How to Clean and Fix Skateboard Bearings

A skateboard’s ball bearings can stop working if there is too much dirt in them or if there is excessive wear. In order to determine which is the case, you will need to examine the bearing parts. If parts are not broken, you can clean and lubricate them to get them back in working order.

A Quick Fix

If you are looking for a quick fix, you can clean your ball bearings without removing the wheels. The cleaning will not be thorough, but if they are not extremely dirty, it will be enough to get you moving again. You will need a few rags and a can of lubricant with a hard spray, such as Tin-Flow. Never use WD-40 or anything cheaper, as the lubricant is sticky and actually attracts dirt.

Using the can of Tri-Flow, blast your bearings to remove dirt around the edges. Be liberal with the use to get rid of the most dirt. Once you have blasted all of your bearings to remove dirt, clean off any excess lubricant using a clean rag. It’s that simple and works well if you do not have the time or means to completely remove your skateboard’s wheels.

Fix Skateboard Bearings

In-Depth Cleaning

If you have tried the quick fix on your skateboard’s ball bearings with no success, you will need to do a more thorough cleaning. You will need a socket wrench, some rags, the Tri-Flow, a razor knife and a straightened paper clip in order to do an in-depth cleaning of your ball bearings. You should also be wearing old clothes and have access to rubber gloves and protective goggles.

  • Begin by using your socket wrench to remove the nut on your skateboard’s axle.
  • Pull up on your wheel very slightly and angle it so that your axle catches the back outer bearing. Now press the skateboard’s wheel down and remove the bearing. Set the bearing in a safe place where you will not lose it.
  • Remove the wheel completely from the skateboard’s axle. Turn it over and replace it on the axle. Like before, push out the other bearing.
  • Take the tip of your razor knife and insert it under the rim of your bearing housing. Slowly and carefully pry the plastic bearing cover off and place it with your removed bearings.
  • Use your straightened paper clip to push the ball bearing cage from the outer race. Insert the paper clip into the space between the ball bearing seats. Carefully pry around the edges of the cage until it comes loose.
  • Take the inner race off. Be sure to leave the ball bearing in so that you don’t damage your skateboard’s cage.
  • Put on your rubber gloves and goggles and pour ball bearing cleaning solution into a bowl. Drop your ball bearings into the bowl and allow them to soak for five minutes. Dispose of the dirty solution, refill the bowl with clean solution and repeat the process. Keep repeating this process until the solution remains clear after five minutes of use. Once the ball bearings are clean, roll them between your fingers while still wearing the gloves to be sure that they roll well.
  • Dry your ball bearings with a clean rag and carefully put the inner race back into the cage. Be sure everything is secure.
  • Use the lubricant to lubricate your ball bearings and races and put the plastic cover back on.
  • Put your bearings and wheels back on to your skateboard. Spin and ride to test your handiwork out.

Statewide Bearings can help you source the correct ball bearings for your application from skateboards to bucket wheels. Statewide Bearings has many years of experience with a variety of applications. Contact one of their local brands for more details.

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