How To Clean Sealed Bearings (Step by Step)

What you need for cleaning bearings

While cleaning bearings, what you must have in your hands are essential tools and equipment. Furthermore, time and place matter as well. Do have a confined idea about these alternatives, look at the below points. 

  • A warm and lit place 
  • A good quality solvent or degreaser
  • Some speed creams and light greases
  • Capabilities of tea making
  • A tray with lid to soak bearings
  • Some sort of rag
  • About 30 mins
  • And some bearings, of course

How to clean metal sealed bearings: 

How To Clean Metal Sealed Bearings

To clean metal sealed bearings is not a hard task if you are ready with profound ideas about them. Let us discuss them through the below traits.

Bring out the bearings

Take the nut out from your axle and slide the wheel a little bit. Make sure you are sliding your axle too. As a result, your innermost bearing will come at the edge of the axle.

Anyways, using a similar type of motion can help to open a bottle’s bear. After that, prise your bearing’s wheel out by flipping the wheel. Keep continuing this process. 

Remove shields of bearings

Now get inside the cartridges. If your bearings are single shields, it will be easier for you to remove the shield. But in most cases, you may have to take anyone’s shield to get access to the cage and balls. 

In metal shield bearings, they own a “C” clip outside of the race which are important to take out. Sometimes, it is possible to take out bearings from the race. What is better sealed or shielded bearings?


Next, it is the task of bearing races. You will have to take out all greases, and craps from there. For cleaning bearings, alcohol, solvent, or methylated spirit are specifically adjustable.

Contrastingly, spraying a degreaser can help all craps to blast and come out from bearings.

A bottle of jam would be perfect for keeping your bearings and rather soak them simply. After that, shake all those bearings for a couple of minutes and finally rinse them with clean solvent.


Before re-lubing your bearings, dry them off with a hairdryer or anything. Indeed, thinner lubes help to spin bearings faster. Moreover, white lithium stuff also works great because of being resistant to craps.

But the problem is, these types of lubes spin slower. So choose wisely which type of lube you are going to use for regreasing.

How to clean sealed bearings:

How To Clean Sealed Bearings

Seals like metal are better to be removed by prising out from the inner lip. A small screwdriver or penknife can also be a good option but remember not to push very far in bearings. Otherwise, your cage or retainer may lead to damage. Check Solvent For Cleaning Bearings.

For instance, a paper cloth or degreaser is good to be used for cleaning old greases completely. Thereupon, you can rarely see any further greases which may appear before relubricating.

In the same way, a spray degreaser having a straw applicator helps in directing degreasers in terms of bearing assembly. Take time if needed, but do not leave any stone unturned to clear your bearings properly. 

Once you are satisfied with your clear bearings, take a lint-free cloth. By using this cloth, it will be easier for you to dry your beating faster.

Now it’s time to inspect your bearings and see if they need any replacement or not. Lately, be sure of your bearing surfaces if they are oil-free and entirely clean.

How to clean crimped bearings:

How To Clean Crimped Bearings

Here, we will be talking about what to do about bearings that have crimped on metal shields.

Some bearings come with removable rubber seals & these are very easy to deal with if you want to maintain your bearing or change the grease or just get them clean.

However, it is very easy to remove the rubber seals and get access to the bearing & there is also one type of meat shield with a retaining ring. And these are a little trickier to get off sometimes, but they are pretty easy.

Krypton on metal shields are cramped, and these physically remain bent on to the outer race, and it can be quite difficult to remove. So addressing that is what it is about. 

First of all, we will take the shield off one side of the bearing, though it does not matter which side. These shields have metal balls, so you have removable nylon retainers, and some have metal retainers.

But the problem is, they are fixed. To remove the crimp on metal shields, you can use an awl on a BSA knife, but any sharp awl will work.

Stick your awl by following the inner race and press enough to bend in and crimping to grab the lip. Do not forget to bring it up so you can get underneath it and pull the shield up. Conversely, lots of metal shields would pop right off.

VBX or VXP is a bit tougher; they need Excel to open.

Next, go down underneath the edge of the shield pull it up and put grease and clean it. Then put it together. Put it together, or put a rubber shield on one side and a metal shield on the other side.

Now use a dental syringe to apply grease around the balls & leave the inside exposed. It is very easy to use grease.

That’s how you deal with crimped-on metal shields.

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