How To Clean Roller Skate Bearings? (Complete Guide)

Do you feel slow or sluggish on your roller skates? If so, it could mean that the bearings of your skate wheels need to be cleaned.

To have a smooth and enjoyable skating experience, it is important to maintain your roller skate regularly.

Cleaning your roller skate bearings and wheels is one of the most important maintenance tasks. Not only does this help keep your skates in good working condition, but it also ensures your safety and extends their lifespan.

In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of bearing maintenance and offer some tips on how to clean roller skate bearings. So, let’s get started.

How To Clean Roller Skate Bearings

How To Clean Roller Skate Bearings

To ensure that your roller skate bearings and wheels are in peak condition, you should clean them approximately every 2 to 3 months, depending on usage.

By regularly cleaning the bearings and wheels, you can avoid dirt buildup, which could cause them to run slower or become damaged.

If your roller skate wheels seem good in condition from the outside, the problem is only with the roller skate bearing. Bearing plays a major role in the wheel’s rotations. Therefore, it needs to be cleaned regularly to ensure better performance.

Below is a complete guide on how to clean roller skate bearings:

Things Required

Before you start the process of cleaning, you will need to have the following items handy:

  • Skate tool or Screwdriver or Bearing press
  • Container
  • Warm water
  • Acetone (Nail polish remover)
  • Soft rag
  • Toothbrush

Step 1: Disassemble the Wheels

The first step is to take off the wheels from the skate. To do this, first lose the axle nuts of all the wheels. Axle nuts are nothing but a screwdriver, which needs to be unscrewed.

Once the axle nuts are loose, slowly pull the wheels off from the skate. This way, all the wheels will be disassembled from your roller skate.

Step 2: Remove Bearings From The Wheels

So far, you’ve taken the wheels off from your roller skate. Now, you must remove the bearings from the wheels to clean and lubricate them.

To do this, you’ve several options, like a skate tool, bearing press, or screwdriver. Whichever you find comfortable to use, choose that and get the bearing out of the wheel.

Skate tools come with roller skates, or you can also buy them individually. It is one of the best tools for complete roller skate tightness or loosening. If you’ve one, you can use that to get the bearing from the wheels.

Bearing press is also a great tool for the same. But to get access to one, you may need to visit a professional skate shop. The tool has a little nub in front, which helps you to pull out the bearing from the wheel. It is used to pull out and in both the wheel bearings.

The last option you’ve is to use a screwdriver to get out the bearings. However, using a screwdriver to remove the bearings from the wheels is not recommended as it might damage the bearing. If you’ve no other options, then with the right size screwdriver and pressure, you can use it.

Step 3: Remove Rubber Shield From The Bearings (Sometimes it is Metal Shield)

So far, you’ve got the bearings out of the skate wheels. Now it’s time to take off the rubber or metal shield from them to clean it.

To do this, you can use a safety pin or paper clip. You just have to insert it inside the shield and slightly push it. This way, the shield will come off easily, and you can see the balls inside.

Step 4: Cleaning The Bearing

Now it’s time to clean the bearing and make them smooth. To do this, people use different methods like bearing cleaner, alcohol, or acetone.

We would recommend using a bearing cleaner or acetone for cleaning the bearing.

First, pour a few drops of acetone into a container and put the bearing inside. Let it stay there for some time, like 10 -15 minutes. This will help to dissolve all the dirt and grease in the bearing.

After that, take out the bearings and rinse them with warm water. Use a soft rag or toothbrush to clean the bearings. Additionally, you can also use compressed air for drying off the bearings.

Step 5: Lubricate The Bearings

Once you’re done cleaning the bearing, it’s time to lubricate them. This will keep the bearing in good condition and help maintain its performance.

To lubricate, you can use synthetic or mineral oil. All you have to do is put a few drops of oil in the bearing balls and spin them so that the oil gets evenly distributed inside.

Step 6: Add Bearing Shield Back Into Bearings

Now that you’ve cleaned and oiled, it’s time to return the shield. You can use the same screwdriver or skate tool to do this.

Simply remove the bearing shields and put it back in as it was. Make sure that the shield is in a symmetric shape so that it will fit perfectly inside.

Step 7: Reassemble The Wheels

Once you’ve done with all the cleaning and lubrication, it’s time to reassemble the wheels.

Start putting the bearing back into the wheels using a skate tool and tighten it up properly. If you’ve used a screwdriver to take out the bearing earlier, ensure it doesn’t damage the wheel while reassembling.

Step 8: Check The Performance Of The Wheels

Finally, you’ve done with the cleaning and lubricating process. Now it’s time to check the performance of the wheels.

The first thing you need to do is spin the wheel and see how it’s rolling. If it rolls smoothly, then your cleaning process has been successful. You can also test the tightness of the bearing by pressing it from outside and see if there’s any fluctuation in the rolling.

You can also read our guide on how to make roller skate wheels spin faster.


Q. How to clean roller skate bearings at home?

A. You can use a bearing press, skate tool, or screwdriver to remove the wheel bearings. Next, you can clean them with acetone or bearing cleaner, oil them and reassemble the wheels. Lastly, check for their performance by spinning the wheel and testing the tightness. All this is easily done at home.

Q. How often to clean roller skate bearings?

A. It is recommended to clean roller skate bearings every 2 or 3 months. If you’re using it heavily and feel the bearings need cleaning, you can clean them more often.

Q. What do you clean skate bearings with?

A. You can clean the bearings with acetone and lubricate them with synthetic or mineral oils. Additionally, you can also use bearing cleaners as well.

Q. Can you clean roller skate bearings with alcohol?

A. Yes, you can clean roller skate bearings with alcohol, but it is not recommended as it can damage the bearing material for a longer time. Acetone or bearing cleaner is recommended for cleaning the bearings.

To have a better riding experience you should also know the best surface for roller skating.


Roller skate bearings require regular cleaning and lubrication to ensure their proper performance. If you take good care of the bearing, your wheels will roll more smoothly and last longer.

Cleaning the bearings is not difficult; just remove the bearing from the wheel, clean it with acetone or bearing cleaner, lubricate it with synthetic or mineral oil, and reassemble the wheel.

Just make sure to check for its performance after that, as it will determine whether or not you have done the job right. Happy skating!

We hope this article about how to clean roller skate bearings has been helpful to you. Good luck!

Additional Questions

What should I clean my roller skate bearings with?

The most simple and effective method to clean your skate bearings is by using a Teflon-based lubricant. This lubricant does a great job in eliminating dirt and debris without causing harm to the bearings. Another method I’ve found to be efficient is to remove the bearings, take off their tiny rubber shields and soak them in a lubricant. Give them a good wash in a cupful of lubricant to get rid of any lingering grime. **Teflon-based lubricants** are generally safe and effective for this purpose, ensuring your bearings have a longer lifespan. You can find this type of lubricant in most hardware stores or online.

How often should I clean my roller skate bearings?

It’s essential to regularly clean your roller skate bearings as they tend to accumulate dirt and debris over time. This is even true if you only skate indoors. I’ve noticed that If your wheels aren’t spinning smoothly and freely, it’s usually a clear sign that your bearings need attention. Cleaned bearings perform much better and can improve your skating experience. For optimal results, you should aim to clean your skate bearings **every 2-3 months**. This helps to keep the bearings in good running condition and prolongs their useful life immensely. Skating on clean bearings also feels much smoother and safer.

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