How To Clean Skateboard Wheels (Step By Step Guide)

No matter how careful you are about your bearings & wheels, they eventually get dirty. The wheels & bearings keep getting exposed to dirt from the surface. In the long run, this dirt buildup can affect your bearings’ health and performance and make your wheel less grippy.

That’s why regular cleaning and routine maintenance is the key to keeping your wheels going fast. Today, I will show you how to clean skateboard wheels in the easiest way possible.

So, without wasting any time, let’s begin.

Clean Skateboard Wheel
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Why should you clean the skateboard wheel?

Wheels are one of the most crucial parts of any skating setup. It has primary control over how our skateboard will reason to different situations and types of skating. As skateboard wheels stay so low to the ground (touches the ground), they quickly pick up dirt and stains.

Whether you skate in a skate Park or on the street, wheels are bound to draw dirt from the surface. These wheels are meant to spin, and you should clean the wheels to regain smoothness.

Besides the smoothness, a tidy look is another reason to clean your skateboard wheels. Who wants wheels covered with dirt and mud stains, right?

Lastly, cleaning your skateboard can help you get a more extended service period from the wheels.

When to clean the wheels

If you are new to skateboarding, you might wonder when is the right time to clean the wheels. Well, I will uncover the clear indicators that’ll tell you when you must clean your wheels!

The first instance is pretty standard, you hop on your board and start skating, and the skateboard doesn’t feel smooth enough. Maybe it’s a patch of gums or anything sticking to the wheels.

However, dirt buildup is the key reason if you notice the smoothness is decreasing daily. It’s a clear indicator that your wheels need an immediate cleaning.

You might also want to clean your wheels when they get dirty. It can be something other than the lack of smoothness.

Sometimes, you can accidentally go through mud, oil, or anything dirty lying on the surface and get the wheel dirty. This could be the perfect time to clean your wheels and enjoy the fresh look.  

Describe steps (describe in brief)

Cleaning the skateboard wheel is a very straightforward process. Now that you can when and why you should get to cleaning, let’s see how you can fully clean the wheels.

Before you begin, there are a few things you should gather around. You’ll need the following tools for cleaning your wheels, and they also make the whole process easier for you.

1. List of items to start skateboard wheel cleaning

  • A bucket full of water
  • Skate tool/ wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Toothbrush/ wire brush
  • Dishwashing liquid/ soap
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Paper towel
  • Small bowl for cleaning mixture
  • Lubricating oil

After you have gathered everything, let me show you how to clean the wheels step by step. There are other techniques too, but following the listed steps will make the cleaning course more effective and efficient.

2. Prepare your workspace

You’ll first need a secure and flat working surface for the cleaning. You should clean the wheels on a comprehensive and flat surface. Otherwise,  the nuts and screws from the disassembly are likely to get lost in a mess.

3. Remove the wheels and bearings.

Assuming the working surface is ready, you need to remove the wheels and bearings.

First, remove the bolt from the axle for each wheel. Then, bring the axle to the middle of the bearing at a 45-degree angle and prey out the wheels and bearings.

4. Cleaning the wheels

Now comes the most crucial part of the whole cleaning. When cleaning the wheels, get rid of any loose dirt buildup first. Afterward, take a small bowl and make a cleaning solution with water, and liquid. Soak the wheels in that mixture for about 15 minutes.

Finally, scrub off the leftover dirt with a toothbrush and dry it up with a paper towel.

5. Cleaning the bearings

If you are cleaning the wheels for smoothness, cleaning the bearings inside is a must to do work. First, you need to take the shield off to access the inside of the wheel.

Then, soak the wheel in a small bowl of isopropyl alcohol for a few minutes. Once done, remove any remaining dirt with the toothbrush, and rinse the bearings with warm water.

6. Drying your wheels and bearings

Drying the wheels and bearings is an essential part of the cleaning process. Wet wheels attract even more dirt easily on the ground, and it’ll ruin the smoothness too.

First, rinse the bearings and wheels carefully with paper towels and leave them in the open air for an hour to ensure no moisture is left.

7. Apply lubrication on the bearings

Lubricating the bearing isn’t a part of the cleaning, but it’ll increase the wheel’s smoothness significantly.Use a few drops of lubricating oil on each bearing, spin them with your hand and then put the shield back on.

8. Reassemble the wheels and install them

After the wheels are clean and dry, it’s time to put everything back in order. Take the bearings to fit, place them on the hole of the wheel and snap them in with your finger.

Then, attach the wheels back on the axle and tighten the nuts to secure wheels on the axle.

9. Maintenance after cleaning the wheels

After cleaning your skateboard wheels, you’ll get the previous smoothness back. However, if you want to maintain that smoothness as long as possible without cleaning again, you must do some maintenance.

These maintenance hacks below will help you prolong your skateboard wheels’ life.

  • Lubricate the bearings regularly to keep the wheels running smoothly and at a consistent speed.
  • Just wiping the wheels can prevent dust and dirt buildup in the long run.
  • Household items like petroleum jelly or bicycle oil can be great for cleaning wheels.
  • Don’t use lubricants like WD-40, as it’s too thick and can damage your wheel in the long run.
  • Don’t overtighten the nuts after installing the wheels back on, as it stops the wheel’s spin.

Wrapping Up

That’s a wrap for today. My guide will help you understand how to clean skateboard wheels. As you have seen above, the process is pretty straightforward, time efficient, and can be done with some basic cleaning tools.

The cleaning should make your wheels feel like new again. However, if it doesn’t, just remember wheels don’t last forever. In that case, you’ll be better off with a new set of wheels.

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