1. Use only a pool table brush. Brushes made for pool tables have soft bristles that are gentle on the felt. Never clean the felt with an abrasive brush because the felt is delicate. Brush the table regularly, at least once a week.
Pool table brushes can be bought at pool table supply stores, recreation and hobby stores, some big box stores like Wal-Mart or Target. They can be ordered online from various vendors, too.
In most cases you will pay around $10-$20, but you will use the brush often enough to make it a worthwhile purchase.
2. Brush with straight strokes. Anytime you brush the felt of a pool table, use quick and short forward strokes rather than circular motions. Brushing the felt in a circle only moves the dirt around and damages the felt. Use light strokes rather than hard scrubbing strokes.
3. Start brushing in the center. Brush the dirt outward to the edges of the pool table. Brush the dirt into a lines or piles so you can vacuum it up. Once you have done that, brush the table again from one end to the other to get anything you might have missed on the first pass over the felt.
Don’t brush the lines of dirt all the way under the bumpers because this will make it harder to vacuum up. Make the lines a few inches from the edge of the table.
4. Vacuum up the piles you made. Use either a handheld vacuum or a standard vacuum with a hose attachment. Don’t use the vacuum brush attachment because it may be too stiff. Be sure to vacuum carefully under the bumpers where dirt and dust are more likely to accumulate.
Use a narrow nozzle attachment to get under the bumpers.
5 Vacuum the entire table. Use a wide rectangular attachment and run it from one end of the table to the other in long strips. Don’t run it in circles. Use light pressure rather than pressing it down hard into the felt. Make sure to get the entire table to remove as much of the accumulated dust as possible.
Be sure that your vacuum does not have too much sucking power as it can actually pull at the fibers of the felt and cause more problems. If you have to use a strong vacuum, don’t put it directly onto the felt to reduce some of the force.