What method do you use to clean your bearings?


i have a weird way of doing it.

1: put a drop of dish soap in the bearing and spin it out.
2:wash bearing with water and dry with towel
3: soak in klean strip safer paint thinner for 10 minutes
4: blow out with canned air
5: soak bearing in lighter fluid for 10 minutes
6:dry on paper towel and use more canned air on bearing
7: spin on pencil for about 5 minutes
8: put one drop of thin lube on bearing and further spin on pencil. blast with canned air!

what do you guys do?


In the old days, Ed Haponik used to use Ragu sauce for cleaning bearings with moderately successful results. Someone . . . ( . . . was it Mike Trevino ?) later discovered that it was best to stay away from the 3 cheese as this seemed to slow the bearing down somewhat.


ummm… LOL


Well, Duh! I mean, come on, dairy!

My method of cleaning varies, but let’s say it’s the worse case scenario:
De-shielded bearings of course:
1: Soak in mineral spirits, 5-10 minutes. This breaks down and removes lubricants
2: Remove from mineral spirits, then clean using the paper slip method described by Elephark. This helps remove impurities.
3: Use compressed air and blow it out, although it’s most likely dry by now. Spin for a minute or to. I typically will use a typical TV commercial break for this.
if completely dry
4: Spin to check, time with stopwatch and record time.
5: Acetone bath, 5-10 minutes.
6: Blow clean.
7: Spin dry.
8: Check spin time on a flick with the stopwatch.

If I’m satisified with the results, Terrapin X treat the bearing, re-shield, done.

If I’m not satisfied, especially if I feel the bearing isn’t clean enough yet, repeat. I may or may not repeat the paper slip method.


I stick my bearings in paint thinner for a few minutes
use a can of compressed air to blow anything out
let it dry
lubricate it
put back in yoyo

(⛷ Noisy Lurker) #6
  1. deshield and place into bicycle chain degreaser, time varies.
  2. remove and blow dry with canned air.
  3. tiniest ammount of thin lube.

The real question is how often do I clean a bearing? Almost never. I have bearings that have never been cleaned and are older than some of you! The amazing thing is that those old bearings play perfectly.


That’s intense. I de-shield both sides or just one side, discard shield(s), soak bearing in mineral spirits for 10 minutes or so, spin bearing on pencil to dry, and finally replace in yoyo.


TBH - I never need to clean my bearings nor should you. I dont see how they would get dirty. And if they do just de-shield them and use compressed air. I hate using harsh chemicals on bearings like lighter fluid and such, its just not good for the bearing.




Never had to clean a bearing yet…



I just put mine in a jar of ammonia and shke it for like a minute and then blow it out with the air compressor at 80 PSI


My kid had hair get pulled into the SHIELDED bearing of his Protostar. Yes, it got all the way past the spacers and the shields and was clogged with hair.

I’ve had Duncan bearings packed with grease(Metal Drifter, ProZ, Flying Panda, Butteryfly XT, Hayabusa, just to name a few), as well as some B-sized bearings. The bearings in my Bearing King spin tops were not too bad, but after a cleaning were getting at least twice the spin time on a flick(went from 10 seconds at best to around 24 seconds on average) and overall performance jumped a ton. I’ve had some YYJ bearings that needed to be cleaned out for better performance: Big Yo, the half-spec in my Go Big, the ones in my Speed Maker, Kickside, Lyn Fury and Pinnacle.

I also took a bunch of questionable bearings and managed to save all but 5 of them thanks to thorough cleaning.

I don’t clean all my bearings, just the ones I feel may need it.

(laxdude99) #14
  1. put in paint thinner for 10 minutes
  2. spin on pencil
  3. thick lube it
  4. break in bearing

i like my yoyos quiet and thick lube really does the job but i have a to play for responsive for a few weeks and i only do this once every year maybe


to clean… if i need to… which i rarely do i only do just as common practice now to keep the bearings to keep em lasting long. I just soak/shake in acetone for like 5 mins then i put it on the end of my tweezers and blow it out with an air compressor. I then add a needle tip amount of lube to them and im good to go.


Hey just wondering: I’ve only been using mineral spirits and noticed you also use acetone. Are the two chemicals not similar? I want to try your method.


I find by using both, I appear to get more stuff out. Whatever the mineral spirits don’t remove, the acetone will. But, also, since I Terrapin X treat my bearings using the Terrapin X Dry Play material, I need to use acetone for that process as well.

Yeah, perhaps overkill. You can do just fine with mineral spirits. But, I’ve been finding I get an extra 3-5 seconds of spin time with my process before Terrapin X treating, which can then give me an additional 8-20 seconds of spin time.

Case and point:
An A-bearing from a grease packed Duncan: No spin before cleaning(virtually). After Mineral Spirits: 8 seconds. After Acetone(after Mineral Spirits): 12 seconds. Repeat the process: 12 seconds for mineral spirits and/or acetone. It could simply be the acetone either removed extra stuff or maybe if I just cleaned a second time in mineral spirits I may have gotten the same results. After Terrrapin X Treatment: 24 seconds spin time on a flick.


I soak my bearings in carb and choke cleaner for about 5 mins blow them out with a super soaker thats never had water in it and no lube.


bump! and i was thinking about using bike chain degreaser, now im willing to try it :smiley:


That’s intended for a thicker grease, rather than a lube.

Worse case is you use mineral spirits or acetone or stuff for cleaning skate bearings to get the de-greaser out. I think the odds of using that and ruining the bearings is pretty much close to zilch. But, I do feel it’s not the right product for the job.