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How to Soften a Dartboard




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Key Takeaways:

  • The most common method to moisten a dartboard is by using a spray bottle filled with water. Lightly mist the board, ensuring not to soak it.
  • Another method is to dampen a cloth and gently wipe the surface of the dartboard. This method ensures that you do not apply too much water, which can be especially helpful if you are unsure about how much moisture the board needs.
  • If you live in an area with high humidity, simply exposing the dartboard to the ambient air can be enough to keep it moist.
  • Placing a humidifier in the room where the dartboard is stored can help maintain an ideal level of humidity. This can be especially useful in areas with dry climates.


Owning a bristle dartboard can be a fun and rewarding experience, especially when you’re engrossed in the game of darts. But what happens when your sisal dartboard becomes too hard and stiff? How can you make it soft and playable again? In this blog post, we will answer these questions and show you how to soften a dartboard in easy steps. We will also explain why you should soften your old dartboard and what tools you need. Let’s get started!

To soften a dartboard, especially one made from natural fibers, lightly spray it with clean water and let it dry. This helps the darts stick better, ensuring every dart hits the mark. Don’t soak it too much; a little mist will do. Use a spray bottle, preferably one you’d use for other dartboard maintenance tasks, and ensure a consistent application. Let it air dry before engaging in your favorite dart games.

How to Soften a Dartboard

What Makes A Dartboard Hard?

The majority of dartboard manufacturers produce boards made of sisal fiber, a durable material that can endure the pressure of darts flying at high speeds. It must also be thick enough so that the darts don’t ricochet off easily. Additionally, many bristle boards have galvanized wiring around them, which fortifies the fibers and ensures they remain intact even when a dart hits. And since multiple dart games are played on one board, this added protection helps it last longer, even with consistent use over time.

Why Should I Soften My Old Dartboard?

Bristle boards, especially those not given proper care, can significantly benefit from softening. When softened, these boards tend to flex more, ensuring longevity and enhancing the overall quality of your game. Moreover, an untreated wooden dartboard can become discolored from years of use, another reason why maintenance is crucial.

Softening a Dartboard Can Significantly 
Increase Its Durability and the 
Overall Quality of Your Game

Additionally, if the board isn’t smooth enough, it will become discolored due to years of banging from steel tip darts – another reason why softening your old dartboard is highly beneficial. Not only will it look new and longer, but you’ll also experience a better and more enjoyable game.

Tools We Need to Soften a Dartboard

You’ll need a few tools and supplies to soften a dartboard, like:

  • Spray bottle: To spray water on the dartboard, you will need a spray bottle. For this, you may either use distilled water or tap water.
  • Sponge or cloth: A sponge or cloth will be required to remove any extra water from the dartboard.
  • Towel or paper towel: The dartboard will need to be dried up with a cloth or paper towel after being sprayed with water.
  • Hair dryer or fan: To hasten the drying of the dartboard, you will need a fan or hair dryer.
  • Rotating stand or bracket: The dartboard must be rotated while being doused with water, thus you will need a rotating stand or bracket. This will aid in spreading the water evenly throughout the dartboard’s surface.

How to Soften a Dart Board

You may follow these procedures to soften your dartboard now that you have all the necessary equipment and supplies:

  • Take the dartboard out of the cabinet or wall mount. Put it on a level, secure surface, such as a table or the ground. Make sure the surface is free from debris, dry, and with adequate room around it for spraying and drying.
  • Fix the dartboard to a bracket or stand that rotates. When you don’t have one, you may secure the dartboard to the surface with a nail or screw. Make sure the dartboard is sturdy and can be readily rotated.
  • Water should be put in the spray bottle. Tap water or distilled water may be used for this. When you use tap water, be sure it isn’t too soft or harsh since any of these conditions might degrade the sisal fibers’ quality. Make sure the water is not too hot or too cold when using distilled water to avoid damaging the adhesive or compression of the dart board.
  • Water the dartboard with a spray bottle. Move outwardly from the dartboard’s center, starting at the center. Avoid wetting or flooding the dart board by misting evenly and softly. Spray while rotating the dartboard to ensure that the whole area is covered.
  • Wipe the dartboard clean of any extra moisture. To carefully remove extra water from the dartboard, use a sponge or towel. The sisal fibers or the colors on the dartboard might be damaged if you rub or clean it. As you clean, rotate the dart board to ensure that the whole surface is dried.
  • Wipe the dart board dry. The dart board should be dried using a cloth or paper towel. Avoid wringing or squeezing the dartboard since doing so may damage the adhesive or compression. To ensure that the whole surface of the dartboard dries, rotate it as you dry.
To Begin, You Must Remove the Staples
  • Make the dart board dry more quickly. To hasten the drying of the dartboard, use a fan or hair dryer. Avoid applying excessive heat or air pressure by setting the fan or hair dryer to a low or medium level. Move the fan or hair drier gently and evenly while keeping it at least 12 inches from the dartboard. Ensure that the whole surface of the dartboard dries, rotate it as you dry.
  • Repeat steps 4 to 7 until the dartboard is soft and playable again. Depending on how hard your dartboard is, you may need to repeat these steps several times until you achieve the desired softness. You can test the softness of your dart board by throwing some darts at it and seeing how they stick and bounce.

How does Softening a Dart Board Affect the Overall Playing Experience?

Softening, especially an electronic dartboard or a soft dartboard, can drastically change the playing experience. It can lead to fewer bounce-outs, enhanced grip for darts, and more consistent scoring. Additionally, if you play in a dartboard cabinet, ensuring your board is soft can lead to prolonged dartboard life and improved player confidence.

  • Reduced Bounce-outs: Softening the dart board reduces bounce-outs, providing a smoother gaming experience by helping darts penetrate the surface easily.
  • Enhanced Grip: A softer dart board offers better grip, allowing darts to embed securely for improved control and accuracy.
  • Consistent Scoring: Softening evens out the surface, ensuring fair and consistent scoring across all areas of the board, enhancing gameplay and practice.
  • Extended Board Lifespan: Regular softening extends the board’s life by reducing wear and tear, saving costs and maintaining its aesthetics and usability.
  • Improved Player Confidence: Proper softening boosts player morale with increased stickiness and fewer bounce-outs, enhancing enjoyment and confidence in their skills.

How do I Soften a Dartboard to Prevent Bounce-Outs?

To soften a dartboard and prevent bounce-outs, you can follow these steps:

Rotate the dartboard: Regularly rotating the dartboard will distribute the wear and tear on the surface more evenly. This helps to prevent certain areas from becoming too hard and reduces the chances of bounce-outs.

Moisturize the dartboard: Lightly spraying or dabbing water onto the surface of the dartboard can help to soften the sisal fibers. Be careful not to soak the dartboard; a light mist is sufficient. This process can restore some of the board’s moisture and improve its self-healing properties.

Use a dartboard surround: The term surround refers to the protective ring that encloses the dartboard. With this, the darts are less likely to bounce off the board’s edge because of the cushioning effect and reduced impact.

Avoid using excessively sharp darts: Darts that are excessively sharp risk slicing too deeply through the sisal fibers and missing their target. To remedy this, you may try using somewhat less pointy darts.

Maintain proper dartboard distance: The standard distance from the front of the board to the throwing line is 7 feet 9.25 inches (2.37 meters), so be sure you’re playing at that distance. When thrown from the optimal distance, darts strike the board at a shallower angle and are less likely to bounce off.

What are the Advantages of Softening a Dartboard?

The advantages of modifying a dartboard’s hardness:

  1. Improved dart sticking: Darts will cling better to a softer dartboard because they can penetrate the surface more easily. This improves the quality of play and allows for more reliable scoring.
  2. Reduced bounce-outs: When the dartboard’s sisal fibers are conditioned to be softer, the darts are less likely to bounce off the board. This keeps the floor and walls from becoming damaged and keeps the kids from getting frustrated while playing.
  3. Prolongs dartboard lifespan: By spreading the wear more uniformly throughout the surface, the dartboard’s lifetime may be extended by regularly softening it. This prolongs the amount of time that the board may be used without deteriorating.
  4. Enhanced self-healing properties: The self-healing properties of a dartboard may be enhanced by soaking it in water, which softens the board and rejuvenates the sisal fibers. Darts will leave less noticeable holes, and the board will last longer since the holes will fill up faster.
  5. Safer for the darts: The tips and flights of the darts will be less stressed by playing on a softer dartboard, which might make them last longer and decrease the frequency with which they need to be replaced.

How to Restore Dart Board?

Restoring different types of dartboards, be it a wooden dartboard or an electronic dartboard, requires a comprehensive approach. Cleaning the playing surface, fixing any damage, and periodic maintenance are vital. If you’ve invested in a dartboard cabinet, ensuring it’s also maintained is crucial for the overall darting experience.

Clean the Dartboard:

Carefully clean the dartboard of dust, debris, and old chalk by removing it from its mounting. To clean the board, use a soft, dry cloth or a brush and wipe it down in circular motions. Cleaning the board with water or other strong chemicals might cause permanent damage.

Inspect for Damage:

Examine the dartboard’s playing surface and perimeter for cracks and holes. You may want to think about getting a new dartboard should you detect any serious cracks or dents. However, most blemishes of manageable size are fixable.

Repair Small Holes and Cracks:

A dartboard repair kit or soft filler compound designed for dartboards may be used to patch up any chips or cracks. Allow the filler to dry in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions, and then continue.

Rotate the Dartboard:

Regular usage causes uneven wear on dartboards. The wear on the board may be reduced by rotating it on a regular basis. When the dartboard is detachable from its backing, you may turn it by sliding the numbered ring, or you can turn the whole unit on the wall.

Use Quality Darts:

Invest in high-quality darts with pointed tips to extend the life of your dartboard. Damage to the dartboard’s finish may be caused by using dull or poorly made dart tips.

Invest in a Dartboard Surround:

You should think about securing the space surrounding your dartboard with a surround or backboard. This will lessen the wear on the dartboard’s rim and protect the wall from errant darts.

Replace Worn Parts:

The numerals and wires on a dartboard might wear out or come loose after prolonged use. To maintain the dartboard’s functionality and aesthetics, you may want to replace any broken or missing wires or numbers.

Regular Maintenance:

Regular maintenance will ensure that the dartboard continues to function properly. After each round, dry the surface with a clean towel to prevent moisture buildup and grime from the game from sticking. In addition, as was previously indicated, rotating the dartboard on a regular basis will help to uniformly disperse wear.

Store Properly: The dartboard should be stored away from direct sunshine, high temperatures, and high humidity when it is to be kept for a long length of time. To prevent dust from settling on it, you may use a towel or a case.

Should You Moisten a Dartboard?

Moistening a dartboard is an important first step to ensure that your dartboard will have the perfect bounce and reaction. Not only will it help enhance your accuracy, but it will also make your game more enjoyable. To moisten the board, use either a wet cloth or sponge, though you must be careful not to overdo it and not to press down too hard, as too much moisture can cause difficulties when launching a dart or softening its impact against the target area.

If using water, try distilled water so minerals aren’t left on the board; otherwise, build-up may occur after continual moistening. The money is worth spending for improved accuracy and greater enjoyment during your game.

How Do You Moisten a Dry Dart Board?

Keeping your dartboard in good condition is important if you want to enjoy playing darts and maintain a high level of accuracy. A common issue that dart players experience, especially at home or in a league, is dryness on their boards. While this can be tricky to remedy, there is a simple solution – warm water!

You can use a clean sponge, rag, or even an old t-shirt to apply warm water over the entire surface of the board. Once it’s covered, use a slightly damp cloth to work the moisture into each segment’s grooves. If done adequately, this should be enough to restore essential moisture levels and bring back its tackiness and resilience. Wiping off any excess liquid with a cloth will finish the process and keep your dartboard looking as good as new!


Are there any risks or drawbacks associated with softening a dartboard?

While softening can be beneficial for natural materials like sisal or bristle, overdoing it can harm the board. Hence, always ensure you follow the best practices from trusted dartboard manufacturers.

How frequently should I soften my dartboard?

Depending on how often you play and the types of dartboards you own, regular checks are essential. For instance, a bristle dartboard might require more frequent maintenance compared to an electronic dartboard. Ensure you are attentive to its needs to guarantee an optimal playing experience.

Can I use household items as a DIY solution to soften a dartboard?

It is not advisable to utilize common home materials to soften a dartboard, despite the fact that there are DIY methods accessible. The materials should be specifically designed for dartboard softening in order to get the optimum functionality and lifespan. A broken or inefficient dartboard may be the consequence of using the wrong materials or poor practices. It is advised to utilize goods designed for the purpose or to consult manufacturers or industry professionals.

Final Thoughts

Now you know if you’ve ever wondered how to soften a dart board! This simple hairdryer hack will make your dartboard look as good as new. Trust us; this is one tip you don’t want to miss. So, the next time your dartboard looks a little worse for wear, try this method – you won’t be disappointed!

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