Acetone to Clean Bearings? A Cure for Slow Skateboard Wheels

Cracked Skateboard Wheel

Investing in the maintenance of your wheels is one of the most important things in life.

The wheels of your vehicle, scooter, or skateboard are responsible for your stability on any surface; hence, if they are in a bad condition, you risk having an accident.

While enough has been said about vehicles and scooters, it is pertinent that you know that for skateboarding, if you have one.

The questions most amateur skaters ask when it comes to wheel maintenance are: “How can I make my wheels better?” “Can I use acetone to clean my skate bearings?”

Well, the answers to these questions lie in this article.

Skateboard Bearings

Your skateboard wheels consist of several things that enhance mobility from one place to another. However, the most important feature is the bearing. It is also the most vulnerable part of the wheels.

The quality of your bearing determines your speed.

A clean bearing means fast speed, while a dirty bearing slows down your speed.

Your bearing becomes vulnerable as it comes in contact with different surfaces, thereby holding dirt and gunk. If not cleaned properly, the ball bearings could seize up and limit movement.

Types of Bearings

Generally, there are different types of bearings for skateboards depending on the material. They include:


Steel bearings are one of the most durable choices available – they are pretty standard. They are also budget-friendly.

The only problem with steel bearings is that they tend to rust due to moisture. However, by applying lubricant, they can retain their quality and continue to work effectively.


This bearing type is a little extensive. It is stronger than steel.

It is also heat- and rust-resistant.

However, it has limited uses – not ideal for stair sets.


Titanium bearings are the strongest and the most durable choices. They are also lightweight and resistant to various environmental factors.

Titanium bearings, however, need constant lubrication.

Can you use 100% acetone to clean skateboard bearings?

As mentioned already, cleaning your skate bearings is an important task, and that means getting some necessary materials.

One of the things you will need is a solvent or dirt remover. Acetone is a great choice to remove dirt and gunks from the ball bearings.

All you have to do is dip the wheels in the acetone for some minutes until it completely removes the dirt in the bearings.

Remember, the higher the acetone’s concentration, the better it works.

Other incredible alternatives you could use are nail polish remover, mineral spirits, or isopropyl alcohol.

Can you Use speed cream to clean the bearing?

The bones cream is a lubricant that is only applied after you must have thoroughly cleaned your bearings.

Thus, it is not a cleaning agent.

Steps on how to clean bearing with acetone

By following the instructions below, you should be able to clean your skateboard bearings completely and without stress.

Step 1: Get Your Materials

Before you start bearing cleaning, you need to make sure you have all the necessary tools and materials to make the procedure seamless. Here is a list of things you’ll need.

  • A wrench – designed for skates
  • A tool box or tray
  • A razor blade or pen knife
  • A piece of cloth or brush or paper towel
  • Acetone or alcohol solution
  • A bowl
  • A bearing lubricant

Step 2: Remove the Wheels

As soon as you have your tools and materials ready, you should begin with laying your skate on its back.

With your skate wrench, you can remove the axle nut holding the wheels to the board.

However, you need to be careful here – watch out for the washers between the axle nut and the bearings.

Once all the axle nuts are out, keep them in your tray or box so you don’t lose them.

Step 3: Remove the Ball Bearings and its Shields

Now that the axle nuts in your wheels are out, the next step is to remove the ball bearings.

You need to carefully pry the bearings out of the wheel. You can do this by sliding the wheel midway to the end of the axle.

Continue by twisting the wheel outward so that the bearings are facing out.

Finally, turn the wheel upside down so that the bearings come out.

After the bearings are out, use a razor blade or penknife to free the ball bearings from their shields. You also have to be careful with the shields because they could be misshaped in the process.

Likewise, keep the shields in the toolbox or tray.

Step 4: Dip the Bearings in a Solvent Solution

The next step is the most important because it involves cleaning your bearings thoroughly.

Depending on the type of solvent you use, you should dip your bearings for some minutes in a bowl or container.

You can also use a dry rag or brush to get into some parts to get them rid of dirt.

Alternatively, you do the spinning method. It means you have to tap the bearings with the bottom of the bowl and spin in your hand. Until they feel grit-free, you shouldn’t stop.

However, it is important that you wear gloves to avoid skin contact with the solution.

You shouldn’t also try to use water because it would hardly do anything.

Step 5: Dry and Re-Lubricate with Bones Cream

Now that you’ve gotten the bearings rid of dirt and gunks, the next part is to dry using a dry rag or a paper towel.

If you have a hairdryer, it would also be effective to get rid of moisture in the bearings.

Further, you should lubricate the bearings with a bones speed cream, as it would assist with reducing friction – dry bearings cause damaging friction.

Step 6: Re-Assemble

Finally, you should reassemble your skate wheels.

Start with attaching the shields to the bearings, and then replacing the bearings back into the wheels.

With your skate wrench, attach the nuts to the axle and your skateboard is ready for use.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I soak my bearings in acetone?

There isn’t a specific time on how long you should soak bearings in acetone. Since the purpose is to clean your bearings completely, you can let it stay for a minute or more.

If you plan to do the spinning method, you may spend less time. However, as you spin, ensure the bearings are totally face down in the solution.

Can I use acetone nail polish remover to clean bearings?

Nail Polish contains acetone which makes a great agent to remove dirty content from ball bearings.

Besides, it is quite accessible.

What solvent is best for cleaning bearings?

If you want to clean your bearings perfectly, acetone is the best solvent solution to use because it is strong.


Your Skateboard bearings are entirely dependent on you. If you want them to perform exceedingly well, then you have to invest in their maintenance.

Use a good solvent solution to clean them and of course, a great lubricant to keep them active with reduced friction.

The dream of every skateboarder is to be able to move seamlessly fast, without limitations – what other way to achieve this than regular cleaning and maintenance of the board and its bearings?

Sturdy Wheel