How to Clean Skateboard Wheels

Опубликовал Admin
12-09-2020, 17:11
After some time, your skateboard wheels and bearings can get blocked up with small bits of dirt, hindering the way your board rides. Luckily, cleaning your wheels and bearings is relatively easy, and only requires some disassembling and a little bit of safe cleaning solution. Once your bearings and wheels are ridden from built up dirt, you’ll be cruising around in no time.

Cleaning The Skateboard Wheels

  1. Remove the wheels from the board. Turn the skateboard over so it is resting on the deck, with the wheels facing up. Use a ½ inch or 13mm socket wrench to twist and remove the axle nuts on the outer sides of the skateboard wheels. Keep all wheel materials (nuts, washers, etc.) together in one place so you can easily find and attach them later.
  2. Remove the bearings from the wheels. Once you have removed the wheels from the skateboard, use the metal rod to which the wheels were attached (called the truck axle), to pry the bearings from the wheels. Position the wheel on the end of the truck axle so the metal rod is slightly inserted through the wheel, to the first bearing. Allow the axle to catch on the bearing, and pull the top of the wheel away from the board. This leverage movement is similar to using a bottle opener to remove a bottle top. Once the bearing is removed from one side of the wheel, use the same prying technique to remove the other bearing on the other side of the wheel. Repeat this process for all of the wheels. Keep the wheel bearings and the wheels separate from each other.
    • If you can manage to remove the bearings in this way, you can also try using a screwdriver to pry out the bearings. Simply hold on to the sides of the wheel out in front of you, insert the tip of the screwdriver in the front of the wheel, and pull the screwdriver to the side to release the bearing.
    • When you remove the bearings from the wheels, a bearing spacer will fall out from the center of the wheel. Keep this in a safe place so you can reassemble the wheel and bearings later.
  3. Remove any embedded material. Use a rag to wipe the surface of all the wheels. Use your fingers to loosen any rocks or gravel that may be stuck in the wheels.
  4. Soak the wheels in soapy water. In a large container such as a bucket or bowl, create a mixture of water (approximately ½ a gallon) and a couple teaspoons of dishwashing soap. Stir this mixture until the water gets sudsy. Add all the wheels to the soapy water, and allow them to soak for approximately 10 minutes.
    • Be sure that you are only soaking the wheels of your skateboard, not the bearings.
  5. Wipe down the wheels. Remove the wheels from the soapy water and use a soft rag or a soft bristled toothbrush to gently scrub the wheels and remove any dirt and debris. Once all the wheels have been gently cleaned, use a paper towel to completely dry the wheels.
    • Because dirt can get trapped in any small nook and cranny, be sure to clean the inner part of the wheel along with the outer surface.

Cleaning The Skateboard Bearings

  1. Remove the bearing shields. Use a razor blade to carefully wedge in between the bearing shield and the edge of the bearing, and push the blade down to pry the bearing shield from the bearing. Be very gentle while removing the shield, you don’t want to damage the shield and not be able to attach it back on later.
    • Some bearings only have one shield, while others have shields on both sides.
  2. Soak the bearings with citrus cleaner. Citrus cleaner is the safest choice for cleaning your bearings. Other harsh cleaners such as denatured alcohol, mineral spirits, gasoline, or turpentine could all irreparably damage your bearings. As far as cleaning the bearings with the citrus cleanser, you have a couple of options: you can heavily spray each individual bearing with the citrus cleaner and wipe them down, or you can soak the bearings in a citrus cleaner either in a small container or by way of a bearing cleaning kit. A bearing cleaning kit can be found at most skate shops, and they essentially allow you to soak the bearings in an easier and more manageable fashion. With bearing cleaning kits, you can shake the small container to disperse the cleaning solution.
    • Spraying the bearings: To spray the bearings, simply hold a bearing between your fingers and generously spray the citrus cleaner all over the bearing. The natural citrus cleaner will dissolve and remove built up dirt without damaging the bearing materials. After you completely spray and spin the bearing, use a soft rag to thoroughly dry the bearing.
    • Soaking the bearings: Fill up a small container or bowl with citrus cleaner and drop the bearings into the container. The bearings should be completely submerged in the cleaner. Allow the bearings to soak for about 5 minutes and then remove them from the cleaner. Spin the bearings to make sure the entire bearing has been exposed to the cleaning solution. Use a soft cloth to wipe off any remaining dirt and dry the bearings completely.
    • Consider using a hair dryer or compressed air camp to further dry the bearings. This will help to ensure no rust formation inside the bearings.
  3. Lubricate the bearings. Once the bearings are completely dried, they need to be lubricated. Some lubricants that work well for bearings are skateboarding oils, sewing machine oils, or electronic oils. They work well because they’re thinner lubricants made especially for tiny parts that do a lot of movement. Apply only 2-3 small drops of lubricant per bearing. Once you have applied the lubricant, spin the bearing to make sure all the bearing balls get coated. Wipe off any excess lubricant from the outside of the bearings with a clean paper towel.
    • Too much lubricant can clog up the bearing rather than making it move smoothly. When in doubt, the less lubricant the better.
    • Do not use thick oils as a lubricant on your bearings. Avoid lubricants like olive oil, vegetable oil, or motor oil.
    • Something like WD-40 will lubricate your wheels for a minute or two, but the bearings will quickly dry out.
  4. Reapply the bearing seals. Place a bearing shield over the bearing, and use your thumbs to snap the shield back into place. You may need to apply one or two shields to each bearing, depending on how many shields you started out with.
    • The shields will help keep the bearings lubricated and protected.
  5. Reassemble the bearings to the wheels. After both the bearings and wheels are clean, insert the bearings back into the wheels. Insert a bearing on one side of the wheel and use your fingers to snap it into place. Then, turn the wheel over, insert the bearing divider, and snap the other bearing into place. Do this for all bearings and wheels from your skateboard.
  6. Reattach the wheels to your skateboard. One by one, slide each wheel onto the truck axle. Put the axle nut back on the outside of the wheel, and use the socket wrench to tighten the nut into place. Repeat this for all four wheels.


  • Use a cup to hold all your bolts and small objects in one, contained place.Thanks!Helpful4Not Helpful0


  • Don't over-tighten nuts, the wheels need to be able to move.Thanks!Helpful7Not Helpful2
  • Never use bleach on your wheels. It will dry out the rubber in the wheels and cause them to weaken. Bleach can also ruin colored wheels.Thanks!Helpful6Not Helpful2
  • Avoid harsh chemical cleaners on your bearings. Orange citrus cleaners work best for removing and dissolving dirt.Thanks!Helpful6Not Helpful2

Things You'll Need

  • Socket wrench or skate tool
  • Clean rags
  • Paper towels
  • Citrus cleaner
  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Thin lubricant
  • Small cup (optional)
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