You can clean a cue shaft with alcohol and it is among one of the safest ways to keep your cue free from chalk build up. Over time the cue stick will get darker it is because of the small silica and abrasive particles from the chalk that gets stuck in the small pores of the cue stick.
In this post, we will teach you not only why alcohol is better to clean the cue shafts but also another trick that in addition to the alcohol will help you make your cue stick almost new.
HOW TO GET TINY PARTICLES OUT
Tiny particles of the chalk are stuck within the small gaps of the cue stick. In order detach them from those tight gaps you need to expand the stick. Heat is the number one way to expand the stick and widen those cracks. But by that, I hope you are not thinking about placing your stick over the stove. You need a more sophisticated way of heating up the stick. Friction, that’s what I mean. If you rub the stick very fast with something it will loosen up the chalk particles that can be extracted with denatured alcohol.
WHY WATER SHOULD NOT BE USED
Some people recommend using water to clean up the chalk residue but this will damage your cue stick in the long run. Wood has a natural tendency to absorb moisture from the air and if fed with water directly for clean up, it would be collateral damage for the cue stick. Therefore, an alternate solution is required to clean the chalk residue from the cue stick.
DENATURED ALCOHOL SOLUTION
There are a lot of variants of alcohol available in the market and most of them say that they have X percentage alcohol and little Y percentage as water. Water is poison for the stick therefore, you must select denatured alcohol as a cleaner for your stick. It has water taken out and mixed with another kind of alcohol to keep the balance.
A small amount of alcohol when rubs on the stick with a paper towel, immediately dries on the stick and therefore stick has no time to absorb the alcohol. In fact, rubbing a stick with denatured alcohol actually reduces the diameter of the cue stick by a fractional amount. Over time the stick wood will absorb moisture from the atmosphere and expand back to its original size.
In case, you had applied water on the cue stick then it would result in an increase of the stick diameter and over time moisture inclusion will warp the stick.
So denatured alcohol not only extracts out the chalk particles but also does not damage the cue stick.
HOW TO CLEAN SHAFT WITH ALCOHOL
So let’s get into the important steps to clean the cue shaft with alcohol.
1) Take an ordinary paper towel and put little-denatured alcohol onto it. You do not need to soak the towel but rather it should be just damp.
2) After pouring onto the stick (typically 4 tablespoons would be enough) now quickly rub this towel on the shaft vigorously. As if you are stroking it.
3) By doing this quickly, you will create the friction and that friction will loosen the chalk particles and alcohol will absorb the chalk residue.
4) Look at the paper towel now. It would have a bluish hue on it. Repeat the above process 2-3 times until you believe that you have covered the entire area of the shaft efficiently.
5) You are now done with the denatured alcohol part now. Now use a foam commonly available as Magic Eraser. Pour little alcohol onto it as well and then stroke the cue stick again. This will further clean the chalk build up from your cue stick.
6) After you are done magic eraser look at the cue stick it must look a lot cleaner than what it looked like before.
7) Now is the time to close those pores that allowed the chalk build up. Simply burnish the cue shaft with carnauba wax or leather burnish.
Are There Any Cue Shafts That Require No Cleaning?
If you think that above process is too tedious like me then it is necessary to put this into your knowledge that technology has moved forward and there are cue sticks made out of carbon such as predator revo shaft I have reviewed here require no cleaning at all. It is great to see that there are options available which require literally no maintenance provided that you can afford them.
WRAP UP: CLEAN CUE SHAFT WITH ALCOHOL
It is necessary to keep your cue shaft clean to prolong its age, its low deflection characteristics and most importantly keep it smoother. Denatured alcohol is one of the best ways of keeping the cue shaft cleaner. It is safe and has an almost negligible risk factor associated with it.
You can repeat the above-mentioned process after every 2 months and keep your cue in good shape. Ideally, if you wipe your cue with a cloth during the game then that will decrease the rate of chalk build up on the cue shaft and that takes the cleaning time from 2 to 4 months.
Remember not to use water to clean the shaft. Please beware denatured alcohol is not drinkable. There is a significant amount of toxic alcohol mixed with it that can prove fatal.