Squeaky roller skates are annoying. If you are experiencing this with your roller skates, you must be wondering why are my roller skates squeaking.
In this article, you will find out why your roller skates are squeaking and how you can fix this issue. This will not only help you fix your squeaky roller skates but also help your roller skate last longer.
A great deal of maintenance such as lubricating and cleaning is required to fix squeaky roller skates. You will see a great improvement in your roller skates experience if you put in the effort and maintain your roller skates on a monthly or weekly basis.
On the other hand, if you skip maintenance, your roller skate experience will be dull. And will also make squeaky sounds. So, let’s find out why your roller skates are squeaking.
Why roller skates are squeaking?
Roller skates are bound to do squeaking sounds over time. At one point or another, your wheels will start to make a sound like a little mouse. Even if you try very hard, it is just a matter of time before your skates become squeaky. Nevertheless, you can increase the lifespan of your wheels.
Related wheels squeaky issue: why are my skateboard wheels squeaking?
Here are the reasons that can make your roller skate squeaky.
Water in the bearings
For roller skates, water is like poison. You should always avoid wetting your roller skates. Even if they become dirty and smelly, you should not wash the roller skates. The wheels will suffer great instant damage if they come in contact with water.
But how do you clean your skates if they get dirty? Well, instead of using water, you can use some other cleaning agent.
Also, don’t roller skate in the rain. There is a risk of injury, plus, it will make your roller skate squeakier.
Dust, debris, or sand in the wheels
The wheel and the bearings will experience friction between them if there is dust and debris. This will cause a squeaky sound. Over time, debris can get in the wheels or they can easily find a path if you have been skating on a crooked, dusty road.
Don’t worry. You can avoid this by cleaning your roller skates on a weekly basis. Also, think twice before you go on the beach with your roller skate on if you want them to be in good condition.
Skating on an uneven surface
As a roller skate user, you should already know this one. If you roll on uneven surfaces, the damage will inflict on your wheels. So, you should always avoid roller skating on wooden or road planks or jagged footpaths.
On the other hand, it is not always avoidable. Some of you may need to get to school roller skating or go to the local skate park. In such a case, what you can do is regularly clean your roller skates and lubricate them. This will keep your roller skate fresh and ready to go.
However, roller skating on uneven surfaces will leave your wheels with little dents, so you may need to change them after a while.
If you leave your skates in moisture, it will make your bearings rusty. You surely know the chemistry behind this.
If a place has high humidity, that is not where you want to keep your roller skates. Always try to keep your roller skates dry.
However, if rust catches on with your bearings, the only fix is to replace the old bearings with new ones. So, you should avoid keeping your skates in places such as a damp garage, garden, dirty backpack, or outside after the rain. Keep them in a place where they can get open air and stay dry.
Rolling your skates on the grass
The grass is amazing for roller skating. You can keep your balance on the grass with your roller skates on. You can also learn to jump because grass feels like a mattress, so even if you fall, you won’t get hurt.
However, your roller skates will accumulate dirt and grass blades if you roll on the grass, which can make your roller skate squeaky. That is why you need to start skating on terrains that are suitable for skating.
Now that you know the answer to “why are my roller skates squeaking”, how do you fix it? How can you get rid of the squeaky sound of your roller skates when you ride?
How to fix squeaky roller skates?
There are two steps to fixing the squeaky wheels of a roller skater:
- Cleaning the wheels
- Lubricating the wheels
Remember, cleaning and lubricating wheels are not the same things. So, do not mistake one for another.
1. Cleaning the wheels
If dirt gets between the wheels, this will make your wheels squeaky. So, cleaning them regularly is really necessary.
The things you will need:
- Hex key or Allen key
- Box cutter
- Bearing cleaner
- Tissue paper
Clean your wheels effectively following these steps
Step 1: Get the wheels out
Use the hex key and turn the bolt of the wheel. The wheel should come out once you get the bolts out.
Step 2: Get the bearings out
Use simple force to take the bearings out of the wheel. You should find a spacer and two bearings.
Step 3: Take the shield off from the bearings
Use the box cutter or anything sharp to take off the shield from your bearings. One thing you need to know is that not everyone recommends taking off the plastic shield. They advocate cleaning the bearings with a cover on.
Step 4: Put the bearings in a jar
Take a typical plastic or glass jar with a cap and put the bearings in it.
Step 5: Pour bearing cleaner into the jar
Keep pouring the cleaner into the jar until you fully submerge the bearings with the cleaner. Then, put the jar lid back on.
Step 6: Shake the jar
Now to clean the bearings, vigorously shake the jar until the cleaner becomes dirty. This will ensure that the cleaner is dissolving the dirt from the bearings.
Step 7: Take the bearings out
Take out the bearings from the jar. Be careful, because the cleaner could damage the hand. So, use something else.
Step 8: Take tissue paper and put the bearings in it
Take a tissue paper and put the bearings in it. Leave it there for some time, so that the tissue paper can absorb the cleaner.
Step 9: Take the remaining dirt particles out using Tweezers
Use Tweezers to take dirt particles out of the bearings. Be cautious, and do not damage the balls of the bearings. However, the chances are very slim of large dirt particles being stuck inside.
Step 10: Its time to clean the wheels
Clean the hole and the rubber part of the wheel using soap and water. Then you need to properly dry it and ensure that there is no water remaining on the wheel.
After following these simple and easy-to-follow steps, your roller skates should be clean and squeaking-free.
2. Lubricating the wheels
The next thing you need to do is lubricate the wheels. This will make your wheels run more smoothly and get rid of the lingering squeaky sound.
This will also make your roller skates smooth and fresh, plus, they will last longer.
The things you will need:
- Oil or lubricant
- Cotton swabs
- Tissue paper
It is likely that you have all these items in your home. If cotton swabs are not available, then you can also use cotton or tissue paper.
Lubricant is also not something that you need to buy because you can just use olive oil.
Lubricate your wheels effectively following these steps
Step 1: Add lubricant to the bearings
Lubricate your bearings with one or two drops of olive oil or any other oil that you have available. Just make sure the lubricant you are using is acid-free.
Step 2: Rub the lubricant
Rub the lubricant using cotton swabs to make sure it gets into the bearings.
Step 3: Wipe the lubricant off using tissue paper
If you have made the layer of the lubricant thick, then you need to thin it out. Because if you don’t, it will accumulate dirt.
Step 4: Put back the bearings into the wheel
Now, it’s time to put back the spacer and the two bearings back into the hole that you can find in the middle of the wheel. You should put the spacer in the middle and the bearings on the side. Fit them copiously into the wheel.
Step 5: Put back the wheel on the roller skate
In the last step, it’s time to put back the wheel in the roller skate. Tighten the bolt properly using the Allen key to make sure the wheel doesn’t fall off when you are in the middle of roller skating.
If you have done both cleaning and lubricating parts properly, then your squeaking issue should be gone for a month or so. To keep it going smoothly, you need to maintain your roller skates regularly.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How often should I clean my wheels?
Cleaning the wheels on a weekly basis is a good practice. However, if this is too much for you, you can clean your wheels once or twice a month. This should also be sufficient to keep them going for a long time.
2. Which bearing cleaner is good?
Pick any good quality bearing cleaner manufactured by a reputable brand. While some cleaner comes in spray cans, the more preferable method for cleaning your wheels is the soaking method. Also, do not use water to clean your bearings.
3. How frequently should I lubricate the wheels?
Generally, lubricating your wheels every four to five weeks is a good practice. But if your wheels are in good condition, you can lubricate them when you notice any squeaking.
If you were wondering “why are my roller skates squeaking” now you know why. And you also the fixes you can try to make it go away. Make sure you take proper care of your roller skate if you want them to last for a long time.