A Detailed Guide On How To Clean A Pool Cue Shaft

Many people wonder how to clean a pool cue shaft and how to keep it shiny. No one wants to play with a stained and dull one. 

If not cleaned and maintained regularly, your cue shaft will quickly deteriorate. Bacteria and mold can wreak havoc it from the inside. As a result, the tool won’t perform at its best and cannot deliver precise shots.

But no one wants to spend a fortune to replace a new one because of its cost. In other words, getting a replacement is not an economical approach to deal with dirty cue shafts. It only takes a few minutes, some simple tools, and little patience to get your tool spotless.

Material Needed

To clean, you need to prepare the following tools:

  • Cotton or microfiber towels
  • Sponges
  • 7500 grift sandpapers
  • Water
  • Alcohol (70 degrees)
  • Shaft cleaner (optional)

How To Clean A Pool Cue Shaft

Method 1: Using Cotton Or Microfiber Towels

You can only use cleaning towels to clean. Please follow the steps below:

Step 1: Choosing The Right Cleaning Cloth

You can use cotton towels, cloth towels, or paper towels as long as they absorb dust and have a smooth surface. Pro players encourage us to use microfiber towels or specialized towels. 

The price of a microfiber towel ranges from 1 to 3 dollars. Specialized towels are more expensive (about 10 to 12 dollars). Depending on your financial conditions, you can choose the right towel for yourself.

Using light-colored clean towels will prevent cue shaft from fading. Besides, the stains on the towel can tell you how dirty it is.

Many people prefer to use newspaper or tissue paper to clean. However, we do not recommend this as you might end up with pulp clinging to the surface.

Microfiber Towel

Step 2: Rubbing With Alcohol

Soak the cloth in alcohol and gently wipe the entire surface spanning from the tip and the ferrule. You can repeat it many times until you feel it’s cleaned.

When wiping, wrap the towel around the shaft and move it back and forth in opposite directions. If you want to focus on a point, rotate your hand at that point a few times.

Since alcohol evaporates rapidly, the cue shaft will immediately dry after you finish. If you don’t like to use alcohol, you can use a specialized cleaning product called shaft cleaner. 

Step 3: Wiping Again With A Dry Towel

Dry towel

To make sure it’s completely dry, use a cotton towel or microfiber towel to wipe it again before putting it back in the bag. 

Once you’ve finished wiping, there will be some dark blue stains on the towels, resulting from the long-term accumulation of dirt, chalk residue, and oil. 


Avoid using a damp towel at all costs. Cue shafts are usually made of wood, which has a high moisture absorption capacity. Cleaning with a damp cloth can cause the wood to become damp and moldy.

Method 2: Using Sponges

Sponges are considered miracle erasers. You can use them to scrub the entire billiards cue several times. The roughness of the foam will remove all dirt and grime on it. There will also be dark blue stains on the foam pads. The lighter the stain, the cleaner your cues are. 

You can moisten the sponges with a little water to scrub the shaft more effectively. If the sponge is too dirty, you shall change the face or replace it with a new one. Don’t let the stains on it stick to the cue shaft. 

Sponges Are Miracle Erasers

Then, use a cotton or microfiber cloth soaked in alcohol to wipe it again. The sponges are incredibly economical as you can wash them with soap for later use. 

Method 3: Using 7500 Grit Sandpaper

You can also use the 7500 grit sandpaper, which is special sandpaper for polishing to remove stains.

Rub sandpaper along the cue, gently rub over the entire surface, and focus on the heavily stained part. We recommend rolling the sandpaper onto the cue, holding it tight, and rotating the cue. This cleaning motion will help you not to miss any dirty spots.

The sandpaper will remove all the dirt on the cue. It’s worth noting that although the sandpaper is quite smooth, you should only rub it lightly to avoid peeling the wood surface. After scrubbing, your cue shaft should look brighter. 

Finally, use a cotton towel or a soft cloth moistened with alcohol to wipe the shaft from top to bottom. Doing so will eliminate any remaining dirt and wood dust. 

How To Burnish A Pool Cue Shaft

The pool cue shaft used for a long time will be rubbed and peeled. To have a beautiful cue and good strokes, cleaning it alone is not enough. It would be best to burnish the cue to make its surface smoother, more polished, and increase stickiness.

The process is quite similar to cleaning with sandpaper, but you have to scrub a little faster and harder. The friction of surfaces generates heat, which erodes the surface of the cue shaft, so remember to regularly check while scrubbing.

Sandpaper usually has two sides. One side is rough, and one side is finer. Once you’ve sanded your shaft with the rough side, flip it over and wipe it with the smooth side. 

Specialized sanding pads for billiards usually cost between 5 and 8 dollars. If you are confident with your skill, you can replace it with cheaper wood sanding pads, but be careful to choose the type with a high grit number. The higher the grit number, the lower the roughness of the paper.

An important part is the tip, where the ball is in direct contact with the ball’s track and the power of the shot. When the tip starts showing signs of wear and tear, it is advisable to replace it with a new one

If the tip is still in good use, you can use a speculative polisher.  Simply rotate the tip of the polishing pad according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Burnish Your Pool Cue Shaft Is Necessary 

Other Maintenance Tips For Your Cue

Here are some tips to protect and maintain the shiny condition:

  • It should be stored in a cool place, away from direct sunlight and high humidity. Moisture can cause it to be more susceptible to fungi and mold.
  • For the new cue shaft, you should apply a layer of oil before using it. It is like a filler that creeps into the small holes in the wood surface, filling these holes. This helps to smooth the surface of the cue, protecting it from environmental impacts and collisions during use.
  • It would help if you also avoided strong impacts during the play. Many billiards players often have the habit of knocking the cue on the table or the background. It will distort the tip or the handle part.
  • Wear gloves when playing and limit the use of hand powder. This will help the cue not to catch sweat and oil from the hands. The fabric material of the gloves also prevents dust from sticking to the sticks. It is best to choose gloves with a thin rubber coating to minimize stains.
  • Keep in mind to check and clean periodically and keep it in the protective bag after each use. 
Wear Gloves When Playing Billiards


Above are cleaning tips, burnish, and maintaining the cue shaft effectively. They are not too difficult and expensive and only require a little patience and care. It will help you keep the cue shaft more durable, thereby avoiding wasting time and money to repair or even having to buy a new one. We believe you already know how to clean a pool cue shaft, right? It is crucial to protect and take care of your weapons carefully to be able to win every round!

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