How to Clean Roller Skate Wheels

Gregor Mersick
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A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Clean Roller Skate Wheels

First, disassemble the wheels and remove the bearings. Use a putty knife or screwdriver to pry them off. This can be a very tedious and frustrating task. It’s important to be careful not to scratch or damage the bearings.

I recommend placing the bearings in a small plastic bowl and filling the bowl with water. You can add a few drops of dish soap or laundry soap to help the bearings loosen and slide off more easily.

After they have soaked for a few minutes, remove the bearings from the bowl. Most of the time, they come right off. If not, try scooping them off with a spoon or another dish.

Check the wheels for any loose or cracked sections of the aluminum hub. You may need to carefully use a hammer to fix any cracks. Make sure the wheels are solidly back together before you start to clean them.

Lay the wheels flat on a garbage bag or thick towel. Most of the time, if you’ve just cleaned the bearings and not ruined the bearings in the process, the wheels should also be fairly clean if your bearings were already well-maintained.

Using a plastic bristle brush, apply a light oil or soap to the entire surface of the aluminum hub on both sides of the wheels. Rinse the wheels to remove any excess oil. Then, using a hose, rinse the wheels again.

Conclusion

There’s no getting around it … roller skating is potentially hazardous. Nowhere is this risk more apparent than when you’re sitting on those four little wheels that are half the size of your feet. Because of this, maintenance of your wheels is essential to make sure that they keep running smoothly and safely.

It’s not necessary to purchase special tools though. Just keep in mind that the right tool for the right job has everything to do with what you’re trying to accomplish. If all you’re trying to do is removing friction, you need a flat surface for that.

If you want to be able to inspect your wheels for signs of damage, you need a way to lift your wheels out of your skates.

In most cases, however, you do need a special tool to remove and replace those pesky axles … and the special tool you need is a hammer. As I mentioned earlier, roller skates don’t use nuts and bolts like regular shoes or bike pedals. Instead, they use a special wedge-shaped axle and a captive nut that’s hidden underneath the wheels.