What's a quick way to clear a bearing without taking it apart?

I don’t have lighter fluid or pliers. I don’t need a full clean, I just need to get rid of some gunk from my precious yoyo.

I wouldn’t half-a** it. Clean it properly. You’ll be glad you did.


btw if your bearings are shielded, you’ll need to deshield them with a pin

and if you don’t have pliers, how are you going to get it out? (if you have a bearing tool you don’t need pliers)

yeah I agree with @zslane cleaning a bearing is probably one of the least careless thing a yoyo player should do*, first probably being throwing over concrete :sweat_smile:

*for casual players anyway

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No, you don’t. You too @zslane. This is bad info you’re disseminating.

Just dunk the bearing with the shield in place in isopropyl alcohol or acetone (as pure as possible) and swish it around a lot. Then dry it with a paper towel and spin out any residue using compressed air.

Removing the shield gives you a deeper cleaning, perhaps, but unless your bearing is really mucked up with filth and gunk … dunking a bearing, swirling it, and spinning it out has worked just fine in every case I’ve seen.

At any rate there is literally nothing to lose by trying the simpler “keep the shield in place” method first. You can always escalate to taking the shield out later if you can’t get that working…


You probably wont get rid of the grit/hair/etc stuff out of the bearing if you don’t remove the shields, but I guess it is worth a try. At the very least you need to remove the bearing and soak it in solvent though.

In my opinion you should just remove the shields and discard them. They aren’t really doing much in a yoyo, and they are far easier to clean. It’s a pain, but in the end it is worth it. Some like to keep the shields on, but they aren’t necessary at all (I don’t notice my yoyo bearings getting gritty and gunked up any quicker unshielded; skate bearings otoh…).

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You’ll need some thin lube after your done. Use what you think is a very little bit, then use less.
Don’t worry about the shields just now, just get mineral spirits, lighter fluid, or the safest 99% rubbing alcohol. Highest you can find. After the bearing is shaken in a closed jar, don’t forget to blot them dry and spin on a pen or pencil for a bit to remove the excess.

Pliers are not necessary to remove your bearing, get a 1/4 inch drill bit at the hardware store.

Did you know any of this?

really? I guess I didn’t really need to deshield all 30 of my bearings then :sweat_smile:

I’ll post a picture of my shields and c clip collection later :stuck_out_tongue:


well, I guess you can just take your bearing out, dunk it in whatever solvent you have, dry, spin, and you’re done. Is this do-able as an absolute minimum?

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Use some thin lube. You can use sewing machine oil or better yet, purchase some thin lube. If you know a brass player, you can use trumpet valve oil. Very little.

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I do now

Umm, you really need to deshield…
It’s not bad info…


I agree if the simpler solution doesn’t work, then for sure go with deshielding… but I’ve cleaned a ton by simple immersion and shaking. I do think the simple way should be tried first before going to de-shielding.


Telling people they don’t need to deshield their bearings is bad info. Just like @eternalmetal said, how can the gunk etc be removes if you don’t?


I’ve cleaned probably a few dozen bearings this way, and it works fine almost every time*.

Start with the easy way and see, as I have, that it works quite reliably.

* it is true that some bearings may be xxxtra gunked up, in which case the shields may need to be removed – or the bearing may just be flat-out bad. Why start with the extra work when you only need it one time out of twenty, if that?


I agree totally. I remove the shields as a last resort to save the bearing. The original poster may want to keep it simple, at least for now.

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I heard that because lighter fluid doesn’t completely evaporate you don’t need to lube the bearing afterwards. Does anyone know if this is true?

I use mineral spirits, dry, spin, and lightly lube. Done. Right or wrong it’s what I do :slight_smile:

For the younger kids here, I am hesitant to recommend acetone, mineral spirits or lighter fluid. The higher % alcohol is safer. Mineral spirits are pretty toxic.


Ya, I get unnecessarily frustrated removing shields.I remove them then joyously throw them in the trash never to be reinstalled again. Great time saver.


I used paint thinner

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