I’ve been getting a lot of people asking lately about their bearing’s performance and their YoYo becoming too responsive, so I thought I’d better write some info about cleaning YoYo bearings.

So, when do you need to clean your bearing?  Here’s a few things to look out for:

  • Your bearing is making excessive noise when you throw your YoYo
  • Your YoYo is becoming too responsive (ie. it’s coming back up to your hand before you want it to!)

When you purchase a new YoYo it is highly likely that the bearing will have some factory lube inside it – this is applied to ensure the bearing does not degrade over time while its sitting there in its box not being used. Some bearings do come dry (ie. no lube) from the factory, although if you want your bearing to last, then it is recommended to apply lube occasionally.

Remember, when you purchase a new YoYo, there is always a “breaking-in” period of time where you need to play with your YoYo for a few hours/days/weeks (whatever it takes) to get the bearing running smoothly.  What you’re actually doing is breaking down some of the factory lube that is inside the bearing.  Of course, if you want to break this lube down quickly, you can clean it straight away using the instructional video below.

CAUTION: Only ADULTS should clean YoYo bearings as flammable liquids are used in the process, please keep away from sparks, naked flames, etc. This process should always be done in a well ventilated area, and do not inhale the fumes! It’s probably also a good idea to wear protective glasses and gloves!

To clean your YoYo bearing, please follow the instructions in this great video from yoyonation.com.

Things to note in the video:
  • When they mention Mineral Spirits or White Spirits, we call this Mineral Turpentine (or just Turps) here in Australia. You can buy this at supermarkets, or hardware stores such as Bunnings.
  • You do not strictly have to take the bearing shielding off.  Whenever I clean my bearings I just leave it on and make sure I move the bearing around a lot in the Turps to ensure the liquid gets into the bearing.
  • If you have a plastic YoYo, ensure that your bearing is free from any lube/solvent after the cleaning process. If you get any solvent/lube on the plastic portions of your YoYo, it may cause the plastic to degrade/break/crack!

Once you have cleaned your bearing in this way, the bearing cannot be returned to us.

Good luck!