How to Clean Skateboard Wheels and Bearings?

Cruising down the sandy beach boardwalk, bombing crusty hills downtown and skating your favourite dusty skatepark is all part of being an avid skater. A true champion doesn’t stop at just one spot on their day. You know how great it feels when your board responds to every move you make and relies on being in good working order, but what if those bearings get dirty? A skater must know how to clean the skateboard wheels and bearings for adventures to continue.

A build-up of dirt or grime can cause the wheels not to spin freely enough for smooth riding. You might slip and lose balance while trying hardcore skateboarding tricks! Knowing how to clean your skateboard wheels, and bearings are important because they have a significant impact on the safety of your skateboard and how you perform.

How to Clean Skateboard Wheels?

When it’s time to clean your skateboard, don’t forget about those pesky little wheels! They can be tricky because they’re often fastened with bolts or other hardware that might be difficult to disassemble. Cleaning skateboard wheels is a straightforward process. Here is how:

Things you need :

  • Toothbrush
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Gloves
  • Skateboard kid or screwdriver
  • Cleaning soap
  • Salt

Step1. Secure the Work Place:

Cleaning anything means getting dirty. For a skateboard that spends it’s time on dust parks, rough roads and sandy beaches , it is going to be messy. You need a flat space with plenty of space to move things around.

Secure the Work Place:

Step2. Removing the wheels:

Use a socket wrench (or hex key) and unscrew each axle nut from its respective wheel. Rest your skateboard on its deck so that the wheels face up. Use a socket wrench to twist and remove the axle nuts on the outer sides of the wheels, then set them aside.

Removing wheel of the Skateboard

Step3. Pry the bearings out of the wheels:

Put your skateboard wheel in a vice and push down on the metal rod that it’s attached to. You can use the axel of the skateboard truck as leverage to take the bearing out. This method is called popping out (or removing) one of these bearings from inside their cups; do this with all four wheels, then place them back inside where they came from! Use this same prying technique for all four bearings, keeping them insight, so you don’t lose track! Gently pry the wheel bearings from your skateboard’s wheels to prevent dirt and grime from getting inside them.

Clean each one separately, so they stay running smoothly! Make sure not to overlook any retainers/washers along the way either – these will come in handy when putting things back together later.

You can also use a screwdriver to remove the bearings from the skateboard wheels.

popping the bearings

Step4. Wipe off the surface of the wheels:

Wiping down your skateboard wheels with a rag is the first step in getting them clean. Use fingers to loosen any rocks or gravel, then scrub hard using either toothbrush if needed for super dirty areas that need more attention than others.

Wipe off skateboard wheel

Don’t worry if you can’t get all those grime stains off just yet–this doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong!

Step5. Bathe the Skateboard Wheels:

Soak the wheels in warm soapy water for about 10 minutes to get rid of any dirt or grime that has traction on it. The warmth will help loosen anything stuck-on, making cleaning easier! Keep in mind, don’t soak the wheel bearing in the water; this would cause rusting.

Step6. Clean the Bearings:

This is an optional step. For your wheels to last longer also clean the bearings.

Cleaning your bearings is a simple and easy task that will keep them in good working order for years to come. Take off the shield and soak in alcohol for around 1 minute, then brush down all dirt inside of each bearing before rinsing thoroughly under running water. Let all the bearings dry along with the wheels.

Cleaning the bearings

Check out the detailed tutorial of how to clean skateboard bearings for more understanding.

Step7. Scrubbing the wheels:

Wipe down the inside of your skateboard wheels with a rag or toothbrush to make sure you get all those pesky rocks and dirt out. Give them an extra scrub on any nooks where it looks like there might be some stuck between cracks until they are squeaky clean. If the wheel has lot of cracks due to wheel bites , you might need to replace the wheels. You can discover the best wheels for your skateboarding style from our recommendations.

Scrubbing the Skateboard Wheel

Step8. Drying the Wheels:

After washing the wheels, grab a separate rag to wipe them down until they are mostly dry. Make sure that when assembling the skateboard again later on in this process, there is no residue or water left on any of its parts, so you don’t slip while riding it!

See the following tutorial of how to clean skateboard wheels for further details.

The best way to last your skate wheels longer is to clean them regularly. Hopefully you are now able to take good care of your board wheels. However, if you feel after cleaning the wheels that the wheels are flat spot and no longer in good condition, it is time to replace the skateboard wheels .After learning how to clean skateboard wheels , it’s time to learn how to clean skateboard bearings.

How to Clean Skateboard Bearings ?

As a skater, you know how important it is to clean your bearings. If they get dirtier than usual or there’s gunk inside of them, it will affect the ball-bearing system, and eventually, the bearings will stop rolling smoothly and produce noise while skating.

Cleaning the skateboard wheel is part of skateboard maintenance and is essential for lasting the wheels longer. To Clean the skateboard bearings is a little bit complicated process as compared to cleaning the wheels. But it will get easier once you know the process.

Skateboard bearings need to be lubricated to function properly. Therefore, you’ll need a solvent, such as acetone, isopropyl alcohol, or rubbing alcohol to clean the sticky, greasy bearings – and you’ll need to re-grease them once you’ve finished.

Cleaning Materials:

  • Skate tool
  • Razorblade or safety pin
  • Rag or tooth brush
  • Solvent (acetone or isopropyl alcohol)
  • Container or bowl (for solvent)
  • Bearing lubricant
Things for cleaning the Skateboard Bearings

Here are easy steps of how to clean the skateboard bearings.

Step 1. Remove The Wheels:

The process of cleaning the bearings starts by removing the wheels from your skateboard. You can use a skateboard tool or wrench to remove the skateboard wheels. For further details of how to remove the skateboard wheels please check above tutorial of how to clean skateboard wheel?

It is important to place axle nuts and speed washers in a small tray so that you don’t lose them while cleaning.

Step 2. Remove Bearings and Bearing Shields

Next, you’ll want to remove your bearings from the wheels by prying them out with an axle. After that gently pop the shields from your skateboard bearings with something thin and sharp, like a pin. The gentle popping of shields from your skateboard bearings will allow you to remove them without puncturing or bending any metal rings that help keep their shape.

Popping the shields of the Bearings

Step 3. Soak Bearings in Solvent or Cleaner:

After popping all the bearings you need to soak that bearings into a jar or bowl filled with acetone or any other bearing cleaning liquid-that is not water-based, for a while . When using solvents , it is recommended to use gloves to avoid any skin contact. Better to use a closed lid jar so you can shake the bearings occasionally .

Tip. You can also use a tooth brush to scrub the grease and dirt out of the bearings after letting them sit in the liquid for a while. Using the bearing cleaning kits is also efficient as it offer mess free way to shake the bearings in the cleaning liquid jar for effective results.

Step 4. Drying and Lubricating the Bearings:

When the old grease is removed from your bearing, it’s important that you dry them as quickly and thoroughly possible. Tapping on a rag or paper towel and spinning them will also work. You can also blow them with a dryer for effective and rapid drying.

After you are done cleaning the bearings you need a skateboard wheel lubricant to lubricate the bearings before putting them back into the wheels . Drop 1-2 drops of the lube and spin the bearings to evenly distribute the lube. As already mentioned that we need to lubricate the bearings for efficient rolling.

Lubricating the Bearings

Step 5. Putting the Shields and Mount the Bearings:

When you’re done, simply place the bearing shields back on and press from center out until they snap into position. Now place each bearing into the skateboard wheel and push them firmly into the wheels. Your wheels are ready for action!

Now install the wheels back to the skateboard by pushing the wheels down onto the skateboard truck. Remember to place the washer on each side of the wheel before tightening the bolt.

For complete tutorial of how to clean the skateboard wheel bearings please refer to the following video.

Before installing the wheels back , it is great opportunity to swap the wheel positions . Like you can install the front or nose wheels to the rear of the skateboard to even out the wear of the wheels over time. Clean wheels roll faster and smoothly . ( If the bearings are still noisy or slow then probably its time to get new skateboard bearings). Now your board is ready for an adventurous ride. Happy Skating !

If you have any other query regarding “How to clean skateboard wheels and bearings?” feel free to contact us.

FAQs :

Unlike wheels you cannot use water to clean the bearings because they’ll rust.
Acetone, isopropyl alcohol and mineral spirits are all good options available in the market for cleaning the bearings. Some skateboard companies have come up with bearing cleaning kits to make the process less messy and hassle-free.

Before washing the skateboard wheels, you need to check if the wheels have a metal core. For metal core, you need to keep them dry to avoid rusting. It would be best to take the bearings out of the wheel before throwing wheels into washing. Washing the wheels with soap is easier to clean the dirt from the wheels.

It is highly recommended to use oil on your bearings after every cleaning, but it is also essential to watch dry bearings. Skaters should apply lubricant once there are any signs of the bearings drying out like the wheels make noise while rolling.

Cleaning your skateboard wheels is an essential task. It depends on the weather and environment, but you should clean them once in 3-4 months if possible! Don’t forget to lubricate the bearings after the cleaning.

Yes, you can use isopropyl for cleaning the bearings. Take a cup or a bowl and soak the bearings in isopropyl for a few hours. Then drain the isopropyl and let the bearings dry on a paper towel. You can also rub the dirt and grease off using a toothbrush.

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