Skip to content

How To Clean Skateboard Bearings

If you are wondering how to clean skateboard bearings then this guide is for you. Brand new skateboard bearings will run fast and smooth for a very long time but there may come a point where you notice them slowing or they seize up. Often this can be solved by just adding a drop or two of lubricant. We recommend high viscosity lubricants like Bones Speed Cream or Bronson High Speed Ceramic Oil.

To apply this all you need to do is take off the removable shields on the outer edge of your bearings. This can be done while the bearings are still in the wheel. Simply remove your axle nut with a skate tool and take the wheel off the truck. Using the dull edge of a blade you can then pry off the removable shield from the outside edge, it’s also possible to do it with a pin from the inside edge. Once the shield is off all of the ball bearings will be exposed. Apply two or three drops of lubricant onto the exposed balls, replace the shield and then spin them throughly to work the lubricant in before replacing your axle nut. Some lubricant can often be a quick cure but a point may come where dirt and grime really halt proceedings. The good news is that instead of buying a brand new set of bearings you can clean your skateboard bearings if they have removable shields.

What you will need to clean skateboard bearings:

• Skate Tool
• Citrus-based cleaner
• Blade or pin
• Plastic container Bones Skate Bearing Cleaning Unit recommended
• Kitchen Roll


Skateboard Bearings Cleaning Kit

To clean skateboard bearings follow the steps below.

First remove all of your wheels by undoing the axle nuts with a skate tool, remembering to keep all of the washers and nuts somewhere safe. Then, using your axle for purchase you need to remove all of the bearings from your wheels. Place the wheel over the axle until it passes the inner edge of the bearing and turn the wheel at an angle with your wrist to prize it out. Repeat this for each wheel until you are left with eight bearings. You can learn more about this process in our guide on How To Change Skateboard Bearings.

Next remove all of the shields. As mentioned before you can use the dull edge of a blade to pry off the removable shields from the outside edge, it’s also possible to do it with a pin from the inside edge. Be careful not to damage the shields and put them with your washers and nuts somewhere safe.

You will need to have invested in a citrus-based cleaning product. You will be able to get a bottle from a hardware shop, an amazing cleaning solution often used for engines that won’t damage your skin like other solvents. This will dissolve and remove the toughest grime and won’t cause corrosion or rust making it the ideal product. Fill a sealable plastic container with enough cleaner to cover your bearings, an inch or two should do. Place your bearings in the solution and shake them thoroughly for a minute and then leave them to soak for ten minutes for the solution to work it’s magic.

Finding a good container for this cleaning mission can be a challenge. We recommend the Cleaning Unit Bones bearings produce. This sturdy container is made of fluorinated high density polyethylene. It has a a metal rod running through it with spacers so you attach each individual bearing before closing the axle with a wing nut. Fill the unit with some cleaner and then place the rod and your bearings inside while sealing the cap. Shaking the bottle for a minute and leave them to soak for ten minutes, this will be enough for the cleaner to work it’s way through your bearings and dispel that ground in dirt.

After cleaning them take the bearings out and place them on a paper towel to dry, tapping them on it will get rid of any excess fluid. If you notice any dirt which hasn’t shifted consider using an old toothbrush to work it out. Now your bearings are clean they just need some more lubricant to seal the deal. Apply two or three drops of the lubricant from Bones or Bronson we recommended earlier. These high viscosity lubricants are designed to improve speed, reduce friction and protect against corrosion. Spin the bearings to work this in and then replace the shields. This is easy, just line them up and push on, they will click right back into place.

Now you just have to push the bearings back into your wheels by putting them on your axle and pushing down evenly on your wheels until they slot back in. Replace your washers and axle nuts and you will be back in business. The cleaning will have done them good and the lubricant should have them spinning like when they were new. Doing this every now and again will ensure you get the maximum life out of your bearings. We hope this guide was simple to follow and your wheels are spinning as fast as ever.