Your skateboard takes you places, which can be over just about any terrain. This also means that it’ll pick up various kinds of dirt.
To keep your board functioning efficiently, you need to clean it periodically, which involves more than just dipping it into the water to remove the dust.
How to Clean a Skateboard
First, get rid of the obvious dust and grime by wiping it with a damp cloth. Then, take it apart and clean the different elements carefully. Soak the wheels in soap and water, then brush with a soft wire brush. Clean the bearings with isopropyl alcohol. Wipe the grip tape with a piece of soft rubber, or grip tape cleaner, or cleaner from a belt sander.
Cleaning a Skateboard
To clean a skateboard, you should begin from the top down.
Cleaning the Grip Tape
The grip tape on a skateboard is most likely to get dirty from things you pick up on your feet and transfer to the board, or bits and pieces of things like sand, mud, or anything else that can splatter the board.
To clean the grip tape, use a grip tape cleaner, which is like a piece of soft rubber. You rub it across the surface to remove the dust and other dirt.
A soft wire brush and some window cleaner mixed in water are also useful. Dip the brush in the water solution and rub the grip tape gently in small circles.
Alternatively, you can apply the special cleaner that is used on the rough surface of a belt sander.
Cleaning the Wheels
A skateboard’s wheels are most likely to pick up dirt. They pick up dust and sand from paved trails or skate parks.
There may also be litter lying around that can get stuck to your wheel, like a gum wrapper, or even a sticky splash of cold drink.
Then, of course, you may skate on dirt roads/trails, or through water or mud. Add to that the oil and grime the wheels can pick up from the dirty streets.
This can all gum up the wheels and they will need cleaning a lot more than any other part of the board.
To clean the wheels, remove them from the board, using a socket wrench, or a dedicated skate tool. Make sure that you take the wheels apart completely, including the bearings.
It’s relatively easy to clean the bearings by soaking them in some isopropyl alcohol for a few minutes.
The wheels themselves can be washed in soap and water. After they have soaked for a while, use a cloth or small brush to get rid of all the obvious dirt that has built up.
You will need to use a small-headed wire brush to work on the dirt that has become really caked up.
When you have cleaned all the parts of the wheels, you must dry them thoroughly. For this part, it’s best to use a paper towel.
Just make sure that you use a brand that does not leave any small particles behind.
When you are sure that all the parts of the wheels, including the bearings, are thoroughly dry, you can put the wheels together and reattach them to the board.
Avoid Using Too Much Water
The deck of a skateboard is usually made from wood, which can soften if it gets too wet and even begins to swell.
If your skateboard gets splashed when you are skating, or if you skate in the rain, the deck will definitely get wet, but the water will run off or be wiped off quite quickly. It won’t stay on and soak the wood, like soaking the skateboard will.
Too much water is not only bad for the wooden part of your skateboard, but for the bolts and trucks too. If some metals are exposed to too much water for too long, they can rust.
This is not always obvious, but the damage can begin from inside. When you notice a change in your skateboard’s performance, the damage has most likely already begun.
If your skateboard is soaked in too much water, then the adhesive on the grip tape can be affected and begin to lift. It may eventually peel off.
The long and short of the effects of too much water for too long are that you should not wash your skateboard with water, for fear of damaging the different parts in some way.
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Clean a Skateboard
Can I just soak my dirty skateboard in water?
The two main components of your skateboard are wood and metal, both of which can be damaged by being exposed to too much water. This means you should not soak the board in water to clean it. Rather use water sparingly on specific parts when the skateboard has been taken apart.
Why must I clean my skateboard?
The smaller, hidden parts of a skateboard can collect dirt that you can’t see. This will affect the board’s performance and may eventually damage the bearings. You need to clean your board to keep it performing as well as possible.
When you clean your skateboard, you must consider all the dirt it has picked up, even in the smallest parts, like the wheel bearings.
It’s important to clean every part of the board thoroughly so that you keep them all strong and so that the board continues to perform well.