Take Care Of Pool Cue Sticks

To preserve the accuracy of your pool shooting, it is important to learn the proper way to take care of pool cue sticks. Without proper care, pool cue sticks can become dirty, rough, warped or damaged. Simple maintenance will ensure the integrity of your pool cue stick and protect the accuracy of your game.

To take care of pool cue sticks, you will need:

  • Pool cue
  • Clean cotton cloth
  • Cue smoother and burnisher
  • Tip burnisher
  1. Store a pool cue correctly. The big enemy to a pool cue is warping. Leaning a pool cue against a wall for long periods of time will cause the pool cue to warp. To correctly store a pool cue it should be placed in an upright position in a rack that includes support brackets to keep the stick straight and upright to protect against warping. The pool cue stick should be kept out of direct sunlight, extreme hot or cold temperatures, and humidity that can cause damaging changes in the wood.
  2. Cleaning the pool cue. Each time a pool cue stick is handled it picks up natural oil from skin. Over time dirt and oil can build up destroying the smooth surface of the pool cue. The first step is to clean the cue stick by wiping it down with a moistened clean soft cotton cloth. Gently wipe down the entire shaft using very light pressure to remove dirt and soil. Use a separate moistened soft cloth to clean off the tip so excess blue chalk won’t be spread to the shaft. Once the shaft appears clean, wipe it completely dry with a clean, soft cotton cloth. Dry off the tip with a separate cloth.
  3. Burnish and smooth. To smooth and burnish a pool cue stick, use a professional shaft smoother and burnisher which is a two sided pad. The rough side of the pad is used first to smooth out a rough shaft. This process will not raise the wood grain. Use the second side of the pad to gently smooth the surface of the pool cue. A good quality shaft smoother and burnisher is washable, reusable, and comes in a small carrying case making it easy to always have a way to clean a pool cue.
  4. Burnish the tip. Clean the tip of the pool cue with a moist cloth and dry it completely. Insert a tip burnisher on the tip and rotate it back and forth until the tip looks renewed. A tip burnisher is a small cylinder shaped and inexpensive tool that will keep the shooting tip in shape with a smooth hard edge.


A pool cue is like a fine violin and must be handled gently with care and kept in mild, constant temperatures.

To avoid damaging your pool cue, always keep it out of direct sunlight.



Never leave a pool cue in a car, in a hot or cold climate, to avoid damage to the stick.

Never use sandpaper on the shaft of a pool cue.



Capelle, Philip B., "Capelle’s Practicing Pool," Billards Press, 2006

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