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There are few things as exciting as breaking open a brand-new box of pool balls, especially if you’re real passionate about the sport.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for even the highest quality pool balls on the market to get dull, to lose some of their luster, and to start to look a little dirty and even a little dingy.
Thankfully though, it doesn’t take much to shine those balls back to better them brand-new condition. With a little bit of elbow grease, a quality cleaner, and a secret weapon we describ below will have even old or ignored pool balls looking better than ever before in record time.
What’s that secret weapon, you ask?
Turns out it’s wax!
All different kinds of wax can be used to restore the finish on pool balls, but not all of them are created equal. In fact, there are even some waxes you want to avoid like the plague.
Let’s dig a little bit deeper into this quick guide to learn how to use wax, when to avoid it, and how to make sure that your pool balls are always well taken care of.
Can You Use Car Wax on Pool Balls?
If you’re wondering whether or not you really can get away with using Turtle Wax (or another car wax) on your pool balls you’ll be glad to know that this A-OK in the majority of situations and with most pool balls of even halfway decent quality.
There are lots of folks (millions, maybe) using car wax on their pool balls after stripping and cleaning them to get the finish back to “factory”.
Some folks swear by name brands like Turtle Wax, other folks like car wax options that are a little more generic, and some people say you shouldn’t be using car wax at all but some other kind of wax altogether.
We can tell you for sure that car wax works wonderfully to do a couple of things for your pool balls, including:
- Restore the shine that likely doled over time
- Improves their glide capabilities
- Increases slide as opposed to spend factors on different shots
- Cut down on the amount of time you need to shock your cue
… And that’s just the beginning!
The secret to success with using car wax on pool balls is applying a fine and even layer of wax all over the surface of the ball itself. You need this to be evenly distributed, you need it to be uniform, and you needed to be consistent from one ball to the other.
Check those boxes, though, and you are good to go!
How to Wax Your Pool Balls
The actual step-by-step process for waxing your pool balls is pretty standard, starting with a deep clean that gets rid of any surface “gunk” that accumulates over time.
Older pool balls are always going to collect dirt, dust, grime, and sludge on their surface that needs to be cleaned away. Usually a dip in boiling water with a bit of dish soap is all it takes to release things. But sometimes you have to clean a little more aggressively.
Scrub away with a plastic or rubber sponge and you’ll be able to get most of the surface stuff off without much extra effort.
The next step is to spray a solvent onto the pool balls themselves, getting rid of any of the caked on material but also releasing the older wax or finish from the pool balls themselves.
This basically reduces the pool balls down to their most natural state, creating a clean surface for you to work with as you rebuild that our layer with wax.
After completely drying each and every one of your pool balls you’re ready to start applying wax.
Get your hands on a quality car wax like Turtle Wax (or something similar) and heat it up a little bit.
Then start dipping and microfiber cloth into the wax itself, collecting just enough to cover the surface, and start scrubbing and buffing those pool balls. You want a thin, even, and light layer of car wax that you can build on top of until you get the finish that you are happy with.
Set the balls aside to dry between layers, buffing things out to get a consistent finish across the board, and you’ll be all set.
Are There Any Problems Using Wax on Pool Balls?
While we definitely recommend using car wax on older pool balls or balls that have obviously lost their shine and have started to perform poorly, car wax (or any kind of wax, really) isn’t going to be a perfect solution for all players.
As highlighted above, competitive play will disallow all pool balls that have been treated with ANY aftermarket surface coating. You won’t be able to use your favorite balls in competition if you’ve touched them up with car wax.
Secondly, if you have older felt on your table that has a bit of “frizz” you’re likely going to start accumulating a lot of extra wax in those areas the more you play.
Getting car wax out of your pool table felt can be a real nightmare. You might even have to replace everything and resurface your table if wax accumulation gets particularly nasty.
Some people report having miscue issues when they start waxing their pool balls, and others report having a difficult time with throw shots and spin transfer shots because of the way that the balls slide and slip.
At the end of the day, you’ll definitely want to keep an eye on your pool balls and how they respond during play (and how they mark up your table) to figure out whether or not this is something you want to keep doing.
Most people aren’t going to have any problems whatsoever with a bit of car wax every now and again on their pool balls, while at the same time making them look better than brand-new and breathing life into older worn out balls.
You will shoot the ball at least once to see how it responses after being waxed. That’s the best way to know if this is really right for you!