🛠️How To Clean And Lube Rusty Foosball Rods🛠️ (Complete Guide)

Do you want to know how to clean and lube rusty foosball rods? When you have invested in a foosball table, it’s very important that you know how to properly clean and maintain your new toy, otherwise you may not get the use out of it you had hoped. Cleaning and maintaining your foosball table, primarily the rods (which are some of the most common parts to become rusty) is really not too hard of a process to understand.

To clean your foosball rods you will need a few things like cleaning alcohol. But also it will take a little work since you need to dismantle the rods from the table.

The Importance Of Cleaning Your Foosball Table Rods

Unmaintained rods can have a pretty bad effect on the overall play experience you will get out of your foosball table, leading to unfavourable things such as squeaky noises upon use, obviously a big turn off when you are trying to have conversation with friends, or if you are just solo and trying to concentrate.

Not to mention the performance drawbacks that rusty foosball table rods will have on your playfield experience, rusty rods will be slower to navigate with, slowing your reaction time and reducing your performance, as well as sometimes acting faulty which obviously also reflects negatively on your performance. Another obvious drawback to under-maintained and under-performing foosball rods is that they will likely be carrying dust and rust, which in a cosmetic sense is sure to look a bit stodgy, and nobody likes playing on a rusty broken down looking foosball table.

What Will Be Required To Clean My Table

As mentioned earlier we will be trying to stick to use of household products that don’t contain harmful and corrosive chemicals that may, over time, damage your playfield or other parts of your table, as the rods. Sticking with that theme of keeping it simple to clean and maintain your foosball table, we will be using safe products such as clean cloth or tea towel, rubbing use alcohol of some kind (most will find within their pantry), compressed air (ideally in a small sized can), and finally the foosball silicone which will play an important role overall in the cleaning of your rods and table.

To elaborate on some of these ingredients to shed light, the cloth with be used due to its multitasking abilities and for wiping away any materials that have been removed by our cleaning products, but not yet wiped free of the table, more specifically it will be used on the playing fields and poles of your table. Rubbing alcohol we also want to specify that you don’t use ethyl alcohol, which is likely too low in alcohol to really get the job done, being at around a 50% solution which is simply not enough for this use case, and instead use a kind of cleaning alcohol called isopropyl alcohol, this is due to its 70% to 90% alcohol based solution which is what you will be required to use when working with rust.

Lubricating The Rods

First, let’s cover how to clean and lube rusty foosball rods. When cleaning the rods, this process will usually be pretty straight forward, simple and easy to follow along with, so get your materials out and prepare to have your rods squeaky clean and functional in no time. Let’s give an overview of what you will be doing when you clean/lubricate your foosball rods, you will be applying a slick finish to them through use of the silicone and cotton rag/tea towel we mentioned you will need earlier, this process is important in order to get them sliding in and out of there slots smoothly and efficiently.

Also, Read our Post on How to Lubricating Your Rods HERE

A quick sidenote before we get into the steps and procedures, we advise against using silicone such as WD-40 on your rods as this will only temporarily make them smoother and faster, overall leading to more reductions in their structural integrity, which means a worse play experience for you. You can either use a spray or liquid silicone however liquid definitely has the advantage of getting deep inside your bearings and lubricating them more as a result, whereas spray will usually only clean the rods themselves.

To apply liquid or spray silicone, you will first take your tea towel or cotton rag, and drip or spray (depending on which kind you are using) your silicone product into the side of this rag. The next step after your rag has adequate silicone on it, is to simply apply this silicone onto all 8 rods on your table, make sure you do not get silicone onto your handles or on the playing field itself as this will cause some issues when removing due to the nature of the liquid. Once this has been completed another thing to remember is to apply to the bearings themselves also.

Apply one to two drops of your silicone into the end of your foosball rods right next to their bearings, working it in by sliding the rod into this bearing and spinning it a couple of times (don’t go to crazy with this part), ensure it has been worked right into the holders and bearings. This will ensure you have lubricated bearings also that stay lubricated and extend the overall life of the bearing as a result.

Price of the Cleaning Equipment Needed

All in all, it should be relatively inexpensive to maintain and clean your foosball table if you are using the materials specified earlier, however we are going to give you a break down into how much each item costs to give you an idea of how much you will need to spend if you have not already purchase these cleaning items. In the case of the silicone, you should only need to spend around $15-$20 for some a good quality one, this is well worth the overall benefits of the products cleaning capacity as well as the fact that they will last a long time.

A cleaning rag or basic tea towel will only cost as much as $10, try and get a more well put together one instead of a cheap low quality cotton material towel, as you want this to last. Rubbing alcohol will only cost you around $15, and the same appliers as with the silicone, it will last a long time so don’t worry about spending a little bit more to get a better one. The compressed air also fits within this price point of $15 to $20 per can and as a result should be used sparingly as it wont last quite as long as the other cleaning materials listed.

Quick Cleaning Stages For The Rest Of The Table

In order to clean your foosball table and prevent/remove rust from rusty silicone rods, you will be using multiple products, most of which are simple household goods you should find in your pantry or shed. We aren’t going to list too many products that may contain harmful and harsh chemicals as they may damage or corrode your playfield over time.

Obviously cleaning the rods is likely the most important thing to do to keep your table performing well and smoothly, and it is what we have specifically touched on in this article. However, we will also show you how to use of the other cleaning products mentioned so you can have a bigger picture approach to cleaning and maintenance of your foosball table. So, we have prepared a few steps to get the rest of your table cleaned and functioning optimally.

First of all, you will want to use the compressed air to blow and force away any dust particles from your table, take extra time to remove this dust and dirt from within hard to reach parts of your set up, like within corners for example as you will need the surface to be extra clean in order to use the rest of the products mentioned. This step will improve the overall appearance of your table and allow you to remove any base level materials from your table so you can then go one step further in the next step with the alcohol product you have. Fulfilling this step properly will make your foosball table a much more appealing place to play if nothing else.

Once dirt and dust is removed, the next step will be to wipe down the table with the alcohol product you have, you will want to use it to clean every part of your set up, including handles, as well as the men on the field. Another step to remember when you are using your alcohol product, is to use it to clean off any spots with unfavourable marks or stains, this will make sure your foosball table field looks great and doesn’t have any mucky stains or smells associated with it.

Other than that these steps just need to be completed on a regular basis to keep your table in tip top condition, which we will be covering next.

Schedule Regular Cleaning & Maintenance Sessions

This section definitely comes down to how often you use your foosball table, we are going to assume you use it relatively frequently so it is probably slightly worn down or at least starting to be, and as a result you will probably notice some areas where It needs to be brought up to speed. However lets give some baselines, if you use your foosball table often during the week consider cleaning it every week, and if it is only used on a recreational level with friends or family on weekends or less, you should only have to clean it once a month or once every other month to keep it performing its best.

Whether you are using your unit every day or only a couple times a month, it should still be a general rule to keep a close eye on your unit so you will be able to tell if any problems show up, as well as when it is due for its next schedules cleaning and maintenance. Another standard that should be adopted is to simply to not throw caution to the wind and pay some attention and awareness to preventing any damage or dirt being inflicted on your foosball table. By doing this simple step, you will likely reduce the likelihood of any unwanted liquids and foods on the playing surface or other parts of the table itself, another helpful way to implement this is to have a no food or drink around the table policy as standard in your house.

Caring for Your Table

Obviously most of what we have covered relates to caring for your table, but in this context, we are talking specifically about the general air of care you take with it, and force others to uphold if they wish to use it. As mentioned previously, you may want to implement a no food or beverages rule that is standard when using the table to prevent spills of alcohol and other drink products, as well as food crumbs (which add up quick) from appearing all over your set up for you to have to clean later.

Also, consider investing in a tarp or covering cloth that will be larger than the surface of your foosball table. This cloth or tarp can then be used to cover the table when it is not in use, preventing a large amount of dust and other materials from getting all over you table, as well as keeping it protected from the general elements. Take good enough care of your foosball table and you may not even need to use the cleaning and maintenance guides within this article, or at least not very often, which in the long run saves you time and money.


To finish up, it’s probably likely you know realise that it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort on your part in order to take the car required to keep your table performing great and staying clean. Regular cleaning and maintenance sessions will be key in order to keep your table and rods in good working order, and as a result, allow you to have more fun, and stay active using your foosball table.

Also through implementing the steps in here about simply putting care into your foosball you will potentially extend the life span you get out of it, which means more fun memories with friends and family, and less time spent worrying about your tables condition.

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