Spring is officially here! Along with the fresh blooms and chirping birds comes the desire to sweep away the cobwebs of winter with some spring cleaning. But after you KonMari your closet or go full Martha Stewart mode on your kitchen, don’t forget to give your roller skates a little bit of attention as well.
Keep reading to learn how to clean your skates from the pros at Wheels Skate Center.
Spring Cleaning Tips for Skates
Gather your supplies.
- Saddle soap, leather cleaner/conditioner, or gentle soap and protectant
- Mild dish soap
- Soft cloths/rags and an old towel (to protect your work space)
- Paper towels
Clean your skate boots.
Gently wipe any dirt or grime off of your skate boots and clean with saddle soap. You can also use a leather cleaning and conditioning product, or if you prefer, use a mild dish soap to clean, followed by a silicone or beeswax-based protectant.
Loosen the laces on your skates and open the tongues up to let the skates air out. You may also want to apply a silicone protectant to the inside of your boots to shield them from perspiration.
Finally, buff the outside of your boots with shoe polish for a beautiful finish.
Clean your skate wheels.
First, check to see if your wheels have metal cores. If so, you’ll need to be careful not to get them wet, as they will rust. Wash your wheels with warm water using mild dish soap and a soft cloth. Make sure to wipe the outside and inside surfaces of the wheel thoroughly. Pat the wheels dry and set them aside on your towel to air dry completely before reassembling.
Clean your bearings.
Remove bearings and wipe off the gunk with a paper towel. (It will be very greasy, so keep that in mind if you use a rag.)
Disassemble the bearings and place into a dedicated plastic bottle or special bearing washing container, along with bearing wash solution (a product made just for this purpose and available at skating pro shops) or your cleaner of choice. (Other options include isopropyl alcohol, citrus-based bearing cleaners, or acetone.)
Give them a minute or so of vigorous shaking to clean, and then dry thoroughly with a soft cloth. Before you reassemble everything, don’t forget to lube up the bearings.
Once everything is reassembled, give those wheels a spin to make sure they’re spinning smoothly, look everything over to make sure there are no loose or damaged parts, and enjoy your freshened up roller skates!
(To keep them in great shape, remember to wipe your skates down after each use, and open up the tongues of your skate boots to let them air out. Don’t leave them in a bag or your trunk, and don’t try to dry them with a hair dryer or by sitting them next to the radiator—the excessive heat can warp and damage the boots, ruining the fit and/or finish.)