If you happen to be a regular darts player, there comes a time when you’ll begin to notice dark spots forming on the surface of your dartboard. Upon closer look, you might even notice parts of the dartboard are even fading and wearing off following regular abuse. While it’s easy to ignore some of these early signs, the worst thing about it is that failure to clean your dartboard on time can cause the surface to fade and dull out causing interference when playing the game. So, to avoid such uncertainties, it’s really important that you learn how to clean a dartboard.
Now, a dartboard is a hefty investment that demands proper care for it to last long. If properly maintained, dartboards can last for a very long time depending on whether it’s a bristle, wooden, or an electronic board. While most people are aware of how to properly maintain their boards, most of them are totally unaware of how to clean them. So, in this guide, we’ll discuss how you’re supposed to clean your valuable dartboard to maintain its luster. And since there are different types of dartboards that are available, this guide will discuss how to clean each type of board individually to ensure no one is left out of the party.
How to Clean a DartBoard: Tips & Tricks
1. Cleaning a Bristle/Cork Dartboard
So, to start, we’re going to discuss how to clean a bristle dartboard. Since you’re reading this, I will assume you’re well aware of the bristle dartboard. To those that have played darts in their local pubs, bars, or even at home, then the type of board you usually use is not that distinct from a bristle dartboard. These boards are made from tightly packed sisal fibers to make them incredibly tough and resilient.
Since the sisal fibers used have unique characteristics, these boards can endure being pierced countless times without wearing out. But, despite being extremely hard and resilient, bristle dartboards can sometimes give up in case they’re misused. The color can fade away and the surface can become a bit worn out when it loses its self-healing advantage.
So, to avoid this here’s a detailed step by step procedure on how you’re supposed to clean your bristle dartboard without causing any damage.
Things You’ll Need
- Wood polishing oil
- Step 1: The first thing you’ll have to do is to remove the dartboard from the wall and place it on a workbench.
- Step 2: Next, remove the wire covering the surface of the board. This includes the spider for the segments and the scoring zone. You can use a screwdriver to remove these thin wires or you can simply spring the wires free by freeing them from the metal catches on the sides.
- Step 3: Once the wire is out of the way, pick a dry cloth and wipe the surface of your dartboard to remove excess dust. Some people opt to use a dry brush attachment or a pressure vacuum cleaner to remove the dust from the board.
- Step 4: Now, there are times when the dust may be excess of what you actually thought. In such a case, you can use a damp cloth to wipe it off. However, since bristle dartboards are easily damaged by moisture, you need to squeeze the rag entirely to ensure there’s no water dripping off it. Once you’re done, allow the board to sit overnight for it to dry up.
- Step 5: Once it’s fully dry, pick your liquid wood polisher and start polishing the board using firm circular strokes. The reason why polishing is required is to moisturize the board. You see, as your dartboard ages, it starts to lose its moisture leading to dehydration. Since this moisture is the one that prevents fading and allows the fibers on the board to spring back into position after being pierced, restoring it frequently is really important for your board’s health.
- Step 6: Once you’ve applied the first coat, allow the board to rest for a day before polishing another coat. You can repeat this step multiple times until the dartboard appears fully moist. To test the dartboard, you can pierce the surface with a toothpick then check to see whether it’s moist. In case it’s still dry, then continue applying more wood polishing oil until it’s fully moisturized.
Note: The reason why water is not used is because it causes the sisal fiber to swell and get damaged. Water also promotes smelly mold and mildew that can release a strong foul odor.
- Step 7: Once you’re satisfied with the results, the last step is to put the wire rims back into place then mount the dartboard in its usual position. By now, the board should look new and shiny.
2. Cleaning an Electronic Dartboard
The next type of board we’ll be discussing is the electronic board. Unlike bristle dartboards, electronic boards don’t require much cleaning as they have sensitive electronic parts that can be damaged by water. These boards are also made of plastic and are designed to be used with soft tip darts. So, with that said, here’s a simple cleaning procedure you can follow.
What You’ll Need
- A cloth
- Cotton swabs
- Step 1: Start by removing the dartboard from the wall and lay it on a flat bench.
- Step 2: Next, using a dry clean cloth, wipe the surface of the board to remove any dust and dirt particles that have accumulated.
- Step 3: When you’re through, inspect the back of the board to check whether there’s any excess dust. In case there’s any, wipe it off thoroughly. You can also apply some pressure in case the dust is too stubborn to come off easily.
Note: You see, the reason why electronic dartboards get dirty is due to our bad playing habits. Some people hold the surface of the board with dirty hands while others hold the darts with sweaty or oily hands, especially if you’re playing darts while eating.
As a result, all the oil and sweat from your hands is transferred to the dartboard which makes it easier for the surface to attract or rather pick up dirt.
- Step 4: So, once you’ve cleaned the excess dust, the next step is to clean the tiny holes on the sensors and the speakers. To guarantee effective cleaning, you can use cotton swabs which you’re supposed to poke inside each hole to remove any dust residue.
- Step 5: Once you’re through cleaning every single part of the board, mount it back on the wall and connect it to the power outlet.
3. Cleaning Wooden Dartboards
Wooden dartboards are the rarest types of boards you’ll expect to find in most pubs and bars. They’re the oldest types of boards and were largely used in the former days before bristle, cork, and electronic boards were discovered. Similar to cleaning a bristle dartboard, wooden dartboards are also very demanding when it comes to cleaning them. They also demand a high level of maintenance to ensure that they stay in good shape without getting damaged. So, if you’re feeling lost or stranded, here’s a simple procedure you can follow to clean a wooden dartboard.
What You’ll Need
- Wood polishing oil
- Dry cloth
- Step 1: As usual, the first step is to remove the dartboard from the wall to make it easier for you to clean it.
- Step 2: Next, use a dry cloth to wipe the surface of the board. This will help to remove any excess dirt and dust particles. Quite similar to bristle dartboards, wooden boards should not be cleaned with wet rags as this can cause the board to swell in case water gets soaked in the inside.
- Step 3: Once the board is clean, start polishing the surface with wood polish, most preferably wood polishing oil. By polishing the surface of the board, you not only clean it but also moisturize it to prevent it from drying out and cracking.
- Step 4: So, once you’re done, mount the board back to the wall.
4. Cleaning a Horsehair Dartboard
Another type of dartboard that’s very rare to find in recent times is one made of horsehair. However, if you happen to visit most veteran dart players, who are actually the same age as your grandfather, there’s a high probability you might find one of these vintage dartboards damped in the basement or attic. So, if you’re lucky enough to find one of these, then there’s a way you can clean them to make them look young.
What You’ll Need
- Steel brush
- Wood polishing oil
- Step 1: Remove the dartboard from the respective area it was buried before and inspect it thoroughly. In case the bristle surface is detached from the frame, then there’s no other alternative but to dispose of the board. But, if it’s in a good condition, then you only need to place it on a bench to prepare for the cleaning process.
- Step 2: Just like a bristle dartboard, a horsehair board will demand you to first remove the thin spider wires to leave the surface perfectly exposed.
- Step 3: Pick a vacuum cleaner and attach a soft brush attachment to remove any dust or dirt particles from the surface of the board.
- Step 4: When you’re done, use a wire brush to remove any stubborn dirt residue that might be embedded on the surface of the board.
- Step 5: Once you’re through cleaning the board, pick a clean and dry rag, and moisten it with wood polish. Rub the rag against the surface of the board in a circular motion. This will help moisturize the surface of the board to prevent it from drying out. Remember, just like bristle dartboards, horsehair dartboards usually fade due to extreme drying of the horsehair bristles.
- Step 6: Once you’ve polished the dartboard, allow it to heal overnight. When it’s fully dry, insert a toothpick on its surface to see whether the inside is fully moisturized. In case it’s not, then apply another coat of wood polishing oil. In fact, you can apply as many coats as you like provided you give the board enough time to heal after each application.
- Step 7: Once you’re sure the dartboard has fully re-hydrated, restore the segment wires back on and mount the dartboard on the wall.
As you can see, cleaning your dartboard is not as complex as it first sounded. Although there are many methods you can employ, this guide has discussed the most convenient methods that cannot damage your dartboard. Since dartboards come in different variations, we’ve managed to cover each dartboard independently to help you clean your respective board easily. So, whether it’s a bristle, electronic, wooden, or horsehair dartboard, this insightful guide has given you tremendous information that you can rely on.
While we’re hopeful we’ve answered all your pressing questions, one thing we’re going to insist on is to avoid using fluids to clean your dartboards. Unless it’s wood polishing oil, any other fluid can cause significant damage to your dartboards such as swelling of the surface, mold and mildew buildup, or foul smell that can be hard to get rid of.