How Do You Polish Dull Pool Balls?

After a few months of play, your new pool balls are probably starting to look a little dull. This is normal, and you don’t really need to do anything about it unless you like the look of a nice polish on pool balls.

The best way to polish dull pool balls is by using polishing or restoring liquid meant specifically for pool balls. You can do this by hand or by using a billiard ball cleaning machine.

If you aren’t sure how to use these liquids, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll discuss how to use a polish or restorer to shine your pool balls both by hand and using a machine.

Restoring the Shine on Your Billiard Balls

There are a lot of homebrew ideas out there about how to restore the shine on dull pool balls, but don’t believe everything you hear. Some of these methods will bring some shine back to your billiard balls, but they may also be damaging the balls in the process.

For example, using an abrasive cleaner like Windex on balls is known to bring out their shine, but it is also destroying the finish. You’ll need to replace your billiard balls much sooner because of this. Billiard balls should also not be waxed.

That’s why we recommend using products that are meant to be used on billiard balls. Here are some of the best products that can restore the shine on your pool balls:

  • Aramith Billiard Ball Restorer: Use this product in conjunction with Aramith Billiard Ball Cleaner to clean and shine your billiard balls. The Restorer is rougher than the normal cleaner, so it should be used only as necessary and not as a part of regular maintenance.
  • Chem Pak Billiards and Pool Ball Cleaner and Polish: For an all in one product, look to Chem Pak’s cleaner and polish. It cleans, polishes, and protects. We recommend using this product only as needed. Regular cleaning with a damp cloth is usually enough to keep billiard balls clean.

At some point, polishing and cleaning will not be enough and you will have to replace your pool balls. For more information about that, check out our post Do Billiard Balls Wear Out?

Polishing Billiard Balls by Hand

You can use either of these polishes to restore the shine on your pool balls by hand. It is really simple, but it is time-consuming.

  1. Apply the restorer or polish to the ball.
  2. Using a cotton or microfiber cloth, wipe the product into the ball.
  3. If using the Aramith Restorer, you’ll need to follow up with Aramith cleaner. Apply it and wipe it into the ball just like with the Restorer.
  4. Using a clean, dry cloth wipe the ball clean until it shines.

The process is pretty simple, but to do a thorough job on your whole set, you’ll probably spend at least a half an hour and probably more.

Polishing Billiard Balls Using a Machine

Using a billiard ball cleaning machine to clean and restore shine is a huge time saver. Using the machine will vary depending on the machine you have, but we’ll go over what you can expect when you’re using a machine.

  1. Add cleaner to the machine in the suggested amount.
  2. Place the pool ball or balls into the machine and turn it on. (Read your instruction manual on how to do this!)
  3. If using a machine that cleans one ball at a time, you may need to rotate the ball by hand while it is cleaning. Machines that clean multiple pool balls at one time usually do not require this.

If you’re using a machine that cleans multiple balls at the same time, you’re be done in under ten minutes! If you’re using a machine that only does one at a time, it will probably take 15-30 minutes.


Benny is the owner of Supreme Billiards and has been shooting pool and teaching people how to shoot pool for a few years now. He enjoys showing new players techniques and drills to improve their pool game.

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