Placed away inside the steering wheel, hidden by truck bolts and shields, are the silent heroes of your skateboard and they are called the bearings. I see many people who never clean the bearings of their skateboard or do not clean properly when they are cleaning. There are various ways cleaning them and I think I could give you a standard idea about how to clean your skateboard bearings. Here is the whole information for you!
How to clean skateboard bearings?
To clean the bearings of your skateboard might seem scary and difficult but it just takes a few minutes if you know the proper way of cleaning.
Generally, skateboard bearings need little maintenance to last longer. If you ride your skateboard in rain or dust, it is common to grow dirt and rust in bearings. Gunk and dirt would build up inside your bearings that cause the bearings seize up or slow down. You have to use oil or other lubricants to solve the minor problems but for deep cleaning, it is not enough. After cleaning your skateboard bearings, you would find your skateboard speedier than before.
Things you will need:
- A flat surface
- Socket wrench
- Paper towels
- Blade or knife
- A towel to keep the place clean
- Needle nose pliers
- Plastic bag
- T-tool or skate tool
Removing the bearings
- After gathering all necessary tools and materials, you could start your work by removing the bearings. You would need screwdriver or pliers, a skate tool and a socket wrench.
- Remove the wheels from your skateboard using a wrench. You should hold your skateboard steady. After that, apply a little pressure to loosen the nuts of the wheels and remove the wheels.
- Store the parts in a plastic bag. Because it is very easy to misplace any part like washer or nuts and it could cause difficulties for you when doing the work. You should need a bolt and two washers for each wheel removing.
- After removing the wheel, you could pry out your boards bearings using a screwdriver. You could also pull out the bearings through a needle nose plier.
- Many boards have a speed ring between the bearings. You should remove it before removing the last wheel.
Cleaning the bearings:
- Take a rag or dry cloth or paper towel and rub the bearings to remove all grime and dirt. If the dirt is stubborn then just apply some solvent to the dry rag and scrub the bearings to remove gunk properly.
- You have to make a solution for cleaning. Put a bowl or bucket and add grease cleaning product or acetone. Fill your bowl enough for dipping the bearings. Always wear hand gloves when using acetone because it is hard enough to harm your hand. But a mild solvent like spirit doesn’t do much harm. You need to wait a bit longer to clean the bearings using this.
- Take a thin and small object like paperclip, thin knife or pin and pry out the rubber guard from the bearings. These rubber guards are like a cap that usually comes with red or black color. Remove the cap and you would be able to see little metal balls. If this seems hard to you, just insert the pointy object between bearing housing and rubber cap. Then pry gently until the cover becomes free.
- After removing the cap, your skateboards bearings are now ready to soak in the solution. Spin the bearings in the solution for a few minutes and then let it soak for ten minutes. The solvent becomes dark and you need to change it until your bearings looks shiny and clean.
- Take away the bearings and place them in a dry and safe place. You should put a dry rag or paper towel on the surface before placing the bearings there. Let them completely dry.
Reassembling and greasing the bearings:
- To make sure that the bearings are completely dry, you could use canned air. Aim the air in the open part of the bearings. Spin the bearings using your finger and spray the canned air at the time of spinning.
- Now it is the time to lubricate the bearings. Apply 2 or 3 drops of oil in the bearing. After this, you have to swirl the bearings again to spread the lubricant thoroughly. You should avoid using motor oil or cooking oil for lubricating because it could cause stickiness. Use silicone based or Teflon based lubricant oil to get the best result.
- The bearing guards should be replaced and this task is not much difficult. The guards should drop into its place easily but ensure that you have done the complete sealing process properly. There shouldn’t remain any gaps.
- Switch the bearings inside the wheels and push them firmly using your finger as much as possible. If your skateboard comes with a speed ring, you have to remember to put this thing between the bearings and set them appropriately.
- After reinserting the bearings, attach the wheels to trucks. Do not forget to set one washer on side of each wheel. Tighten the bolts of the wheels.
- Do not tighten the nuts too much because it might reduce the ability to swirl. Swirl the wheels by your hand to ensure that the wheels are able to move freely. If you find any difficulties to move them, loosen the bolt a little.
Now, your skateboard’s bearings are clean like new and increases the speed of your skateboard. This is not that difficult work for you. So, you should clean this thing when needed. I hope this article would help you to do the cleaning process accurately.