How To: Clean skateboard bearings

Clean skateboard bearings

Riding a skateboard can be a blast, but not when your skateboard gets hard to handle because of dirty bearings. Here's how to keep them clean. Watch this video to learn how to clean skateboard bearings.

Step 1. Prepare for a mess

Cleaning bearings can get messy. Wear clothes you don't mind getting dirty, and lay down newspapers or a plastic tarp to protect the floor if you're inside.

Step 2. Remove wheels and bearings

Using the skate tool, remove the skateboard's wheels and then the bearings, which are circular devices that connect the wheel to the axle, allowing the wheels to spin freely.

Step 3. Remove bearings from their casings

Pop the bearings loose from their casings. There should be eight bearings in all, two for each wheel.

Step 4. Clean bearings

Gently wash away any dirt or grime with a rag and cleanser appropriate for use on steel, rubber, and plastic, such as rubbing alcohol or acetone. Avoid oil-based cleaners, which can leave a sticky residue.

For a deeper clean, soak the bearings in a jar of cleaner for a few minutes.

Step 5. Lubricate the bearings

Wipe away any excess cleanser with a rag, and then spray each bearing with lubricant. Don't be stingy with the lubricant; really hose down each bearing! Repeat this step for each bearing, setting them aside on your rags as you go.

For a fast tune-up, leave the wheels and bearings on and spray lubricant directly onto the wheel. Wipe away excess lubricant.

Step 6. Give bearings a shake

Wrap a bearing in a soft cloth and give it a shake to speed up the draining process. Repeat for each bearing.

Step 7. Replace bearings and wheels

Reattach the bearings and wheels to your skateboard. Check to make sure they spin freely. If they do, you're ready to go!


FACT: The first skateboards were sold in 1958 by Bill and Mark Richard in their California surf shop.

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