There are very few types of dartboard that you can rehydrate. This is an annoying and expensive problem as dartboards are prone to drying out.
Traditionally, you could rehydrate a dartboard with water. However, this doesn’t work on most modern dartboards due to the materials they’re made from. If these materials get wet, it can cause serious damage, which will render your dartboard useless.
The best thing you can do is take steps to prevent your dartboard from drying out. Let’s look into dartboard dehydration further.
Should You Moisten a Dartboard?
No. If you put water or any other type of liquid on a dartboard, it will ruin it.
People used to moisten dartboards to rehydrate them, so dart players often think they can still moisten them in the same way. But dartboards used to be made of elm that would swell and fill up the holes when moistened.
These days, dartboards are most commonly made from sisal fibers which should not be moistened. Sisal fibers are held together with glue and if they get wet, they’re likely to fall out.
Should You Wet Your Dartboard?
In most cases, you shouldn’t wet your dartboard. Dartboards made from the following materials should never get wet:
- Sisal fiber
- Plastic if it has electrical components
Dartboards made from wood and plastic with no electrical parts can get wet, but caution should be taken and excess exposure to moisture should be avoided.
Can You Bring an Old Dartboard Back to Life?
Yes and no. Most dartboards are not meant to be brought to life. Instead, they should be disposed of and a brand new dartboard purchased.
However, if you have a wooden board or an electric-free plastic board, you may be able to bring it back to life.
Simply soak a clean towel in water and wrap it around your dartboard overnight. This will increase the moisture content in the dartboard and make it softer.
How to Tell If Your Dartboard Is Too Dry
Are your darts continuously bouncing out of the dartboard or falling to go in altogether? If so, there’s a good chance that your dartboard is too dry. Other signs that your dartboard is too dry are:
- Dry to touch
- Bulging and/or swelling
- Sharpening your darts doesn’t solve the problem
How to Prevent Your Dartboard From Drying Out
You can prevent your dartboard from drying out in the following ways:
- Regularly rotate the board – regular dart players should rotate their dartboard at least once per week.
- Avoid excess humidity – don’t hang your dartboard in a room where it’s really hot, such as a summer house, as it will swiftly dry your dartboard out.
- Keep the lights down low – have you ever noticed that when you play darts in the pub, it’s dark? That’s because the heat from bright lights can damage and dry out a dartboard, so never place your dartboard on a wall close to lighting.
- Stay away from heat sources – darts is a great garden game, but the sun will quickly dry your dartboard out. Be sure to play in the shade or an undercover area, such as a pergola or gazebo.
Does a Dry Dartboard Cause Problems?
Yes. A dry dartboard means you’re not going to be able to practice properly. Your darts will keep bouncing out and this will cause frustration. The bounce-outs may also cause unnecessary damage to your floors and walls.
Why Is My Dartboard Swelling?
There are two common reasons why your dartboard is swelling; it’s too moist or it’s too dry.
If the board is too moist, the sisal fibers will swell. The more moisture they absorb, the more likely the glue holding the fibers will come away from the board and cause bumps and swelling.
Swelling will also occur if the dartboard is too dry and you try to rehydrate it with liquid.
Does Humidity Cause a Dartboard to Dry Out?
Yes, humidity can cause your dartboard to dry out. Unfortunately, you don’t have any control over the weather, but there are things you can do to improve humidity levels for your dartboard:
- Use a dehumidifier – if it’s too moist in your home, use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture levels in the air.
- Use a humidifier – if the humidity is dry where you are, your dartboard will dry out quickly. You can solve this problem with a humidifier that gradually increases the moisture in the air.
- Block out UV rays – sunlight increases humidity. You need to strategically hang your dartboard so that it’s not in direct sunlight.
How Long Does a Dartboard Last?
How long your dartboard lasts depends on how often it is used and how you store it. If you only play the odd game after work or at the weekend with your mates, your dartboard should last up to five years.
But if you’re an avid darts player who can’t go a day without playing, then your dartboard may only last six to eight months.
How to Store a Dartboard to Prevent It From Drying Out
Correct dartboard storage can mean the difference between your dartboard lasting just a few months or a few years. Good storage tips include:
- Bringing the board in from the outdoors – the garden is a great place to play darts, especially when there’s a large group of you that loves to play. But a dartboard exposed to the sun will quickly dry out, so make sure you bring it indoors after your game.
- Taking it down from the wall – leaving your dartboard on the wall is convenient, but it increases the board’s exposure to heat and light.
- Storing in a cool, dry place – a cool dry place will ensure your dartboard lasts as long as possible.
It’s disappointing that, in most cases, you can’t rehydrate a dartboard. Instead, you need to focus on caring for your dartboard as best as you can so that it doesn’t dry out.
Sue has been playing darts since her 20’s when she played in weekly tournaments and she enjoys writing about darts. She’s also a great teacher, and she enjoys helping others learn how to play the game well. When Sue isn’t throwing darts, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
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