Free the bearings from the wheels. The bearing will occupy the core of the wheel and will be circular in shape. After removing the wheels, you can gently pry out the bearings with a screwdriver, or pull these out carefully with needle-nose pliers.
Clean off major dirt and grime. Be sure to do so gently, to avoid grinding dirt into the bearings. Gently rub the bearings with a dry rag or paper tower to eliminate all obvious dirt.
Prepare a cleansing solution. Using a clean bucket or bowl, fill it with the acetone or a grease cleaning solvent. Mineral spirits or rubbing alcohol work well, are relatively inexpensive, and are less harsh than some cleaners. Fill the bucket or bowl just enough to submerge the bearings.
Pop off the bearing shield caps. Take the bearings in hand and using a small, thin object, like pin, paperclip, or the point of an X-acto knife, pry the rubber shield from the bearing. These caps are usually black or red. After removing the cap, you should see tiny metal balls.
Soak the bearings in the solvent. Now the bearings are ready to be put in the cleaning solution. Swirl the bearings around in the solvent for about five minutes, then let the bearings sit in the liquid for about ten minutes.
Remove and dry the bearings. Before removing the bearings, prepare a level, safe place where these can dry. Lay down paper towel or a rag, remove the bearings, and allow enough time to pass until completely dry.
Accelerate the drying. Let the bearings dry for about 10 minutes. You can speed this process by using canned air to spin the bearing. Aim the canned air into the open side of the bearing and spray. If it doesn't move, use your finger to spin the bearing and spray the air while the bearing is already spinning.
Apply the lubricant. It is best to use lubricant specifically intended for skateboard bearings. You should only need two or three drops of lubricant in each bearing. After applying the lubricant, spin the bearing to distribute throughout the bearing.
Replace the bearing shields. The shields should pop into place without much difficulty, but take care to make sure the seal between the bearing shield and bearing is complete. Check to ensure that there are no gaps.
Reinsert the bearings. Replace the bearings into the wheels by pushing each firmly with your finger into the wheel as far as you are able. Drive the bearings home by pushing the wheel down onto a skateboard truck as hard as you can.
Refasten the wheels. Now that the bearings are in the wheels as far as possible, reattach the wheels back to the trucks. Remember to put one washer on each side of the wheel. Then tighten the bolt until the wheels are firm, but not stiff.
Make sure the wheels are fastened correctly. Tightening a nut too much can hamper the wheel's ability to spin. Test each wheel by hand, spinning each to make sure every one moves freely.
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