Cleaning your skateboard bearings can be both difficult and scary. However, learning how to clean them takes only a few minutes. Bearings need lubrication for proper operation.
Oil and grease are the greatest lubricants. In removing the oil or grease when cleaning skateboard bearings, you need something which can dissolve the substances. Isopropyl alcohol and acetone are two of the most effective organic solvents that you can use in cleaning the bearings.
Cleaning Skateboard Bearings Using Household Items
The safest and most certain way to clean skateboard bearings is to use lubricants and cleaners designed for cleaning skate bearings. However, some household items can also be very useful in cleaning skateboard bearings.
These household materials include the acetone-based nail cuticle removers, bike oil petroleum jelly, and silicone-based lubricants to grease them before you reassemble the wheels. WD40 is not a good household item to use in cleaning the bearings as it tends to attract dirt.
Acetone is the most common household item used in cleaning skateboard bearings. It is safe both for you and the bearings.
Methods in Cleaning and Maintaining Skateboard Bearings
There are 3 ways to clean skateboard bearings. You can use these cleaning techniques based on when you cleaned them previously and how much spare time you can spend in this task.
This method is quick and easy. If you are in a hurry, this method is suitable. Go for this one if you’re cleaning the bearings once in a while.
- Spray lubricant
- Paper towels or rags
- Remove the wheels but keep the bearings in place.
- Put the wheels together with the bearings on a dry paper towel or rag.
- Get the lubricant and spray it a few times on the bearings. Make sure the spray hits the bearings and will clean off the dirt.
- After spraying, pat the wheels with a clean towel. Cover them with the cloth to dry a bit.
- Put the wheels back on your skateboard.
This cleaning technique can be time-consuming. However, it is more efficient than the previous method.
- Spray lubricant
- Rags or paper towels
- Socket wrench
- You have to take the bearings out of the wheels in this cleaning method. When you do, be extra careful in carrying the bearing shield. Avoid mishandling the shield as it can cause damage. Getting it damaged makes the bearings useless. That will mean you need to replace the bearings together with the shield.
- Take care of the washers, too.
- If you remove the bearings, put them on a towel.
- Use a spray lubricant in removing the accumulated dirt in the bearings. Spray all over to clean the bearings.
- When the bearings are already clean, put the bearings out on another clean towel. Cover them using the towel to dry.
Repeat the steps for the rest of the bearings. When putting the bearings back to the wheels, keep their rubber shield outside. Fit every bearing on the skateboard wheels using your finger. Push them back as tight as you can. Put the wheels on the axle. Also, put the lock nut over the wheels.
Get the socket wrench and slowly screw the nut inward. The lock nut pushes the bearings deep within. Don’t forget to do it slowly to prevent the bearings from getting damaged.
This technique is more time-consuming than the other two methods. Of course, it is the most efficient method.
- 2 clean cans or bowls
- Towels or rags
- Coffee filter
- Socket wrench
- Kerosene, mineral spirits, or acetone
- Lubricant cream
- Take the bearings out and place them in a can or bowl. In this method, you must take the shields off. Do it with extra caution to prevent damage. You must be more careful when working on the edges. That is why this cleaning method is extremely time-consuming.
- Start pouring the solvent liquid over the bearings.
- Gently swirl the fluid to loosen the dirt.
- Get the cleaned bearings and soak them in a bowl full of the solvent.
- After soaking the bearings, take them out of the solvent and dry them completely. Use compressed air cans.
- Use lube cream then put the bearings back into the wheels.
- Get the filter and put it above the solvent container. Put the contents in the container. The filter will catch the bearing dirt, leaving the solvent inside the container clean and reusable.
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The Importance of Cleaning and Lubricating Your Skateboard Bearings
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Cleaning and lubricating your skateboard bearings are essential for some reasons. First, they both enhance the longevity and performance of the bearings. Also, these practices will keep the wheels in tiptop condition.
As you’re using your skateboard every day, the bearings will accumulate more and more dirt. If you are not checking your skateboard bearings at least once a week, then you may be surprised to see them broken one day.
Regular cleaning and maintenance will help you prolong the lifespan of your bearings. They are one of the more expensive components of your skateboard. They also need care just like your skateboard wheels.
Also, keeping your skateboard bearings well-maintained will help prevent any unexpected issue to occur. It may help as well in detecting things that can affect your skateboard’s performance sooner or later. Besides, cleaning your skateboard bearings regularly ensures your safety while riding.
Cleaning and keeping your skateboard bearings well-maintained can be tiresome. The job can be stressful, especially for a novice skater. Getting quality bearings and keeping them neat and clean is as important as getting the best skateboard for yourself.
If ever it’s your first time to own a skateboard, then you have many things to learn, including the proper way to clean and maintain skateboard bearings. Those 3 cleaning techniques mentioned above will be your best guides in doing the job. Choose the cleaning method that fits the situation.