How To Make A Bearing Cleaning Kit
You can buy a bearing cleaning kit at a skate shop or online for about $10-15, or you can make one yourself for around $5-7.
Cleaning kits usually don't come with bearing cleaner and recommend using dangerous solvents like acetone or turpentine. We recommend citrus cleaner because it is safe to handle and does a great job at cleaning bearings.
Kits work much more effectively than shaking a bottle with cleaner and bearings lose inside.
Some people have their own cleaning methods. In our experience these are the tools, methods and products that we believe work best.
Parts for a bearing cleaning kit:
- Small (12-16oz) wide mouth drink bottle. Big enough for a bearing to fit inside.
- 1/4" x 6" rod coarse thread (or whatever fits the length of the bottle inside).
- 1/16" OD x 1/4" ID x 3/32 O-Ring (this is the black gasket/ring. Basically 1/4" ring as thick as a toothpick)
- 1/4" Washer
- 1/4" Nut, coarse thread
- 1/4" Spacers cut from a ball-point pen
- 1/4" Wing-nut, coarse threads
Total Cost: About $5-8
Steps to assemble a bearing cleaning kit:
1. To assemble the bearing kit start by cutting a small hole in the lid/cap of the bottle. The hole needs to be just big enough for the 6 inch rod to go through. The rod is 1/4 inch in diameter but usually is squared bellow the head.
2. Put the gasket/black ring on the rod.
3. Put the rod through the lid/cap of the bottle.
4. Put the washer on.
5. Tighten the nut down to the bottom of the lid/cap.
6. Cut 1/4" pieces of a ball point pen sleeve for spacers.
7. Place bearings on the rod with 1 bearing spacer between each bearing. (Remove seals or shields first).
8. Hand tighten the wing-nut until the bearings are tight on the rod.
9. Fill the bottle 1/3 with citrus cleaner.
10. Place the bearings in the bottle and tighten the lid.
Directions for cleaning with a kit:
1. Remove bearings shields/seals first. See how here (link).
2. Wipe off dirt on the bearings and shields/ seals.
3. Assemble kit.
4. Fill the container about 1/3rd of the way with cleaner.
5. Insert bearings.
5. Shake the kit for a couple minutes.
6. Takes the bearings out (leave on the rod).
7. Tap the bearings on a hard surface to remove contaminants.
8. Repeat shaking for couple minutes (repeat steps 5,6,7 if needed).
9. Rinse bearings off in very hot water (keep them on the rod. This removes the cleaner. IT IS PERFECTLY OK.)
10. Immediately blow-dry your bearings to remove all the water. Spin the bearings while blow drying if possible. Use cooking tongs if bearings are too hot to hold in your hand.
11. Lubricate each bearing with about 1-2 drops of thin lubricant. We like electronic oils and sewing machine oils.
You can reuse citrus cleaner by pooring it through a coffee filter.
How to clean skateboard bearings: (Street and Longboard)
Where to buy citrus cleaners:
You can buy citrus cleaner at most grocery stores, drug stores, and hardware stores for $3-5.
Available bearing cleaning kits: