I just lubricated a bearing with chapstick

The A size bearing in my recently acquired “cats n’ loops” Alleycat 650b started sounding grainy.

So I took it out, de-shielded it, cleaned it in acetone and put the shields back on.

Then I lubricated it with thick lube. Much to my dismay, it played simi-responsive. I do not enjoy playing response roulette…

So I added some thicker motor oil I had laying around. Still not responsive enough.


So I removed the bearing, took one shield off, cleaned it in acetone again and this time… wait for it…

I used chapstick.

I simply tooled some into the ball bearing track through the one de-shielded side with a knife. I put the shield back on, popped it into the yoyo and VUALA.

Perrrfectly responsive. And quiet too!

Who knew? :man_shrugging:


I’m pretty sure that Chapstick would have a fair percentage of water. That wouldn’t be good in your bearing.


Just found out that it does not.


It isn’t Chapstick brand chapstick, it’s an organic gluten free, dairy free, kosher, handlebar mustache-approved, hipster alternative.

It has zero water listed in the list of 4 ingredients.


Well; there’s nothing worse than a yoyo with dry lips.


Dang i just lubricated my bearing with thin lube and it became tug responsive. I did the needle thing where you use it to get a small drop but still bad


I’ve always used lip balm in my responsive bearings! Works a lot better than thick lube, that’s for sure. Boating grease works great as well but is pretty horrible to clean up if you get it anywhere besides the inside of the bearing.


There’s really three classes of lube

  1. thin oil (sewing machine oil, trumpet oil, etc)
  2. thick oil (household 3-in-1)
  3. grease

I use class 3 on responsive yo-yos. There’s really no good use for class 2 on yo-yos that I can think of other than lubricating threads where two different metals touch?

It doesn’t surprise me that you’d get bad results with thick here. Chapstick should be OK because it’s basically petroleum jelly and thus safe. I am not sure what beeswax (Burt’s Bees) would do exactly over time.

Vaseline would also work for your needs I think.


I have used graphite power with great results. Bearing spins 50% more than with thin oil. The downside is the grinding sound, but it gets better eventually.


If you really want to remove all the lub you have put into the bearing, you may want to wash it with a) acetone or with b) dishwasher detergent (just a small drop). Make sure the bearing is super dry after washing it to avoid any rusting.

Once the bearing is totally clean, then lubricate it again.


You could also try spraying white lithium grease into the bearing. That might do the trick.

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I use a tiny bit of waterproof bearing grease in my Custom slim lines to make them reliably responsive. Oil will work, but it doesn’t hang in there as long.
My favorite thread on this is one I can’t find any more, but someone was going on a while back about using Nutella. That was a good thread.


Superlube Grease is the best IMO. You can find samplers that with last a while for under a buck at the auto supply shops or Big Blocks. It also last, with extended play. Core Co uses Park Tools Polylube grease when you get them new, that can be found at most Bike shops relatively cheap as well. A tube will last a long time and if you bicycle you can also fo your bottom bracket and headsets as well.


Yeah lasts a long time is an understatement, if you have to buy a tube or tub of bearing grease just for your yo-yo bearings, you might hand half of it down to your kids one day.
I’m not sure how important what brand you get, some of the synthetic grease we used at the bicycle shop seemed thinner to me, I work at a motorcycle shop and we use a typical bearing packing grease there that is fairly inexpensive, but sold in a gang’s all here size that would probably be enough for a million yo-yo bearings.


Hahaha, I love this :sweat_smile:


For the record, it wasn’t Burt’s. But it is similar. I’ll give an update here if and when the bearing needs attention again.

One of the things I do like about this method, is that I’d kind of rather get this stuff on my fingers/string over grease. I’m kind of obsessive when it comes to getting synthetic oils/grease on my skin, even in very small quantities.

If I’m rebuilding a small engine, I don’t care as much. But if I’m just maintaining/ fixing a yoyo bearing, it makes me really uncomfortable to get it on myself/clothes/yoyo/string.


I have never heard it better stated. :rofl::rofl::rofl:


will lubing my axel threads preserve them, or is this some prank to get my yoyos to spin apart?

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Hmmm… Where does Brain Lube/Super Lube fall in that breakdown? It’s a “2” I believe, and still quite popular. It is a good bit thicker than 3-in-1.

Personally, I’ve never needed thicker than Super Lube even in my Deep State. I just keep adding until I get it responsive enough. I have used white lithium grease, and that worked well. Maybe I did use lithium in my Deep State? Can’t remember, so maybe I’ve “rarely” needed anything thicker than Super Lube…

The Weekender is great with the greased bearing it comes with!

One thing to think about with any yoyo with a response pad, is that oil on the pad can ruin response. Especially as you’re lubing up your bearing, but even oil from your hands, transferred via the string can get on the pad. This is true for unresponsive yoyos as well.

If things aren’t acting right, and I suspect oil on the pads, I take a cotton swab with 91% isopropyl on it, and clean the pads.


I use multi purpose motor grease on my responsives. Works like a charm.