difficult to control where and how your pucks move across the playing surface.
Can you sand an air hockey table?
Sanding an air hockey table may be the only option to fix a damaged playing surface. However, knowing that this process will void the warranty on your air hockey table by leaving visible evidence of tampering is essential.
Use common sense when deciding whether or not to sand an air hockey table yourself, as different manufacturers use certain types of laminate and finishes that may not be able to stand up to this type of repair.
The first step in sanding an air hockey table is preparation. During sanding, the playing surface must be completely free of the puck and other items that could damage the newly exposed playing surface. Use a clean cloth or vacuum cleaner to remove these items from the playing surface.
Next, position a drop cloth or tarp underneath the table to catch any loose particles that may fall during sanding. It will help ensure you do not accidentally damage anything below the air hockey table. Do not use paper products for this step, as these can easily be sucked into the air hockey table.