Like every other item you might possess, your darts and dart board require consistent maintenance to keep them in good condition. This is especially important if you’ve bought the best dart board out there or invested in a set of high-quality darts.
It hasn’t been so long when elm blocks were used as dart boards, and you had to soak the block overnight in hot water to mend holes created after a game of darts. While today we are not faced with this type of situation, we still need to carry out periodic routine on both our darts and dart board to enjoy a game of darts.
1. Care for Your Darts
Your darts are tiny missiles which you need to clean on a routine basis if you want to have an adequate grip on them when throwing. There is a method to cleaning your darts which differs from the normal exercise you apply to other accessories in your possession.
There are four parts of your darts, with the barrel collecting the most dirt.
Here’s how to clean your dart barrel:
- Get a bowl which can completely accommodate the barrel of your dart
- Add a liquid detergent to the bowl to a level equal to the length of the barrel
- Stand the barrel in the liquid solution
- Leave it for about 6 hours at most
- Using an object with fine, brittle tips, like a paintbrush or toothbrush, remove any dirt visible on the barrel
- Rinse the barrel in clean water
If your barrel is painted, you might want to avoid soaking it as the paint will come off. Instead, use a mild cleaner to wipe the barrel of any dirt. This process is exactly the same for both steel-tipped as well as soft tip darts.
Sharpening the tip of your dart is another important aspect of caring for it. A dart with a blunt tip will most likely fall after making contact with the dartboard.
The tip doesn’t need to be sharp, but rounded. This is important!
A sharp tip not only leaves holes in the dart board, but also reduces the useful life of the dart. You can sharpen your dart using a dart sharpener. Pay close attention the different points of the tip while sharpening and ensure they are just about the same height. Before you begin playing, it is advised that you examine the tip of your dart.
2. Caring for Your Dart Board
Dart boards have sisal fiber in them, which means you don’t want to expose your dart board to the sun and rain which could damage the board.
Here’s how you can clean your (bristle) dart board:
- Spray the dartboard with a small quantity of water. This ensures the board remains compact. However, the environmental condition where you live could be a major decider concerning the effectiveness of this approach. Some areas are warmer than others so you would want to avoid doing this if you live in an area close to sea level.
- Remove the number marker and rotate the board. Turning the board means it doesn’t wear away quickly. As trivial as this might sound, it has been known to increase the usefulness of a dartboard. Replace the maker with the apex point (compulsorily a back segment) of the dart board corresponding with the “20” mark. The 20th section of the dartboard is one of those most prone to wear. This necessitates the rotation of the dartboard. This will evenly distribute the deterioration of the dart board and slow the rate of decline of the board.
- Knowing the capacity of your dart board is another means of keeping it in good condition. You can’t be using a dart board made for two players for a friendly content between 8 people. It will severely affect your dart board.
- Indoor use of a dart board is non-negotiable. A dart board isn’t made to survive the outdoor conditions. Excessive moisture and sunlight are nightmares to a dart board. They affect the fiber component of the board with the result being a dull color, which will continue to fade over time. High-intensity light also makes the fibers of the dart board brittle, which will lead to the disintegration of the board.
- A well-rounded dart tip will leave the dart board with fewer problems. If the dart tip is too sharp, it damages the fiber component of the board. This leads to a brittle board with its numerous repercussions. A blunt dart tip also breaks up the fiber components of the dart board.
- How frequently you use the dart board determines to a great extent how long it will last. If the use of a dart board is restricted to only a few persons, the board lasts longer compared to those with many users, which is typical of a pub.
For those of you that have an electronic dart board – you’ll have to be careful when it comes to using too much water as you may damage the electronics and break the entire thing. Overall, the maintenance process will be the same and is equally (if not more) important.
Lastly, if you’ve gone through these tips and haven’t been able to make your equipment properly playable again, it may make sense to get a new one and aim for higher quality. Check out our guide to the best dart boards and our reviews on the best steel-tip darts as a handy starting point!
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