Had a couple quick maintenance questions…

So over the past little bit I’ve had a couple sets of response pads wear out and some bearings get really dirty and loud. Shipping anything in Canada cost a small fortune, so I decided to just try and pick up some maintenance stuff at a local hardware store. My questions are as follows:

Is flowable silicone still a decent option? Do people still do that? If so, what type should I get?

What’s the best way to clean bearings? Acetone? Alcohol? Do I need to blow it dry with compressed air?

Someone help me out before I pop over to Canadian tire :slight_smile:

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Permatex RTV (clear or red) windshield sealant is widely used (and to some still preferred over pads).

I personally prefer acetone for cleaning as its avaliable to me from work, but alcohol works great as long as its 90% purity or better. I just let it soak, take it out for a spin, resoak, and spin off excess by pressing the bearing inner diameter onto a pencil taper. (Avoid pens/plastic as the acetone will eat it and cause a mess.)


Yes, flowable silicon is an excellent way to go. If you are comfortable doing it yourself, then by all means go for it. Just find something like what YYE sells here:

When I want to clean out a bearing, I let it soak in acetone for a few hours, then blow it clean with compressed air, lube it, and then blow it again with compressed air.


Flowable silicone is still a thing. Pads are more convenient and more spreaded, but good old Permatex sealer or Arexons Motorsil D still an option, as already said.

Actually, compressed air imo is your best bet for removing dust from bearing. Of course, it may contain moisture, so better wash your bearing with some liquid like fliud for lighters.


Just remember one critical element when if you decide to use flowable silicone instead of pads.

Sometimes I think it’s too easy for people to recommend RTV or flowable windshield sealant for a variety of purposes.

A dozen people can jump in to this thread and make perfectly good suggestions from their own personal experience or from what they’ve heard from somebody that they know is really good at yo-yos.

So you watch your thread for a week and narrow it down to a half a dozen top options that could be used to silicone your yo-yo.

It’s not choosing the silicone as much is the actual application of the silicone. That’s the critical part. Having several tubes sitting on the table in front of you and a couple yo-yos to experiment with is one thing. Would you pick up that tube and start squeezing that silicone that’s a completely different ball game.

Your results can vary dramatically depending on how well you’re able to apply the silicone.

I would say without taking a nationwide study that probably just guesstimating, half the people that don’t like flowable silicone for response system are people that either put it in themselves improperly or got the yo-yo that way and the silicone wasn’t done correctly.

I think of it this way. Your grandma is willing to give you a handful of money if you paint her garage for her. She tells you on the shady side of the garage there are 2 gallons of paint and a couple of paint brushes… Go paint the garage. So you have the enthusiasm the garage is right there the weather is real nice and you have the proper equipment. But you don’t really know beans about painting and the garage comes out looking pretty funny.

Just like anything else in life some people are just naturals for doing things correctly with a minimal of fuss. You will hear people say I’m having my friend do it because he’s very coordinated and good at things. I’m not gonna try it myself because I’m all thumbs and a little on the clumsy side.

All of us in the yo-yo community can have the highest levels of enthusiasm. The highest levels of positivity. The highest levels of confidence they were going to make every effort to do the best at whatever we try. And then the bomb drops… Applying flowable silicone to yo-yo halves.

If you were a natural and the results you achieve are stellar you were going to love silicone. If you put it on a little too thick. If you put it on a little too thin. If you put it on a little too sloppy. If you put it on yo-yo house that aren’t real clean and the silicone doesn’t stick around the edges? If you have the best of intentions but your lack of experience doesn’t yield fortunate results, then you’re gonna hate silicone. You’re gonna talk trash about silicone. You’re going to tell people silicone is no good it sure didn’t work for me. But it wasn’t a silicone it was you.

I’ve been using silicone in a body shop environment for the last 50 years. 50 years of using silicone on almost a daily basis. When it comes to yo-yos, I started using silicone when one of the guys I think he was from Italy, start using the red RTV. I was kind of puzzled that I didn’t figure it out myself since I was pretty much a Modding machine way back then. I did a lot of stuff to a lot of yo-yos and I can prove it but I don’t need to because most you guys probably already know it. But that’s one thing I didn’t think of flowable silicone even though at work I use it all the time . I laughed like hell when that guy I think they make the sumo yo-yos or something like that I can’t think of his name? When I find out what those guys were using I said man oh man why didn’t I think of that? But I didn’t. What I did do was I jumped right on it and started using silicone for response systems. I try just about every kind of silicone I could think of or had access to.

The various silicones yield various results even with excellent application some never seem to dry some dry kind of hard some stay pretty sticky or spongy etc. Most of the guys that are experience and use silicone on a regular basis for their yo-yos they got the recipe wired. They use a certain silicone they use a certain technique and they get results they can deal with.

I would never suggest to anyone to not try silicone. I mean adventure is what it’s all about. You can’t be afraid to try stuff. Failure is just practice toward success. But just remember which is pretty evident and obviously clear without me being too redundant, which is probably already too late. But the bottom line is it’s not just a silicone that you decide to use is how well you can apply it. There are many videos on the Internet very detailed about the application a silicone on yo-yo halves. I would suggest going to YouTube and watching some of the videos. There’s an old saying a picture is worth 10,000 words. Sometimes moving pictures in the form of videos or worth even more. I’ve even watch several of the videos myself and no doubt I could make one or two or three… But why bother everybody already beat me to it. And some of these guys are really good. You got a watch their techniques.

Good luck.


Mazal top or ilinx mouse pads sell bulk pads (I don’t know the shipping) if you wanted to go for pads,I think the pads would “keep” longer.I use 99% iso with no problems,I do pretty much what @Marioyo does but I don’t soak them I just swish them around.


I’m lazy and impatient which is why I use pads rather than flow my own silicone. One Drop and ilinx pads are my favorites.

However, there are some real benefits to mastering flowable silicone. A major benefit is that you never have to worry about finding pads for yoyos that pre-date the 19mm “slim” standard that we have now. Another benefit is that you will be in more control of grip level by adjusting the depth of the recess you create. Finally, a tube of silicone will last a very long time, and it is very inexpensive by comparison to pads.

So if you haven’t yet mastered flowing your own silicone, you may find it is a skill well worth acquiring.

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Permatex red is good stuff, but harder to get a good application with than Permatex clear flowable. The clear flowable will settle into the groove a little bit whereas red rtv has a more rigid consistency and will require you to precisely smooth the top.

I have not used acetone to clean bearings. I use 99% isopropyl alcohol, and it works great. Dries off with just a few flicks of the bearing, no compressed air needed. Compressed air is useful for blowing excess lube out and breaking the bearing in, however.

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This is the best reply in the history of replies. I appreciate the advice

Thank you all, this has been extremely helpful

I still use silicon to make responds pads, either flowable or regular - i use methylated spirits to clean my bearing

I still use flowable silicone. The clear stuff. It’s a pain compared to just slapping a pad in, but i enjoy the process.

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