How to Dye Your Roller Skate Wheels

Roll in with a new color.
Ash Ash (362)

Looking to change up the look of your roller skates? Once you've added a removable fur lining you should consider dying your wheels.

Dying your wheels does more than add a change of color, it can also freshen up broken-in wheels making them look newer. It can take a little bit of time dying your skate wheels when factoring in clean up and prep time but the actual dye process happens rather quickly.

We recommend using Rit DyeMore Synthetic Fiber Dye as this seems to grip the wheel material best for a rich color. This is a permanent process and any messes may stain appliances or surfaces in your kitchen so be mindful while preparing your workspace for this project. I’m using a dedicated pot reserved only for dying that won’t be eaten out of.

Rit DyeMore Synthetic Fiber DyeRit DyeMore Synthetic Fiber Dye ×1
Bones Speed CreamBones Speed Cream ×1
T Skate ToolT Skate Tool ×1

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Unfortunately you can’t dye any wheel any color but you can dye most wheels some color. In general, it’s almost always possible to dye a light wheel with a darker color. However, mixing colors may produce unwanted results—for example, adding blue dye to a yellow wheel may result in a greenish hue. Be mindful of the color wheel and consider choosing a color with a close relationship to the existing color. In this guide, I’m dying my pink wheels red.

Remove roller skate wheels

Remove the wheels and any additional components you want to dye from your skate. I’ll be removing my toe stop and bushings so that everything matches. I'm using a T Skate Tool with three socket sizes: 3/8", 1/2", and 9/16" to remove the wheels and kingpin nuts. It also has an allen key with a Phillips head tip that can be used to remove the toe stop screw. We also recommend removing the bearings from your wheels before the dye bath.

Clean roller skate wheels

The wheels, bushings, and toe stops should be cleaned thoroughly before dying—especially if your skates aren’t new. I used isopropyl alcohol with cotton rounds to clean my hardware.

Rit Dye Bath

Fill a pot with enough water to completely submerge all of the pieces you want to dye. The water should be maintained at a temperature of around 95° C. Shake the bottle of dye and add about half to the water.

Dye roller skate wheels

Place the wheels and any other hardware you want to dye into the bath. Stir consistently and keep a close eye on them. The process can take as little as a few minutes. When they look the way you want, remove them from the dye bath.

Rinse the wheels and hardware under cold water until the water is clear.

Dry roller skate wheels

Dry the wheels completely. It’s imperative to be diligent to ensure no moisture causes damage to your skates.

Assemble roller skates

Pop the bearings back into your wheels and assemble the rest of the hardware you removed for the dye job.

Tune roller skates

Once your skates are reassembled, it’s critical to tune them in before you take off. Make sure the action on your trucks is bending just right and that each wheel can spin freely with a smack but not wobble to the sides.

This is also a great opportunity to lubricate your bearings. I like to use Bones Speed Cream but you can use whatever lubricant you like. Now that your wheels are spruced up, you’re ready to roll!

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