Do you ever worry about the look of your skateboard wheels after every ride? Time to remove dirt and stains and make your skateboards appear sharp. There are plenty of ways on how to clean skateboard wheels. Be sure to catch it here in this article.
This information will help you identify the best practices that make up a clean skateboard wheel. It will make you understand how relevant maintenance is in the performance of your skateboard. Also, cleaning your skateboard’s parts will promote a longer lifespan.
What You Will Need
Before reviving that brilliant and brand-new look on your skateboard wheels, here are a few things you need to prepare so you can have a seamless clean-up.
- Your skateboard
All skateboard wheels need regular cleaning and maintenance. But these procedures should be done depending on your usage and the environment you ride your skateboards in.
On average, cleaning of skateboard wheels should take place every two to three months. But if you’re someone who skates more frequently, it would be better to clean your wheels once a month.
Note that water exposure can make your wheels or bearings weak or damaged. So, perform cleaning on schedule and not anytime you want it.
- Working area
Prepare an area wide enough to cater to your skateboard wheels and your cleaning materials. It could be a table, counter, or your floor simply. You should also make sure that your working station’s clean so your effort will yield great results.
Assigning a work area will not only allow you to make space for your tools. It would also let you see the things you need quickly. Plus, designating a working area open to natural light will be an added factor as well.
Whether you’re cleaning your wheels on a countertop or in your laundry area, there has to be water. This solvent is one of the most effective substances that dissolve stains that plague any surface. Other than being an excellent cleaning agent, water is readily accessible almost everywhere.
You need to prepare an ample amount of water should there be a need to wet the entire wheel’s surface. Also, allocate more for rinsing after brushing the wheels or applying other cleaning agents.
- Wheel detaching tool
You can’t remove your skateboard’s wheels with your bare hands. Otherwise, you’ll cause damage to it. The best hand tool to use when removing your skateboard’s wheels is the one you used to attach them. It could be a combination wrench, pliers, or any instrument as long as it fits the size of your wheel’s gear.
Note that a separate piece of equipment is necessary if you want to remove the bearings of the wheels and clean them.
- A brush
Since water and soap alone cannot remove stains in your wheels without a rubbing motion, you need a brush beside you.
There is no specifically prescribed brush you can use on your skateboard wheels. Most skateboarders prefer a wire brush, but others are good with a plastic brush or whatever is available. No matter the scrub you use, make sure that it doesn’t leave scratch marks on your wheels and that it keeps its original finish.
- Liquid soap and alcohol
There is no kind of soap specifically designed for cleaning skateboard wheels. Most skateboarders use a home dishwashing soap dissolved proportionately in water. The stains that come in contact with your skateboard’s wheels are mostly road dirt or grease in some instances. Thus, there is no need to use harsh substances like acid-based solutions because they might only damage your wheels.
For the bearings, most skateboarders use isopropyl alcohol or acetone solutions. But for this tutorial, we’ll use alcohol.
- A towel
After rinsing, you can’t leave any form of liquid on the skateboard wheels. It can, later on, cause rusting and make wheel rotations rough. You have to wipe any water on the surface.
If you have a paper towel, it would be better to use it in tight spaces a cloth towel cannot reach. Also, choose a towel that does not shed fibers. Otherwise, it will remain in the bearings or other parts of the wheels and cause issues on the rollers.
Steps to Cleaning Skateboard Wheels
You can’t just soak your skateboard in water. Below are the steps, with some being crucial, that will make wheel cleaning efficient and effective.
Step 1: Detach the wheels
Suppose your working area and all the things you need are ready. Take your combination wrench and begin loosening the nuts or the wheel itself. Use the tool that’s appropriate for the size of your bolts and nuts. Place your wheels in one location only so that they’re easy to locate once you’re up for reinstallation.
Step 2: Detach the bearings
Your wheel’s bearings, even if they’re not making contact with the ground, may still attract dirt. Pull out the wheel hub bearing using any tool to work like a crowbar. If you don’t have enough tools to pull the bearings out, consider going to your local skateboarding store. Remember to place the wheel bearings in one location, so they’re accessible anytime.
Step 3: Bathe the wheels
In a tub with water and soap solution, soak your skateboard’s wheels. Make sure the wheels are fully submerged in water so that the dirt on all surfaces softens. Take about 10-20 minutes of soaking your wheels to ensure complete penetration of the soap and water solution to the dirt-surface area of the wheels.
Step 4: Clean the bearings
This step can be optional for some users, but why deprive your bearings of having a fresh look? Take the shield off each one and use a cup of isopropyl alcohol to soak them. Shake the container in a circular motion for around 1 minute. Brush each bearing smoothly to remove any dirt inside it. Rinse them with running water and smack them on a towel to remove any liquid inside. Let them dry along with the wheels.
Step 5: Brush the wheels
After soaking, take the wheels out of the solution and begin to brush them. Brush the surface parallel to the running path of the wheels. Use a soap and water solution when brushing the wheels to remove dirt faster.
Also, brush the inside part of the wheels where the bearings attach. Be careful not to overbrush the wheels to keep their original finish.
Step 6: Rinse the wheels
Use running water to rinse the wheels. Make sure you rub all its surfaces with your hand to feel whether soap remains at any part. Use a dry towel to absorb liquid all over it. Let the wheels dry on a separate towel. The wheels shall have no direct sun contact to prevent going brittle.
Step 7: Lube the bearings
Greasing plays a significant role in the smoothness of your ride. After drying the bearings, apply lubricants of any recommended brand like WD-40. This substance will not only smoothen movements in your bearings but will also accelerate water evaporation. Lubing also helps in loosening the rusted parts of any metal surface.
Note that before installing the wheels back to your skateboard, you should be aware of the sequence of its parts, including the washers and nuts. If you feel unsure about the reinstallation process, consider seeking professional help.
The best way to preserve your skateboard is to clean it. It does not need to be frequent, but it should be on a timely basis. That way, you get to ensure the quality performance of your skateboard, as well as your safety.
Now that you know how to clean skateboard wheels, it’s about time that you do skateboard maintenance on your own. Did you enjoy this tutorial? Tell us what you think in the comments section.
I am Michael, and I have been enjoying this fun sport for seven years. And nothing is better than having a community to share our passion for those thrilling tricks. I am ready to tell you all I know about skateboarding, showing you how to choose a good board and trick to start and how the practice goes. Stay tuned!