It is common for skateboards to show signs of wear after regular use. However, sometimes, your performance is affected only because you are skipping on necessary maintenance. Some blockage in the bearings or skateboard wheels might be restricting the movement causing the speed to be reduced significantly.
When the wheels are seized up, you may not be able to pull off your favorite stunts and those special moves. So, for regular maintenance, you should regularly clean your skateboard wheels and maintain your board in top condition. But, the question is how to clean skateboard wheels? Well, that shouldn’t really be a big problem, and here we have detailed some simple steps you need to follow to get your skateboard wheels ready to roll again.
How To Clean Skateboard Wheels?
Cleaning your skateboard wheels should start with some basic preparations. And, once everything is ready, the actual cleaning starts. Let’s understand the process step by step.
Wipe down your skateboard using a shop rag first. It is to wipe off any surface dirt and, mostly, you can do this using warm water. In fact, normal water can do just fine as well. Dry it out before you start taking parts off the skateboard. Gather all the tools now, and move on to the next step to take the wheels off for cleaning.
Take The Wheels Off The Skateboard
Once you’re ready, take the wheels off. Turn your skateboard upside down and put it on the ground with wheels faced up. Using a ½” or 13mm socket wrench to remove the nuts and axle bolts on the outside of your skateboard wheels. Put them all in a box or somewhere else together so that you don’t lose them.
Remove The Bearings
The next step is to remove the bearings from the wheels with the help of a truck axle. Slightly insert the rod through the skateboard wheels and then reach the very first bearing as the wheels are placed on the truck axle’s end. With the truck axle hooked onto the bearings, pull the wheel up. After removing the bearing this way, remove all the other bearings in the same way. Keep the wheels and the bearings separate.
When you detach the wheels and the bearings, the bearing spacer drops out. Make sure that you keep it somewhere safe so that you don’t have to face any issues when reassembling.
Clean The Parts
Though it’s about how to clean skateboard wheels, you can clean the bearings in the process as well. You have to take the bearings out anyway, and there won’t be any extra work involved.
Coming back to cleaning the wheels, soak them into soapy water. If you don’t have a sink or bucket that you can use for this purpose, you can simply run the wheels under a faucet or a hose. When you put the wheels in the bucket, ensure that the bearings have already been separated so that any gunk stuck inside those bearing beds can also be dissolved and taken out. Once you have soaked the wheels enough, use a rag, paper towel, or simply a cloth to thoroughly clean them.
When cleaned on the inside, shift your focus towards the sides and the track of the wheel. Scrape any gunk off your wheel track, and if it’s been soaked enough, you shouldn’t have any problems doing that. You can do this rather easily with the help of a wire brush. If you can’t find one, some scrap of the leftover grip tape or an old toothbrush should do. Run the wheels under some hot water to loosen up any gunk before you apply the brush for scraping off any debris embedded inside.
Once done cleaning, wipe everything off and let it dry. Make sure that the wheels are dried out completely before you reassemble them and put them back on. It is also a good idea to spin the wheels around so that any left-out moisture is dried as well. This is to avoid any kind of damage to the wheels and the board.
Reassemble The Wheels
Once you have cleaned the bearings and the wheels, it’s time to put them together again. Just place the bearing into the wheel from a side and use your fingers to snap it in. Next, turn it over and insert the spacer before properly adjusting the other bearing. Repeat to reassemble the rest of the wheels.
Put The Wheels Back On
Now that you have cleaned and reassembled the wheels, slide them all back onto your skateboard’s truck axle. Once everything is in place, put the outer nut back on and use a socket wrench to tighten it. Here make sure that you do not jam the wheels by tightening the nut too much because it will damage your skateboard. That’s particularly the case with wooden skateboards.
If you notice any damage to the bearings or the wheels when you first dismantle them, you should replace the damaged parts right away. Never try to manage with the same damaged parts for a bit longer. It won’t just hinder your special moves, but may also lead to serious injuries. Cleaning them might only fix such wheels for a short time but that’s not a permanent solution.
Skateboarding is a lovely sport and a wonderful activity to indulge in. However, your skateboards need proper maintenance and you must clean your skateboard wheels regularly to keep them in good shape and rolling as good as new. If you have always wondered how to clean skateboard wheels, the problem must have been sorted out now. So, clean it up and get ready to hit the roads again!