How to clean skateboard bearings with household items?

How to clean skateboard bearings with household items?

Your skateboard is not riding same, and you are having a feel that something is wrong? Well, it’s the time to clean skateboard bearings. How to clean a skateboard bearing with household items is a challenging task.  

Exact Steps of how to clean skateboard bearings with household items

It’s a difficult situation for a new skateboarder, especially when they don’t know what is what. Still, we solved this issue today because this article will take you step by step, how to fix that issue without going out and buying any maintenance kit etc.

What Is Skateboard Bearings?

Bearings are an important part of your wheels. Infect if I say that your wheel’s movement is because of bearings then its not wrong.

Bearing is a ring-like shape structure fitted in the middle of the skateboard wheel. All the wheel’s free movement, turning and speed largely depends on the good condition of bearings.

Each wheel contains two bearings so a total of eight that needs regular cleaning.

Why skateboard bearings need cleaning?

As I explained above, its like building block of skateboard wheels. If you want a smooth ride, this part must need cleaning and lubrication from time to time.

Dirt and other particles stick to bearings, and its inner side makes it dry and rust quickly. If proper maintenance is not done, then free movement of board is restricted, and you need more power to push the whole board, which is definitely something you want.

Methods of Cleaning and Maintaining Skateboard Bearings

As now it’s clear what are bearings, and why need cleaning, lets dive into cleaning methods of skateboard bearings using your daily household items:

Two main types are used:

1- One where you need to collapse parts and do the following:

  • Clean dirt
  • Bend the clip with a needle.
  • Wipe the boot after removal
  • Grease the bearings

2- Other where you don’t need collapsing:

  • Put the boot with knife
  • Be careful not to damage or hurt yourself
  • With a circular movement, open bearing
  • Clean completely
  • Lubricate toughly

There are other methods you spray from outside without opening anything, but honestly, I won’t recommend that since it does not remove the dirt from the actual inner side.

Being lazy is not an option here if smooth-skating is what you want. So buckle up and start dismantling things. 

How to get bearings out of skateboard wheels

It is not that hard; here are a few steps to follow:

  • Take a socket wrench and remove nuts from wheels assembly of skateboard
  • Gently push wheels out
  • Put bearing side in wheels assembly rod and separate bearings
  • Do not push too hard while taking bearings out

Skateboard bearings cleaning kit from household items

 Don’t worry; I will mention items used in your house only and not some expensive maintenance kit.

  • Filter (coffee)
  • Wrench or pliers
  • Two clean bowls
  • A few rags or a towel
  • Sewing machine oil or hair clipper oil
  • Any Lubrication cream

Removing Wheels

Take the wrench or skate tool and get the nuts to loosen of wheels. Skate tool normally comes with the skateboard or conversion kit.

They are normally pretty tight and requires more pressure to break loose. Put the skate deck in between your legs with one side in any heavy objects like chair etc.

Free Bearings

Bearing being is situated in the middle of wheels and hard metal. Once you have wheels in hand, take a nose pliers and stick in in the mid of bearings.

 Pull bearings out carefully. If you do not have a nose plier or any pointy thing, then another method is to put the wheel on a truck-like installing it back but only bearing come on the truck then with a circular movement you will get it out.

Keep Parts safe

Make sure to keep all these nuts bolts and small parts in a safe place. Either you can use a small box or a plastic zipper. These are of your skateboard’s exact size and will give you a hard time finding one, so do not lose them. Later on, we also clean them by putting it into a separate bowl.

Bearings General Cleaning

First of all, take the rug or towel and clean the dirt thoroughly from bearings’ surface. Clean it with dry rug or towel first, and if the mud stick then, later on, you can use a wet towel.

Cleaning solution preparation

Bearings are clean from the outside generally now you need their deep cleaning. For this purpose, you need to soak them in a solution prepared for cleaning.

Take a clean bowl. Fill with any grease cleaning solvent, acetone or mineral spirit, cleaner for carbonator. They are cheap and easily available in the market. Make sure to wear gloves and operate safely as acetone is a strong solvent.

Separate Bearing shield cap and cleaning

Pop-out the cap shield of bearing by using a nail clipper or pin. You can also use a knife-edge for that. Take care of your own safety during that.

Once the shield is out, then soak the bearing in a prepared solvent. Move bearing inside the solvent for 6-7 minutes and let it sit for 15 minutes.

Filtration and new solvent preparation

Note the colour of solvent, if it becomes too dark then rinse it. Either you can filter it by using a coffee filter and dip bearing again in it, but in this condition, I recommend to make new solvent to dip bearings again.

Repeat this process until you get relatively clean solvent even after swirling and keeping bearings for 15-20 minutes. This will make sure, your all bearings are cleaned completely.

On this step, take the cleaning solution in a separate small bowl and soak all nuts and bolts in it for 30 minutes. 

Dry bearing

Remove bearings from the solvent and dry it on a surface, you can also use a manual dryer to speed up the process. I recommend doing so as it will remove the solvent completely even from inner parts as well. 

Lubrication and assembling

Lubrication is a vital part and should be done using proper lubricant used for skateboards. Lubricating creams can also be used for this purpose.

Apply it with a finger on moving balls from both sides. Once done, put back the shield cap of bearing.

Fixing of bearings and Wheels

Now insert the bearings back in wheels and fix the wheels onto the truck. Make sure to put all the nuts in place which are already cleaned and dried after soaking. Do not over tighten the nuts as it will hinder the free movement of wheels.

I hope I have described all the steps in details on how to clean skateboard bearings with household items. For additional clarity here are some frequently asked questions to clarify your doubts further:

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I Use To Lube My bearings?

There are several lubes are available in the market which is specially manufactured for skateboards however you can use normal Grease as well.

How to clean bearings with isopropyl alcohol?

Isopropyl alcohol is a solvent like acetone and others, follow this article and replace acetone with isopropyl alcohol to in cleaning solvent.

What are the best solvents for cleaning bearings?

Best solvents for cleaning skateboard bearings are normally solvents like acetone, mineral oil, carbonator cleaner. You can also use isopropyl alcohol.

Can I use coconut oil for skateboard bearings?

The simple answer is yes but better to get a waterproof grease tube; it is cheap and long-lasting.

What is the best skateboard bearing lube alternative?

If you are talking about and house old things, you can use mineral oil, hair clipper oil, and sewing machine oil. Make one thing sure you don’t use any plant oil, and they do more harm than benefit.

What Are The Best Lubricants For Skateboard Bearings?

I recommend waterproof grease over others as it is synthetically manufactured specifically for machines and moving parts. It is long-lasting and perfectly does its job.

How do you maintain skateboard bearings?

Regular maintenance, use of recommended lube and solvent is my answer. For lubrication, grease is recommended, and for cleaning any solvent like acetone will do just fine. 

Final Words

Conclusion paragraph: Cleaning skateboard bearings can seem like a difficult task, but with these household items and some patience you’ll be able to get them clean in no time. Hope my guide will help you for cleaning your skateboard bearings the next time that they need it.


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Andy Garcia
By Andy Garcia

Andy is a researcher and skateboard fan. Love to spend his time in skateparks and maintaining his skateboards, electric skateboards, and hoverboards. When he is not in the field, you can find him in front of his PC writing about skateboarding to help other people with in-depth reviews.


Skateboard Reviewed is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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