How To Clean Rusted Skateboard Bearings (Reason Of Rusting And Removal Process)

If you need your skateboard wheels to roll smoothly, you have to have a sensible pair of bearings. Every skateboard wheel holds two bearings, and you can usually fill up the space in between them with something called a spacer.

This piece of metal prevents the bearings from being pushed into the Center of the wheels when the axle nut is tightened and getting damaged. 

A bearing would spin away with all your weight better than an unweighted bearing. A bearing bought from a recognized brand can make your skateboard go fast only when it is kept clean, lubricated, and is in alignment with the wheels’ main core.

Therefore, the best skateboard wheel bearings would be those that are kept clean.

In other words, if you buy a well-branded wheel bearing instead of junk, it will be the most important thing. The best ones recommended are rubber labyrinth shields (RU).

Why Do The Bearings Get Rusted?

why bearing get rusted
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After a lot of research on what contributes to bearing failure, the one answer was corrosion. Corrosion usually occurs when either the bearings are exposed to water, or corrosive liquids or the lubricants have failed.

Corrosion causes the production of rust that is formed in the bearings, especially if the crust forms on the roller wheels, then it becomes unusable.

Water is a major contributing factor for the rust on bearings, especially if it has been exposed greatly. The lubricant usually thins out over time since it takes a lot of pressure or contact with the raceway; therefore be unable to keep sufficient coat and protect the area of direct contact.

If the bearings are exposed to air, corrosion occurs through condensation or humidity that usually leads to developing rust. This kind of rust causes flaking and cracks in the bearings.

Other elements that could cause rusting include acid liquid, which could corrode steel even. The sign of corrosion is often a grey or dark-coloured streak across the raceways.  

How To Clean Rusted Bearings?

As time goes by, dirty residue tends to collect in the bearings and prevent you from honing your skateboarding abilities. If the bearings are clean, it reduces the chances of wear and tear of the board, speed increases, decrease wobbles and seizing of wheels is easily prevented.

Fortunately, the cleaning process is a lot easier than you would think.

Bearing Removal Process From Wheels

1. Get the necessary material like a screwdriver, a wrench, and a T- tool, and a bearing pole as well. It will be easier if you have these items beforehand. 

2. Remove the wheels from the skateboard by using a wrench by loosening the nuts that hold the wheels in place. The board must be firmly held and put pressure to get the bolts to open up.

3. Keep the wheel and its bolt and bearings safely by keeping a check as you can misplace them very easily.

4. Remove the loosened bearing from the wheel by using a screwdriver. Some boards even have a spacer in between the bearings, so you must remove it before removing the bearings.

Then it comes to

Bearing Cleaning Process-  

1. Firstly, make sure to clean the debris or any other obvious particles. Remove the dirt from the bearings with a dry paper towel. You can also apply a solvent if you find the grease to be stubborn on removal.

2. Put together a solution of either acetone or a grease solvent for cleaning bearing. The spirits or rubbing alcohol can be used as well because they are cheap and not as harsh as others. Remember to wear gloves before you decide to put the bearings in the solution as they could react with your skin.

3. Now, hold the bearing and use a paper clip or safety pin to remove the rubber shield cap that is in the bearing itself. These shields are red or black. You’ll see metal balls when you remove the caps.

4. Then, immerse the bearings in the solution by casually stirring the solvent for just 5 minutes and then letting it stay there for another 10 minutes. If the solvent has turned grey, remove it and add the fresh one to the point where you’re left with cleaned bearings.

5. Lay down a paper towel or a rag over it and gently out the bearing over it to let it dry completely.

How Do Lubricate The Bearings Before Assembling Them?

You can use canned air to dry off the bearings faster. Then you must lubricate the bearing to prevent it from wear and tear. Use 2 – 3 drops of lubricant and spin to spread it evenly. WD – 40 is the best lubricant that you can use.

The shield will get inserted back easily after lubrication but see that there should be no space between them. Now the bearings must be inserted again into the wheels. You must push the wheels in the downward direction by putting a lot of pressure so that they don’t come off.

Now that you have put the bearings attach the wheel and secure the nut bolt, and check that the skate wheels don’t jiggle.

The final check that you have to do is spin the wheels. If the wheels spin easily without coming off, then you’ve done a good job.

How To Prevent Rusting Of Bearings?

  • By the use of lubricants like WD 40, you can prevent rusting. Also, one must keep a check on seals.
  • By keeping a cleaning schedule to prevent general wear and tear.


Q1.How can you easily clean bearings?

The best way is to clean with acetone since it will loosen the grease and will be easily cleaned.

Q2. Can vinegar act as a cleaner for a bearing?

You can by adding baking soda to it, but it won’t last long.

Q3. Is coke a good thing to clean the skateboard bearings?

No, even though it may clean the bearing, it could react with it too.

Q4. Can I use a bar of dish soap for cleaning bearings?

No, you should not use dish soap as it won’t help the grease off easily.

Wrapping Up

It can finally be said that proper care has to be taken when dealing with the wheel bearings as they’re reactive to water and air. One must keep a scheduled cleaning procedure to ensure prevention from wear and tear. 

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