Foosball Bar Lubrication – When and How to Do it

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A foosball table is considered low maintenance, but it does need care from time to time, which will help to keep the rods moving smoothly and freel and prevent slow rods that stick from having a negative impact on the pace of the game and your performance. Foosball bar lubrication is one of those regular maintenance jobs that you’ll need to stay on top of since it will not only increase the lifespan of your table but will allow you to pull and push the rods smoothly.

Smooth Action

When you’re trying to learn how to serve in foosball, you need to use rods that are well-lubricated, otherwise, the rods will stick, which can significantly slow down the pace of the game and can make it difficult to get off faster shots. It will also impact ball control since passing and pinning will also be difficult. Fortunately, this part of table maintenance is fairly easy and should only take about twenty minutes a few times a month.

Of course, if you’re a new table owner, then you may have neglected routine maintenance or you may have not even known that the rods need to be lubricated often. If this is you, then the first step is a deep clean, which will involve cleaning the rods, the surface of the table, all the men, and the frame. This can be very time-consuming, which is why most table owners will wipe down their tables one to two times a month to cut down on dirt and debris that can gather on the players, rods, and surface of the table.

Lubricating the rods will be the final step since the lubricant should only be used on a clean surface.

What to Use

Once you’ve decided that the rods are feeling a little sticky and not offering the type of fast and smooth action you’re used to, you’ll need to choose what type of lube to use in order to avoid damaging the rods using your everyday lubricants. You can easily find foosball rod specific lubes online or at a local retailer. How often you lubricate the rods will depend on how often the table is used. In any case, most table owners recommend using a trusted silicone lubricant to get the job done. These lubricants are perfect smoothing agents that can instantly improve rod performance and speed while also extending the life of the rods. These lubricants come in both liquid or spray forms, however, I recommend using a liquid over a spray since liquids seem to be more effective.

The biggest problem with using the liquid version is that it can spill onto the playing surface if you overdo it. If any drops make it onto the surface of your table it can stain it, so make sure you cover the table’s surface with a tarp during this time.

Lubricating the Rods

Once you’ve purchased the right lubricant, you can set to work treating the rods. In order to do so properly, you’ll need to thoroughly clean the rods before adding the lubricant. This is an important step that you don’t want to skip, since cleaning them can remove any debris, dirt, or dust that can gunk up when you add the lubricant, causing the rods to stick. Additionally, dust tends to wear down the lubricant and can affect its efficiency.

If you’re using a liquid lubricant, grab a clean cloth, pour a few drops onto the cloth and gently rub it into the rods. After the lubricant has been applied to each rod you’ll want to move them in and out and turn them around slowly to make sure that each one has an even coating. This will also ensure that the lubricant reaches the bearings.


The bearings are what gives each of the rods a smooth frictionless movement. The rods will move in the bearings, which is what places the majority of the stress onto the bearings. Because of this, it’s important that you pay special attention to the bearings when you’re lubricating the rods. Some rods will have visible bearings and some will not. If your table does have visible bearings, make sure you lubricate them as well. Place a few extra drops of the lubricant on the bearings to ensure that they remain well-lubricated for a long period of time.

Lubrication Frequency

Even the best foosball table will need to have the rods lubricated regularly. However, there’s really no standard rule when it comes to how often they will need to be lubricated. This depends on the environment the table is kept in and how often the table is used. If you use your table two to three times a week then I recommend lubricating the rods once a month. If you use your table several times a week, then you may need to lubricate them as often as weekly. Make sure you lubricate them as soon as you notice a change in how smooth the pulling action is. This will be a huge sign that they’re in desperate need of lubrication.

However, some lubricants work better than others, so how often the rods need lubrication can also depend on lube quality.

If you’re interested in the steps needed to fully assemble a foosball table, head over to my detailed article on the topic!

Final Thoughts

Foosball bar lubrication can have an impact on foosball ball control, the pace of the game, and how well you play, and because of this, you need to stay on top of keeping the rods lubricated in order to keep your table in optimal condition. Dry rods can cause friction, which means slower push and pulls. Bars that are well-lubricated will offer smoother action and faster gameplay. Now that you know about this important step in table maintenance you have no excuse not to keep both the rods and bearings lubricated at all the times, which will significantly add to the lifespan of your table while improving the table’s performance.