After extended uses, dust and dirt would eventually clutch on your skateboard bearings. This is quite disturbing as it makes your wheels become noisy and reduce their responsiveness. Which is why, as a skateboarder, you need to clean your skateboard bearing every once in a while.
Our post will explain everything you need to know about skateboard bearing maintenances, including when and how you should clean yours.
How often should you clean your bearings?
The short answer is you should do it as frequently as possible to ensure their durability. I always perform a simple cleaning on my bearings after each of my rides. It’s quite simple, just use a wet cloth to get rid of all the dirt and give the bearing a few sprays of machine oils. After that, they’ll be good to go for the entire time.
However, if you haven’t cleaned your bearings for an extended amount of time, it would take more serious methods. Usually, when your bearings don’t receive the necessary treatment, they’ll start become noisy as well as less reliable.
During rainy weather, your bearing can easily become dirty due to the wet condition. Not to mention that the excess water can make them become rusty over time. Don’t overlook this even when you have a set of stainless steel wheel bearings.
So if you’re in need of a throughout cleaning method, stay tuned for the next article.
Step by step guides: cleaning skateboard bearings
Here you will find a comprehensive guide on how to clean skateboard bearings. Make sure you follow the guidelines carefully for maximum result.
Prepare the essentials
Always ready your tools and items before the cleaning process. For this we’ll need:
- A skate tool – for removing the nuts off the wheels. You can use a plier instead.
- Citrus cleaner – useful for getting rid of the dirt
- Alcohol – use it to deal with the greases
- Grease – add new lubricant to your bearings
- Clean cloth and tissues paper – use them to wipe off the dirt
With everything being prepared, let’s move on to the next step.
Remove the bearings from your wheels
Start by using the skate tool and remove the nuts that are positioned at the center of each wheel. You can also use a wrench or plier to do it but it’ll be more difficult. However, pliers can be quite effective when dealing with damaged nuts that are often caused by impacts and collisions.
With the wheels still attached to the axels, need to carefully pry it out. Use the axels as leverages, pull the wheels to the opposite direction. Don’t apply too much force since you can easily damage the axels. Use a clean cloth and wipe away the excess dirt and greases on the axels. Then give it some degreaser sprays and move on to the bearings.
After that, take the bearings out of your wheels and start the cleaning.
Cleaning your bearings
I usually start by wiping my bearings with wet cloths. I will try to clean as much as possible to make the next steps easier. You can dip the bearing into alcohol to get rid of the cluttered greases.
Spray-on degreaser is also helpful as it’s quicker and more effective. However, don’t have to buy it if you don’t have one since alcohol alone is fine.
Use clean dry cloths to wipe your bearings and get rid of excessive substances.
Spray them with citrus cleaner
For the stubborn dust and dirt that are built up inside of the bearing. Citrus cleaner spray would be the perfect solution to deal with them.
Give your bearings lots of sprays to ensure all the spot inside them are covered with citrus cleaner. Then wait a couple of minutes for its effects to kick in.
Clean the bearings again with dry cloths.
Dip them into citrus cleaner solution
If you think that’s not enough, you can prepare a bowl of citrus cleaner and submerge all your bearings in it. Wait for about 5 minutes then take the bearings out. Place them on the table or any flat platform. Spin your bearings to make sure they’re entirely exposed to the citrus cleaner. Use tissues paper to dry your bearings and let them dry completely.
Add some greases
Once the excess water has all dried up, it’s time to give your bearings some greases. While people still use machine oils for this kind of stuff, greases are still a better choice since they perform better on small components. Regardless, the product of your choosing shouldn’t contain thick oils since they’re bad for bearings.
Start by applying about two or three drops of greases onto your skateboard bearings. Give them a little spin so that all the oils are distributed evenly. Then use a piece of cloth to wipe out all the excess greases.
Keep in mind that too much greasing can cause dysfunctions on your bearings. Your bearings can become seized up instead of being smoother.
Assemble the parts
With everything is already done, it’s time to put the bearing back to your wheels. Gently use your hand to push the bearings back to their original positions.
Here is a simple method that I’ll always use when doing this. First, I’ll slide one bearing back on the axel then I slide the wheel on. Place the board on your body and start pulling the wheel toward you. Since the wheel and bearing are perfectly positioned on the axel, they’ll fit into each other just fine. Take the wheel out and switch to the other side and start doing the same with the second bearings.
Then re-attach the wheels using the same method that you use for removing them. Make sure you tighten the nuts carefully to ensure that your wheels can break out of the board.
With everything completed, what’s left to do is taking your skateboard out for a test. You’ll surprise to find out how comfortable your skateboard could become with just simple clean of your bearings.