When your wheels spin slowly or make rough sounding noises, it's time to clean your bearings.
If you're wondering how to clean longboard bearings, you might be surprised at how easy the process can be. Learning to maintain your board will help you understand how it works. It's close bonding time with your skateboard that makes it even more fun to skate.
Step 1: Remove the bearings
Unbolt your wheels and remove them from your longboard. Using the truck axle (the piece that goes through the wheel when mounted) slide the axle only through one half of the wheel so just one bearing has the axle. Tilt the wheel a bit and pull up. The bearing should pop off. Repeat with the wheel flipped over to pull the second bearing.
Step 2: Pulling the Rubber Seals from your bearings
The rubber seals keep the oil in the bearing and help prevent against dust and gravel. Using a razor blade, slide just the tip of the blade in underneath the rubber seal and tilt up to pop the seal out. Repeat for all rubber seals. (Note: Metal seals can be left on as they won't be damaged by the cleaning solution)
Step 3: Add bearings to Solvent for cleaning
Pour isopropyl alcohol or mineral spirits into a bowl (not-plastic) for soaking the bearings. Place all bearings in the solvent and give them a couple hours or more to soak before removing.
Step 4: Pull bearings from solvent and place on paper towel
Let your bearings sit and dry on the paper towel completely. This is very important so that no solvent remains inside your newly cleaned longboard bearings.
Step 5: Replace bearing lubricant
Now that you've cleaned off all the old bearing lubricant and let the solvent dry, it's time to put new lubricant on so your bearings stay smooth. Apply one or two drops inside each bearing. We recommend bones brand speed cream.
Step 6: Push seals back into bearing
Lay the seals back on top of each bearing and push them into place. This should be fairly easy to do.
Step 7: Press bearings back into wheels
Take your nearly-new bearings and place them one at a time on the axle. This is similar to how you took the wheels off so simply put the wheel on top over the axle and press down hard until the bearing snaps into the wheel. Flip the wheel and pop them in both sides using the same technique. Re-attach your wheels and you'll be rolling like new.
Congrats! You now have the cleanest old bearings on the street. Get back out and skate.
Now that you know how to clean longboard bearings you can save $$$ and a trip to the store + you'll get extra mileage out of every set. Please let us know if you have any questions about this process and we will be happy to help!