How to Thoroughly Clean Your Roller Skate Wheels and Bearings

Your first roller skate set has finally been dirtied. You’re here to learn how to clean your roller skate wheels and bearings. 

No worries! Stick around as we go through the step-by-step process of how to clean roller skate wheels. 

A young Woman Wearing Clean Roller Skate Wheels.

Taking Wheels and Bearings Apart

  • Using a wrench, you may take the wheels off your roller skates by loosening the nuts.
  • Use a socket wrench, a ratchet wrench, or the wrench end of a skate tool that can do more than one thing. 
  • Turn the wrench counterclockwise to remove the wheel’s center nut. Do this again for each of the other wheels.
  • You can use a multi-function skate tool with several different parts to fix other parts of skates.
  • You can get one at any skate shop or on the internet.
  • Put the wheels on a flat surface and slide the axles off.
  • Get a hold of a wheel and yank it off its attached axle. 
  • Lay the wheel on its side on a flat surface like a table or workbench.
  • Do this for each of the wheels.

To get the bearings out of the wheels:

  1. Use a bearing remover.
  1. Press the button on the back of the bearing remover’s handle and stick the tool’s tip into the bearing in the middle of one of the wheels.
  1. Release the button on the handle to lock the bearing remover in place, then pull it out to take out the bearing. Do this for each direction.

You can buy a tool to take out bearings online or in a skate shop.

When you clean your skate wheels, you should always take out the bearings so you don’t get them wet.

Cleaning the Wheels and Bearings

  • Fill a bowl with warm soapy water enough to completely cover the wheels in a container big enough to fit all four wheels.
  • Add 2 or 3 drops of liquid dish soap. Make foam by stirring vigorously with your hand or a spoon.
  • Soak the wheels in soapy water until the dirt starts to come off.
  • Put all four wheels under the container’s warm, soapy water, and soak them until you see dirt and grime floating around.
  • Only soak your wheels if they have metal in the middle. They can rust if they are in the water for a long time. 
  • Instead, soak a cloth or paper towel in warm soapy water and use it to clean all the parts of the wheels that aren’t metal.
  • Soak the wheels for 5 – 10 minutes to eliminate light dirt on their surfaces.
  • For a spotless set of wheels, dust off and rub the crud with a clean rag or paper towel.
  • Wipe the wheel dry with a clean cloth or paper towel after removing it from the soapy water. 
  • Wipe down the outside, middle, and all the crevices and nooks of the wheel for each of the wheels.
  • Scrub the clean with an old toothbrush if the wheels are dirtier than usual
  • Dry the wheels with a fresh, dry cloth or paper towel to eliminate extra water.
  • Then, put the wheels on a towel or a piece of paper towel to dry. 
  • Before reassembling roller skates, hand dry them and let the wheels dry in the air so the metal parts don’t become wet.
  • The metal bearings can be cleaned of grime and dirt using a damp cloth or paper towel.
  • Wipe one of the wheel bearings you removed with a dry, clean cloth or paper towel to each of the other bearings.
  • The dust shield protecting the skate bearings makes it almost impossible to maintain.
  • Wipe off the dirt outside of this protective case.
  •  Avoid using soapy water and getting the bearings wet.

A young girl Putting On Clean Roller Skate Wheels.

Changing Out the Bearings

  • This step is likely the easiest. Put the bearing back into the wheel until it’s flat.
  • Do the same thing sixteen times.

Putting the Wheels Back On

  • Take one of your skates and start putting the wheels back on the trucks.
  • Slide the wheel on the post. Then, take one of the nuts and hand-tighten it until you can’t do it anymore.
  • Then, ratchet the nut clockwise with the skate tool. Turn the nut until the wheel stops.
  • Do the same thing with the other seven wheels until they are all tight enough to stop rolling.
  • Once the wheels are fast, you can loosen them all the same amount to your liking.

Getting Your Wheels in Shape

  • Put your skates on once all the wheels are tight.
  • Loosen your wheels a quarter turn at a time with the skate tool until they are back to how you like them.
  • There’s no such thing as the “wrong” technique to tighten wheels. You want your wheels to be loose enough to roll easily but tight enough not to rattle around or, heaven forbid, fall off.

But each skater has their taste.

Again, ask someone for guidance if you need clarification on how loose your wheels should be.

Related Reading: What To Wear Roller Skating – Learn About It Here.

Final Thoughts

Following these steps, you can now enjoy your freshly cleaned roller skates.

Fasten everything well to your preference.

Remember to stay safe, and always clean your skates to avoid complications!