Why are your skateboard wheels turning yellow? The main reason is the urethane breaks down when exposed to sunlight. Wheels over time are going to soak up dirt, oils, and other materials from the ground. This is a fairly common thing to happen.

Reasons Skateboard Wheels Turn Yellow

The Urethane Has Degraded

The main reason why the skateboard wheels turn yellow is that the urethane of the wheel degrades over time. Urethane is sensitive to the sun’s UV rays and the material will begin to degrade aesthetically over time.

But why does the skateboard wheel turn yellow instead of brown or black? Urethane actually starts off as a beige/yellow hue. Its when the wheels are bleached that the urethane turns bright white. However when the bleach wears off and the urethane degrades, the original color of the wheels begins to appear once more.

What is Urethane?

Urethane has a  wide range of benefits. Some of these distinct benefits include:

  • Urethane is a very resistant material. It will not be impacted due to any type of abrasions or harsh chemicals. Its also acids and solvents resistant.
  • Urethane is resistant to marking. This is ideal for skateboard wheels as you won’t end up with undesirable marks and scuffs.
  • Urethane can be manufactured in a wide range of colors. The colors are also known to last for a long time.
  • Urethane can handle extreme weather conditions without breaking down.

Oils, Dirt, Wax, and Other Materials

Sun exposure is not the only thing that impacts the color of you skateboard wheels. The things that are on the grounds such as oils, dirt, wax, and other grime will buildup on wheels and this will impact the aesthetics of your skateboard wheels with a unsightly yellow residue.

How to Clean Your Skateboard Wheels

If you are concerned about your skateboard wheels turning yellow grab a rag and some water then follow these steps:

  • Remove the wheels from your skateboard.
  • Remove the bearings from the wheels.
  • Clean the wheels.
  • Make sure they are entirely dry before reassembling. Do not get your bearings wet!

You can also soak your wheels in hot water with a few drops of dish soap, then scrub clean. The dish soap will work to remove caked-on grease and oils that would otherwise be difficult to remove. You can also use a toothbrush or soft wire brush to clear off stuck-on goop and dirt.

Unfortunately, there is not a foolproof method of keeping your skateboard wheels from turning color. Simply said over time, the oils and dirt and the sun’s UV rays you are going the wheels are going to end up with a yellowish tint. Your best option is to use black wheels or anything but white.


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