Air hockey tables have become a staple in many people’s games rooms. People notice a common issue with their at-home air hockey table because it is just not quite as smooth as it used to be. However, they are not entirely sure how to resolve this and restore it to its original state.
We all know that the key to having a perfectly working and frictionless air hockey table is regular upkeep and cleaning. Here is a rundown of all the best available options for making sure your table is kept in pristine condition, ready for those pucks to glide seamlessly every time.
Set up a Cleaning Schedule
Consistent preventative maintenance is the key to prolonging your air hockey table’s life and ensuring that the surface retains its sleek, low-friction texture. It’s a great idea to set yourself up a routine cleaning schedule for your table, so you keep on top of it. This should ensure that you never have to perform larger maintenance tasks or deep cleans of your table.
In addition to immediately wiping any spills and dusting the surface once per week along with the rest of your home, once a month is sufficient for a thorough table polish. You could also give the table a quick wipe with a soft, lint-free cloth after each game.
Choose the Right Cleaning Products for the Surface of Your Table
The mistake that some people make when trying to achieve the perfect slide on their air hockey table is not knowing what cleaning products are best to use. Using the wrong products for your table could seriously detrimentally affect its performance.
Never use chlorine-based bleaches on the surface of an air hockey table. Although it might feel like this will keep your table clean and hygienic, it can damage it, and over time you may notice some corrosion which will ultimately make it less slippery in the long run.
You may also be tempted to make your own natural concoction to keep the surface of your table sliding; however, this is also not advised; ingredients like baking soda and vinegar can not only clog the air holes but can also scratch the table due to its abrasive properties. Baking soda can also leave a residue on the table, which increases the friction level.
It may be an investment, but it is always better to use something specially developed for an air hockey table’s surface. Try investing in a furniture polish made to clean the table’s surface and notice the difference it makes. Make sure to follow the instructions on the cleaner you buy for the best results.
Clean the Fan Regularly
Don’t make the mistake of only polishing and maintaining the surface of your air hockey table. Although doing so is key to ensuring the most friction-free game, you also need to consider the table as a whole. The fan underneath the table is crucial to its performance; it produces a steady flow of air through the holes, which lifts the puck, allowing it to glide effortlessly around in play. A clogged or unclean fan can cause a reduction in this lift, making the gameplay feel like it has less slide than before.
To maintain the fan, first of all, you want to refer to the specific instructions that came with your table. The manufacturer’s notes will usually give some guidance that is relevant to your specific model. However, as a general rule, we recommend removing the fan from the table and wiping it gently with a damp, lint-free cloth. Take care when re-installing the fan.
Don’t Forget to Clean the Table’s Holes Too
It’s crucial to have a clean and maintained fan, but for things to work optimally, you must be cleaning the holes on the table regularly too. These holes allow the airflow from the fan to move around the surface of the table, enabling smooth movement of the puck.
If you notice your table has less slide than it used to, it could be to do with the holes becoming clogged. If debris is allowed to build up, this can cause an issue and be quite tricky to resolve. However, it can be done. Your best bet in this instance is to utilize your trusty vacuum. Keep it to a low setting and use a flat hose. Carefully use it to pull out any debris that is caught in the holes.
A Note on Using Spray Lubricant
If you’re keeping a clean and maintained table regularly but still noticing gameplay is not as perfectly slippery as it could be, consider using a lubricant spray. This can contribute toward some serious sliding and fast-paced gameplay for the advanced user. But you’ll need to keep a few things in mind before using the product.
Make sure the surface of your table is cleaned before using a spray lubricant. Any dirt that is on there will hinder the performance of the lubricant. Always use lubricant sparingly. If you use too much lubricant, the table will become too slippery (yes, that is possible), and it won’t be conducive to good gameplay as you won’t be able to control the puck.
You can prolong your air hockey table’s life and protect the game surface by using a table cover. A breathable cover with a soft liner prevents dust from settling on the surface or clogging the air holes. It also helps to avoid scratches and chips from accidental impact. If you can’t find a cover to fit your table, a large table cloth also offers adequate protection.
For Speedy Gameplay, Keep You Table Clean
To ensure you maintain a great slide on your air hockey table, stick to a rigid cleaning routine and pay attention to the drilled holes and, of course, the fan maintenance. Remember to use lint-free cloths to minimize debris, and carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure you’re using the right products for your table. If you do all of this, you should have an air hockey table with some serious slide game after game.