How to Soften An Old Dartboard

I’ve always liked tossing darts, and having a dartboard around is a fun way to spend time with family and friends. Dartboards, however, become hard over time, thereby making dart games less enjoyable to play as more of your darts bounce out. So, I’ve been researching for solutions to make a dartboard softer.

A dartboard is made of sisal fiber, which degrades over time with constant use. To restore the dartboard to its original state, all you need is a damp towel or fabric. Then, wrap the dartboard in a damp towel and set it aside overnight. The next day, you’ll find that the dartboard has become softer.

What Makes A Dartboard Hard?

Imagine this, you’re in the middle of a battle, carefully aiming to close out a number and then throwing your dart only to have it bounce back from the dartboard. This is what happens when you insist on playing darts on an old and hard dartboard.

Nowadays, most dartboards are made from sisal fiber, which contributes to their overall hardness. In fact, this is the standard dartboard material used in practice sessions and matches by various dart athletes and professionals.

The Agave plant, which produces thick and fine fibers, is used to create sisal fiber. Sisal fiber is highly sought after for various reasons, including its adaptability, wide availability, and low price.

In addition, the use of homogenous and firm fibers is essential for creating a proper dartboard. Sisal has a gritty texture that provides an excellent grip and is highly durable due to its stiffness. As a result, sisal is unquestionably the ideal material for modern dartboards.

However, if you go around online dart forums, you’ll see that different dartboard brands have varying degrees of hardness.

So, don’t be surprised if the first time you open a package, you find a dartboard that is already hard. Overall, it would be best if you comprehend the characteristics of the dartboard you plan to buy.

Nonetheless, the climate and environment will have a significant impact on how long it takes for your dartboard to harden.

For example, if you live in a hot climate, you should look for a dartboard designed for that condition. Moreover, exposure to heat sources like light bulbs and electrical appliances can also make your dartboard harden more quickly than usual.

How to Properly Soften A Dartboard?

First, keep in mind that you only need to follow this guide if you have a hard dartboard that can still be repaired. So, suppose your dartboard is terribly old and battered. In that case, it is best to replace it with a new one, as there are many reasonably priced dartboards available.

If you think it can still be repaired, the first step is to thoroughly soak the towel in clean water – distilled, if possible. However, remember to use a towel that is large enough to cover your entire dartboard. After soaking it in clean water, the towel must be thoroughly wrung out until it is only relatively damp.

Then, the next step is where your patience plays an important role. First, you need to pick up your old and hard dartboard, then wrap it with the damp towel. Moreover, you need to make sure that the damp towel cover as much surface as possible. After this, you should just let it sit overnight.

Since a dartboard is made from natural fibers, it will gradually absorb the moisture from the towel, which is why you need to ensure that the towel is not too wet. If the towel is too wet, the dartboard will absorb too much moisture, resulting in a bulgy dartboard.

However, you can repeat this procedure as many times as you like if you think you still need better results. On the other hand, if you still can’t attain the desired effect after numerous attempts, maybe your only option is to throw away your dartboard and get a new one.

Why Should I Soften My Old Dartboard?

The concept of hard and soft dartboards is actually pretty simple. The harder the dartboard, the more difficult it is to get a dart to stick in it. On the other hand, the softer the dartboard, the easier it is for the dart to penetrate it.

However, keep in mind that a softer dartboard is not always a better dartboard. After all, it depends on how and where you play dart games.

For example, suppose you often play darts with a soft dartboard at home. In that case, it could be a problem later on because you will need to play with different types of dartboards at various venues.

What Should I Do to Keep My Dartboard from Hardening?

As mentioned, exposure to too much light and heat will cause your dartboard to dry up and become harder. Aside from the scorching rays of the sun, exposure to light sources that emit too much heat can also shorten your dartboard’s lifespan.

In addition, exposing the dartboard to too much light will also make the colors fade. So, if you need additional lighting around your dartboard, opting for LED lighting is the way to go. It doesn’t produce too much heat while also saves you some money from the electricity bills.

In addition, you also can try to even out the wear and tear on your dartboard. For this, you can rotate your dartboard occasionally to avoid excessive abuse on favorable numbers like 16 or 20. This will help to distribute the amount of wear and tear on your dartboard to different spots.

Moreover, the darts also contribute to the longevity of your dartboard. When the dart’s point becomes duller, it can break the dartboard’s fiber, reducing its self-healing ability. In fact, the majority of dartboards are damaged solely because the players are unaware that dart points must be rounder.

Lastly, to preserve the condition of the dartboard’s fibers, you must know how to remove the darts from the dartboard.

Keep this in mind: you must twist the dart when removing it from the dartboard. This may sound very obvious, but there are so many players out there who carelessly pull out the dart from the dartboard.


Overall, darts will always be an enjoyable game to play. After all, it doesn’t require much equipment, and the rules are simple to grasp.

However, playing darts with a worn-out, hard dartboard can make your game less enjoyable. So, if you’re having issues with a hard dartboard, the suggestions above should come in handy.