How To Clean a Pool Cue Shaft – Step-by-Step Guide

  • By: Rob
  • Date: April 23, 2023
  • Time to read: 6 min.
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It should come as no surprise to you that, if your cue becomes dirty then it’s best to clean it. Oils and dirt can build up over time and can leave your cue noticeably dirty. The shaft may become sticky so you cant achieve a nice smooth stroke.

 I’ve heard many different theories on if and how to clean your pool cue shaft. 

Some people claim you shouldn’t clean your shaft because the oil on the cue will help protect it from drying out. Others claim otherwise. 

There are also different methods for cleaning, especially if your shaft is comprised of different species of wood.

how to clean a pool cue shaft

Most cues are made from North American maple, but you can get other cues made from other species of wood that have different densities and therefore have different cleaning requirements. 

I think cleaning your shaft and keeping it smooth is important. So, I will go through my recommended guide on how to clean a pool cue shaft

Pool cue maintenance tools

As with any task, it’s always good to know what are the pool cue maintenance tools needed to clean a pool cue shaft. 

Things you’ll need:

Sterile alcohol wipes or a liquid cleaner, this will do a great job breaking down the dirt oils and chalk that’s on your shaft and clean some off at the same time.

A cloth, washcloths or microfiber cloths should be ideal. This is for extra cleaning and removes any excess dirt and grime.

Paper towels will help with applying wax and polishing it nice and smooth.

A cue cleaner and burnisher, This helps with the cleaning process and making the cue nice and smooth – Q wiz is perfect for this.

A shaft wax, will help add a layer of protection to the cue. Chem-Pak Q Wax is great for this.

Now you know what pool cue maintenance tools you’ll need to clean your pool cue shaft with, let’s get started.

how to clean your pool cue shaft

You may be interested in:

If you are looking for any of the items I use to clean my cue shaft with then I’ve listed their Amazon links below:

How to clean a pool cue shaft

Here I will run through the steps needed on how to clean a pool cue shaft. Hopefully, you have all the mentioned items from the above section. 

First, I will go through the process of cleaning the shaft and removing all the dirt and oil from the shaft. While cleaning you may notice a greeny-blue color while wiping, that’s the dirt and oil residue mixed in with the chalk dust from the shaft. 

Next, you will work on sanding and smoothing the shaft. This will also aid in the cleaning process.

Finally, its time to wax your cue, this will add a layer of protection to the cue and help keep it nice and smooth.

1, Deep clean

  • Wrap a sterile alcohol wipe around the shaft of your cue. While twisting the shaft, rub the alcohol wipe up and down the shaft of the cue.

Repeat this multiple times, making sure to clean all sections of the shaft including the ferrule. 

Additionally, a liquid cleaner for cleaning cue shafts will also work well here, in this case, add a small amount to a cloth or paper towel, enough to make the paper towel damp but not too wet.

Use the same cleaning motion on the shaft.

You might find the wipe or cloth will start to gather a greeny-blue look to it. This is simply the chalk dust dyeing the dirt and oil while being cleaned.

You might need to use a new wipe or cloth to repeat the process if you feel it is needed. 

You will begin to notice that the strong chalky color will start to fade as you clean all the grime off the cue.

You have now completed the first section and your cue is clean.

2, Smooth and clean

  • Once the shaft, is free of any grime, its time to lightly sand and burnish it. I find the Q Wiz is perfect for this. 

There are other cue cleaner and burnishers available on the market, my personal preference is the Q wiz.

The Q wiz has a rough side and a smooth side. 

Using the rough side first, wrap the Q-wiz around the cue shaft and move it up and down a few strokes. 

This will help smooth the shaft out while removing any extra dirt oil and chalk remaining on the shaft. 

Once you have given it some work using the rough side of the Q Wiz, flip the pad over and do the same again but this time using the smooth side of the Q Wiz.

After a few strokes using this, your cue shaft should feel noticeably smoother and nicer.

It’s a good idea to keep a cue cleaner and burnisher with you when you play. It’s always handy If you feel your cue is becoming a little sticky to give it a rub down to smooth it up again.

What’s great about the Q Wiz, once you have used it, simply run it under some water to clean it up like new.

3, Protection and smooth

  • Now you are ready to apply the cue wax. The one I use is Chem-Pak Q Wax, It’s a great cue wax that once coated on the cue and rubbed in, gives the cue a nice shiny and smooth protective layer to your shaft. 

Firstly you want to dip a paper towel into the Q Wax, just enough to coat the cue in, not mountains of the stuff on the towel.

Then, wrap the paper towel around the cue and move up and down the shaft, twisting the shaft while you do it. Make sure to evenly coat the whole of the shaft in wax.

Once complete, using a dry part of the paper towel, wipe away any remaining wax from the cue. Stroke the paper towel up and down the cue a few times.

Now you have a perfectly clean and protected pool cue shaft. This protection won’t last forever, it really depends how often you play, but a regular player will need to repeat this process on a monthly basis. 

Tips for keeping pool cue clean

Now you know how to clean a pool cue shaft, it might be worth knowing a few little tips that will help keep all that oil from your hands, chalk dust and dirt from your cue.

This won’t stop you needing to clean your cue from time to time, but it should help a little.

  1. Wash your hands before holding your cue. Make sure to use hot soapy water, this will break down the natural oils in your hand and help reduce that oily buildup on your cue
  2. Avoid moisture on your bridge hand, for example, holding a drink in your bridging hand. Some of that moisture will transfer onto the cue, along with some grime and dirt.
  3. Use a cue cleaner and burnisher from time to time, to help remove and extra dust and chalk while smoothing the shaft a little.
  4. Consider cleaning the butt of your cue too, especially cleaning the Irish linen wrap


Now you are armed with the knowledge on how to clean a pool cue shaft and a few extra tips to keep your cue in peek condition for longer. You really have no excuse from keeping a smooth, clean cue shaft that can perform when you need it most.

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Rob is an avid player and fan of all cue sports, particularly 8-ball, and snooker. He has competed in a few local 8-ball tournaments and although he is not a professional, he can compete with the best of them.

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