clean and lubricate bearings

how to clean skate bearings and how to lubricate skateboard bearings

As soon as hearing a constant crunchy noise despite wearing the fattest headphones and as soon as having to push harder than Busenitz, it’s time to clean your skateboard  bearings from dust, mud and moisture. Dirty skate bearings break faster and can endanger your health if your favorite toy suddenly throws you off because one of its’ bearings has met his maker.

Generally you should expose your skateboard bearings as little as possible to dirt and moisture and lubricate them regularly. Nevertheless, a few drops of oil don’t help in the long term – the bearings will spin faster in the beginning, but in reality the oil presses the dirt deeper into the bearing and destroys it! Therefore, you should clean skate bearings – in particular the removable skateboard bearings –  before you lubricate them.



Only the more expensive skateboard bearings are removable. If you ride cheap non-removable skateboard bearings please hop directly to the SKATEBAORD BEARING CLEANING INSTRUCTIONS below.

1) Lay an old cloth on a clean working surface – so you don’t lose small bearing parts.

2) Remove the rubber shield carefully with a needle or a small knife.

3) You can clean the rubber shield with warm soap water (no solvent!) and dry it immediately.

4) Skateboard bearings can be cleaned most thoroughly if you remove the so called cage or ball container, e.g., with a straightened paper clip. Probably you have to push alternately several spots of the bearing cage to lever it out completely.

5) After you have removed the skateboard bearing ball container, all balls will slide to one side of the bearing or even fall out completely. Don’t panic, everything can be put together again!

6)If all balls are on one side of the bearing press the inner race away from the balls towards the outer race. Thus your skateboard bearing should completely fall apart.



To clean skate bearings you can use the following cleaners:

SKATEBOARD BEARING CLEANER: Special cleaner which you can get in your local skateshop.

CITRUS CLEANER or DETERGENT (water based): If you clean your skateboard bearings with water based cleaner, you must dry and lubricate them afterwards, otherwise they rust!

SOLVENT (e.g., pure alcohol or acetone): Solvents are corrosive and flammable, hence you must only use them in well ventilated areas and wear rubber gloves!

THINNER (e.g., paint thinner): Because thinner is usually oil-based, some oil will possibly remain in the skateboard bearing after cleaning it.

1) Pour your cleaner in a firmly closeable plastic vessel or glass vessel (of which you are sure it won’t be immediately dissolved by the cleaner). Throw your skateboard bearings or removed bearing parts into the cleaner and close the vessel.

2) Shake the vessel carefully, so that the cleaner penetrates your skateboard bearings completely.

3) Pour the dirty cleaner through a fine sieve.

4) If the skateboard bearing parts aren’t clean enough yet, repeat the whole shaking process with  fresh cleaner.

5) Substitute the cleaner until it doesn’t change it’s colour any more.

6) Dry all bearing parts with old rags.



1) If you have completely removed your skateboard bearings, you can use a paper clip to place the balls between the outer race and inner race.

2) Then press the cage (ball container) carefully into the bearing.

3) If you lubricate skateboard bearings with fat, now is the right time to grease it between the balls and on the ball container.

4) Make sure the skateboard bearing lays on the side where the balls are visible. Then adjust the rubber shield with light pressure and a little spin.

5) If you want to lubricate skateboard bearings with oil or speedcream, you drip it onto the side of the bearing and wait, until it has penetrated the bearing.

6) Spin the skateboard bearing a few times between your fingers to spread the lubricant.

7) Slightly coat the outside of the bearing with lubricant to prevent rust.

8) It will take some time, until the lubricant completely penetrates a precision bearing. But after about one hour of your next skate session your skateboard bearings will start to spin perfectly again.