How To Clean Roller Skate Wheels And Bearings? [A Step-by-Step Guide]


how to clean roller skate wheels

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Skating is always fun. The adrenaline rush and airy skating experiences are exciting and soul cleansing. No matter whether you skate casually or be part of a derby team, the experience is mind-blowing. But to get the best out of it, the skate wheels and bearings should be clean. Otherwise, grime and dirt on the wheels and bearing can considerably deteriorate your skating experience. 

As skate wheels are exposed to mud, dust, oil, grime, and pollution, they get dirty. Moreover, exposure to sun, snow, and rain also affects the wheels. If cleaning is not done regularly, the layers on them would make skating risky. Besides cleaning the skate wheels, washing and lubricating the bearing is necessary too. 

If you think cleaning skate wheels and bearings is complicated, I got you. You need to know the process to do this task. In this article, I am going to explain the steps to clean roller skate wheels and bearings. So stay with me and learn the cleaning tips to get the best skating experience every time you set out!

5 Easy Steps To Clean Roller Skate Wheels

clean roller skate wheels

Let me start with the process of cleaning roller skate wheels first. I will mention the cleaning procedure of skate bearings in a separate section to make it understandable. 

Here are the 5 super easy steps to clean roller skate wheels:

1. Remove The Wheels

The initial stage is to remove the wheels from the roller skate. To do that, you have to detach the nuts with a wrench. Use a multi-function skate tool or a socket wrench to make it easy. 

Place the wrench at the center of the nut, turn it anticlockwise until the nut comes off. Do the same to all the four wheels. After detaching the nuts, roll the wheel on the axle to detach it from the roller skate. Grab the wheel and slide it off the axle. And you are done with detaching the wheel of the roller skate. 

If you don’t have an appropriate tool to unlock the nut, you may use pliers. Lock the nut into the pliers and keep turning it anticlockwise until it comes off. Exert enough pressure to grip and remove the nuts. 

2. Separate The Bearings

The wheel is yet not ready to be cleaned. You can still see a silver nut-like thing at the center of the wheel. This is the bearing. As bearings and wheels are cleaned separately, you need to detach the bearing from the wheel. 

The best way to remove a bearing is by using a bearing remover. This small tool is very useful and you must keep one as a skating lover. The bearing remover has a button at one end. You need to place the other side of the tool at the center of the bearing while pressing the button on the other end. After you place it on the bearing, release the button. This will lock the bearing to the bearing remover. Now pull the bearing remover out to detach the bearing. Repeat this to remove all four bearings.

3. Dip The Wheels In Cleaning Solution

Now is the turn to clean the wheels. For cleaning, you need to take a large container like a bucket where all the four wheels can fit. Mix warm water and 4-5 drops of dishwashing liquid or detergent. Make a foamy solution by stirring it. The cleaning agent is ready. 

Next, you have to dip the wheels into this solution. Ensure that the wheels are fully submerged. If you clean skate wheels regularly, then keeping them soaked for 5 to 10 minutes would suffice. But if you are cleaning after a long time, wait for at least 30 minutes. Check if the grime and dirt have loosened or not. If not, keep it there for a few more minutes. 

A precaution! If the wheels have any metallic parts, soaking in the solution isn’t the best idea. It can cause rusting to the metallic parts. In that case, wet a towel in the soapy solution and wipe off the wheels. 

4. Scrub And Wipe The Wheels

Now all the dirt and grease have loosened. If you see the wheels more or less clean, wipe off the wheels thoroughly with a towel or rag. Clean the wheel hole, corners, and nooks. Wipe off all the wheels to remove the grime, dirt, and grease. 

Sometimes wiping is not enough. If the dirt and grime are stubborn, you will need to scrub them off. Use a toothbrush and gently rub off the dirt. Then wipe it off to leave the wheels clean and tip-top. 

5. Dry The Wheels

Don’t put back the wheels on the roller skate when they are still wet. You need to let them dry. For drying, wipe off the wheels with a dry cloth to remove all the soapy solutions. Soak up the extra moisture with a dry cloth. 

After hand drying, place the wheels on a paper towel. The paper towel will soak up the remaining water. Leave the wheels for 30- 40 minutes. Let them dry out fully. Then put it back on the roller skate. 

Overall, you have maintain the steps so carefully to clean your your wheels in the right way and extend the lifespan of the wheels.

Cleaning Skate Wheels with Soap Video

3 Simple Steps To Clean Roller Skate Bearings

clean roller skate bearings

I am skipping the step of detaching the wheels followed by removing the bearings. By now, you have learned how to do it. Use a wrench to remove the wheels and then a bearing remover to unlock the bearings. 

Now that you have cleaned the wheels, let me tell you the easiest way of cleaning the bearings. 

1. Wipe The Bearings

Bearings are made of metal. So it is not wise to dip them in soapy water. Though you may need to do that if the bearings are too dirty, normally, you should not do that. Because it can cause rusting in the bearings and makes them rigid and weak. 

For cleaning the bearings, you need to dip a paper towel or clean cloth in a warm soapy solution. Strain the excess water from it. Now wipe off the bearings with a wet cloth or towel. Clean the bearing thoroughly to remove all the dirt and grime. 

2. Dry The Bearings

After wiping off the dirt with a wet cloth or towel, you need to dry them well. So wipe the bearings once again with a clean dry cloth. Then leave them on a paper towel to let it soak the excess moisture. Air-dry the bearings well. 

3. Apply Bearing Oil

Bearing is what keeps the wheels rotating and moving smoothly. If the bearings don’t function properly, the wheels will get stuck. So the bearings need lubrication to let the wheels move and rotate. 

Pour a few drops of any good-quality bearing oil on the bearings. Leave it for a few minutes. Then take the bearings and spin slowly so that the oil spreads all over the bearing. And the lubrication is done!

So you have now completed cleaning both the roller skate wheels and bearings. Now you need to bring back things together and attach the wheels and bearings to the roller skate. 

Use the bearing remover to fix the bearing in the wheel. Place the bearing at the center of the wheel. Now press the remove button and attach the tip to the bearing. After it gets locked in the bearing, release the button and push the bearing inside the wheel. Then press the button one last time to take the tool out of the bearing. 

After this, use a wrench to put back the wheels to the roller skate. Remember to tighten the nuts properly. You may use pliers to tighten the nuts. However, don’t tighten them too much so that it restricts the movement of the wheels. 

Cleaning Skate Bearings Video

Related Questions On Roller Skate Wheels And Bearings Cleaning

Why Are Cleaning Skate Wheels And Bearings Important? 

Over time, skate wheels and bearings become dirty and greasy. Mud, water, dust settle on the wheels and also penetrate the bearing holes. This makes wheels slippery and can cause rusting to the bearing too. Dirt and grime block the holes, leave a layer on the wheels and affect the lubrication of the bearings. 

When skate wheels and bearings are dirty, friction is less. The wheels either become slippery or too rough that they don’t slide on the road. Blocked and dirty bearings mean they are not lubricated. When bearings can’t revolve well, the wheels don’t rotate properly. This restricts the movement of the wheels making your skating experience poor. 

This is why cleaning skate wheels and bearings are important. It is risky as well as inconvenient to skate when the wheels and bearings are dirty. As they can’t function properly, your skating performance and experiences deteriorate. Therefore, you must clean skate wheels and bearings to stay safe and enjoy to the fullest. Most importantly, choose the top-quality indoor skate wheels so that you don’t need to take the hassle of cleaning them every now and then.

And, in the case of light-up skate wheels, they might not work for a long time. So, you need to change them every now and then besides cleaning them. Find some best light-up quad skate wheels here.

How Often Should You Clean Skate Wheels And Bearings?

Skate wheels and bearings get exposed to dirt and pollution every time you set off with the roller skate. So if you go skating daily, it gets dirty each day. And gradually, this dirt and grime accumulate to create a layer on the wheels and block the bearings. This is why cleaning is required. 

Ideally, you should clean skate wheels and bearings at least once in three months. I prefer cleaning them once a month to play safe and get the best experience. For regular skaters, I would always suggest cleaning roller skate wheels and bearings once a month. Otherwise, cleaning them would be difficult as the layers of dirt and grime will settle on them. 

However, if you skate in muddy areas, you must clean them more often. Also in snowy and rainy weather conditions, clean and dry the wheels and bearings to avoid excess exposure to moisture. If you get visible specs of dust, wipe off the wheels and bearings with a clean cloth. If the dirt is too stubborn, you need to clean them thoroughly. 

How Much Should Skate Wheels Revolve?

A common mistake occurs after cleaning the roller skater wheels. You may not know how much you should tighten the nuts while putting back the wheels on the roller. If you make it too tight or loose, it would be very risky to skate with it. It would be inconvenient as well as unsafe for you to skate in that condition.

Ideally, the skate wheels should move and revolve freely after installation. Just like it revolved before, it should rotate the same way after cleaning. But how exactly would you understand if you make a mistake? Let me tell you. 

If the nuts are too tight, you will find it difficult to spin the wheels. It will jerk vigorously if the nuts are too tight. In that case, you need to loosen the nuts a bit. The opposite can happen too. If you hear a rattling noise while spinning the wheels, the nut is loose. You can see that the wheel doesn’t spin straight and shakes. This is another sign that the nuts are loose. 

Check both factors and adjust the nut accordingly. Then spin the wheels with fingers to see if they spin freely or not. 

What Household Items Can Be Used For Cleaning Skate Bearings?

Skate bearings are metallic. This is why it is suggested not to use water or soapy solution to clean them. Dipping them in soapy water can leave rust damaging the condition of the bearings. But that doesn’t mean you can’t clean the bearings with some household cleaning agents. 

You can use non-water-based solutions to clean skate bearings. Acetone is a reliable agent for deep cleaning bearings. You may also use white vinegar or isopropyl alcohol to loosen dirt from the bearings. Then you may use a toothbrush to clean out the bearings and then wipe them off. 

Another household agent for bearing cleaning is lemon juice or natural citric acid. Dip a toothbrush in lemon juice and scrub off the dirt from bearings. Then wipe them off and dry well.

Can You Clean Roller Skate Bearings With Alcohol?

Besides the normal cleaning agents and processes, you can use isopropyl alcohol to clean roller skate bearings. Alcohol is an excellent cleaning agent which works gently on the bearings. Unlike acidic cleaners, they won’t be harsh on the surface of the bearings or wear out the layers. 

To clean with isopropyl alcohol, you should dip the bearings in a bowl or cup full of isopropyl alcohol. Leave them there for 30 minutes. By this time, the dirt and grease will be dissolved in the alcohol. All the layers would be removed from the bearings. After 30 minutes, take them out and use a paper towel to wipe the bearings off. Keep them on a paper towel to soak out the remaining liquid. 

Therefore, alcohol can be used to clean roller skate bearings. 

How Do You Clean Roller Skate Wheels And Bearings Without Removing Them? 

You may sometimes feel reluctant to remove the wheels and bearings and deep clean them. If you are required to clean them regularly, then it can be tiring for you to follow the entire process. If you need a quick solution to dirty wheels and bearings, here is a shortcut you may use. 

Take a spray bottle. Mix a few drops of dishwashing soap and lemon juice in it. Add warm water and dilute the mixture. Shake it. Now spray this solution on the wheels and bearings. This will loosen the dirt and grime. Soapy water will clean the dirt while lemon juice will take out the stubborn grime. Now use a toothbrush to gently scrub off the dirt. Clean the holes and nuts and the surface of the bearings too. After that, wipe off the wheels and the exposed bearing parts. Now let them dry well. 

Remember that you must not do this regularly. This process can’t deep clean the bearings. The inner part of the wheels is also not cleaned in this process. Do this only during emergencies when you don’t have time. But don’t miss out on deep cleaning skate wheels and bearings at least once in three months. 

Cost To Clean Roller Skate Wheels And Bearings

I assume that cleaning roller skate wheels and bearings are a very cost-efficient process. You almost have everything in your storeroom that is required for cleaning. Still for your convenience, I am mentioning the costs of materials required for cleaning skate wheels and bearings. 

MaterialsPrice Range 
Dishwashing liquid (14 ounces)$3- $5 
Paper towel$9- $12
Bearing oil$8- $15
Skate tool$6- $20
Bearing remover$10- $20

As you can see, the materials required for cleaning skate wheels and bearings are very cost-efficient. They are easily available both online and offline and are affordable. 

Conclusion

I should tell you one thing straight: choose your skate from a famous brand like Moxi or Impala. The skates made by these brand come with great quality so that you don’t need to take much hassle about cleaning them all the time.

However, cleaning roller skate wheels and bearings are mandatory. Now it has become an easy task for you as you have learned the most efficient cleaning procedure. It is simple if you follow the steps and execute accordingly. 

When the process is easy and cleaning can give you an outstanding skating experience, what are you waiting for? So, don’t only learn to roller skate, but also learn the process of cleaning. Only then, you would not face any problem when your skate becomes dirty, clean it of your own and get the best performance out of it.

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