Gather the materials
Before cleaning your bearings, you need to gather the materials you need. Some of them can be found in the house and some you may have to add to your shopping list. Find a safe place for the tools you will be using. This is best done in your kitchen, so you don’t make a mess and not have any dishes left to eat off of!
In the image above is a list of the things needed. It includes:
- A can of degreaser (such as a Lysol cleaner)
- Paper towel
- Clean rags
- Extreme-Pressure Grease 1400
- A sanitizing spray
Free the bearings from the wheels
This is the most important step. As a rule of thumb, detach the bearings as soon as possible. If you re-use the bearings, though, you might be able to clean them, too. The most important thing to remember is to always clean your bearings. If you know they’re contaminated, you won’t be grinded.
To detach your bearings, just remove all the screws on the wheels. If there’s no screws, separate your wheels by wedging a table or a pair of pliers in between the bearings and the outer ring. Just go gently and use your hands. On the other side, there’s a nylon or a plastic ring, and here you have to shave it a bit with the pliers to get the bearings out. Just make sure you don’t break the ring.
Cleaning the bearings
Of a skateboard is one of the daily cleaning tasks of a skateboarder. It is not difficult to do.
Spraying the bearings
With De-Icer Freezing bearings is one of the major causes of bearing failure. Water particles mixed with dirt builds up inside. This results in rusting and corrosion, and in worst case, it can cause the bearing races to seize.
Step 1: Remove the bearings from the wheels
Remove the bearings from the wheels. Use whatever method works best for you, depending on the design of the bearing and the wheel. There should be a small amount of movement that allow you to coax them out.
Step 2: Cleaning the insides of the bearings
Clean the insides of the bearings and remove all visible dirt. This will involve removing the shields and scraping out the dirt particles with a small, sharp object. Separate the bearings from the shields if you haven’t already.
Step 3: Cleaning the outside of the bearings
Remove the bearings from the cleaning solution for a while. Check the solution for small particles of dirt you may have missed and remove them. Repeat the process until the water comes out clean.
Step 4: Reshape the insides of the bearing
Reshape the insides of the bearing with sandpaper. Remove any excess material that may have been caused by the scraping.
Step 5: Clean the bearing’s internal race
Soak the bearings
Remember, soak the bearings for at least 12 hours.
Mix 1 part Mineral Spirits with 2 parts T-90 oil. This will prevent the bearings from rusting.
Dump out the excess solvent into a container.
Use a set of bearings to scrape the excess grease out of the bearings – the old grease will be on the outside of the bearings, not the inside.
Sift the bearings in this order: 1) clean paper, 2) mineral spirits, 3) clean paper, 4) mineral spirits, 5) clean paper, 6) mineral spirits, 7) clean paper. Get all of the grease out.
Let the bearings run dry. It’s best to let them spin and dry on their own, otherwise, you might make the bearings dirty again.
Replace the original bearings with new ones.
Put a little bit of grease into the bearings. The ideal amount of grease for the bearings is 3-5 drops.
Spin the bearings upside down to distribute the grease.
Grease up the bearings
Clean skateboard bearings are infinitely better than dirty skateboard bearings. Properly lubricated skateboard bearings will prolong the life time of a skateboard because they will spin smoothly and reduce the friction produced by the wheels. Since dirt and gunk begin to ruin the bearings, now is the perfect time to clean your bearings.
The first step to cleaning your skateboard bearings is to clean off any dirt from the bearings. You’ll want to do this when the bearings are warm so you don’t break them apart. Start by taking off the metal shield protecting the bearings at the top of your skateboard. Wipe off any grass and dirt so they are nice and clean. Next is go through the bearings that are located below the metal shield. Brush off any dirt and wipe it down with a rag. Step number two is to grab an axle with your hand and push the wheel off. Make sure that you’re holding onto the axle, not the wheel. Note: The wheel should just come right off.
Reinsert the bearings
To clean the bearings, remove them from the boards and place them into a bowl filled with warm water, soapy water, rubbing alcohol, or even household cleaners. It is also possible to purchase bearings cleaning kits that contain the cleaning supplies.
Please note that contact with the spindle, bearing cup or sealed bearing can permanently destroy your bearing. This is why it is important to separate the bearings from where they come together. Much like wheel mechanics, the axle and bearings are all separate pieces that are linked together to function as one. If you don’t separate the pieces, you can ruin your bearings.
Once you have separated your bearings from the spindles or axles, soak them overnight in the cleaning solution. If you find that your bearings are still dirty after the first round of soaking, you can give them another soak or try a different solution.
Rub Them Out
If you try to make your bearings spin with the water and solution still in them, you may find that they are still dirty. One reason for this is that both your bearings and the water/soap solution contain tiny dirt particles that are suspended in the water.
To clean the bearings, you will need to agitate the solution and force it through the bearing using a small car polishing machine and a mixing cup.
Place just a few bearings in the machine and put a few drops of solution into the metal mixing cup.
Reattach the wheels
Skateboard bearings are a necessary part of the skateboard. They are an inexpensive part of the skateboard, and if you take good care of them, they can last you for years. They have an important part in keeping the skateboard rolling.
As a skater, you know that it’s important to keep the bearings clean, and you can do this by following some simple steps. It’s really easy to clean them, and you can learn how from this article.
- Place the wheels of your skateboard on a flat surface.
- Fill a small container with warm water.
- Add a drop of dish soap to the container and mix it gently.
- Along with the soap, add a little rubbing alcohol to the water, and add one wheel at a time.
- Roll the wheel so that you clean all the bearing surface.
- Roll the wheel for a few minutes to make sure you have cleaned the bearings thoroughly.
- Remove the wheel from the water.
- Dry the wheel with a clean cloth and put it back into your skateboard.