Bearing is making a grinding noise


So, I’ve looked at recent threads about the grinding, but I really don’t have a straight on answer.
One of the problems is that my parents will probably not let me clean my bearing.
The other is that the grinding only started a little after I put some thin lube on my bearing and spun it on a pen.
The grinding noise is a ball-bearing and high pitched noise. I’ve had my Maverick since Christmas… My bearing isn’t deshielded, but I’m afraid to do anything to it. As well as even put my bearing down because I’m afraid it will be scratched…
Please help? ???


Why would your parents disallow you from cleaning your bearing? These things need maintenance.

If it’s making a “grinding” sound, there’s likely debris in there. It won’t magically go away; it has to be cleaned.

Now, I can see your parents not wanting you to muck around with acetone or lighter fluid, but there are other alternatives. Minerals spirits are just a paint thinner… unless you’re a wee kid, I don’t see why you shouldn’t be allowed to clean using those, maybe with some supervision…

But there are also other cleaners. Frank Difeo has recommended “Simple Green”. You can even use water and mild detergent… definitely need to make sure the detergent is all rinsed away and the bearing is dried thoroughly (low temperature hair dryer and spin the bearing)…

There’s no compelling reason to disallow cleaning of the bearing in general. It’s probably the particular solvents that you’re worried about. :wink:

From Dif-E-Yo:


A lot of parents just don’t get it when it comes to yoyo. “Why, back in the day, we had the Imperial and the Butterfly, and that’s the way it was and we liked it”. In my day, I’m serious, and back in my parent’s day, that’s how it was too. A lot of people don’t understand the complexities of the inner working of yoyos.

I am a parent. I got into this nearly 2 years ago. While I’m no pro by any stretch, my kid is also into it, as a direct result of my involvement. Fortunately for him, I’ll clean his bearings.

Cleaning bearings isn’t that big of a deal. Show your parents some videos on how it’s done. Let them read this posting.

First, of the common chemicals used for cleaning bearings: Lighter fluid, mineral spirits and acetone, I have not used lighter fluid, therefore I’m down to two choices, both of which I have used. Of those two choices, I have had the best results with acetone. So, PURE acetone is my cleaning agent of choice. Do not use the nail polish remover stuff, it has stuff in there you do not want in your bearing.

If you’re going to use the soap and water method, I would strongly recommend Dawn dishwashing detergent/soap. Now, while all dish soaps will rinse clean(they have to, it’s a food issue), Dawn is formulated in a way to better effectively remove grease, oil and lubricants from things. I used it to clean my trumpet out, especially the valves. They use it to clean critters after oil spills gunk them up with crude. While not my recommended choice, it can, will and does work. If you’re thinking “well, water makes steel rust”, you’re right. However, if you’re cleaning and then thoroughly drying your bearing, this won’t be a concern. Also, all steel Terrapin X bearings are cleaned in this method(dish soap and water) during part of the preparation process. It’s kind of hard to argue that it’s not effective and useful.

I haven’t used Simple Green. I might have to try that some day. I am using acetone right now, which ties into my using Terrapin X Dry Play in all my bearings, and it requires the use of acetone.

So, if you want to clean your bearings, you need a few things, most of which you may already have. One recommended thing is a can of compressed air by means of those office duster things.

You may want to have your parental unit help you or do some of this for you.

First, you need the bearing(check!).
Second, you need the stuff to clean your bearing with, be it mineral spirits(paint thinner), acetone, lighter fluid or something else.
Third, if you’re using mineral spirits, acetone or lighter fluid, you will want a chemically resistant container, such as a glass jar with a durable and tight fitting lid. If you’re using dish soap, you want something IN the sink drain so small parts don’t get lost.
Fourth: You will need to de-shield your bearing. There’s YouTube videos for that.
Fifth: put the de-shielded bearing into the container and add enough cleaning agent(mineral spirits, lighter fluid, acetone) to cover the bearing. Put the lid on tight enough to prevent leaks and then shake for about a minute to really get the stuff all through the bearing. Let sit/soak anywhere from 5-15 minutes.
Sixth: Remove the bearing to a paper towel and let drain on one side for a few minutes, then flip and repeat the draining…
Seventh: Put bearing on a wood chopstick and spin until dry. This is when you would want to use the compressed air to blow stuff out. Make sure you flip and do the other side. This is the part to be extra careful with because the blowing can generate a mist that could get into your eyes.

Also, if you get any of the stuff on your hands, a quick rinse in water will resolve the issue fast. I usually don’t have any issue with this. When I’m done cleaning a batch of bearings, I will wash my hands though.

Once dry, it’s your choice how to proceed. If you’re going to use liquid lube, less is more. Take a needle, dip it in your lube, touch that tiny drop at the end of the needed to a ball or two, spin to spread out and then re-shield your bearing and you’re done.

Parents need to educate themselves on their kid’s activities. Supporting their kid’s activities helps the kid. Sometimes this means “stepping up” like this.


Ok I’ll ask them, but yeah I also see some brown splotches on my bearing, like very very thin and small blotches… So I need to clean my bearing?
And when I looked into this, what is ‘your bearing is breaking in’–what does that mean?


Splotches? Weird. Most bearings are stainless. But if it’s plain steel I suppose it could be oxidizing a bit (rusting). If it’s not too far along yet, a good cleaning and lubing will help set it right.

“Breaking in” can be a couple of things. For the most part it means that after applying lube (or when receiving a bearing with factory lube) there can be a bit too much and it will therefore bit a bit responsive. As you play the bearing, it will lose some viscosity and start to become unresponsive.

It can also be something like what I’ve gone through with a ceramic bearing: something about the first few days of play causes a bit of extremely fine debris to form in the ball area. Removing the shields and cleaning solves this; whatever is being knocked loose doesn’t continue to collect forever and at that point the bearing is “broken in” I suppose!


Oh ok, I guess my bearing has broken in…
And they’re light splotches, so thanks I guess a cleaning will do! :wink: