How to Clean Skateboard Bearings? – What & When to Clean

Regular maintenance often feels like a hassle to most skateboarders and often guides their final choice when selecting a product. The build-up of dust around the skateboard bearings is an inevitable phenomenon. Thus, instead of fretting over the issue, it is advised to adopt regular cleaning practices that will improve the performance as well as the speed of the bearings.

The majority of the dirt particles can be cleared with the help of a lubricant such as oil. However, for massive clogging, it is recommended to follow specialized techniques to get the job done. For example, the use of alcohol-based solvents such as acetone.  Thus, this article offers a step-by-step guide on how to clean skateboard bearings using cleaners and lubricants to reduce friction and increase speed.

How to Clean Skateboard Bearings?

The below-mentioned steps can be followed to remove dirt and pollutants from your skateboard bearings effortlessly. In case, you are still deciding on what to buy, here are the best electric skateboards you can choose from.

Step 1: Material Collection

The first step focuses on the collection of required materials for cleanliness. You should carefully prepare a list of all the tools you would need in the process to avoid inconvenience. Once the list has been prepared, you can collect the materials and begin the work.

Most common materials required in this regard include; a wrench to detach the wheels, safety pins, toothbrush or dusting cloth, a tray or bucket to store the equipment, a solvent, and a bearing lubricant. After all the substances have been collected, you can shift towards the next step.

Step 2: Removal of Wheels

The material collection is followed by the detachment of wheels from the rest of the apparatus. This can be performed using a wrench or a skate tool. It is recommended to keep a tool kit with yourself while repairing or cleaning your skateboard.

After you have loosened the wheels with the help of a wrench, slide them gently for complete removal. However, be careful of the washers present between bearings and axle nuts. Since they are small in size and easier to lose, it is advised to keep them in a separate tray to prevent their loss.

Step 3: Detachment of Bearings and Shields

This step is characterized by the removal of bearings and their shields from the system. These items can be efficiently removed using the truck axle. For this purpose, it is best to leave one bearing at the axle by slightly sliding the wheels. This will help you separate the bearing from the main wheels without damaging the equipment.

If there are bearing spacers located between wheels and bearing in your product, remove them as well and keep them in the hardware tray. A similar process can be adopted for the second wheel as well. After the detachment of bearings, start removing their shield with the help of safety pins collected earlier. Be extremely careful while removing the shield, as slight mistakes might lead to damage.

Step 4: Use of the Cleaner

After you have successfully separated the bearings from the rest of the apparatus, it is time to clean them. This can be carried out with a diverse range of cleaners available in the market. However, avoid the use of water-based cleaners to prevent harm to the unit. Instead, local for other alcohol-based materials such as mineral spirits, isopropyl alcohol, and acetone. These substances are not only performance-oriented but also time-efficient.

In addition to this, make sure to wear gloves to prevent damage to your hands due to the chemicals present in the cleaner. Once you have selected a suitable cleaner, soak the bearings in it for some time and then take them out. If there is massive clogging, you can also scrub the bearings with the help of a toothbrush. It will not only aid the process but will also help clear out dust in corners and narrow areas.

Step 5: Lubrication

The focus of this step is the lubrication of the newly cleaned tools. But before this, you should completely dry the bearings after taking them out of the cleaner. This can be done with the help of a clean rag. Properly dry the remaining cleaner. You can also tap the bearings on a soft surface to get rid of an excessive cleaner if required.

Similarly, the use of a hairdryer for this purpose is also a good choice. After these items have been completely dried, you should lubricate them with the help of oil to reduce friction. Most bearings display inefficiency due to the lack of lubrication which leads to the formation of dangerous friction. It is advised to add only 2 to 4 drops of lubricant to your model for a remarkable outcome.

Step 5: Mount the Bearings

Last but not least, this step is associated with the placement of shields on the bearings. This can be carried out by pressing them gently at the required location and snapping them on. After you have inserted the shields back at their correct position, you should mount the bearings into the wheels as well. Along with bearings, you can also insert the spacers that you had taken out in the third step. Once done, attach the wheels to the skateboard and try to roll around.

Related Skateboard Guides: Cleaning skateboard wheels | Making Skateboard Ramp | Cleaning Grip Tape

Frequently asked Questions

Can I use rubbing alcohol to clean my skateboard bearings?

Yes, it is completely safe to use rubbing alcohol for cleaning your skateboard bearings. Moreover, it is mostly recommended to opt for an alcohol-based solvent for cleaning as opposed to a water-based solvent for extraordinary performance efficiency. You can soak the bearing in the solvent for some time and can scrub them in the meantime to remove the dirt.

Can you clean bearings with vinegar?

Similar to alcohol, vinegar also possesses great pollutant removal abilities and thus, can be used for the princess. However, it is advised to stick to white vinegar instead of using cider vinegar. The reason for this is the unrivaled dirt elimination properties of white vinegar. Along with this, it is also known as a good deodorant.

Why is lubrication important for skateboard bearings?

Lubrication of skateboard bearings is an essential step towards the maintenance and exceptional performance of these items. Lubricating them with 2 to 3 drops of oil will help you reduce the friction generated by the extreme dryness and sliding of wheels against the surface. Hence, improving your skating efficiency in both the short and long term.

Wrapping Up

Skateboard bearings are an essential component and are directly associated with speed. Clean items offer incredible performance and thus are characterized by increased speed. Contrary to this, bearings filled with dirt might get clogged over time, which makes them difficult to move.

Hence, contributing to the slow speed of the product. In order to solve the problem, the bearing can be cleaned with the help of alcohol-based solvents followed by lubrication with oil. This will not only contribute to amplified speed but will also lead to the reduction in friction generated with dry bearings.

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Charles is the co-owner of BudgetOrbit and manages all the technical aspects of the website. He's an eco-friendly commute advocate and has been interested in hoverboards and skateboards since his childhood.