Noisy bearings


I have some budda bearing ripples and some twisted trifectas that are noisy even after I clean them in mineral spirits, then dry them out and use the paper cleaning method and then lightly lube them. It almost sounds like one of the balls is grinding against something or maybe one of the balls is a bit looser than the others, but these bearings have not been near anything that could get stuck inside of them. If anyone know how to fix this so I can have quiet bearings, please tell me! Thank you.


I have had bearings with those symptoms. Working on one right now in fact. When there’s that kind of noise, the bearing is also almost always semi-responsive. If you throw a sleeper and give the yoyo a tug, does the string try to “chase” the axle?

I’ve occasionally had to give up and bin the bearing. It’s not worth spending your life fixing something that could very well be defective/broken. Give it your best shot and if it doesn’t clear up or break in, move on to another bearing.


Let me check but that sucks just to trash it. That like $10 or $12 down the drain. I don’t mind using the bearing, but I am annoyed at the fact that I clean and lube the bearing and it is noisy and it shouldn’t have gotten anything inside of it either.


Also, what is with everyone and acetone? doesn’t mineral spirits do the same thing? or would acetone be better if my bearing possibly had something stuck inside of it? Just wondering


I find that given two identical bearings, I get better results with acetone. That’s just my experience.

If something is stuck inside the bearing, I will use mineral spirits combined with the paper slip method to remove any debris. Since mineral spirits take longer to evaporate, it works better with the paper slip cleaning method. After this is done, I clean in acetone.

I also treat my bearings with Dry Play, and that requires acetone to properly work the Dry Play into the bearing.

I clean a LOT of bearings. I’m no expert but I do know I know how to do it right. That’s all that matters.


Ok, well do you think acetone will help with the problem I am experiencing? Or do you know how to fix this problem I am having?


I use both. I generally prefer mineral spirits, actually. I don’t have a scientific reason for this; I just find that I have a better rate of success with mineral spirits. :wink:

Switching to acetone will not likely fix the problem. If there is any sort of galling in the bearing, that’s a permanent defect that no amount of cleaning will fix. If it’s a solid debris that the solvent doesn’t dissolve, you may need a bit of luck and hard work to flick the bearing until it’s knocked free (assuming the shields are removed). Even better, fire up an air compressor and blast some air through the bearing. This will blow out a lot of debris and spin the bearing nicely as well. I always blast air through after the solvent phase and again after the lube phase (if I’m lubing).

That said, acetone is pretty cheap. It’s not going to hurt anything to try it.


Based on your description you didn’t clean things out right.

If using mineral spirits, combined with the paper slip method, the procedure is as follows:

Of course, you de-shield both sides of the bearing(a lot of people don’t do this!!)
Agitate in mineral spirits for at least 30 seconds, longer is good.
Soak for 5-15 minutes of you want. Usually the solvent gets the lubricants fairly quickly. If you’re planning to re-clean the bearing anyways, then 5 minutes is fine.

Keep in mind: the main purpose for using solvents is to break down and remove the lubrication, not remove “solids” from the bearing. The agitation and draining will knock out some and draining may remove some more, but it won’t remove all of it. If you want, at this point you can remove the bearing, blow it out to try to get out as much grit and crud out. Then you might want to re-soak(and some agitation) in the mineral spirits again so you can prepare for the paper slip round of cleaning.

Now, since you’re going to use the paper slop method, when you remove the bearing, put it on a paper towel to drain for a few seconds, turn over and repeat in a new location. Tap out SOME excess. You need the rest in there for use with the paper slip method. The paper slips absorb some of the mineral spirits, which should also cause any particulate matter to stick and be pulled out.

After you’re done doing the paper slip method, the bearing should be “bone dry”. At this point, it’s up to you if you clean again, lube, run dry or whatever you want.

I would recommend running dry for a bit, with the shields off in any questionable bearings to doing more work isn’t such a chore. It is possible to get bad bearings or bearings develop problems. If it’s a physical problem such as galling or a bad ball, the bearing is just crap and should be tossed. If it’s something in there, the cleaning methods should help resolve that.

You can always repeat the cleaning process, but if results are improving, there’s a point where it’s either as good as it will get or there is an actual problem.