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How to clean pool balls?
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blackflagsailor
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How to clean pool balls? - 02-27-2011, 03:07 PM

So I've been looking into cleaners for billiard balls since I am collecting many different sets. These machines are nice, but not nice on my wallet at $500.

I found this system on ebay that uses a power drill that seemed to be okay and for $150.

I know there are these die hard purists out there that'll probably tell me not to waste my money on something like this and either just clean them by hand or buy the $500 machines but I'd rather spend my free time playing pool then cleaning billiard balls and spending $500 on a cleaner is just not going to happen for me.

Anyway, here's my question: What can you use to clean billiard balls? I've seen people use dish soap, but dislike this idea because of the suds. It's hard to see if I'm getting them clean and it makes a mess.

Some use Alcohol. This would worry me. Wouldn't alcohol damage the balls?

Many are saying to stay away from anything with ammonia in it and honestly I hate the smell of it so I'm on par with this one.

What about using 409?

You can watch this guy's review of the product I was talking about on youtube if intersted:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIhNe...eature=related
Part 2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gItU_aC9rYo
  
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Demondrew
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02-27-2011, 03:53 PM

I built and use one simular to the second one in this video (about 3:36). Cost was about $30.00 and took half an hour to build. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtbvoXqi7x8

Andy


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Last edited by Demondrew; 02-27-2011 at 03:54 PM. Reason: spelling
  
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02-27-2011, 03:54 PM

I use Brillianize (a plastic cleaner). You can use Google for where to buy it.
  
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02-27-2011, 03:58 PM

Here is the one I built. I actually just just about everything needed to make it so I only spent less than $10. I run 8 balls at a time for a total of 5 minutes. At 2.5 miutes I kinda tilt the bucket from left to right a few times and then spray some more turtle wax in there. After the 5 minute cycle I just simply wipe each ball off with a microfiber towel and they come out looking BRAND NEW every time. Simple, cheap and very effective.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8O5A6ON_bJU
  
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02-27-2011, 04:10 PM

I use Aramith Ball cleaner solution. Here is a link. http://www.seyberts.com/products/Ara...r-380-179.html

I'm sure there are other suitable solutions, but Aramith, being a world producer of phenolic billiard balls may know a thing or two about taking care of pool balls.


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02-27-2011, 05:06 PM

Okay these are some fantastic ideas! Especially for someone like me who can't justify blowing $500+ on a ball polisher. I have bills, kids, and gas to pay for!

Ok so I'll gonna build one of these tomorrow.

I just have another question; Shouldn't you still wash the balls before polishing them?
  
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02-27-2011, 05:13 PM

Cleaning the balls by hand doesn't take that much time once you get used to it, maybe 5-10 minutes for one full set, and it keeps the balls much cleaner than ball cleaning machines from my experiences.
  
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02-27-2011, 09:30 PM

I built a ball cleaner almost two years ago and originally used automotive Headlight Cleaner because it was available in any Auto store. About a year ago I started using Aramith Ball Cleaner and am quite happy with it. Both work very well. Six months ago I was forturnate to find a used BallStar ball cleaner at a good price. Wow, does a fantastic job in two minutes for eight balls. My Super Pro balls look like brand new.I recently saw another BallStar on Craigslist in Los Angelos and contacted the seller. He was asking $75 for it. Almost bought it to resell, but decided it was too long a drive (about an hour and a half). So these things do show up occassionaly.
  
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02-28-2011, 06:08 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Masayoshi View Post
Cleaning the balls by hand doesn't take that much time once you get used to it, maybe 5-10 minutes for one full set, and it keeps the balls much cleaner than ball cleaning machines from my experiences.
You are gonna have to tell me your stragedy on that. I do mine by hand and it is >45 sec per ball...and my forearms and hands feel the burn too. I use a drop of Aramith cleaner, sperad it all ove each ball and beat, errr a, polish with a microfiber cloth. How do you do it?

Cleaning balls with dish soap? I say never...as in never again. I had a set of balls that I let soak for ~10 min in warm, soapy water and even after polishing with Aramith polish, they played sticky. I must've removed some kind of finish from them, or made them porous. I dunno, but I got rid of them because of that.

I also vote for the Aramith products, will soon be buying the restorer though, as my ball set doesn;'t get perfectly clean with the polish hand job. Yes, I said polish hand job


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02-28-2011, 06:44 AM

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You are gonna have to tell me your stragedy on that. I do mine by hand and it is >45 sec per ball...and my forearms and hands feel the burn too. I use a drop of Aramith cleaner, sperad it all ove each ball and beat, errr a, polish with a microfiber cloth. How do you do it?

Cleaning balls with dish soap? I say never...as in never again. I had a set of balls that I let soak for ~10 min in warm, soapy water and even after polishing with Aramith polish, they played sticky. I must've removed some kind of finish from them, or made them porous. I dunno, but I got rid of them because of that.

I also vote for the Aramith products, will soon be buying the restorer though, as my ball set doesn;'t get perfectly clean with the polish hand job. Yes, I said polish hand job
I do a bunch of sets at a time for my pool hall to get free time. Once you get into a groove, you can do them really fast. You don't really need to rub them hard to get them clean if you clean them after every use. If you rub hard, your hands will get tired.
  
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02-28-2011, 06:46 AM

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Originally Posted by Masayoshi View Post
I do a bunch of sets at a time for my pool hall to get free time. Once you get into a groove, you can do them really fast. You don't really need to rub them hard to get them clean if you clean them after every use. If you rub hard, your hands will get tired.
But you do them 1 at a time? How do you get the cleaner on them?


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Masayoshi
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02-28-2011, 06:56 AM

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But you do them 1 at a time? How do you get the cleaner on them?
I just use a little sponge and rub the cleaner on the whole ball then wipe it clean with a rag.
  
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02-28-2011, 07:22 AM

I do this often with the cueball. I take a small ziplock bag, squirt some aramith ball cleaner and throw in a ball. Then use the bag to massage and clean the ball. Refill the bag with cleaner as needed, wipe the balls clean with a towel and ready to play.


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But you do them 1 at a time? How do you get the cleaner on them?


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02-28-2011, 08:23 AM

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... but I'd rather spend my free time playing pool then cleaning billiard balls ...
When I was practicing regularly, I felt that cleaning the balls by hand and cleaning the table were important parts of the "ritual." I still clean balls by hand occasionally using Aramith ball polish. It might take 5 minutes for a whole set. Lightly rub the polish on all 16 balls and then rub it off starting with the driest. I use a microfiber cloth.


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02-28-2011, 08:28 AM

I also made a polisher from a buffer and a couple buckets. But you have plenty of advice on that already. What I might advise you to try is the Mr. clean magic eraser pads to clean them. It works better tha anything I've ever used and you can get them with or without soap.
Another note: Once you get the polisher built and you have the sides covered in carpet you only need to apply a small amount of polish on the carpet. You won't need to cover every ball. A little goes a long way. have fun. Don


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