Air Hockey Table Cleaning

by J. Taylor Ludwig

Air hockey tables came onto the scene around 1970 and have provided hours of enjoyment for kids and adults of all ages. The air hockey table is a piece of furniture, and as such it needs to be cleaned regularly. Cleaning the table will keep it running smoothly and grant it a longer life. Air hockey table cleaning is not that difficult if you don't let too much time lapse between cleanings.

Vacuum the Table

To begin cleaning your air hockey table, place a flat-hose attachment to your vacuum cleaner and vacuum the entire tabletop. Especially spend time vacuuming over the air holes to remove all the dirt and dust particles from the holes. Vacuum down the sides of the table legs to remove dust and cobwebs.

Scrub the Table

Use a soft, dry cloth to wipe down the tabletop to remove any dirt or dust particles that remain. Then dampen the cloth with rubbing alcohol, and with the air turned on, scrub the tabletop again. Do not use soap because it might clog the air holes. Scrub hard enough to remove fingerprints, food drippings and any other marks on the table. Remember not to use an abrasive cloth because you do not want to scratch the table. When you are finished scrubbing the top, mix warm water with dishwashing detergent and scrub the sides and legs of the table. Be careful not to get the soapy water on the playing surface, and do not clean the inside rails of the table because it will affect play.

Clean the Air Holes

If the air holes are still filled with dust particles after vacuuming and scrubbing the table, use Q-tips or pipe cleaners to clean the dust out of the holes. Do not slide them across the holes; insert them into each individual hole. This is a lot of work, but if the holes are clogged because of dirt, the air cannot flow out. If you keep up with regular cleanings, you should not have to deep-clean the air holes again anytime soon.

Polish the Table

If your air hockey table has a wood surface, you can use furniture polish on it. Do not spray the polish on the table. With the air turned on, spray the furniture polish on a soft cloth and wipe it over the tabletop surface. The polish leaves a smooth coating on the table that makes the hockey puck slide more smoothly. If the rest of the table is also wood, go ahead and use the furniture polish on the sides and legs of the table to give them a glossy shine.