How to Clean a Skateboard Bearings: 15 Steps

Table of contents:

How to Clean a Skateboard Bearings: 15 Steps
How to Clean a Skateboard Bearings: 15 Steps

Over time, the skateboard's bearings gather sand and pebbles, making it difficult to perform maneuvers and causing falls. The advantage is that, with the cleaning of the bearings, which can be done at home, the skateboard as a whole will wear out less and go faster, even favoring the durability of the wheels. Get to work!


Part 1 of 3: Removing the Bearings

Clean Skateboard Bearings Step 1

Step 1. Organize the necessary materials

To make your work easier and get back to skating as soon as possible, have everything handy before you start. Go to the Materials Required section and see what will be needed; in short: pliers, screwdriver, cannon wrench and T spanner.

Step 2. Remove the casters

Use a cannon wrench (with or without a ratchet) or a T wrench to loosen and remove the nuts that secure the wheels to the truck – sometimes it may be necessary to hold the skateboard tight and put in some force to get them loose.

Clean Skateboard Bearings Step 3

Step 3. Store well the parts you remove

It is very easy to lose nuts, alleys and even end up putting pieces back in the wrong places. To prevent this type of setback from interfering with you, keep the items you are not using in a plastic bag.

For each caster disassembled, there will usually be a nut, two washers and two bearings

Step 4. Release the caster bearings

Bearings are small steel wheels found inside skate wheels. You can easily push the bearings out with a screwdriver or pull them out with needle-nose pliers once the skate wheels are removed.

  • In case you don't have any tools at hand, use the truck's own axle. Insert only one of the bearings from one of the casters onto the shaft and, using a lever movement, pull it out.
  • After removing the first bearing, remove the spacer (speed ring). If your skateboard has one of these, it will be present between the two bearings on each wheel.
  • If you want to use another technique, take a metal rod (or any length of rod that is hard enough) and insert it into the groove of the first bearing. Keep introducing it until it touches the edge of the second bearing. Push hard and, if necessary, use a hammer.

Part 2 of 3: Cleaning bearings

Step 1. Clean coarser dirt

However, be careful not to encrust the dirt further. Gently rub an old cloth or paper towel over the bearing just to remove the coarser dirt.

Dip the cloth or paper towel in a solvent to remove sticky dirt

Step 2. Prepare a cleaning solution

In a (clean) bucket or basin, pour enough acetone or solvent to cover the bearings. Thinner and isopropyl alcohol can also be used and tend to be cheaper.

  • Remember to wear gloves if you are going to use acetone as it is a very strong solvent. Not all skaters recommend using acetone, as they prefer something milder, like isopropyl alcohol.
  • The use of mild solvents requires a longer action time for the complete cleaning of the bearings.

Step 3. Remove bearing shields

Insert some fine-tipped object into the groove between the shield and the bearing and pry it out – it could be a needle, a paper clip, a pocketknife or a stiletto, for example. The shields are usually made of rubber and come in a variety of colors (from black to pink). Without the shield, the metallic balls that make up the interior of the bearing will be exposed.

If the shield doesn't come off easily, choose another point to insert the sharp object and try again, but be careful not to damage the rubber

Step 4. Dip the bearings in the solvent

At this point, they are ready to be placed in the cleaning solution. Before letting them sit for ten minutes, shake them for five minutes in the solvent container.

If the solvent becomes too dark, it will be necessary to drain the solution and refill the container. Repeat this process as many times as necessary to keep the bearings clean

Clean Skateboard Bearings Step 9

Step 5. Remove and dry

Before removing the bearings from the solution, set aside a flat, safe surface where they can be allowed to dry for a while. Line the chosen location with a paper towel or an old cloth. Remove and set the bearings down to dry completely.

Part 3 of 3: Lubricating and Remounting Bearings

Step 1. Speed ​​up drying

Let it dry for ten minutes or lend a hand to speed up the process using compressed air. Direct the air to the open part of the bearing and fire, causing it to rotate. If you can't make it spin with just air, use your finger and keep spinning with air.

Clean Skateboard Bearings Step 11

Step 2. Apply lubricant

The best option is to use specific lubricants for skateboard bearings. Just drop two or three drops onto the bearing and rotate it to distribute the fluid evenly – repeat the process for all bearings.

Do not use: cooking or motor oil or any type of substance that could make the bearings sticky and sticky. While the WD-40 seems like a good solution, it is short-lived and knocks out the bearings by leaving them dry (unlike expected)

Step 3. Put the shields back

They should snap into place easily, however, be very careful not to leave any gaps and thus end up compromising the seal of the bearings.

Step 4. Fit the bearings

To do this, just press them with your finger inside the wheels as much as possible. To secure them well, push the casters against the axles.

If your skateboard came with speed rings, insert them exactly where they were

Step 5. Fit the casters

Once the bearings are properly seated, put the casters back on the shafts. Don't forget to put a washer on each side of each wheel. Then tighten the nut until the caster is firm but not immobile.

It is essential that the wheels have a bit of play after they are replaced

Step 6. Check if the casters are free

They tend to get stuck when you overtighten the nuts. For this reason, it is important to rotate each of them to see if they are running freely.

To release a caster that is stuck or turning slowly, loosen the nut that secures it to the axle a little


  • WD-40 can be used as an anti-seize agent, but not as a lubricant, as it damages the bearings and, consequently, decreases their durability.
  • For a more thorough cleaning, start by removing the plastic shields from the bearings. However, only do this if you are comfortable with the process.


  • Wear gloves while handling acetone. In addition to being very flammable, it is irritating to the skin and releases toxic vapours. So choose a well-ventilated place to work.
  • Do not use water for cleaning. However, if the bearings do get wet, dry them thoroughly before replacing them.

Popular by topic