Cleaning A Bearing?

How often are you supposed to clean your bearing? Also how do you clean it? I have a Plastic yoyo. The video on here didnt help me much.

take out the bearing put it in a glass jar pour in some lighter fluid or mineral spirits in it wait and hour use a hair dryer on for a little while, do this about every seven weeks

Wouldnt that effect the plastic? Is there any online yoyo store that sells stuff to clean i bearing because i dont know where i could buy those at.

true value
home depot

Yes, it will affect the plastic if it’s not completely dry.

Best way to clean a bearing is to not clean a bearing. Don’t clean a bearing unless it’s absolutely necessary.

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If i put thin lube on a bearing will it eventually need to be cleaned? Also how o you take a bearing off?

only if you over lube it

Use paint thinner. I’m pretty sure most paint thinners work, but the one people tend to recommend in particular is 100% mineral spirits. Personally, I’ve used other paint thinners and not noticed a difference, but there are a huge variety of paint thinners out there and I can guarantee some don’t work. Basically, what you’re doing is rinsing the bearing, but you need to rinse it in something that doesn’t have water in it (water will corrode stuff) and doesn’t leave a lot of residue when it dries (everything leaves some residue, though.) Alternatives to paint thinner include denatured alcohol (I think) and kerosene (also spelled kerosine and sometimes also called paraffin).

Anyway, once you’ve got your solvent, the process is as follows:

  1. Use a pin, needle, or something else very very small and pointy to squeeze out the C shaped rings right underneath the outer lip of the bearing. You do this by finding the gap in the C and sticking your needle in there, then trying to lever it out. Be careful not to lose the C rings once you get 'em out.

  2. Once you get those out, the shields should fall out. Sometimes they need a little help and you have to shake it a little, or bang it around.

  3. put the bearing, shields, C shaped things, etc. into a little bottle of some kind and pour your solvent in. Ideally, you want something made out of glass because glass is super inert and there’s no way it’s gonna react with your solvent. Anything that was designed to hold medicine is also a good bet 'cuz those plastics are also engineered to not react with stuff. Those tend to leak a bit, though. Pretty much, you can probably use whatever you want.

  4. Shake it for about a minute, maybe more.

  5. Fish out the bearing etc. with a pencil/hands. It’s bad practice to get paint thinner on your skin, but it’s probably fine as long as you don’t eat it or bathe in it.

  6. Take the bearing, stick it on the end of a pencil, spin it, and spray it with compressed air. This dries the bearing and also blows out whatever residue the solvent left when it evaporated. You can probably get by without the compressed air if you blow on really hard. I’ve done that before with satisfactory results.

  7. Once it’s dry, put it all back together.

  8. Put a drop or two of thin lube on it. You can skip this step if you tend to opt for slightly longer spin times at the cost of an obnoxiously loud bearing.

Depending on the plastic and depending on the solvent, it may effect a plastic yoyo. If the bearing’s not dripping wet when you put it back in the yoyo, it’s very unlikely to make a difference, though. If you want to be sure, use a Q-tip to paint some solvent onto an insignificant part of your yoyo and see what happens. Most solvents are fairly inert and yoyo plastics are good strong stuff.

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When I first started getting into yo-yos seriously, I had the impression that it was important to keep your bearing clean and maintained. I cleaned all of the bearings I had, and lubed them up. I’ve done a lot of work with industrial bearings before I switched my major and cleaning the bearings was something that was really important under the conditions that they are used.

For yo-yos, experience and trial/error has taught me that just leaving the bearing alone until it gets WAY too loud (you can’t miss this, really) gives the best results. I lube it when it gets loud, play the crap out of it until it needs to be lubed again.

the Doc is right, don’t clean it unless gets something in it (which with the shields on it shouldn’t be very often).

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Stay away from paint thinners. Seems you found this out by trial-and-error, though. Just better to go with the two reliable standbys of the hobby: mineral spirits and naphtha lighter fluid. Also, denatured alcohol is a bad idea, too, as the different blends will often contain small amounts of water.

Doesn’t get anymore helpful than that. The above is bearing cleaning 101, and should be a reference book, should you have to actually try it. Again, I submit that bearing cleaning isn’t beneficial 95% of the time. Just take it out of it’s pretty box and play with it. The bearing will break in. Leave it be!

And a shortened bearing life. Also, if you’re using an entire drop of thin lube, you’re overdoing it. The amount you can put on the sharp end of a safety pin (the only yo-yo tool you must own) is sufficient lube for 1-2 months worth of play. Of course, you can go buck wild and run 'em dry. Heck, most of us do. Just be prepared to replace them slightly more often.

This probably isn’t a good idea. The two most common polymers you’re going to run into in this hobby are polycarbonate and Celcon. You don’t want the hydrocarbons typically used in the hobby introduced to either of these materials. The damage done is often very subtle, and not always apparent to the user until the yo-yo starts acting funny: bearing seat melted, plastic warped into an off-balance condition, metal rim coming loose, yo-yo shattering from altered tensile strength, axle seat warping, etc.

Make sure your bearings are completely dry before putting them back in the yo-yo. And I’d recommend not spot-testing cleaning fluids on the yo-yo itself, unless you’re willing to replace it when the worst happens.

I’ve used odorless mineral spirits on a cotton swab to help clean up excess gunk (thanks for the advice Samad) that spills into the bearing seat from my messy silicone jobs with no problems so far.  I don’t recommend letting your Dark Magic have a swim in the stuff, but don’t be wary of a small amount of cleaner still on the bearing.

On a side note though, there are some pretty strong metal solvents out there that can melt plastic like Styrofoam in pot of acetone.

If you really want to clean your bearing, spend the money on the tried and true stuff everyone uses.  You might just thank yourself one day.

This is the video that everyone seems to like:

hobby stores also sell bearing cleaners/spray for r/c cars and they wont harm anything.

How do I take the bearing out?

Unscrew the yoyo and try to pull it out. If it’s stuck, whack it a few times on a book or something until it falls out.

t the paint thinner jacked up my gm bearig

i use acetone. does that work?

It should. DocRobot mentioned that denatured alchohol tends to have small amounts of water in it, which I think might be a result of it’s manufacturing process. If that’s the case, acetone might have small amounts of water in it too because it’s also really soluble in water, which means it probably has water in it’s manufacturing process too.

I suspect, though, that since the bearing is only going to be in contact with that acetone for a little over a minute, that the damage caused by a small concentration of water is insignificantly small.

If you’ve used acetone and it works, then it’s probably fine.

your post scared me for a bit lol. but i took a look at it and it says dry acetone. maybe its some kind of acetone for metal but i dont know.