It’s so tough to watch a perfect new wheel get all kinds of nasty… But it’s a fact of life when you skate. For most people, this is not a problem, having dirty longboard wheels is part of life and it shows they skate.
However, it’s nice to give them a deep clean sometimes and make them look new again. Also, if you are selling your board (or just the longboard wheels), this little step that takes just a few minutes can help increase the sales price!
Here’s the quick, dirty way to get those longboard wheels clean and sparkling:
- Flip your board over and use a skate tool to pop off the wheels. Be sure to gather up all the bits (nut, washers, spacers, etc….) so you don’t lose anything. Clean wheels are great, but losing a small part you need is not…
- Pop the bearings out, otherwise you’ll end up washing out bearing lube. To do this, push the wheel back onto the truck halfway (through just one bearing. Tilt the axle and use the leverage to pop the bearing out. Repeat with all bearings and store safely to the side. If you want to clean your bearings now, check out this article here.
- Use a washcloth to remove any rocks and gravel stuck in the wheel surface or core.
- This is where you have a couple options, the Mr. Clean magic eraser works incredibly, but if you don’t want to buy one of those, theres an alternative with product you already have at home. Put some dishwashing soap in a larger sized bowl and then fill with warm water.
- Drop your wheels into the bowl and let them soak for a bit. 10-15 minutes ought to do it.
- Pull the wheels out and use a rag to scrub with the soapy mixture. Don’t be afraid to really scrub these, they are made to take a lot of abuse. A toothbrush works great here to really get into the crevices.
- Dry off your wheels with a dry rag or paper towels.
- Once you’ve fully cleaned your longboard wheels, it’s time to put the bearings back in. Put the bearing on your truck axle, and then the wheel. Push the wheel down until the bearing seats fully. Then flip it over and pop the other one in.
- Repeat with all your wheels.
- Put your sparkly new wheels back on the board and it’s good to go!
This isn’t rocket science, so try not to stress too much about getting it perfect. Some wheels and materials clean better than others, and certain colors are much harder to clean up. Just be careful with the solution you use to clean your wheels, bleach can cause harm to the actual wheel material.
Hopefully this helps you get your board ready for sale, or makes you happy by fixing up your dirty old wheels. Now get back out there and skate, oh, and leave a comment below if you have any questions or want to share a pic of your cleaned wheels!