Last Updated on April 21, 2021.

Shuffleboard tables have delicate surfaces that need frequent maintenance. The best way to take care of a shuffleboard table is by waxing the surface

Picking a high-quality wax ensures your table stays smooth and in good condition. There are different kinds of shuffleboard wax, and some give the pucks more speed than others. This enables you to have an enjoyable shuffleboard session every time you use it. 

While caring for a shuffleboard table can seem complicated, by performing these maintenance tips a couple of times, the process will be quick and easy

Why You Need to Wax Your Shuffleboard Table

The main reason to wax your shuffleboard table is to improve the surface’s overall quality. A waxed shuffleboard table allows you to make effortless and accurate shots, improving your overall enjoyment of the game. Waxing also prevents damage, such as scratched and erosion, that naturally occurs on a table with constant use and affects the thickness. 

The thickness of the table is critical for prop gameplay. The ideal table thickness is considered to be 3”; however, 0.25” of the surface is usually due to the protective sealant applied at the factory. Waxing before each game ensures the ideal 3” thickness is preserved even as the sealant wears down. 

Professional players know that a shuffleboard table has to be waxed often. During games, they are very aware that the board loses smoothness with every throw. 

What is Shuffleboard Wax?

Shuffleboard wax is a dry powder that’s sprinkled on shuffleboard tables to decrease the friction between the tables and the puck. This increases the pucks’ speed and preserves the table’s natural qualities

What Are the Materials in Shuffleboard Wax?

Silicone is the essential material of most brands of shuffleboard wax. The silicone can be mixed with other materials such as dry cornmeal or walnut shells. If you or anyone in the family has nut allergies, it’s crucial to be mindful of what kind of wax you are buying. Mixing the silicone with these extra organic materials usually gives the table some extra smoothness. 

A slight downside of yellow or cornmeal wax is that the cornmeal base absorbs some of the humidity and slows down the pucks in humid climates. That’s why in some states such as Texas, people often use brown or walnut wax. 

Wax Speeds

Shuffleboard wax is categorized with a simple numeric system from one to three. Three is the fastest type and provides a very smooth surface that increases the pucks’ speed

How to Choose the Correct Wax

Choosing the suitable shuffleboard wax depends on the type of table you have. The first thing to consider is the length of your table. For long tables, a number 3 type wax is the best choice, since the pucks need sufficient momentum. But for a shorter table, a number 2 or 3 type wax will make your pucks too fast, and they can fall off the edge. 

Beginner players are better off with a type 1 wax. Shuffleboard is about control and precision, and a type 3 wax makes it hard for a beginner to control the pucks. However, it’s also a good idea to experiment with different kinds of wax and see which one works best on your table.

How to Wax a Shuffleboard Table

Before waxing the shuffleboard table, you should clean the board’s surface. The cleaning routine depends on whether you are using a traditional wooden table or a table with a polymer finish. 

Traditional Tables

Traditional tables with wood finishes are a bit more challenging to clean, but generally, they stay in good condition for longer than tables with polymer finishes. You’ll need white vinegar, water, and a lint-free cloth to clean the surface. You can use a few drops of olive oil or wooden furniture polish. Don’t use a lot of vinegar since it can damage the table. About ¼ of a cup diluted in 1 gallon of water is enough. 

Simply wipe down the table with these materials. Vinegar is an acidic substance that breaks down dirt, but it can dry the wood too much. The olive oil or wood polish drops add the moisture back to the surface. 

Polymer Tables 

These tables are easier to clean, and all you need is a soft towel and some glass or window cleaner. Clean both types of tables at least once or three times a month. A shuffleboard brush comes in handy to make sure there are no pieces of dirt on the table. 

Applying the Wax

Once the table is clean, you can start applying the wax. However, before using the wax, there’s one more crucial step. You should first lubricate the board with a silicone spray. Apply the spray from side to side in the same direction and up and down the board in a smooth motion. Then, spread the silicone in the same direction with a towel. There are cleaning kits available online that include a silicone spray

After applying the silicone, apply the wax by slowly spreading the powder on the board, sprinkling from about a foot above the surface to ensure even distribution. Ensure you spread the wax over the whole table, and you don’t need to put too much. Think of giving the board a very light coat of wax. A single coating of wax should last for an entire game. 

Things to Keep in Mind

A shuffleboard table shouldn’t be placed near a window, especially if it’s going to get a lot of sun, such as a south-facing window. The sun can dry the silicone spray quickly and decrease wax effectiveness. Depending on temperature or weather, your table can perform in a slightly different way due to the wood expanding and contracting.

Enjoy Playing Shuffleboard on Your Well-Maintained Table

Once your board is waxed, you can enjoy a fun game of shuffleboard. If you feel the wax is giving the pucks too much speed, you could experiment by mixing two kinds of wax or switching to a different kind. 

In a professional game, players are allowed to wax the board at the beginning. If you are joining a tournament in your local area in the near future, try sticking to only one coat of wax per game.