8 Steps on How to Clean Your Rollerblade Bearings

You need smooth-spinning bearings whether riding inline hockey skates or recreational inline skates.

If your rollerblade bearings aren’t cleaned regularly, they will soon be acting strangely.

As you roll down steep hills at high speeds, you might find your bearings slipping.

It’s not always easy to recover from a crash.

You should therefore learn how to clean inline skating bearings.

Rollerblade bearings that are properly maintained and lubricated will make your hobby more enjoyable.

It’s not difficult to clean and oil your inline skate bearings.

Every skater should take care of their bearings.

All It takes is just a basic tool and some effort.

How to Clean Your Rollerblade Bearings

First, gather the following items before you begin the bearing cleaning process:

  1. An Allen wrench and an Inline wheel tool
  2. High-quality bearing cleaner
  3. Good bearing lube
  4. A tool to remove bearing shields/seals (A thumbtack, brad will work)
  5. A dry, clean cloth or a towel made of paper
  6. A flat, hard surface for work.
  7. A small glass jar
  8. Your gunked-up rollerblade bearings

You now have everything you need to clean, so let’s start.

How to Properly Clean Your Inline Skate Bearings?

Follow these instructions to give your skate bearings the care and love they need.

Step 1: Disassemble the wheels from the frames

You should first remove the wheels from the frames. Each wheel has an axle that runs through its center.

This axle attaches the wheel and frame to each other.

So, Take your Allen wrench and loosen all the nuts.

Next, remove each axle and release each wheel.

Step 2: Take the Bearings off the Wheels

Two bearings are used for each wheel, one on the inner side and one on the outside.

The wheels should be separated from their bearings at this point.

But what is the easiest and most efficient way to remove bearings off rollerblade wheels?

The answer is your inline wheel tool is the best way to remove bearings from rollerblade wheels.

Below is an example of what an inline-wheel tool looks like.

inline-wheel tool


Why use an inline tool instead of your regular skate tool?

An inline wheel tool is better suited to the job because it has specific design features.

The tool has both pull and push bearing ends.

You may need to pull or push the bearing sometimes.

If your bearing is a push-type type, you should do this.

Get the push end of your inline wheel tool into the bearing.

Next, apply enough pressure with your hands to pull the bearings out from the wheel.

You’ll hear a pop sound as each bearing comes off the wheel.

What if your wheels have short, floating bearings?

If your wheels have short floating bearings, it is better to pull them out rather than pushing them.

I believe an inline wheel tool can be superior to a regular skate tool/Allen wrench.

If these are the bearings in your wheels.

To remove them, use the pull end on your inline wheel tool. Hook the pull end of the tool onto your bearings and pull the bearings off.

This process can be repeated for each wheel of your skate.

Step 3: Take out the shields from your inline skate bearings

Without disassembling your bearings first, you can’t clean them thoroughly.

This step involves removing the shields.

Bearing shields are designed to prevent dirt and other materials from getting into bearing-clogging parts.

High-quality bearings will likely have a rubber seal.

The typical rollerblade bearing has a metal shield (sometimes two shields instead of one).

It’s not difficult to remove a rubber shield.

You only need a thumbtack and a brad to remove a rubber shield.

What about metal shields?

A metal-bearing shield usually has a small piece of aluminum that holds the shield in place.

This small metal piece is known as a C-ring.

This metallic piece is usually found on the bearing’s inner lips.

Use your thumbtack or a swivel to gently lift the C-ring off your bearings.

Next, tap the bearing’s edge on a surface (perhaps a table).

My bearings usually need to be tapped a few times before the metal shield falls off.

You need to find a container that can hold your shields.

You may lose them and create a new problem if they aren’t.

Step 4: Clean your Rollerblade Bearings

Now, you’re going to clean the dirt and grime off your inline skate bearings.

At this point, you can clean your bearings by putting them in the glass jar I mentioned.

It doesn’t even have to be a glass container.

Any small container that has a lid will work.

Pour a small amount of the bearing cleaning solution into your container.

You can use alcohol or acetone as a cleaning agent for bearings.

And some others may use the multi-purpose WD40.

WD40 is a great product.

WD40 can be used to remove sticker residue from your skateboard deck or carpet stains.

WD40 can also be used to prevent snow buildup on your windows.

You can also use WD40 to remove paint stains and many other wonderful uses.

But…

Is WD40 a good bearing cleaner or lubricant?

Is it possible to clean inline skate bearings with WD40?

No, It’s not a good idea for WD40 to be used as a bearing cleaner.

You shouldn’t also use WD40 for lubricating your skateboard or rollerblade bearings.

WD40 is a miracle worker in removing rust and grime.

You will need a different product if you want to use WD40 as a bearing cleaner and lubricant.

Highly viscous WD40 is a great lubricant that will make your bearings move super smooth …. at first.

After a few rides, however, the WD40 will dry your bearings completely.

You will need to continue applying this thick “lube” to your bearings.

WD40 can also attract dirt.

You’ll need to clean your bearings more often if you decide to use them.

Never use water to clean your bearings

Obviously, you’re going to use water to clean your bearings.

Do you ever ride your rollerblades in the rain?

The same reason water is bad for cleaning your rollerblades is the same.

Shake the Bearings Container

Some bearing cleaners are packaged in containers that allow you to fully submerge your bearings.

Some bearing cleaners require that you spray them on your bearings.

If your bearings have a single-shielded shield and aren’t too dirty, you can give them a few drops of this cleaner.

However, we are discussing special care to ensure your rollerblade bearings perform even better.

Now shake the container to distribute the cleaner and clean the bearings.

The average cleaner takes around 30 minutes to remove dirt and grime.

Remember, It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding how long to soak your bearings in cleaner.

Step 5: Take your bearings out of the cleaner/solvent

The bearings can be removed from the container after sitting for 30 minutes or at whatever time is recommended.

Next, place the bearings on a paper towel to dry completely.

If you are like me and don’t want to wait for anything, there’s a way to speed up the drying phase.

There are ways to speed up the drying phase of bearing cleaning.

An air compressor can be used to blow air on your inline skate bearings.

This is a quick and easy way to dry bearings.

Step 6: Repeat Steps 3 & 4.

You can make your rollerblade bearings cleaner than ever by giving them a second, shorter cleaning.

To complete this step, repeat steps 3 and 4.

However, this time, you won’t have to wait more than 10 minutes.

You can shake the container and its metallic contents and then watch the cleaner.

If the solution remains clear after shaking the container for a while, it means your little steel guys are clean.

Step 7: Re-lubricate Your Bearings

Once your inline skate bearings have been cleaned and oiled, it is time to re-lubricate.

Sonic ABEC 7 is my preferred bearing oil. But sometimes, I also use Bones Speed Cream.

You can use any bearing oil that you prefer.

Just be sure to not use water or WD40!

Hold the container of bearing oil and pour two drops into each bearing.

Next, spin each ball bearing with your fingers.

This is to ensure that the lubricant is evenly distributed throughout the bearings.

Step 8: Reassemble your bearings and reattach them

Now you have a complete set of well-lubricated, clean rollerblade bearings.

It is time to reassemble the bearings onto the wheels.

Reattach the shields to the bearings and reassemble them with the wheels.

How Often Do I Need to Clean My Skate Bearings?

Your bearings should be cleaned once every two to three months if you use them regularly under normal conditions.

If you only skate indoors, and the surface is very dusty, then you might need to clean your bearings more often–maybe every month.

Final Thoughts on Cleaning Rollerblade Bearings

It’s easy to clean your inline skate bearings.

Cleaning your inline skate bearings is crucial to their performance.

You can clean your bearings in no time if you follow the steps I have described.

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