How to clean skateboard bearings

How to clean skateboard bearings

Believe it or not, your old rusty bearings can be saved. 

You go out to skate because it’s a beautiful day, and don’t bother checking the weather as there are no clouds in sight. Suddenly a rainstorm comes and your board gets wet. You let it dry off and assume everything will be good. The next time you go to skate, however, the wheels don’t spin. Has this happened to you?

The sudden shock of realizing your bearings are seized can be softened by knowing how to fix them. 

Don’t worry. Even if your bearings are starting to rust, they are not ruined. Rusty bearings can be saved. All you have to do is know how to clean them.

This bearing looks too bad to be saved, however it is possible to make them spin again.

At the end of the day no matter what you do the bearings in your waterlogged board will lock up once they dry out. So what’s happening to the bearings? Answer- its a combination of things. Dirt has most likely penetrated inside the bearings shield and all the water has washed out the bearing lube. The final blow the the bearings spin is once they dry out the metal starts to corrode and small amounts of rust build up locking the balls to the metal housing or just simply getting in the way. 

 Fixing bearings is actually simple and it only takes about 10 minutes of your day.


-Supplies you will need-
Rubbing alcohol 
Plastic bottle with screw on top or you can use a plastic ziplock bag
Pocket knife or box cutter
Rag or napkin to dry them out on
Oil or bearing lube 


Step 1. Take the nut off the axel and use it to pry the bearings out of the wheels 
Step 2. Use a knife or small flat head screwdriver to Pull the bearing shield off.


Step 3. Put bearings in the bottle or bag and add a shot or two of rubbing alcohol

Step 4. Shake vigorously
Step 5. Drain the alcohol Clean them and let them dry out on a rag or napkin. I like to spin them until they dry.
Step 6. Add a small amount of oil or lube one or two drops in enough (this will help your bearings last longer)
Now you have functional bearings again.
Pro tip: Skateboard bearing oil is not a necessity. You can use all kinds of random oil. I have used bike chain lube, cooking oil and even car motor oil. You just need a little something after the alcohol has dried out all the metal parts of the bearing.  
Skating in the wet/rain can actually be really fun if the temperature is warm and you have a skateboard deck you don’t mind getting wet. Also, If you want to get into downhill riding then rain skating can help improve your sliding skills without as much risk of road rash. It makes sliding way easier to learn because you do not have to go fast to slide and can slide for much longer. Helping you practice your slide balance. You can even add some extra spice to your videos and increase your internet clout with interesting rain skating. 
Back to blog