How to Grease Ball Bearings

Written by sherry mao
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How to Grease Ball Bearings
Oil or grease can be used to lubricate ball bearings. (industrial_24 image by Aleksandr Popov from

Ball bearings contain small round pellets used to distribute weight evenly under an object. Proper lubrication is critical in how smoothly ball bearings function. These lubricants protect the bearings from dirt and debris and prevent the metal from rusting. Oil is usually preferred as a lubricant but grease can also be used. Grease, which is oil that has been mixed with a thickener, does not escape as easily from inside the bearings. The environment, the amount of heat generated from the motion of the bearings and the amount of dirt or corrosion build-up affect the bearings' performance.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Towel
  • Grease
  • Grease gun
  • WD-40 oil
  • Small plastic container

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  1. 1

    Check the manufacturer's requirements for the proper amount of lubrication needed.

  2. 2

    Wipe excess debris or dirt build-up using a dry towel.

  3. 3

    Squirt a small amount of grease in-between the inner and outer ring using a grease gun. Fill the bearing with grease helps to prevent moisture and dirt from getting in.

  1. 1

    Spray each ball bearing with WD-40 oil and place it into a small plastic container. The oil cleans and also prevents the equipment from rusting.

  2. 2

    Cover the container after all the greased ball bearings are inside. Shake the container to remove debris inside the bearings.

  3. 3

    Remove the bearings from the plastic container. Discard the dirty oil remaining in the container.

  4. 4

    Repeat the process until the oil is clear after shaking the container.

  5. 5

    Apply a small amount of grease or light oil to lubricate the bearings once they are cleaned.

Tips and warnings

  • Grease, grease guns and lubricating oil can be purchased at a local automotive shop or bike shop.
  • Applying too much grease causes friction between the lubricant and the ball bearings, which can generate too much heat.
  • Applying too little grease does not sufficiently protect the ball bearings.

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