How to clean Skateboard Wheels? – Ultimate 2022 Guide

Skating on sandy beaches and hilly areas will definitely pollute the wheels of your skateboards. Wheels possess high porosity and, thus, can easily absorb dirt and debris from the surroundings. Dust and dirt built-up does not only impact the performance of the tool but also become a hassle for the majority.

How to Clean Skateboard Wheels Quickly?

Cleaning the wheels is a difficult task and might require a lot of effort on your part, especially if they are sensitive to water. Hence, for water-sensitive bearings and wheels, it is recommended to avoid the direct application of dishwashing soap and detergents. This article encapsulates a step-by-step guide on how to clean skateboard wheels to increase speed and prevent corrosion over the long term.

Step 1: Material Collection and Workspace

The first step towards the maintenance of the skateboard wheels is the collection of materials and tools required for cleaning. They can range from detergents to towels and water buckets. Most common items that should be kept with you while cleaning include a water bucket, cleaning rag, wrench, wire brush, dishwashing soap, a clean towel, and a tray to keep important apparatus.

Apart from this, it is best if you could perform the process in a wide area, where an ample amount of space is available. This will help in better organization and efficient cleaning. Similarly, a flat surface would be appreciated for wheel removal and the rest of the steps as it will prevent the material from sliding down. At the same time, it will prevent the creation of unnecessary mess in your surroundings. You can also place old newspapers or towels on the floor or table to keep the area clean.

Step 2: Detachment of Wheels and Bearing

After you have sorted out the materials and have selected an appropriate space for yourself, it is time to detach the wheels and bearings from the rest of the apparatus. This process can be aided by the use of a wrench. Take a wrench and remove each bolt located on the axle. Afterward, press the ankle into the bearing at 45 degrees and take out the bearings.

If there are spacers between wheels and bearings, remove them as well and keep both in separate trays to avoid any loss. Follow the similar steps for the other wheel as well. Once you have removed the wheels and bearings, the next task involves their thorough cleaning. This can be carried out with the help of alcohol-based solvents such as acetone or rubbing alcohol.

Soak the bearings in the solvent for several minutes. You can also scrub the bearing with the help of a toothbrush to remove excessive dirt. After some time, take out the bearings and dry them thoroughly using a clean rag or hairdryer. Be careful to keep bearing away from water and water-based cleaners as they are highly sensitive to water.

Step 3: Cleaning Wheels in Soapy Water

After you have successfully claimed the bearings, it is time to move towards your main task, which is the cleanliness of wheels. It is best to keep a bucket around you to prevent the floor from getting wet. You can also perform this step near a sink which will prevent unnecessary hassle. Clog the sink and then add the solution of water and dishwashing soap in the sink. Soak your wheels in the solution.

Ensure that there is no bearing left inside the wheels. The soap will slowly sink into the wheels, clearing out the dirt. Additionally, you can also use a cloth or towel to rub the wheels gently. This will help in the removal of excessive dirt from the corners. Thereby leaving clean wheels behind. Once the inner part is successfully cleaned, the next step focuses on the removal of waste from the outer portion.

Step 4: Cleaning the Outer Portion

This step is characterized by the use of a wire brush to remove the gunk from the outer surface of the wheels. However, it is difficult to find a good wire brush, and thus, as an alternative, you can also use an old toothbrush. In order to soften the gunk, you can place it in hot water for some time.

Once it becomes soft, use the brush to gently scrub off the waste. Similarly, it is recommended to use mild dishwashing soap to aid the process. After you have removed all the stuck debris, thoroughly wash away the dish soap. A slight amount of leftover soap can make the wheels sticky and slippery.

Step 5: Drying the Wheels

Dying is a crucial step when cleaning your skateboard wheels. Due to the enhanced porosity of the wheels, they are more prone to dirt absorption. Hence, drying them after washing is extremely important. Any leftover soap or water can affect the performance of your skateboard during the ride.

Moreover, water can cause rusting over the long term and thus, negatively impact the life of your unit. Use a clean cloth or paper towel to properly dry the wheels. After that, you can leave the wheels in the sun for a few hours to let the remaining water evaporate. Wet wheels feel heavier than their dry counterparts and thus, decrease the speed of your ride to a great extent.

Step 6: Reassemble the Unit

The last step is associated with remounting the wheels in the skateboard. For this purpose, you should insert the bearings back into the system but gently press them at the desired location. You can also insert the spacers if there were any in the tool. Make sure to properly adjust spacers between wheels and bearing.

Misadjustment might lead to performance inefficiency. After you have integrated the desired tools into the wheels, it is time to insert them back into the skateboard. Use the wrench to bolt the axle back to its original position, and you are good to go. Try to ride the skateboard and monitor whether the wheels have been mounted accurately.

Related Info Guide: Cleaning skateboard bearings | How to make skateboard ramp

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need to clean the skateboard wheels?

Yes, it is important to clean the skateboard wheels regularly. Wheels are the most prone to absorption of dirt and debris from the surroundings due to their porous nature. Hence, when you ride over sand or muddy water, they easily get clogged. Therefore, it is highly recommended to clean them twice a month for unrivaled efficiency.

Does water ruin skateboard wheels?

Skateboard bearings and bolts are water-sensitive components and can easily get damaged when exposed to water. Thus, you should use alcohol-based solvents to clean them as opposed to water. Although water itself is not dangerous for wheels’ outer surface, long-term exposure can lead to rusting and corrosion.

How do I know if my skateboard is waterlogged?

A waterlogged skateboard feels heavier than its other counterparts and might feel difficult to drag when elevated. Another sign of a waterlogged item is the generation of creaking sound produced when you use it. Use a clean rag or towel to remove the excess water from wheels and other tools to improve the abilities of your unit.

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Wrapping Up

Skateboard wheels are vulnerable to dirt and debris due to their porous nature and, thus, must be cleaned regularly to ensure remarkable performance outcomes. Most items can be effortlessly cleaned using dishwashing soap. However, it is advised to remove the bearing before doing so as water may damage them.

After cleaning, you should carefully dry the wheels to prevent rusting. The clean wheels can be reinserted into their original position with the help of a wrench. If the product seems heavier than usual, use a paper towel to remove the excess water, and you are done.

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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.