If you want to learn how to clean skateboard Bearings, you are at the right place.
Skateboard bearings perform best when clean and free from grit and dirt. Skateboarding can cause them to get dirty, affecting their performance and increasing wear.
Are you unsure if your bearings require cleaning?Listen to the sound and spin the wheels quickly.Clean paths run quiet, while dirty ones grind because of the grit.
Cleaning your skateboard bearings will save your money and allow you to enjoy faster, smoother, and longer skating.
Dirt and gunk can build up and cause your ball bearings to wear out or even seize. Regular maintenance is essential if you want your skate bearings last.
You can solve minor problems by spraying a little lubricant around the bearings and giving them a spin. If this doesn’t work, you can give them a thorough clean.
In this article, we put a complete guide on how to clean skateboard bearings. I hope this will help you when you tend your skateboard bearings.
At what time and why do Bearings need cleaning?
First, it is essential to understand when your bearings require cleaning. There are several signs that your bearings need to be cleaned.
It is dangerous to skate with worn-out bearings. All the debris on the streets would cause friction among the inner races. This can reduce the bearings’ life expectancy and, worse, it can cause bearings explosion.
Watch and listen carefully as you spin your wheels. The bearings will cause your wheels to stop quickly. Sometimes, you can hear the sand and debris in the approaches fighting the ABEC balls. Your directions can sound like mice when you skate, with a high-pitched, screechy squeaking sound.
It is essential to address the problem as soon as possible and clean them up promptly. This will reduce the risk of bearing damage and prolong the life of the bearings. This will allow you to skate faster and more smoothly while saving time and money.
These are some tips to increase the life expectancy of your skateboard bearings and reduce their wear.
- Avoid dirt and sand, especially in areas near the ocean or downtowns.
- Suitable bearings are worth the investment, even if they are more costly. They last longer.
- Speed cream is an excellent choice to lubricate your bearings if you use skate parks.
- Do not use water as a lubricant or ride through it.
- DW40 can do more harm than good.
- Skate Shops offer bearings in convenient four and 2-packs for easy replacement.
Things you need for clean skateboard Bearings
You will need some tools and materials before you can start. Once everything is in order, we will show you how to clean your skateboard bearings.
- Flat Surface (table, floor, or desk)
- Skate tool or wrench
- Razor blade or knife
- Paper Towels
- Ceramic or disposable cup
- Isopropyl-Based Alcohol, such as nail polish removers or rubbing alcohol
- Your Skateboard
- Optional: Lubricant/Speed Cream
- Optional: A towel to keep the area clean
- A separate container for bearings (optional)
Below is the step by step guide on how to clean skateboard bearings.
Secure your workspace
First, pick a place for your wheels to be removed. A garage or backyard with a flat workbench would be ideal. You could also try the skate rat route, cleaning your bearings on the ground. You might try your local skate park parking lot or any other flat concrete surface.
Lay down a towel and keep plenty of paper towels handy if you’re cleaning your bearings indoors. You can also check the “What you’ll need” list. There is enough space to keep your valuable hardware from getting lost in the clutter.
Before handling sharp objects or tools, you should consult an adult if you are underage or inexperienced.
Remove wheels & Bearings.
This is the hard part of cleaning your skateboard bearings. You must remove your skateboard bearings from the wheels to clean them.
If you don’t, the only purpose of cleaning your bearings is to make them look better. To create a crowbar-like leverage effect, remove the bolts from the wheels with a skate tool or wrench.
Next, position the wheel at a 45-degree angle on the bearing’s mouth. Hold it in your hand and use some elbow grease to lift the path from the wheel. Continue this process until all eight directions are removed.
Once placed in a container or secure area, you can place them again.
Take off shields
This is where the engineering part begins. You should be shocked at how much dirt, gunk, and grime has built up on your bearings. You likely have quite a bit of it.
We have paper towels to help us get rid of it. Use a paper towel to clean the gunk from your bearing shields’ exterior. This will allow you to do a deeper cleaning.
Once you have cleaned your bearings’ exterior, it is time to place your bearings under a knife. The most common method is to use a razor blade, but you can also use any other object to reach under the bearing shield.
We can expose the ABEC balls by removing the bearing shields. This is where the most harmful debris will be and where we will see the most significant benefit from our cleaning. You can gauge how effective the cleaning was by spinning the bearing before moving to next step.
You may need to replace the bearings if you cannot spin them. It doesn’t matter what. It is worth trying to clean them. We now move on to the next step.
Soak Bearings in isopropyl alcohol
Cleaning your bearings will prolong their lives and lower the cost of buying new ones. You can purchase isopropyl-based alcohol at your local convenience store for as low as $1-3.
Fill a cup, either a ceramic or disposable, with enough liquid to cover all eight of your bearings. Please place them in the cup once the bearings are completely freed from their shields. The alcohol will do its magic.
They should be left in place for at least 30 minutes with occasional swirling and swishing of the bearings. The alcohol should turn black and brown as the dissolving gunk has dissolved. Some skaters will try to spin the bearings in the cup while you’re near a sink.
It is also worth noting that some skaters prefer to keep their shields on rather than take them off.
Although there is some controversy about this, many top pros insist on taking the shields off. Although you have the option of putting them back on, it can be more complex than the benefits of doing so.
Apply speed cream/lubrication (optional)
Speed cream or any other form of lubrication should be considered optional. Speed cream can cost extra and may not clean your bearings.
However, shields can attract more dirt and gunk after applying lubrication or speed cream. Water, on the other hand, can rust and destroy your bearings.
Lubrication doesn’t necessarily mean water. It does not include WD40, which can prolong the life of your bearings but can also cause more damage than good if applied too early.
You can get faster bearings if you are willing to remove the shields or are comfortable applying the speed cream/lubrication after release.
The best way to keep your bearings from being exposed to debris is to apply the speed cream only on the sides. This will make it a happy medium. The speed cream can be used and left on the wheels for a few hours to dry the lubrication.
Insertion & final touches
It’s now time to reap the rewards of your hard work. After letting your skateboard bearings soak for at least 30 minutes, remove each pose and wipe dry with a paper towel.
You can put your cleaning skills to the test by spinning your newly cleaned bearings. If you have compressed air access, use it to clean all the difficult-to-reach places inside your directions.
Skaters have used a hairdryer to dry the bearings.
Here’s another secret tip: Use a baby wipe, or a damp paper towel, to clean your trucks’ axles. It’s often the little things that make all the difference.
You can now reverse the steps of step 2. Place your bearing on the axles of your trucks. Use your body weight to hold the pose in place on each wheel.
As the final touch, apply the optional speed cream or lubricants to the bearings before assembling the skateboard. Make sure to clean up any spillage properly and dispose of sharp or alcoholic objects.
This is all you need to know about how to clean skateboard bearings. You can do the lubing step if you don’t have the time or patience to complete the whole process.
It is temporary, and you should still clean the entire house every once. Have fun!