Skateboards and their parts wear out over time. And since such circumstances could be costly, as skaters, we should keep our boards in good shape to yield quality rides. And when we take care of a skateboard, we can delay the incurrence of repairs and maintenance fees.
One of the parts that need such care is the bushings. It makes sense to restore rubber bushings after weeks or months of use, similar to how we care for our trucks.
Cleaning isn’t a bad idea, and it’s a budget-friendly remedy. Hence, let me teach you how to clean skateboard bushings in simple steps. By then, you might not have to spend money on a replacement too soon.
Table of Contents
What You Need
Skateboard bushings are vital for a skateboard’s turns. Follow this skateboard bushing guide to clean them using the tools below:
- Adjustable wrench – Whether cleaning the entire skateboard truck system or bushings alone, we’ll disassemble the trucks. So, to clean a longboard bushing, an adjustable wrench is necessary at the beginning and end of this tutorial.
- Isopropyl alcohol – If you have seen a bearing cleaning tutorial, keep the same cleaning solution for the bushings.
- Microfiber cloth – We don’t want to use our hands to remove dirt from the bushings. Hence, we should prepare a microfiber cloth in this regard. The same tool is also necessary when drying the bushings later.
- Cooking pot – This kitchen tool need not be huge as we only need one that can hold the bushings. If possible, take a cooking pot you no longer plan to use.
- Soap bar – Soap bars in this tutorial will not be for cleaning purposes. Instead, we will use them during the reinstallation.
Steps to Cleaning Skateboard Bushings
Cleaning longboard truck bushings are like cleaning other similarly sized skateboard parts. Take note of these steps to ensure you’re doing this maintenance routine right.
Step 1: Disassemble the trucks
We put bushings on skateboard in the middle of the truck installation process. Hence, the cleaning should begin by dismantling the truck system.
Take your adjustable wrench and loosen the kingpin nut. Pull out the first washer, first bushing, truck hanger, second bushing, and the washer closest to the skateboard’s deck.
Next, remove the pivot cup. Place these truck pieces in a container or any secure location. Refer to this longboard bushings set up guide should you need to remember the appropriate sequence of the parts. From the bare kingpin, we have:
- Truck hanger
- Kingpin nut
Step 2: Clean the bushings
Take your microfiber cloth. Dampen it with isopropyl alcohol.
Grab your bushings and rub the wet cloth on them to clean gunk and dirt. Some dirt may be challenging to remove, but stay patient as you scrub the alcohol-infused fabric against the bushings.
Rinse the bushings with warm or running water to remove dirt residues. If there is still removable dirt left, you may scrub it again with alcohol and a cloth.
Step 3: Soften the bushings
Soft bushings help your skateboard turn better and smoother. And this is what we will achieve in this tutorial.
So, take a cooking pot and pour some tap water into it. Put enough to sink the bushings. Bring the liquid to a boil.
Drop the bushings into the boiling water and cover the pot. Boil the rubber for at least 10 minutes or until you achieve the softness you want.
Next, remove the bushings from the boiling water and let them dry for around two minutes.
Step 4: Apply bar soap
How is a bar soap necessary in this tutorial? Skateboards often suffer from squeaking problems. And one of the primary reasons for them is heavy turning, which puts too much pressure on the pivot cup.
So, we’ll apply bar soap on the rubber bushings to eliminate this issue.
Take the bar soap and rub it on the rims of the bushings. Keep rubbing until the soap leaves a film on the rubber.
Next, scrape some soap off the bar and place them in the pivot cup. Distribute the shavings inside the cup using your finger.
Step 5: Reassemble the skateboard trucks
Now that your bushings are cleaned, softened, and waxed with soap, it’s time to reinstall them.
Begin by putting the pivot cup in the truck’s baseplate. Following the sequence in the first step, drop one washer on the kingpin.
Next, slide the inner bushing on the same bolt. Attach the truck hanger, followed by the outer bushing and washer. Lock the truck using the kingpin nut.
Take your longboard or skateboard off your working table and try riding it.
Furthermore, please take a look at this comparison to know the difference between skateboard bushings hard vs soft. And if you need to replace your skateboard bushings, don’t hesitate to visit this guide.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need a washer for bushings?
Removing washers in the longboard bushing guide during installation could only expose them to faster wear-out.
Hence, we should always include washers when setting up skateboard trucks, whether on the roadside bushings or the ones closer to the deck. This way, we can keep the bearings and trucks from encountering too much friction.
Should you oil skateboard bushings?
Lubricating skateboard bushings is okay, but only to a certain level. Some skaters find such a move dangerous, as one saw his skateboard perform worse after lubricating the skateboard’s bushings.
But the best way to oil or lubricate skateboard bushings is by rubbing a little WD-40 on the flat surfaces of the bushing. Next, apply some wax on the seams of the pivot cups. From there, the truck’s noise will become less noticeable, and squeaks will lessen.
Another way to minimize truck squeaks is by following one of the steps in this tutorial, applying bar soap.
Is it hard to clean skateboard bushings?
To clean the bottom of a skateboard or any of its parts could be challenging. But it’s not impossible.
With how the process went though, we can all agree that cleaning skateboard bushings is straightforward. It may take some time from the disassembly to the reinstallation, but the steps aren’t challenging to perform.
All you need are the appropriate tools and patience to execute each step.
Cleaning our skateboard isn’t a leisure activity, but it’s more of a necessity. While it’s somewhat tedious, what’s important is that we do maintenance tasks regularly, which will keep our boards and their parts performing at the top level.
So, now that you know how to clean skateboard bushings, you can finally keep your skateboard turning well. Also, you won’t have to spend too frequently on new bushings.
Again, we only need a few things. Remember the steps we have discussed. Stay patient, and your skateboard’s performance will pay you back.
Hi, I am Charles Harris. I opened this site to write as much as I can about my biggest passion – skateboarding!
I started as a clumsy yet passionate rookie 10 years ago to now a still passionate yet much better skateboarder! But I have to tell you, the whole journey has always been fun and rewarding, indeed not without hardship.