Cleaning - what am I doing wrong?

I’ve never been very successful at cleaning bearings - deshielded a few (8-ball Cs and a KonKave, along with some hubstack bearings). Soaked them in mineral spirits in a small glass jar for 5-10 minutes, shaking occasionally. Remove each one at a time and spin dry on a pencil. While they all spin freely they don’t spin for a long time, and they all have a little responsiveness causing the yo-yo to return unexpectedly. What can I do to fix this? Should I use something other than mineral spirits (which would be great, because I can’t stand the smell)

How are you determining that they don’t spin for ‘a long time’? If you’re just doing a flick test, don’t put that much weight in it… it’s not a very accurate measure for how well a bearing is performing. If they just aren’t working well in the yo-yo, that’s more of a concern.

Your process isn’t bad, it’s a pretty standard approach. If you want, you can try something like acetone, which tends to be a bit more aggressive in cleaning (but doesn’t smell any better). Just make sure it is -very- dry before putting it into a plastic yo-yo as the acetone will eat away at the plastic.


(side note: is this Chimera from years ago? or are you somebody new?)

What I’ve been doing recently is using Dawn dish soap and water. Now I know that it can cause bearings to rust, yes, but I have a powerful air compressor and a dremel on hand that I can use to quickly spin them and dry them out. You can achieve a similar effect with a can of compressed air.
I’ve tried lighter fluid, acetone, and denatured alcohol, not mineral spirits yet. I used to get pretty good results with the lighter fluid, but it sometimes left residue. The alcohol was alright too but I felt that since I needed to clean a bearing multiple times anyways, I didn’t want to waste by using fresh alcohol every cycle or two. Acetone is definitely a stronger solvent, I found it gives pretty good results as well, but I didn’t use it for very long before I switched to dish soap.

As for the cleaning process, I’ve found that I sometimes have to clean several times(3-4) to get every bit of remaining residues/dust that might make my yoyos responsive. You’ll also want to make sure that you are shaking a LOT if there is something stuck in there. Sometimes it doesn’t get out in the first 1-2 cleanings so you might have to set some time aside and really work it out.

Yeah Kyle it’s me :slight_smile: you’d think after all these years I’d be able to clean a bearing. Yes the flick test gives pretty poor results but it’s more the unpredictable response I’m concerned with. I can take the cleaned konkave and put it in something that was working fine with another kk, and it’ll become responsive sometimes…I can kind of tell when it’s about to happen but that doesn’t make it any less annoying, just makes it hurt less.

Have you tried blowing them out w/compressed air to dry them better? The cans used for computer cleaning work well.