and bearings need to be cleaned if you are experiencing noise when skating, a
resistance can be felt when free spun, you’re an outdoor skater and its been
several months since you’ve cleaned your gear.
Skate Tool or socket wrench
Old T-Shirts for rags
Soap and water
Bucket or bowl
Baking Tin or other Square Tin
- Remove the axle nuts allowing you to take the wheels off
the truck axles. Take this chance to clean any dirt or grim off the trucks
- Pull bearings out of your wheels. This can be done very
easily with a bearing pulling tool. Try to avoid using your axle trucks as you
will either end up ruining a bearing or the threads of the axle. These can be purchased
for approximately 12-15 dollars and will save you a lot of trouble. Avoid
touching or pressing on the dust covers as damage to this part of the bearing
can cause resistance.
- With the bearings out of the wheels you can wash the
wheels in with soap and water. Wheels only – DO NOT PUT BEARINGS IN SOAP AND
- Place bearings in square tin and cover with enough
cleaning liquid to fully submerge. Agitate this every few minutes, a couple of
times. If you have really dirty bearings you may need to dump out the cleaner
and repeat the process. You’ll know they are clean when they spin freely with
no resistance or noise.
- Dry your bearings by using the canned air. Make sure they
are completely dry! Any water left will rust your bearings. If you live
somewhere warm and dry you can lay them out to dry as well.
- Once dry place one drop of oil in each bearing and give
it a spin to spread the oil around inside the bearing. Do not put too much oil
in the bearing because it will attract more dirt and you’ll be cleaning
bearings again very shortly. Note that if the bearing still doesn’t seem to be
spinning correctly it is more than likely just time to buy new bearings.
- Take your wheels out of the soapy water and scrub away
any dirt or grim. Dry well.
- Press your bearings back into the wheels. With metal
hubbed wheels you may need to put a small amount of oil on the metal hub itself
to help ease in the bearing. Do not use too much force as you risk denting a
bearing or breaking small parts.
- Place wheels back on the truck axles and tighten the axle
nuts back on. Tighten the nuts all the way down until the wheel just barely
turns, then back it off a ¼ turn at a time until the wheel spins freely. It
should be snug enough that the wheel spins freely but does not slide back and
forth on the axle.
*A Note About Cleaners: Citrus cleaners
can work but tend to leave behind a slight residue. Solvents can be dangerous
to use but provide a much better solution to cleaning those really dirty
bearings. If you chose to use a water based, citrus, or detergent cleaner make
sure to immediately dry the bearings and coat them with lubricant to prevent
rusting. Bones Bearings mentions using
pure or almost pure isopropyl alcohol, Gumout Carb Cleaner, or acetone. If you use one of these solvents be sure to
wear gloves and clean in a well ventilated area.