For skaters who have been riding for years, nothing beats the thrill of tricks at skate parks and courses. Now and then, there is some maintenance and upkeep to skateboards, there are a few things you need to figure out first, and one of them is learning how to clean your skateboard bearings.
First off, it is important to have a general overview of why it is you should keep your skateboard bearings clean. When you ride, dirt and dust are collected in your bearings. Sure, you barely see it, but as you ride further, eventually you will feel it.
Uncleaned bearings can affect the smoothness and speed of your skateboard. Just like anything, parts perform best when they are cleaned, and the same goes for your skateboard bearings. If they are left uncleaned, gunk will eventually build up, causing your bearings to perform poorly.
Additionally, cleaning your skateboard bearings tend to be a more practical and cheaper choice compared to buying a new set regularly.
It is good to know how to clean them, and it does not take much time, and you will quickly learn why it is important once you get in there. After all, learning how to properly maintain and clean your gear will make your favorite set-up go a lot further, keeping it nice for years.
To start it all off, here are some of the things you will need when learning how to clean your skateboard bearings.
How to Clean Skateboard Bearings: What You Need
Right off the bat, you are going to need a reliable skate tool, pliers, or a half-inch wrench to take off the wheels of your board. If none of these tools are available, then a good-ole’ monkey wrench should do the trick. Next, you are going to need a safety pin or razor blade remove the shielding of your bearings. Another essential tool is a reliable solvent cleaner or even isopropyl rubbing alcohol, and a container or bowl for this. Next on your must-have list is a skate specific bearing lubricant. Lastly, a dry cloth or a paper towel to dry your bearings afterward.
Now that you have all the tools, let us get into the fun part of things: how to clean your bearings!
To start things off, take the wheels off your skateboard, and then get the bearings out of the wheels. You can do so by using your skate tool or pliers to remove axle nuts and washers. Ensure that you have them placed in a secure spot, so you do not lose them. Additionally, be mindful when taking the nut off so as not to damage the shield with the tool you are using. Use the axle on your trucks as leverage to take the bearings out. Be aware that this might be difficult at first but stick to it. You will get the hang of it!
Take the skateboard bearings out of your wheels, and work on the shields by taking them off using a blade or a safety pin. Once the shields are off, place them along with the nuts and washers to so that everything is in one place. Then remove the plastic bearing spacer.
Wear latex gloves if you have them and pour a small amount of cleaning solvent into a container. An inch should do fine.
Place the skateboard bearings into the container with the solvent and let it soak for at least a few minutes, and 30 minutes if you have time. Swish them around gently while they are soaking to get them clean.
Place the clean bearings on a towel and gently smack them against a surface to remove excess dirt. Take the bearings out of the solution and grab an old toothbrush or rag if there is still dirt and gunk on your bearings.
Dry your skateboard bearings quickly, using a rag, compressed air, or a fan. Allow the solution to fully dry, then apply bearing lubricant by gently adding a few droplets all over the piece.
Put all the skateboard components back together by snapping the plastic spacer back in place, then the shields, making sure they are firmly in place. Then insert the spacers and put them back into your wheels. If the inside of your wheels were dirty as well, make sure they are clean and dry before reinserting the pieces.
Remount your skateboard wheels to your set-up, and you are ready to get rolling! Hopefully, this article helped you learn how to properly maintain your set-up, so you can spend more time skating and less time fixing and learning how to maintain your gear.