How do you clean and maintain a cue?
Wiping with a damp rag and rubbing dry with a dry rag usually does the trick fairly well, especially if done regularly. Mr. Clean (or generic brand) Magic Eraser (dry or slightly damp) also does a very good job.
I have been cleaning cues for many years and have tried many systems because I like a clean stick. About one year ago someone mentioned trying Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser. You can buy these in most any grocery store. I have found there is nothing better to return a cue stick to a like new condition.
Dampen the sponge like Magic Eraser and wipe down the cue including the ferrule. Wipe the excess moisture (there should be very little) and the grime off the cue with a cotton towel.
You can use a dollar bill to burnish the stick if you want to be like the old time pool players.
The best way to slick the cue that I have found is to use an old piece of leather. Could be a piece cut from a belt, the tongue of a shoe or whatever. Soft natural leather is all that is needed.
Wind the leather around the cue and move it as fast as you can up and down the first 18 inches or so. This will heat up and seal the cue. It is almost ready to use.
Wet the edge of the cue tip liberally with saliva and then burnish this with a dollar bill or the back of a piece of emery cloth (that is what I use). This will make the tip look nice but more importantly it will help to harden it and it will be less likely to mushroom.
I smooth the shaft after using the magic eraser and burnish it. I also use a dry film lubricant afterwards and this helps seal as well as provide a slick surface. Some people I know use Rain-X. RZ-50 made by Dupont is a clear product just to mention a couple. If you decide to experiment with other products just be certain is doesn’t dry with a white film.
There’s a product on the market called Q-Wiz. It’s a double sided pad, the one side for roughing, the other for polishing. It is a high tech micro abrasive that won’t burn through the finish and reduce the diameter of the cue. I’ve been using it for one year and love how it works. It’s also washable and reusable.