Favorited by people
BEARING CLEANERS AND LUBRICANTS WE RECOMMEND AVOIDING:
WD-40 is more of a solvents than lubricants. It is thin to enable it to get into tiny crevices and free up rusty, stuck parts.
ALL Cooking oils
Soaps with citrus scents/fragrance
Dish and Hand soap
ANY Wood polish, Wood oil, or Wood cleaner
Kitchen cleaners (anything that is not citrus cleaner
Orange Soap (too thick, diluting won't work)
HOW TO CLEAN SKATEBOARD BEARINGS:
Remove Bearings Covers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXmZhfvH9y0
To remove skateboard bearing shields or seals watch the video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXmZhfvH9y0
Before you begin cleaning skateboard bearings it is best to see if the bearings are worth cleaning first. Sometimes bearings get too damaged and are better off replaced than trying to clean them.
Bearings Cleaning Kit
Solvent. We use citrus cleaner.
Cooking tongs (not necessary)
You can throw bearings in an empty plastic bottle with some cleaner but this method is not as effective as a kit.
Bearing Cleaning Kits
The easiest way to clean bearing is with a bearings cleaning kit. I recommend the Oust kit because it's compact and comes with cleaner inside.
The Bones bearing cleaning kit is OK and available at most shops, but you can make your own for less money. Read below for instructions.
Cleaners and Solvents
We use citrus cleaner as our solvent/cleaner for cleaning skateboard bearings. It's typically less than $5 for a bottle.
We highly recommend staying away from dangerous cleaners that people use carelessly in other tutorials. These dangerous and hazardous solvents are turpentine, acetone, mineral spirits, gasoline, butane, paint thinner, kerosene, etc.
Your chemicals can be absorbed through your skin and get into your blood stream.
If you have to resort to this stuff to clean bearings, your skate bearings are obviously too corroded to save.
Why citrus cleaner
The majority of citrus cleaners are safe. Most of them have no warning label for health hazards. They usually say to avoid contact with the eyes (of course), and that it might irritate the skin.
Citrus cleaners are made with orange oil and it works by using a natural solvent called terpenes. This hydrocarbon is mostly made of about 90-95% d-limonene. D-limonene does the work of dissolving stuff.
Parts for a bearing cleaning kit:
1/4" x 6" rod coarse thread (or whatever fits the length of the bottle inside).
1/16" OD x 1/4" ID x 3/32 O-Ring (this is the black gasket/ring. Basically 1/4" ring as thick as a toothpick)
1/4" Nut, coarse thread
1/4" Spacers cut from a ball-point pen
1/4" Wing-nut, coarse threads
How to make a homemade skateboard bearing cleaning kit:
1. To assemble the bearing kit start by cutting a small hole in the lid/cap of the bottle. The hole needs to be just big enough for the 6 inch rod to go through.
2. Put the gasket/black ring on the rod.
3. Put the rod through the lid/cap of the bottle.
4. Put the washer on.
5. Tighten the nut down to the bottom of the lid/cap.
6. Cut 1/4" pieces of a ball point pen sleeve for spacers.
7. Place bearings on the rod with 1 bearing spacer between each bearing. (remove seals or shields first).
8. Hand tighten the wing-nut until the bearings are nut on the rod.
9. Fill the bottle 1/3 with citrus cleaner.
10. Place the bearings in the bottle and tighten the lid.
Directions for cleaning with a kit
1. Remove bearings shields/seals first. See how here (link).
2. Wipe off dirt on the bearings and shields/ seals.
3. Assemble kit.
4. Fill the container about 1/3rd of the way with cleaner.
5. Insert bearings.
5. Shake the kit for a couple minutes.
6. Takes the bearings out (leave on the rod).
7. Tap the bearing on a hard surface to remove contaminants.
8. Repeat shaking for couple minutes (repeat steps 5,6,7 if needed).
9. Since bearings off in very hot water (keep them on the rod. This removes the cleaner. IT IS PERFECTLY OK.)
10. Immediately blow-dry your bearings to remove all the water. Use cooking tongs if bearings are too hot to hold in your hand.
11. Lubricate each bearing with about 1-2 drops of thin lubricant. We like electronic oils and sewing machine oils.
When to Clean or Lubricate:
For avid skaters, checking lubricants every 2-3 weeks is a good rule of thumb. Bearings may need to be cleaned every 3-4 weeks. For those who skate about 1-2 days a week, you can stretch out the maintenance by adding an additional 2-3 weeks for both cleaning and lubricating.
Some people have their own cleaning methods. In our experience these are the tools, methods and products that we believe work best.