Never use WD-40 to clean your skateboard bearings. WD-40 is designed for removing rust and grime, however, it’s not a lubricant. Even though it might seem great at first, WD-40 will dry your bearings out quickly and then you need to keep reapplying it until you’re in need of new bearings.
Don’t be tempted to use WD-40. Instead, consider some other options to maintain your board like Bones Speed Cream or one of these household lubricants.
When To Clean Your Bearings
You should clean your bearings when your skateboard begins to feel harder to ride. If pushing is becoming more of a struggle and sticky feeling then you know that it’s time to clean your bearings.
Dirt and debris makes its way under the shield, causing resistance on the ball bearings and slowing the board down.
If you hear the sound of tiny pebbles stuck in your bearings or the wheel feels more stiff than usual, it’s time to clean them.
What you can do is remove the bearing shield with a safety pin or thumbtack, something small, and use either a skateboard bearing lubricant or a household alternative such as motor oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil.
Read the five simple steps on how to clean your skateboard bearings.
What To Clean Your Bearings With
However, there are quite a few options that you might have around your house that can do a pretty good job at cleaning and lubricating your skateboard bearings as well.
Some skateboard bearing lubricant alternatives include:
- Motor Oil
- Canola Oil
- Vegetable Oil
- PAM Cooking Spray
- Triflow Lubricant
How To Clean Your Skateboard Bearings
You can clean your bearings in just seven easy steps and it should take you no longer than an hour to do.
What you need:
- Something sharp like a thumbtack or safety pin
- Nail polish remover or acetone or isopropyl alcohol
- A cup, bowl, or tupperware to soak the bearings in
- Bones Speed Cream, Sonic Super Oil, or an alternative from above
- Paper towel or a rag
- Q-Tips (optional but recommended)
Steps To Clean Your Bearings:
- Use your thumbtack or safety pin to remove the shield on your bearing. Be slow and careful though because they can break if you’re too rough with them.
- Soak the bearings inside a cup or bowl inside the nail polish remover or alcohol for 15-30 minutes or longer. If your bearings are really dirty you might want to repeat this process.
- Dry off your bearings.
- Dip your paper towel or rag in your choice of lubricant and begin cleaning and spreading it across the ball bearings. If you can, try to get larger chunks of dirt out before lubrication. This is when you can also use the Q-tips for more precision if you feel you need it.
- Clip the bearings shields back in place.
- Use a new sheet of paper towel or the dry area on the rag to wipe up and remaining lubricant on the outside of the bearings.
- Put the bearings back into the wheels.
When To Replace Your Bearings
Bearings will not last forever. However, with a lot of care and cleaning you can keep them for quite a long time.
You can replace your bearings whenever you want. If your skateboard isn’t as fast as it used to be and you’ve already attempted cleaning your bearings then it could be time to replace them.
That being said, there are a few times when you should replace your bearings as soon as possible.
- If you spot rust.
- They have missing ball bearings.
- They’re shields are missing or broken.
- If you’ve cleaned and lubricated your bearings but didn’t see any improvement.
Replace Your Skateboard Bearings With Bones Reds
You’ll know when it’s time to replace the bearings on your skateboard. Whether it’s rust, dirt, or a broken shield, there will come a time when you need to get a new set of bearings.
In all of my years of skateboarding I’ve never had a single issue with Bones Reds and that’s why I always suggest going with them. They’re a cheap entry-level price but not cheap quality.
And if you need even more out of a bearing than Bones Reds – maybe you want something faster or that spins for longer – there is Bones Swiss. Bones Swiss are made from ceramic and are an incredibly fast and durable skateboard bearing that will work great in a skateboard, cruiser or longboard.
So remember, don’t ever use WD-40. If you’re tempted, then look for something else around the house like motor oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil to clean and lubricate your skateboard with.
And if cleaning and lubricating your bearings no longer becomes worth it, then it’s probably just time for a new set of bearings.