Skateboarding is fun and enjoyable. But over time, the bearings of a skateboard gets dirty and grimy. Sometimes it becomes rusty and makes the skateboard unable to use, that you need to replace them. A skateboarder will understand the struggle of using a skateboard with dirty bearings. It becomes hard to control the skateboard with dirty bearings. So, it is crucial to keep them clean.
You can use proper bearing cleaners that are available on the market to clean the bearings. Or you can use some handy household items to clean them properly and cost-effectively. So, how to clean skateboard bearings with household items? Well, it’s not rocket science. You will only need some simple things that are available in every household. With some steps, you can clean the bearings easily. So, here is the process:
How to Clean Skateboard Bearings with Household Items
Step 1: Remove the wheels
At first, hold the board and use a socket wrench to loosen the nuts attached to the wheels. Then carefully remove the wheels, and you will see the bearings. You can use a screwdriver or a sharp pin to pull out the bearing gently.
Step 2: Clean the dirt
After pulling out the bearings, place them in a dry rag or a paper towel. Now, clean the dirt and grime from the bearing with the paper towel. You can also use some lubricants like petroleum jelly or baby oil to loosen the dirt from the bearing. This will remove all the visible dirt from the bearing. There is a rubber cap on the bearing. You should remove the rubber cap for proper cleaning. Remove it with the help of a sharp pin, paperclip, knife, or a small screwdriver to remove the rubber cap. Be careful not to damage the cap or the bearing balls.
Step 3: Soak the bearing in a cleaning solution
Now, take a glass bowl or a jar and fill it with enough cleaning solutions to soak the bearings. You can use rubbing alcohol, acetone, lemon juice, nail polish remover or mineral spirits as cleaners. Just take one of them and fill the jar. Soak the bearings in the solution and leave them for a few minutes. This should take about 10 minutes or more. Then take out the bearings and swirl them in the solution. If the bearings are still dirty, soak them for a few more minutes. You can replace the solution with new cleaners.
Step 4: Dry the bearings
After the cleaning process, place the bearings on a paper towel or a piece of cloth and dry them. You need to wait for a little while to let them dry properly. You can use a fan or a hairdryer to speed up the moisture evaporation process.
Step 5: Grease the bearings
Completely dry the bearings and then apply lubricants. This is a crucial step. With a lubricant applicator, apply a few drops of bearing lubricator on the bearing. Distribute the grease by spinning the bearing. If you don’t have bearing lubricator available, you can use some petroleum jelly instead.
Step 6: Rearrange the wheels
After finishing the whole cleaning and lubrication process, rearrange the bearing and wheels. Place the rubber cap on the bearing and put back the bearing on the skateboard. Then rearrange the clean wheels on the place. That’s it.
Following these simple steps, you can clean the skateboard bearings easily. Just a couple of household things, and you are ready to clean the bearings. After cleaning, you need to use lubricants to keep the wheels move smoothly.
This cleaning process will prevent the bearings from rusting and damaging. It will be easier for you to control the skateboard. Your skateboard will have a long lifespan.
How to Grease a Ball Bearing
Lubrication is an important step to maintain a ball bearing. So, using lubricants or grease on the bearing is a must. This will make your skateboard ride smooth. Lubrication helps the bearing to move appropriately. Make sure to dry the bearings before applying the lubricants. You can use an applicator that is typically used for lubrication. The equipment comes with a head that discharges the grease in between the bearing balls. Add a few drops of grease on the bearing. After applying the lubricant, rotate the bearing to distribute the lubricant evenly. The bearing should be covered with oil. This greasing process will keep the bearings from rusting away. You should grease the bearings occasionally to keep the bearing clean and smooth.
What Lubricants to Use for Skateboard Bearings
The lubrication process is a must for bearings. You can use lubricants that are specialized for bearings. You can find them in the market easily. Also use some household items as lubricants. It will be easier to find them, and they won’t cost any extra money. You can use petroleum jelly, olive oil, bike grease, sewing machine oil, or regular machine oil as lubricants. Try to avoid grease like cooking oil. These types of oils can be sticky and capable of dirt build-up in the barbing. Also, you should not use WD-40 on the bearings. This will also build up dirt on the bearing.
Bearing Cleaning Solvents
There are a lot of bearing cleaning solvents available on the market. If you don’t want to use them, you can also use some solutions that are available in every household. You can use citrus cleaners like lemon juice, to safely clean the bearings. Or you can use rubbing alcohol to do the job. It will clean the bearing. If rubbing alcohol is unavailable, you can use nail polish remover instead. Acetone is a bit stronger solvent. You can use it, but be sure to wear gloves to protect your skin.
On the other hand, the mineral spirit is much milder. You will need to soak the bearings a little too long if you use this. Any of these cleaning solvents will clean the bearings properly. So, you don’t have to buy any expensive bearing cleaner.