Just like any other indoor game, foosball is a fun game that offers an exciting way of spending leisure time with friends and family. But to enjoy this game, you need to have a foosball table in the comfort of your home. But, other than investing in a table, learning some foosball rods cleaning tips is very important as it will allow your table to last longer.
You see, cleaning and maintaining your foosball table, especially the rods, is not as easy as it sounds. Since you’ll be expected to play more often, you’ll need to clean the table frequently to protect it from premature wear. When it comes to the rods, these are some of the areas you’ll expect to touch more frequently when playing.
In case these parts are not cleaned and lubricated often, then they’re likely to rust and potentially damage the aesthetic looks of your table. Since that’s the last thing you’ll expect to see, this guide has discussed a detailed step-by-step procedure on how to clean and lubricate your foosball rods. In addition to that, we’ll discuss how to clean the rest of the table to keep it looking nice and inspiring.
But First, Why Clean the Foosball Rods?
If you’re a beginner playing foosball for the first time, I believe you must be asking yourself why it’s necessary to clean and lubricate the foosball rods. You see, when playing, you’ll be expected to hold the rods for you to twist and control your players when passing or shooting the ball.
This back and forth twisting, pulling, and pushing of the rods can lead to unfavorable things such as squeaky noises that can be a nuisance to other players around. So, to lower such annoying noises, it’s important that you clean and lubricates the rods often.
Now, we’re all aware of how fast the foosball game is right? Failure to react on time can make you get punished by your opponent. But, imagine playing with sticky foosball rods that slow your reaction time? Well, the game will definitely be boring and annoying just to say the least.
Since rust is one major culprit that makes foosball rods sticky, it’s important that you clean and lubricates them often to make them smooth and easier to twist.
Lastly, foosball rods are shiny and vibrant. If they’re left dirty for a long time, they can lose their shiny appeal giving them a poor impression. Since you won’t like to present your friends to a dirty, dusty, and poorly maintained foosball table, it’s important that you clean it to retain its former luster.
Which Lubricant Do You Need?
When cleaning your foosball rods, you’ll need to have a special lubricant to lubricate the bearings. The reason why lubrication is important is that it extends the life of the bearings while improving the speed. Since foosball is a fast-paced game, improving the performance makes the game fun and easy to play.
Now, which type of lubricant do you need? Well, in most cases, silicone is the best lubricant to consider. The reason why silicone is important is that it offers long-term lubrication to your rods. It also penetrates deep inside the bearings to reduce friction and extend the life of the bearings. In most cases, silicone comes in two forms, which are spray and liquid silicone.
Spray Silicone vs. Liquid Silicone
In most cases, silicone comes in two forms, which are spray and liquid silicone. Although each type works perfectly well to lubricate the foosball rods, liquid silicone is preferred more than spray silicone. The reason for this is because spray silicone doesn’t penetrate deep into the bearings.
Although it’s cheap and less messy to apply, most of the lubricant ends up on the rod when you spray. This leaves just a small portion of the lubricant to penetrate inside the bearings. Since it’s not enough to lubricate the bearings, it dries up faster leaving the bearings dry after a short time. This flaw can lead to potential damage to the bearings over time.
Due to this reason, liquid silicone is heavily preferred instead. One, applying liquid silicone is easy, as you only need to apply a few drops of the lubricant right into the bearings. This way, you’ll sufficiently lubricate them thus improving their performance and lifespan.
But, applying liquid lubricant comes with one major drawback. Sometimes during the application, the extra drops of the silicone lubricant can drip from the bearings to the playing field. If not cleaned properly, this can ruin the playing field making it quite hard to play.
Which Types of Lubricants Should You Avoid?
Besides silicone, there are other types of lubricants that are available. Although most of them work just fine in other departments, they’re not the best when it comes to relying on them to lubricate foosball rods. So, which are some of the lubricants that should be avoided?
- Lubricants with Smells and Flavors: If you happen to come across lubricants that have smells and flavors, then you should avoid them as much as possible. The smell on these lubes can react with the materials on the table to make things worse.
- Food-Based Oils: When food-based oils are exposed to air, they tend to smell and become sticky. If you apply them to your rods, the bearings are likely to become sticky and quite hard to twist.
- WD-40: WD-40 spray is great when it comes to lubricating various metal parts. However, it provides short-term lubrication that can be very dangerous to foosball rods. When used on these rods, it causes the bearings and the bumpers to dry up faster leading to premature wear.
- Water-Based Gels: Lastly, water-based gels should be avoided at all costs. Although foosball rods are made of coated metal, there are times when they might get a few scratches. Now, using water-based gels means that the exposed metal parts will react with water to cause rusting.
So, How Should You Lubricate Your Foosball Rods?
Gather Your Supplies
- Cleaning cloth
- Cleaning alcohol
- Foosball silicone
Step One: Start By Cleaning the Rods
Now that you’ve decided on the type of lubricant you’ll be using, the first step of cleaning the foosball rods is to wipe them gently to get rid of any surface dust and dirt.
Remember, if you happen to skip this step and head straight to applying the lubricant, the dust will wear down the lube thus affecting its efficiency to lubricate the bearings. As a result, this will lead to cumulative friction, which can lower the life of your bearings.
So, to avoid this, simply pick a clean cloth and dampen it with rubbing alcohol. Use it to wipe the rods to remove any surface dirt and dust. When you’re done, dry the metal rods thoroughly.
Step Two: Apply Silicone
Once you’ve cleaned the rods, the next step is to apply silicone lube to them. So, here, you’ll need to pick a clean cloth or towel. Depending on the type of silicone lube you’ve picked, you’ll need to spray or drip the silicone directly on the towel.
Next, rub the damp towel on each metal rod to lubricate it. During this process, make sure that you don’t touch the handles nor the playing surface. Touching these parts with lubricant can add more work to the process as you’ll need to spend a lot of time cleaning these areas when you’re done.
Step Three: Lubricate the Bearings
So, once you’re done applying the lubricant on the rods, the last step is to lubricate the bearings. Remember, the bearings are the ones that provide the frictionless motion you always enjoy when twisting the rods.
Since most of the stress falls on the bearings, you need to lubricate them thoroughly to keep them in good shape. So, to do that, simply pick your silicon lubricant and apply a few drops on the bearings. When you’re done, twist the rods back and forth to spread the lubricant in all parts of the bearings. Finalize by wiping any excess lube to prevent it from dripping to the playing surface.
How Often Should You Lubricate the Foosball Rods?
Now that you’ve learned how to clean foosball rods, the next question is how often you’re supposed to clean them. In most cases, there’s no standard answer as to when you’re supposed to clean the rods. The time interval highly depends on how frequently you play the game and the environment you’re playing in.
For instance, if you play foosball a few times a week, then you’ll probably need to clean and lube the rods once every month. On the other hand, if you use your foosball table more frequently, then you need to clean and lubricate it at least weekly.
Finally, if your foosball table is kept in a dusty environment, then there’s a high probability it will pick a lot of dust. When this dust gets into contact with the lubricant, then it’s likely to wear down the lube causing it to lose its lubricating ability after a short time. For that reason, you’ll need to wipe and lubricate the rods more often.
How Do You Clean the Rest of the Foosball Table?
Although this guide was specifically intended to guide you on how to clean and lubricate foosball rods, the foosball table will need to be cleaned as well. You see, just like the rods, the table can also suffer a lot of wear due to regular use.
So, if it’s not cleaned and maintained properly, it can deteriorate much faster causing it to lose its aesthetic value. To avoid that, this guide has included some quick cleaning stages for the foosball table.
Gather Your Supplies
- Some clean cloths
- Compressed air
- Rubbing alcohol
- Silicon lubricant
Step One: Start With A Can of Compressed Air
So, to clean your foosball table, you’ll need to start by blowing every part of the table using a can of compressed air. The reason why this is important is that a rug cannot get into tight spaces to get rid of surface dirt, dust, and food particles.
But, when you use compressed air, this air will get into every nooks and cranny to get rid of any particles that might be stuck in those tight spaces.
Step Two: Use a Dry Cloth
Once you’ve blown the foosball table, the next step is to pick a clean cloth/towel and use it to wipe every inch of the table. Make sure the cloth you’re using is dry and free from any elaborate chemicals that can potentially damage and tarnish the color of the table.
When wiping, make sure that you wipe the rods, the playing surface, the sidewalls, and the players. You should also wipe the legs and the bottom parts of the table to ensure that you remove any dust particles that might be hidden in those areas.
Step Three: Use Rubbing Alcohol
After wiping the foosball table, the next step is to clean it thoroughly using isopropyl alcohol. To do that, simply pick a clean cloth and apply rubbing or isopropyl alcohol in small proportions. For best results, always use rubbing alcohol with an alcohol density of 70% to 80%.
So, dampen a clean dry cloth with rubbing alcohol and start rubbing it against the surface of your foosball table. Make sure that you clean every part of the table including the rods, the playing surface, the sides, and the players. By doing this, you’ll not only clean the table but you’ll also sanitize it keeping it free from bacteria.
Step Four: Use Silicone on the Rods
Once you’ve cleaned every part of the foosball table using rubbing alcohol, the last step is to rub silicone lubricant on the rods. The reason why this is important is to protect the bearings on the rods from getting clogged following excess rust and dirt build-up.
Just as we mentioned above, always use liquid silicone instead of spray silicone. Also, make sure that you avoid using WD-40, food-based oils, and water-based gels as much as possible. Lastly, apply the silicone lubricant on the rods and in the bearings to make them smooth and easy to twist when playing.
As you can see, cleaning and lubricating your foosball rods is not as complex as it sounds. All you need is to follow the right steps when cleaning. Also, you need to use the recommended lubricant, which in our case is silicon liquid.
Other than cleaning the rods, it’s good to clean the rest of the table to keep it looking clean and shiny. So, if you’ve read up to this point, then there’s no doubt you’ve learned a few essential tips on how to clean your foosball table.