Cleaning Skateboard Bearings

Cleaning Skateboard Bearings: How Did I With 5 Easy Steps?

A functional bearing is necessary to keep the wheel of your skateboard rolling. Dust and dirt get into your bearings, causing them to be clumpy.

Also, when you happen to skate in the rain, the water causes it to rust easily. And this will definitely wear out your bearings and roughen the wheel.

Now, a good cleaning can bring smooth-rolling action to your worn-out bearing. Let this guide assist you through the process of cleaning skateboard bearings. 

Arrange essential Tools for cleaning skateboard bearings

To clean the bearing, you’ll need the following tools and materials:

  1. Skate tool (you may use a socket wrench or ratchet)
  2. Screwdriver (pliers, skate truck, or metal rod are alternatives)
  3. Small tray (for organizing the parts)
  4. Clean container
  5. Fresh dry rag
  6. Cleaning solution/solvent, alcohol, spray-on degreaser, or any citrus juices like lemon juice
  7. Knife, paper clip, pin, or any other thin pointy object
  8. A lubricant such as light grease or speed cream
  9. Hair dryer, manual blower, canned air (optional)
To clean the bearing, you’ll need the following tools and materials

Did You Complete the Preparation?

Gather the tools and materials before you start cleaning the skateboard bearings. Also, look for a place where you can work spontaneously. Once you got all these ready, you can now clean your skateboard bearings in 5 easy steps.

Step 01: Removing the Wheels

The Skateboard bearing sits inside the wheel. To get the bearings out, you need to slide off the wheels from the truck carefully. Work with the skateboard deck on the side and the axle pointing upward.

Remove the Bearings from the Wheels

Loosen the wheels using a wrench or skate tool. A small tray can come in handy in organizing the nuts and washers for easy assembly. 

Then take the wheel off the axle at an angle. Do not apply too much force because it can damage the bearings.

Step 02: Detaching the bearing and bearing shield or rubber covers

There are two bearings in every wheel. Generally, these bearings are separated with a spacer called the speed ring. You need to take out a total of 8 bearings composed of 4 inner bearings and 4 outer bearings. A plier can be used to pull them out carefully. You may also use a screwdriver to yank it out of the wheel.

Detaching the bearing and bearing Shield or rubber covers

If these two are not available, you can use the end of the axle of your truck as leverage. The amount of energy required to open a bottle cap is required in using this tool. Start by sliding the wheel halfway through the axle. This allows you to remove the bearings one at a time.

A metal rod is also one of the alternatives for detaching the bearings. Find a rod that fits perfectly to the bearing hole. Insert the metal rod and gently tap it with a hammer. Be extra careful because this method can break the bearing.

Once the bearings are out, carefully detach the bearing shield or rubber covers with a pin, knife, or other thin pointy objects. You can set them aside in your tray to ensure that they will remain in shape. A misshapen bearing shield can scrub against the bearing, thereby scratching it.

Step 03: Cleaning the Bearings

Start cleaning the bearings by removing visible exterior dirt. Wipe it gently with a clean, dry rag. Make sure not to rub and grind the dirt inside because it can cause scratches to the bearing. Include the bearing shield or rubber cover as you clean. This part needs to be kept clean as well because it can cause friction to the bearings.

Cleaning the Bearings

Once all the obvious dirt is removed, place them in a clean container. Soak the bearings in the cleaning solution or solvent for a while. This will allow the dirt to seep out. You may use acetone as an alternative if a solvent is not available. But remember always to use protective hand gloves when working with solvents.

Never use a harsh solvent that can damage the skateboard bearings. If you use a milder cleaning solution, this may take a longer time for the bearing to be cleaned thoroughly.

If you prefer to use an environmentally friendly cleaning solution, you can use citrus juices such as lemon. These are also effective ways of cleaning the bearings. You may also use a spray-on degreaser to plop the dirt out of the bearings.

Now that the bearings are clean, dry them out by placing them in a clean rag or paper towel. You may also use canned air, a manual air blower, or a hair dryer to hasten the process.

Step 4: Lubricating and Reattaching Shields

Cleaning the skateboard bearings is just the first step in getting it back into shape. In order to ensure its smooth roll, a lubricant needs to be applied. It keeps the bearing from drying. This prevents friction that may damage the bearing.

Lubricating and Reattaching Shields

It is recommended that you only use lubricants that are specifically designed for skateboard bearings such as Speed Cream. Although oil can make your bearing spin faster, it is also short-lived. However, the use of oils such as cooking oil and motor oil is discouraged because they can mess up your bearings by keeping dirt inside.

After applying the lubricant, wipe off the excess from the bearings. Then reattach the bearing shield or rubber cover. Make sure that there are no gaps between the bearing and shield.

Step 5: Reassembly of Wheels

Return the Bearings Back to the Wheels

Now is the time to put them all back together. Stick the bearings back into the wheel by pushing it as far as you can. You can use the skateboard truck, screwdriver, or metal rod to drive the bearings back into place. Once you got one bearing in, make sure to replace the speed rings or spacers before inserting the outer bearing.

The final step is to refasten the wheels into the truck. Do not forget the speed washers before attaching the wheel. If the wheels are settled, secure them back to the truck axle by tightening the axle nut. Check each wheel by spinning it. This is to ensure that no wheel is very stiff, thereby making it easy to spin.

You’re Good to Roll

Now that you know how to clean skateboard bearings, you are ready to hit the streets. It is definitely cool to show off your skateboard tricks, especially with a smooth roll of the wheels. Hopefully, this article is a big help to you!


What Are The Important Factors While Purchasing the Best Longboard Bearings?

01. Size

8 mm bearings are commonly used. This size is perfect for the longboard bearing. You can choose the other sizes if they give you more comfort. But I will recommend you choose the 8mm bearing.

02. Type

You can get both the ball bearing and roller bearing around you. Most of the bearings are ball bearings. Ball bearings run faster and more smoothly than roller bearings. But ball bearings can not handle the load. In that case, the roller bearing performs well.

03. Durability

The bearing should be durable that can last a minimum of one year. You can increase its durability by cleaning regularly and running in dry places. Water and mud decrease their longevity quickly.

04. Performance

The performance of the bearings is the most important fact. If your longboard bearings are rough and run with less spin that will not satisfy you. Also, a smooth and fast bearing with noise will annoy you. So, check before buying if there is any defect in performance.

05. Precision

Precision is the exactness or correctness of the tolerance. The American manufacturers association uses ABEC to define precision. When the precision increases, the permissible range decreases. Precision is independent of bearing clearance. The higher the ABEC number, the tighter the bearing will be. Higher precision helps to move more smoothly and increase efficiency.

06. Lubrication Compatibility

Lubrication is a must before riding on your longboard. To convert your slow bearings into fast longboard bearings you have to clean them regularly and lubricate them. It will give a fast spinning movement.

07. ABEC rating

While buying bearings, you need to check whether it is ABEC-rated longboard bearings or not. ABEC rating stands for dimension. It only rates tolerances. Some ABEC classes are 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11. ABEC rating 9 is tighter than ABEC rating 1. The more the ABEC rating, the more the precision will be.

08. Engraved seals

Engraved seals prevent entering dust and other material inside. It also holds the lubricant inside and prevents friction. Most of the brands use rubber material for easy cleaning and to prevent the entry of water inside. While buying, check all the seals properly.

09. Price

Price is a big factor when buying anything. If you get a bearing with better quality at less price, then that will attract you the most. People mainly buy this type of bearings the most. Also, you should not follow the misconception that more expensive things mean better. Most of the famous brands are budget-friendly and careful about quality.

10. Brand reputation

While buying high-quality longboard bearings, people follow reputed brands. If the reputation is good then people do not hesitate to buy from the brand.

11. Warranty/Guarantee

If the brand provides you with a warranty or guarantee, that will be a plus point for you. You can repair the bearings if any problem arises at no cost within the given time. Also, the refund policy is beneficial for the buyers. You can change the defective set or can return the set with a full refund.

FAQs About Longboard Bearings

These are some commonly asked questions by people about the best bearings for longboards.

Is it worth it to invest in more expensive longboard bearings?

No, it is not worth it to invest in more expensive longboard bearings. More expensive is not equal to best quality. You can get a high-quality bearing within a suitable budget.

How do I know if my longboard bearings need to be replaced?

If the bearings start producing noise and are rough to run after cleaning, then you need to replace your longboard bearings. Also, the bearing will not spin if it is worn out.

What is the difference between ceramic and steel bearings for longboards?

The difference between ceramic and steel bearings for Longboards is durability. Ceramic bearings are more durable, smooth, and corrosion-resistant. At the same time, steel bearings are easily damaged by corrosive substances and are less durable than ceramic ones.

Can I lubricate my longboard bearings myself, or do I need to take them to a professional?

You can lubricate your longboard bearings yourself. )r if you have no previous experience, then you need to take them to a professional. But choose the right lubricant for the bearings.

Can I mix and match different brands of bearings on my longboard?

You should not mix and match different brands of bearings on your longboard as they are different from each other in size, shape, durability, and performance. Mixing different brands is unable to balance your movement.

Can I use the same bearings for both my longboard and my skateboard?

Yes, you can use the same bearing for both your longboard and your skateboard. The only difference appears in the case of wheel size. Otherwise, there is no difference between the bearings. But you should be careful about the dimension of the spacer.


Now it will be easy for you to choose the best Bearings for Longboards. You can compare the bearings and choose according to your comfort. I will recommend you choose the bearings which are performing well and have good customer service. If you still can not choose a perfect one then you can select it by brand reputation.

Also, choosing the brands which are giving warranty is the safest to pick. You can get these ten best bearings within an affordable range. Do not choose the bearings which are rated below ABEC 3. Below 3 ABEC-rated bearings have less tolerance.

About the author

This is Kyle Spinks from Butte MT, USA. A skateboarding expert and lover since 2019. is my blog where I share my skateboarding life experience daily or weekly. If you're a beginner skater, I'll advise you to follow my blog daily.

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