Skateboard Bearing Lubricant Alternatives

Skateboard Bearing Lubricant Alternatives

Skateboarding is a popular sport many people enjoy, but it requires proper maintenance to keep the board in good condition. One important aspect of skateboard maintenance is lubricating the bearings. Over time, dirt and debris can accumulate inside the bearings, causing damage and reducing performance. Using the right lubricant is crucial to keep the skateboard bearings running smoothly.

While many skateboarders use oil to lubricate their bearings, several alternatives are available. Grease is a popular option that can better protect against dust and debris. Some skateboarders also use cooking oil, like olive oil or vegetable oil, as a lubricant. Others prefer silicone spray or white lithium grease. Each lubricant alternative has advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to find the one best suited for your skateboard and riding style.

Properly lubricating your skateboard bearings can help them last longer and keep your board performing at its best. However, it’s important to make sure that you clean the bearings before applying any lubricant. Removing the shields and cleaning the balls with a solvent is a good way to get rid of any accumulated dirt or debris. Once the bearings are clean, apply the lubricant of your choice and re-seal the bearings. With a little care and maintenance, your skateboard bearings can keep you rolling smoothly for years.

Why Lubricate Skateboard Bearings?

Skateboard bearings are small metal balls that fit inside the wheel, allowing it to spin. These bearings are made from high-quality steel, but they can become damaged and wear out quickly without proper maintenance. That’s where lubrication comes in.

Lubricating skateboard bearings is essential to keep them running smoothly and to prevent damage. When bearings are not lubricated, they can become dry, which causes friction between the balls and the casing. This friction can cause the bearings to heat up, leading to warping, cracking, and other types of damage.

Using a lubricant on skateboard bearings helps to reduce friction, which in turn reduces heat and wear. It also helps to protect the bearings from moisture and other contaminants that can cause rust and corrosion. Lubrication is a crucial step in maintaining the longevity and performance of your skateboard bearings.

Several types of lubricants can be used on skateboard bearings, including oil and grease. Oil lubricants are thin and penetrate the bearings quickly, while grease lubricants are thicker and provide more long-lasting protection. Both types of lubricants can be used to lubricate ball bearings, but choosing a lubricant specifically designed for skateboarding is essential.

In summary, lubricating skateboard bearings is an essential step in maintaining the performance and longevity of your skateboard. By reducing friction, preventing damage, and protecting against moisture and other contaminants, lubrication helps to keep your bearings running smoothly and efficiently. Whether you choose to use oil or grease, choose a lubricant specifically designed for skateboarding to ensure the best possible results.

Types of Lubricants for Skateboard Bearings

When it comes to lubricating skateboard bearings, several types of lubricants are available. These include oil-based lubricants, grease-based lubricants, and alternative lubricants.

Oil-Based Lubricants

Oil-based lubricants are the most commonly used lubricants for skateboard bearings. They are ideal for high-speed applications, providing excellent lubrication and reducing friction. Some of the most popular oil-based lubricants include:

  • Bones Speed Cream
  • Tri-Flow Superior Lubricant
  • Sewing Machine Oil
  • Motor Oil

While oil-based lubricants are effective, using a lubricant specifically designed for skateboard bearings is important. Using the wrong type of oil can cause damage to the bearings and reduce their lifespan.

Grease-Based Lubricants

Grease-based lubricants are thicker and stickier than oil-based lubricants. They are ideal for use in applications where the lubricant needs to stay in place for an extended period. Some of the most popular grease-based lubricants include:

  • White Lithium Grease
  • Marine Grease
  • Teflon Grease

While grease-based lubricants are effective, they can be difficult to apply and can attract dirt and debris. It is important to clean the bearings thoroughly before applying grease-based lubricants to prevent contamination.

Alternative Lubricants

Several alternative lubricants can be used as a substitute for traditional skateboard-bearing lubricants. These include:

  • Olive Oil
  • Cooking Oil
  • PAM Cooking Spray
  • Silicone Spray
  • WD-40

While these lubricants may work in a pinch, they are not the best-suited lubricants for skateboard bearings. They can attract dirt and debris and may not provide adequate lubrication for high-speed applications.

In conclusion, when choosing a lubricant for skateboard bearings, it is important to choose one specifically designed for this purpose. While alternative lubricants may work in a pinch, they are not the best-suited lubricants for skateboard bearings.

How to Lubricate Skateboard Bearings

Skateboard bearings require regular lubrication to maintain optimal performance and prolong their lifespan. Properly lubricated bearings will spin smoothly and quietly, allowing for a faster and more enjoyable ride. Here are the steps to follow when lubricating your skateboard bearings:

Cleaning the Bearings

Before applying lubricant, it is crucial to clean the bearings thoroughly. Over time, dirt, dust, and debris can accumulate on the bearings’ surface, causing them to slow down or even stop entirely. To clean the bearings:

  1. Remove the bearings from the wheels using a skate tool or wrench.
  2. Use a small pin or razor blade to remove the rubber or metal shields on each bearing.
  3. Place the bearings in a container filled with a degreaser or rubbing alcohol and let them soak for a few minutes.
  4. Use a toothbrush or other small brush to scrub the bearings gently, removing any remaining dirt or debris.
  5. Rinse the bearings with water and dry them thoroughly with a clean cloth or paper towel.

Applying the Lubricant

Once the bearings are clean, it’s time to apply lubricant. Several lubricant alternatives include bearing oil, sewing machine oil, and even vegetable oil. Whichever option you choose, make sure it is suitable for skateboard bearings.

  1. Place a drop or two of lubricant on each bearing evenly.
  2. Spin the bearings to help the lubricant penetrate the ball bearings and inner race.
  3. Wipe off any excess lubricant with a clean cloth or paper towel.
  4. Reinstall the shields and bearings onto the wheels and tighten the axle nuts.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your skateboard bearings are clean and lubricated, allowing for a smooth and fast ride. Remember to clean and lubricate your bearings regularly to prevent dirt and debris buildup, which can cause your bearings to wear out faster.

Best Skateboard Bearing Lubricant Alternatives

When it comes to lubricating skateboard bearings, a few alternatives can be used instead of traditional skateboard bearing lubricants. Here are some of the best alternatives to try out:

Olive Oil

Olive oil is a popular lubricant alternative for skateboard bearings. It is a natural oil readily available in most households and has a similar viscosity to skateboard-bearing lubricant. Olive oil is also a better option for the environment and is less likely to cause damage to the metal components of the bearings. However, it is important to ensure the deck is wiped clean after application to avoid slipping.

Cooking Oil

Cooking oil is another readily available alternative to skateboard-bearing lubricant. It is a popular choice among many people because it is a cheap and effective option. However, it is important to note that cooking oil can attract dirt and debris, which can cause damage to the bearings over time. Therefore, it is recommended to clean the bearings regularly to avoid any buildup of dirt and debris.


WD-40 is a popular lubricant used for many years to lubricate skateboard bearings. It is a multi-purpose lubricant used on various surfaces, including metal components. WD-40 is a great option for those who want a long-lasting lubricant that will keep their bearings running smoothly for longer. However, it is important to note that WD-40 is a short-term solution and should be used sparingly.

Silicone Spray

Silicone spray is another popular alternative to skateboard-bearing lubricant. It is a light lubricant that is easy to apply and lasts longer than traditional lubricants. Silicone spray is also less likely to attract dirt and debris, which can cause damage to the bearings over time. It is important to ensure that the bearings are cleaned before applying silicone spray to ensure the lubricant can penetrate them properly.

Overall, many alternatives to traditional skateboard bearing lubricant can be used to keep bearings running smoothly. Olive oil, cooking oil, WD-40, and silicone spray are all great options that can help extend the life of bearings and keep them running smoothly. However, it is important to ensure that the bearings are cleaned regularly and that the right lubricant is used to avoid damage to the bearings or the deck.

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