Tips and Tricks for Foosball / Table Soccer

Lubricating Foosball Rods: What to Do it With & How


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Foosball tables are fun and are widely popular and if you cherish spending your leisure time on your home Foosball table, then it is essential that you take some time out to take proper care of your table; to continue enjoying plenty of fun games on it.

All things with moving mechanical parts need maintenance on regular intervals. Your favorite Foosball table has its moving mechanical rods which need your attention from time to time.

Foosball rods need regular cleaning and lubricating to work smoothly. This will not only increase the life span of your table but also provides a better performance throughout your games.

Fortunately, taking care of Foosball rods is not a very complex task; but there are few things that you should consider and I will guide you through these things. Once we are done with cleaning and lubrication of rods, I will guide you through a few quick tips about the maintenance of your Foosball table.

The Best Lube to Use:

Once you have decided to clean the rods, the first question which pops-up in the mind is- “what is the best lube to use for my Foosball rods.” This is a meaningful inquiry since you don’t want to damage the rods with just any lube you get your hands on. It is important to use a good lubricating agent for the rods.

In a Hurry to buy the lube for you table get it on Amazon here.

If you are a hard or a light Foosball player, it is better to keep a bottle of recommended lubricant with you. The frequency of lubrication depends on how often you use the table. But in any case, the best option to consider is to use silicone lubricants.

Silicone lubricants are great smoothing agents and they also improve speed and performance while playing and extends the life of the rods. The other benefit of them is that they work with bearings as well, increasing its performance and extending its lifespan. Silicon lubricants come in tow forms: spray and liquid. I recommend using liquid silicon over the spray, as it is more effective and lubricates the bearings as well.

Why use liquid rather than spray lubricant:

Silicon lubricants come in two forms: liquid and spray. The better option is always liquid lubricants. While it is easier to apply the spray lubricants and they also consume less time, but the drawback of spray is that it only stays on the Foosball rod. It is not possible to apply the spray on bearings and that dries them up and damages them over time.

This is exactly why we prefer liquid lubricant because if you use spray then you have to lubricate the bearings separately else they will wear off. Though it looks like spray consumes less time and costs less they end up more expensive and more time-consuming.

In case of liquid lubricants there is always few extra drops of lubricant which stays on the rod and while you move the rod in and out, will go in the bearing and keep them lubricated as well. You can also use the liquid silicon to apply on the visible bearing; this practice will increase the lifespan of bearings.

There is one drawback of the liquid lubricant and it is that sometimes those few extra drops drips on the playing field. If the lubricant drips on the table it affects the appearance of the table and also ruins the performance while playing.

Where to get the Silicon Lubricant:

You can check the availability on your home market. If you can’t find it there you can always order it online. The internet is filled with online stores with home delivery facilities. Buying the lube online gives you the freedom to select from a wide variety of products. Foosball lubricants come in small pickings, so you should buy some extra bottles of lube to make sure you don’t run out in the near future.

Don’t use Just any Lube on Your Foosball Rods:

Generally, while playing if the rods start to create friction and begin to irritate you; it is very tempting, in such scenarios, to use any lube and get back to the game. It surely gives short time gratification but it damages your rods in the long run. Never use WD-40, because it will dry up bearing over time. 

Don’t put Water-based gels, Olive oil or any kind of food-based oil or lubricant. Water-based gels will rust your table wherever the table is not properly waterproofed.

The food-based oils might give lubrication for a short period of time but after a while, they dry up and become sticky. They also will have their odor coming out of your table. You don’t want your table to smell like dried strawberries.

Don’t use the following types of oil

  • Lubricants with smells or flavors
    This can make it so that your table will end up smelling. And you don’t know how the lube smell will react with the material of your table.
  • Food-based Oils – Food-based oils will often start til smell when exposed to air and become sticky. This will just end up in you having to disassemble your rods to clean em and the re-lube them.
  • WD40 – Thou WD40 works on a lot of things this is not one of them. It will dry up to fast and your rods and bearings will wear out quicker.
  • Water-based Gels – the reason for this is simply your rods are made of metal thou coated scratches may occur and metal and water will result in rusting worst case.

How to Lube your Foosball Rods Properly:

Once you have made your choice about the type of lube you want to use on your Foosball rods, the next step is to get the job done. To lube the rods properly, you should first clean before lubricating. It is essential to do so, you don’t want dust or any debris to stay on the rods while you apply the lube. Dust wears down the lubricants and it affects the efficiency of the lube. After cleaning apply the lube on the rods and move them in and out.
Remember, you need to check the rods on regular intervals for any need of maintenance. It is essential to lube the rods at regular intervals. The best way to ensure this is to set aside a schedule, based on the frequency you use the table.

How to Lubricant with Silicon:

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Applying silicone lubricant is an easy process. If you are using the spray silicon, then just spray the lube on each rod, slide them in and out slowly and you are done.

If you have chosen liquid silicon then take a clean cloth, put a few drops of liquid silicon on the cloth and rub it, gently, on rods. You can always dip the cloth in alcohol for extra precautions. Also, as mentioned above don’t forget to clean the rods before applying the lubricant. You can put a few drops on the bearings. After applying the lube on the rods you need to turn them around, slowly, and move in and out to make sure that the silicon reaches the bearing.

Lubricant visible bearings if they are present:

Bearing is what gives your rods the smoothness in motion and frictionless movements. The rods move in the bearings and that is why most of the stress falls on bearings. It is important that you take proper maintenance of the bearings. Depending on the design of your Foosball table, look for the visible bearings and if your table has them, lubricant them with liquid silicon. Put a few extra drops of silicon in them so that they stay lubricated over a long period of time.

Spread Lubricant by Moving the Rods:

Once you have applied the lube on the rods, move them through the bearing to spread the lubricant on the rods. Before doing so, remember to wipe off extra lube, to prevent from drip down on the table.
How often you should lube the rods:

As I have emphasized that it is essential to take care of your Foosball table to continue to enjoy the fun it provides. But there is no standard answer to the question that, “how often you should do that?” The time intervals entirely depend on the usage of the table and the environment it stays in. If you use your table a few times a week then it would be safe to say that you can clean the rods once each month. But if you use your table more often then you should clean and lube the rods every week.

The time interval entirely depends on the lasting of the lube. There are many ways in which the lube can wear off, like- if there is too much dust if you use the table more frequently if you happen to spill water or any other liquid on the table and rods, etc. But you can always feel the rods, if they feel slightly harder to move, you should do the cleaning as well as lubricating.

If you keep the table outdoors, then you should clean it more often. It is advisable to keep the table cover with a plastic sheet while not playing.

Few Tips For The Foosball Table Maintenance:

To maximize the game pleasure and to improve the life of the Foosball table it is important that you keep it clean. Dust, water or any sort of liquids spill on the table are the worst enemies to it.

You can start the cleaning with a can of compressed air. It is important that you reach every inch of your table and that can’t be achieved with, rubbing the table with a cloth. Compressed air removes all dust particles from the corners where your hand can’t reach.

Just like cleaning any home appliances; you need to use the cloth to remove any spillage stains. Take a clean, dry cloth and clean the surface carefully with it. Once you are done with cleaning, you can notice, in most cases, few stains on the table. To remove them you need a cloth soaked in alcohol. Remember to use just enough quantity of alcohol, because alcohol evaporates faster and too much of it could leave behind an odor.

You should also do a regular checkup of the Foosball men. Check if they have loosened over the time, and if they have, screw them tightly and firmly to the rods. You can always replace broken Foosball men with new ones or you can buy the entire teams of Foosball men in the color of Manchester United, Barcelona or Real Madrid.

You can always replace the broken parts with the new ones. All parts of the table like; rods, handles, bearings, bumpers, and players are available in the market.

Clean the balls as well:

If the balls of your Foosball table aren’t looking good, you can use that alcohol-soaked cloth to rub them gently. Once again, remember to not use too much alcohol as it might dull the color of the balls. You should avoid exposing the balls directly to the sun or rain.

As I have mentioned Foosball is considered the indoor game, so these balls are not designed to stand harsh weather conditions. Also, take care while cleaning the ball; do not scrub too hard. Don’t mix the balls with colored ink, as they tend to absorb the ink or likable items fast. This will destroy the original color and texture of the ball.

Where to Keep the Table:

As a general understanding, Foosball is considered to be an indoor game. So, in most cases, the table stays indoors. Try to keep the table in a cool, dry place. And if you have to keep the table outdoor, don’t leave it directly under the sunlight. As this will affect the wood and table’s paint job. It is best to use a table cover while not using the table. Because the cover will protect the table from sunlight, rain, and dust.

Fixing the table:

Foosball is a fast-paced game. And in adrenaline rush during the game, it is highly likable that the table moves. To prevent that from happening, put anti-slippery pads under the legs of the table.

If you put the table on the naked floor make sure, before starting the game, that table is completely stable. Because if the table moves during the game either it could hurt the player or you will have to drag the table back to its natural position every time it moves. This dragging could affect the alignment of the table.

Always avoid the dragging of the table. Foosball tables are heavy equipment and if you drag them it is highly likely that you might end up destroying their perfect alignment. Just like any equipment, alignment plays is a very important part in delivering high performance. If the alignment is meddled with, your rods and bearings start to wear off slowly. Because they can’t move perfectly in their spot, and this toughens the movement of the rods. If you want to move the table, you should live it a few inches above the ground. 

Keep The Table Clean:

And finally the ultimate rule for the longevity of your Foosball table: is to keep it clean. Take precautions while playing. Don’t put drinks or food on the table. It is better to keep a small table nearby for the purpose. It is also important to use the right cleaners, some cleaners make the table slippery and ruin the fun of the game. As described above, the best option is a silicone lubricant.

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