Are you an Air Hockey fan? Well, you’re not alone. Millions around the world find daily entertainment engaging in a miniature version of the sport they all love.
Air hockey came to popularity in the 1970s, created by an Ice Hockey fan known as Bob Lemieux.
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You may be thinking of purchasing your own air hockey table, or you may already have one. Either way, a lot of money goes into owning one and, because of that, a lot of effort should go into taking care of it.
We have, therefore, decided to come up with several maintenance tips on how to clean your air hockey table in order to enjoy uninhibited fun for years to come.
Why Should You Clean Your Air Hockey Table?
Before we even discuss how to clean your air hockey table, we ought to understand why it is important to clean it in the first place.
Here are compelling reasons why you should regularly maintain the cleanliness of this piece of gaming equipment:
- A dusty surface will block the air holes, which affects the free movement of the puck across the playing field, resulting in dead zones on the table where the puck will come to a stop.
- A dirty air hockey table will cause a drag in puck movement, which means that your gaming experience will be much slower than it should be, limiting the amount of fun you could be having.
- An unmaintained playing surface will also cause bumps on the playing surface where the puck is likely to fly off the table during gameplay, causing irreparable chips on the surface and killing the fun just when the game is getting heated.
These are just but a few reasons why you should regularly clean your air hockey table. Now without further ado, let us look at a few tips on how to effectively clean your table.
Turn on the Blowers
Before you even start cleaning the table, ensure that the fan is on and that all blowers are up and running.
This is absolutely necessary for the purpose of preventing dirt and liquids from accumulating in the blowing holes and clogging them up during the cleaning process, which would be counterproductive, right?
Vacuum the Surface
Next, in order to get most of the dirt out of the way, we recommend thoroughly vacuuming the table.
Avoid placing the vacuum directly on the surface or use a very delicate touch to avoid damaging the smooth surface with the nozzle.
Wipe the Surface
Once you are done with vacuuming, wipe down the surface with a soft, clean cloth, preferably a cotton or microfiber cloth; you may also choose to wipe down the outer surfaces of the table if you deem it fit.
Further, clean out each individual air hole with a small wooden tool such as a toothpick while the fan is still running to ensure that no dirt is left hidden inside. Run the vacuum once again over the surface after this.
You can learn more about cleaning air hockey table holes in this post.
What about the Cleaners?
A lot of people have different opinions on whether a damp cloth is suitable for cleaning an air hockey table.
The general consensus seems to indicate that alcohol-based cleaners and furniture polish are the best options; never anything abrasive, you don’t want to scratch the surface of the table.
Ensure, however, that the surface is completely dry by the time you are done with the cleaning by using a damp rag with plain water to remove any cleanser or polish that may still be on the surface.
To wax or not to wax? That is the question. See what we did there? Anyway, this is an issue of personal preference; some people wax their tables after cleaning, while others don’t.
Wax is not a requirement, but it can help retain and restore the original, smooth surface and increase your table’s longevity.
The purpose of wax is twofold: first, it protects the table from dirt accumulation and damage and, secondly, it smoothens the surface of an age-worn table.
If you would like to apply wax on your air hockey table after cleaning, find a polish specifically designed for air hockey tables and apply a thin, even coat all across the surface.
Note, however, use only a small amount to avoid clogging your table’s air holes and after the wax has dried, ensure to wipe down the surface with a clean dry cloth to remove excess wax and give the table a glossy look.
Learn more about waxing an air hockey table and which wax to use in this post.
Storage and Maintenance Tips
The easiest and most efficient way to maintain your table is to keep it covered every time it is not in use.
Preferably, use a cover specifically designed for air hockey tables, designed to keep the table completely dust-free.
You may also want to keep the pucks at the bottom of the pushers and under the cover to keep them just as clean as the table.
If haphazardly stored, the pucks will eventually be the cause of dirt accumulation on the surface.