YOU DO NOT CLEAN A CUE WITH SAND PAPER. Read that last sentence. Good. Now read it again and again until it sinks in.
As you play with your cue it is inevitable that it will get dirty. You will often see cues that have a lovely green tinge to them. This is caused by the build-up of chalk falling from the tip when you chalk the cue and the sweat being transferred from your hands. Giving your cue a wipe every so often with a CLEAN paper towel or cloth will stop the build-up of grime and will actually buff the cue and give it better protection. You can use a little bit of water if you feel it’s necessary but I do mean a little bit. DO NOT soak the towel in water or run it under the tap. You only need a fine mist or a few drops on a cloth.
It goes without saying that you should store your cue in a case at all times when not in use. Just because it’s in a case doesn’t mean it’s safe. You shouldn’t keep you're cue and case anywhere near a heat or humidity source. Heat and humidity changes are going to do your cue no favours and you’ll soon be shooting around corners.
There are several ‘tip tools’ out there and I would recommend you purchase one. They’re usually only £10 and will extend the life of your tip dramatically. They are a series of little spikes that look like a bunch of dart tips huddled together. They work by opening up the surface of the tip so that it accepts and holds onto the chalk better. Not only will this increase the lifespan of the tip but it will also help you strike the cue ball more consistently and avoid miss-cues.
Keeping it clean is the best practice but every so often it is beneficial to give your cue an oil top up if its feeling dry. This will help to nourish and feed the wood. You need to clean the dirt off before you apply and oil or wax. To apply the oil or wax simply add a little to a lint free cloth or paper towel and rub it into the cue ensuring an even coverage. Consult with the products instructions that you are using with, usually you can apply it, leave for 30-60mins then buff off with a clean towel.
If the joint has become sticky or dirty the best way to clean it is with a very fine wire wool (2000 grit). This is really cheap and can be bought in DIY places like B&Q. DO NOT USE SANDPAPER to clean the joint as you will remove material from the joint. This will mess with the function of the joint and if you damage the flat surfaces you won’t get a proper connection and your cue could pick up a ‘buzz’ sound when hitting the cue ball.