Dirty wheels impact braking ability and acceleration. Over time, accumulated dirt, debris, and road grime can build up in the wheel grooves and skateboard bearings, reducing performance and increasing maintenance needs. Regular cleaning keeps wheels rolling smoothly. This article will provide the supplies and steps to deep clean both urethane wheels and the inside of the wheel grooves. Deep cleaning extends wheel life and keeps the e-skate experience safe and enjoyable.
Essential Wheel Cleaning Tools
To properly clean electric skateboard wheels, you’ll need to gather a few supplies:
For washing the wheels:
- Bucket or bin
- Car wash or dish soap
- Soft-bristled brush suited for urethane
For drying the wheels:
- Clean towels
- Hair dryer on low setting
For deep cleaning the grooves:
- Isopropyl or rubbing alcohol
- Old toothpick (for stuck debris)
For bearing maintenance:
- Bearing cleaning solution
- Compressed air
Having the right tools available will make the cleaning process quicker and more effective. It ensures your wheels get thoroughly cleaned from the tread to the inside grooves. And investing in quality supplies guarantees a deep clean and extends the life of your high-performance electric skateboard wheels.
Remove Wheels From the Board
Before washing your wheels, it’s important to first carefully remove them from the electric skateboard truck. Every board is a little different, but most use standard nuts or bolts to secure the wheels. Loosen each bolt gradually in a star or cross pattern to avoid placing uneven pressure on any single point of contact. Go around twice, loosening a little each time until the wheels are free. Don’t remove the last nut all at once, or the wheel could flip out. When all bolts are loose, gently slide the wheels off. This method reduces stress on the trucks and ensures your wheels stay true. With wheels now detached, it’s time to move on to washing.
Once the wheels are removed from the electric skateboard, it’s time to give them a thorough cleaning. Follow these steps to properly wash electric skateboard wheels:
- Fill a bucket or bin with warm water and add a small amount of car wash or dish soap. The soap helps cut through built-up grease and grime.
- Place the wheels in the soapy water. For wheels with heavy soiling, let them soak briefly to help loosen debris.
- Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the tread and sides of each wheel. Scrub gently but thoroughly to remove all dirt and residue.
- For larger wheels, it may be easier to hand-wash them in sections rather than all at once.
- Rinse each wheel with clean water, taking care to remove all soap residue. This prevents streaking on the wheels when they dry.
- Pay extra attention to the inside lips of the wheels, where brake dust often accumulates. Target these areas while scrubbing.
- Continue washing and rinsing the wheels until the rinse water runs completely clear. This ensures all grease and grime are removed.
- Once washed, the wheels will be fully degreased and ready for the drying process.
After thoroughly washing your electric skateboard wheels, proper drying is essential to prevent water damage. Follow these tips:
- Air dry: Place wheels on a clean towel or rack with good airflow. Drying time will vary based on wheel size.
- Use fans or hair dryer on low: Aids air drying and speeds up the process.
- Check periodically: Monitor wheel drying progress to prevent surface damage from prolonged contact.
- Blot with lint-free cloth: Gently press cloth or paper towel to the wheel tread and sides to absorb moisture.
- Finish with a dry towel: Use a fresh dry towel to soak up any remaining dampness, especially in tight spaces.
Deep Clean Wheel Grooves
Even after washing, grimme can remain lodged in wheel grooves. To remove it, use a Q-tip or old toothbrush dipped in isopropyl or rubbing alcohol. This dissolves and lifts out caked-on debris better than water alone. Scrub gently into each groove, rolling the wheel to clean the entire circumference. Q-tips are ideal for tightly packed small debris. Check frequently and re-dampen as needed. Don’t abrasively scrub urethane, but get deep for best results. An old toothpick can also help dislodge stubborn chunks without damaging the wheel material. Once grooves are clean and dry, any buildup that hinders rolling is removed. Braking feels restored, and wheels spin freely as intended.
Inspect and Reinstall Wheels
Before putting the wheels back on, do a final inspection. Check the grooves and tread are fully clean by rolling the wheel against your palm. Look for any flat spots that developed during drying. Also, examine the wheel and hub surface for scuffs or cracks. Sand minor spots to remove debris packed into the urethane. If the wheels check out, reinstall by reversing the removal steps. Lightly tighten mounting bolts in an alternating star pattern. Then, go around again, firmly tightening each bolt fully. Spin wheels to ensure they rotate smoothly and are seated straight with no wobble. Once installed, remove the bearings from the wheels and lubricate them if needed using precision oil or speed cream. With wheels cleaned and reattached, your electric skateboard is ready to roll!
In conclusion, taking the time to deep clean electric skateboard wheels is worth the effort. Rolling smoothly with cleaned wheels enhances braking, carving, and overall ride performance. The occasional washing also protects against corrosion inside wheel components. Following the steps outlined ensures even heavily soiled wheels are restored like new. Dirty conditions may require more frequent cleanings. With basic supplies and proper care, wheels can remain optimally functional for many miles of riding enjoyment.
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