How to clean skateboard wheels

Cruising through the dusty pavement or your favourite skatepark, if you are wondering why your wheels are not giving you the same smooth ride like before, then you are at the right place!!

Skating is all fun and exciting. From kids to youngsters to young adults – the game doesn’t discriminate when it comes to bestowing one with a crazy good time.

Gliding on the sandy beach walk, blowing dust in your favourite skating park, or jumping across the muddy puddle in your garden, certainly, you should avoid those to save your wheels the extra filth and dirt but skaters will always be excited skaters. 

Remember that it’s only right to show some care to those wheels under your maple board that are keeping you safe! Learn how to clean skateboard wheels in this article.

Let’s keep the reading going!

skateboard wheels on street

What To Use To Clean Skateboard Wheels

Here’s what you need! First things first, a running source of water, be it a bucket, sink, or hose connection in your garden. Second of all, understand that you are on the right track if you get wet cleaning your wheels. The list doesn’t end here

  • A plain surface ex- the floor or a countertop
  • Sink/pails of water
  • Liquid soap ex- shampoo or dishwashing soap
  • Cleaning rug
  • A wrench (a must)
  • Any oil (for the bearings)
  • Wire brush( again a must)
  • Towels of any kind
  • Separate Containers for the bearings and wheels(optional)
  • Your skateboard(obviously)

4 Steps To Clean Skateboard Wheels

Step 1: Select a working area : To avoid making a needless mess, select an area around your garage or house, or kitchen which has enough room to move around things. It can be the surface in your garden area too! Just make sure to have a water source or sink because what is cleaning without rinsing? 

Keep in mind that your selected zone is going to get wet. Use towels to keep it from getting all soggy around your sink or the countertop. We also want to save your skateboard deck and bearing from water so it is only obvious. 

Plus you don’t wanna lose the little parts! So you’ll need a good place where they are visibly kept in safety after removal.

Step 2: Dismantling The Wheels and Bearings: We will be adding a few sneaky co-steps in step 2.

 Step 2A:This is mostly the engineering part of the cleaning. 

  • Remove the wheels off of your skateboard axle using a wrench or skate tool. 
  • Turn the board over so it is resting on the deck and wheels are facing upward. 
  • Spin the wheels towards the outer side of the board. Use a 0.5-inch socket wrench for this.
  • The metal rod on which the wheels were attached to is called the truck axle. Place it at a 45-degree angle on the mouth of the bearings to pop it out of the wheels.
  • While you are dismantling your skateboard wheels, a small piece called a bearing spacer will fall out from the middle of the wheels. Protect these safely as you’ll need to reassemble them.
  • Keep all the wheels, nuts, and bearings together or in separate containers to make sure the pieces don’t get lost. skateboard wheels anatomy 

Step 2B: Cleaning the Nuts & Bearings (optional)

This might be an optional step but we intend to give you a smoother, and swifter ride as you start skating again after the clean-up. You have your bearings removed anyway so why not wash them too!

  • Take the bearing shells off using a blade or safety pin. 
  • Put the bearings and nuts in a bowl or container, dipped into 70% isopropyl alcohol, and let them soak for 5 mins. 
  • Swirl them around a bit and remove them out. Soaking it for too long can damage them too!
  • Dab the bearings with a fabric to take away extra solvent.
  • Put 2 or 3 drops of oil into the bearing for a smooth spin before attaching the shield again. Avoid thick oils such as vegetable oil or olive oil as in may clog up.
  • Make sure they don’t get wet in water to save from rusting.

Step 3: Cleaning the Wheels (mandatory)

Let’s jump on the action now!

  • Fill the bucket or sink with soapy water. You may use dishwashing soap as it is a good oil removing agent
  • Soak the wheels into the soapy water for 10 mins. Add more time if you think the wheels are too dirty
  • Rub the wheels with a brush or rubbing cloth to wash away soil as gunk off of your wheel track.
  • Wire brush away the extra gunk from nooks and corner of the wheel
  • Rinse off with clean water and let them dry in sun for 8-10 hours after dabbing with a dry cloth
  • Repeat the process before drying if you think they aren’t clean enough

Step 4: Reassembling the parts

Once you are done, it’s time to assemble your skateboard.

  • You can follow a bearing guide to put back the bearing bolts into the wheels
  • Reverse step 2 to reassemble your wheels back on the board. You can also follow an instruction manual if you find it too confusing
  • Cleaning your wheels give you the opportunity to rotate the pair of wheels to increase the longevity as smoothness of your ride
  • If you skate a ton of fakie or switch posture a lot, you will notice the leading wheels have begun to slope. Again, If your wheels are already old and rough, you may have no choice but to let them be that way to avoid an uneven alignment.

cleaning skateboard wheels and bearings

FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

What to clean skateboard wheels with?

There are a few different ways to clean skateboard wheels. One way is to use rubbing alcohol. Another way to clean skateboard wheels is to use citrus cleaner. The last way to clean skateboard wheels is by using a toothbrush and soapy water.You can use any dish soap or liquid wash that is good against greasy gunk.

How to clean skateboard wheels without removing them?

The best way to clean your skateboard wheels without removing them is to use a damp cloth and some soap. Just make sure that you don’t use too much soap, as this can cause the wheels to become slippery. Once you’ve cleaned the wheels, dry them off with a clean cloth or paper towel.

But It’s not really a good idea as the maple board is sensitive to water.

Is it worth cleaning the skateboard wheels?

Keeping your skateboard wheels clean is crucial for your performance.One of the biggest benefits of keeping your skateboard wheels clean is that it will make your board ride smoother. This is because dirt and debris can create drag on the wheels, making them less efficient. Cleaning your wheels can also help improve your control and stability while skating.

How often should you clean your skateboard wheels?

The wheels take it all – from oil patches to gunk, blotches of gum, or maybe someone forgot to pick up after their dog and you cruised through it all with your wheels.

 You’ll notice the gum is causing your skating to stumble and thud too much. Sometimes the ride may feel too smooth to get a grip on because of the extra oil and grease on your wheels. 

Otherwise, maybe you really enjoy skating with best looking wheels on your board. Either way you would want to clean them, which brings you here!

Why do skateboard wheels turn yellow?

The reason why skateboard wheels turn yellow is that the urethane breaks down and degrades from exposure to sunlight. It also happens over time as the wheels absorb dirt, oils etc. from the ground.

Conclusion

Skates last longer if you take good care of them. Keeping the wheels clean and the bearings gunk-free goes a long way in the same direction. Research enough before you start and only when you are confident with the knowledge. I’m sure you will love the rides afterwards! Happy Skating!

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