How to Clean Air Hockey Tables

By James Holloway
Regular cleaning helps keep air hockey tables smooth and easy to use.

An air hockey table's puck glides on a thin curtain of air -- ideally into the other player's goal. If spills, dirt or dust build up on your table, however, your puck can grind to a halt at the worst possible moment. To prevent this frustrating experience, clean your table regularly.

Turn your air hockey table on. Check the air holes to see if any of them are obstructed by dust or other buildup. Note that you should keep the air blowing throughout the rest of the cleaning process -- this is necessary to keep any of the cleaning fluids or the gunk you're removing from going down the holes and clogging things up even worse.

Clean any blocked holes using a needle or toothpick. Gently ease obstructions out of the hole and remove them from the table.

Wipe the surface of the table gently with a soft cleaning cloth to remove dust. Be on the lookout for any spills or other buildup; you may need to rub these areas a little more firmly.

Dampen your cleaning cloth with a diluted solution of mild detergent and water; alternatively, spray it lightly with glass cleaner. Wipe the surface of the table with the cloth. Use another lightly dampened cloth to clean away any detergent residue.

Apply table polish to the surface of the table. Once the polish dries, buff it by rubbing it with another cloth.

Tip

Don't forget to clean your paddles and puck as well. Their undersides can pick up dust, lint and grit.

While you're at it, you can apply a light dusting of silicone spray across the table surface and the bottoms of the paddles and puck, if you want to really speed up your game. Be warned that this can also cause the puck to fly off the table more often.

Warning

Don't polish your table with a wax-based polish; this type of polish can build up in the table's air holes and clog them.

About the Author

Dr James Holloway has been writing about games, geek culture and whisky since 1995. A former editor of "Archaeological Review from Cambridge," he has also written for Fortean Times, Fantasy Flight Games and The Unspeakable Oath. A graduate of Cambridge University, Holloway runs the blog Gonzo History Gaming.