best thing to clean bearings?


what should i use to clean my bearings? paint thinner? lighter fluid? or something else?


(WildCat23) #3

Lube doesn’t clean bearings, it lubes them.  Mineral spirits, lighter fluid, and acetone (In that order) are good solvents.


so i should use all three on one bearing? (in that order)


No, he is just saying that Mineral Spirits is better than lighter fluid, which is better than acetone. use whichever one, because they all work. But mineral Spirits works the best.


ive tried the mineral spirit thing, but i find dishsoap and a tooth brush works sooo much better… just rinse and dry thoroughly and dont let your bearing go down the drain


No. Pick one and go for it.

There’s a bit of a debate as to what is best. The two main materials that are discussed are lighter fluid and mineral spirits. Just like with yoyo shapes, brands, strings, bearings, responses and more, even the choice of solvents for use to clean bearings is a matter of personal preference.

Me personally, I live with possible pyromaniacs, so the last thing I need is lighter fluid around the house. So, obviously I’m using mineral spirits. Even so, I don’t think I’d go the lighter fluid route, but that’s just me having an opinion.

Now, I’ve heard that acetone can evaporate fast and can leave residue behind. I’m not sure that is true, but it’s what I’ve heard from multiple sources, so if you go that route, it seems you’re going to need to be aggressive in drying out the bearing when you’re done. I’ve also heard the both mineral spirits and lighter fluid do not have that issue.

What I will say is you do need to get yourself a small glass container for this either way. Either material can dissolve many plastics. I’m using the smallest sized baby food jar I could find. Oddly enough, it cost me 42 cents… destiny? Whatever. I’m reading too much into it. Either way, my baby did NOT want the food that was inside, but I did try. She wants fresh bananas, not baby food bananas. She’s picky! At any rate, with a glass jar and a lid, you can shake up the bearing and the fluid to ensure it really gets in there. I soak for 10-15 minutes, flip for another 10-15 minutes, then shake for a couple of minutes, let soak for a couple more, then remove the bearing(s) and then let them drain on a paper towel for a few minutes on one side, then flip and do the other side, then spin them on a pencil or paint brush for a few minutes in order to thoroughly dry them out.

After this, lubing is up to you. I recommend a drop of YYJ thin lube or One Drop VM4.


Acetone is what I use for the final step in cleaning,
But if you are just going use oil it really doesn’t matter.


Try some canned air. OK, “canned air” is a slang term for “compressed gas duster”, or some synonym of that, used to remove debris without solvents.

What I end up doing is putting the bearing on a chopstick, dropping a few drops of whatever solvent I have (or even running it under the faucet for a few seconds), then spinning all of the solvent (polar or non-polar) out with canned air. No drying needed.

You can also get the bearing to spin faster than you can with a regular flick, which seems to help the cleaning process.

Then I add a drop or two of what DavidRH suggested.