As a longboard owner, you know how important it is to keep your board in top-notch condition. Not only does a clean board look better, but it also functions better and lasts longer. However, cleaning a longboard can seem like a daunting task for many riders, especially if they are new to the sport.
To clean your longboard, start by removing any loose debris with a brush. Then, wipe it down with a damp cloth and mild soap, taking care not to saturate the board. Dry it thoroughly and apply a protective coating, if desired.
If you’re unsure where to start with cleaning your longboard, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!
Remove Bearing Shields and Soak in Isopropyl Alcohol
The first step in cleaning a longboard is removing the bearing shields and soaking them in isopropyl alcohol. Soak the bearings in a bowl of cleaning solvent, like rubbing alcohol, for 30 minutes, and then use a toothbrush to scrub away any dirt or grime.
Use a thumbtack or blade to lift the shields off your bearings and tap the bearing face down on the table to get the shield off.
Some metal-bearing shields are not removable, so try removing one shield first. For the best results, soak the bearings in methylated spirit and alcohol. Make sure the shields are completely clean and dry before re-installing.
Detach Longboard Trucks and Brush with Warm Water
Once you have successfully removed the bearings from your skateboard wheels, it’s time to detach the longboard trucks and start brushing them with warm water.
Use a nylon-bristled brush and create a soapy mixture by adding water and a generous amount of soap. Lightly scrub the trucks with the brush and don’t scrub too hard or let the water soak on too long. This will prevent the paper underlayment on the grip tape from becoming water-logged.
Remove Dirt and Grease from Bearing Races with Methylated Spirit
Once the bearing shields have been removed and the bearings have been soaked in isopropyl alcohol, it’s time to tackle the dirt and grease in the bearing races.
Methylated spirit is the best choice for this step, as it effectively dissolves the grease and grime without damaging the bearings. Simply soak the bearings in the methylated spirit for a few hours and then remove them, ensuring all the dirt is loosened up.
To get rid of any remaining dirt, a jet of water can be used to blast it away. It’s important to keep the bearings well lubricated after this step, with 1-2 drops of oil or grease, and to avoid over-tightening the nut.
Clean Longboard Deck and Grip Strips with Damp Cloth
After removing the bearings, detaching the trucks, and cleaning the wheels, it’s time to focus on the longboard deck and grip strips.
To clean these parts, use a slightly damp cloth or microfiber cloth to remove any dirt or dust from the board. Take care not to soak the cloth as excess water can damage the deck or grip tape.
Don’t forget to clean the grip strips as these can get sticky over time. Simply wipe them down with a damp cloth. This step may sound simple but is crucial in maintaining the longevity of your longboard. Remember, a clean board means a smoother ride and better performance.
Soaking Wheels in Soapy Water
Once the bearings have soaked, it’s time to clean the wheels. The best way to do this is by soaking them in warm, soapy water for about 10 to 15 minutes.
This will help loosen any dirt or grime that may have accumulated on the wheels. After the soaking period, take the wheels out and give them a good wipe with a clean towel.
It’s important to handle the wheels carefully and not soak them in any harsh chemicals. While the wheels are soaking, the next step would be to remove any dirt and grease from the bearing races using methylated spirit. Once the wheels are clean and dry, you can reattach them to the longboard trucks.
Use Soap-Free Sponge to Remove Residues on the Grip Tape
After removing dirt and grease from bearing races with methylated spirit and soaking the wheels in soapy water, the next step in cleaning a longboard is to use a soap-free sponge to remove any residues on the grip tape.
This will ensure that the rider maintains good traction while riding. The sponge should be damp but not soaking wet to prevent any damage to the board. Gently rub the sponge against the grip tape in a circular motion and repeat until all residues are removed.
This step is essential for removing any remaining dirt that the previous steps might have overlooked.
Maintain Your Longboard for Longevity
Maintaining your longboard is essential if you want to keep it in proper working order for a long time.
Regular cleaning with a mild detergent or soap and water is recommended after each use. Make sure to remove all debris and dirt from the deck and bearings with a soft cloth or vacuum cleaner.
Gently wipe the underside of the board and spin the wheels regularly. For stubborn dirt, use a soft sponge or brush with mild detergent. Non-permeable grip tape can be cleaned with a window cleaning solution.
Additionally, wire brushing and sanding belt cleaner can be used for intense dirt.
Use Soft Sponge/Brush and Mild Detergent for Stubborn Dirt
After removing the dirt and grease from the bearing races with methylated spirit, it’s time to tackle the stubborn dirt on your longboard.
For this, using a soft sponge/brush and mild detergent is the way to go. This method is especially useful for cleaning the frames, rims, and spokes of your longboard, as well as any other areas that require a more thorough cleaning. Simply apply a mild soap or a bicycle cleaner to the affected areas, and use the sponge/brush to scrub away the dirt. Rinse with water and dry with an absorbent cloth.
This method is effective and gentle at the same time, ensuring that your longboard remains in great condition for longer. For non-permeable grip tape, it’s best to use a window cleaning solution combined with a soft-bristled brush for a thorough cleaning.
Clean Non-Permeable Grip Tape with Window Cleaning Solution
After using a soap-free sponge to remove residues on your grip tape, you may still notice some dirt and grime remaining. In such cases, it’s time to consider using a window cleaning solution to tackle stubborn stains. Applying this solution on non-permeable grip tape will remove any remaining grime and stains, leaving your longboard looking brand new.
Simply spray the window cleaning solution on the dirty areas of your grip tape and use a soft sponge or cloth to gently rub away the dirt.
This method is effective and will leave your non-permeable grip tape looking as good as new. It’s always best to use a trusted brand of window cleaner to avoid any damage to your longboard.
Use Wire Brush and Sanding Belt Cleaner for Intense Dirt.
After removing dirt and grease from the bearing races with methylated spirit, cleaning longboard decks and grip strips with a damp cloth, and soaking wheels in soapy water, it’s time to tackle any stubborn dirt with a wire brush or sanding belt cleaner for intense dirt.
The wire brush should be soft and gently used to remove any deep-set dirt, while the sanding belt cleaner can be used for heavier debris. It’s important to only use a small amount of pressure when applying the cleaner to avoid damaging any parts of the board.
Regularly cleaning your longboard not only keeps it looking good, but also prolongs its lifespan. By following our cleaning tips, you can maintain a smooth and safe ride every time.
I am a longboarding enthusiast and a blogger. On this blog, I share tips, tricks, and advice based on my experience. I am dedicated to helping newbies improve their skills and enjoy this fun activity to the fullest.