I've been searching all over the web about washing bearings with Gasoline (and other gas products like desiel and kerosene). I've found some mixed answers. Some say it's good some say it isn't. I want to remove dirt inside my bearings. (we don't have roads so it would always get dirty even it is shielded) And I know soaking it in a container filled with gasoline with remove those. But is it alright? Won't it damage my bearing in some way?

I don't have access to any cleaning substance because I live in the forests of the Philippines.

  • 1
    Petrol will not damage steel balls.
    – andy256
    Mar 17, 2015 at 23:56
  • Nothing wrong with gasoline or kerosene as a cleaner, if you keep it away from rubber, plastic, and paint. The main problems are that it's flammable, and hard to properly dispose of. Mar 18, 2015 at 12:08
  • I think diesel is better optinan
    – avee pal
    Jan 9, 2020 at 14:10

3 Answers 3


Gasoline was used for many years as an inexpensive readily available solvent. There are a couple of real life issues with using gasoline for a solvent. It is very flammable thus a fire hazard. It is absorbed through the skin and it is toxic when inhaled in high concentrations. You have to find a way of disposing of the remaining dirty solvent. Pouring it on the ground can contaminate drinking water. If you have no other means of cleaning the bearings you can wipe them with clean rags. That still leaves the issue of disposing of the dirty rags .

  • Thanks. I'll take care of the disposal. And i've also used it in cleaning other things in the past. Including some paint in my hands.
    – Hunkoys
    Mar 18, 2015 at 0:16
  • 4
    No. For the love of god, no. Bad, bad idea. Gasoline is not only extremely flammable but also evaporates as you use it, which is very hazardous in an enclosed space. Please see any MSDS for confirmation (corporate.murphyusa.com/content/documents/MSDS_PDFs/…, for example.) Kerosene would be a much better choice if you absolutely must use a petroleum distillate. Mar 18, 2015 at 16:23

Using gasoline as a solvent won't harm your bearings. It may dissolve some plastic components though.

The drawbacks of using gasoline are mainly due to its properties other than as a solvent: it's volatility, flammability, and that it is toxic, as it will harm your skin if exposed to it for long periods of time, and that it requires careful disposal.

Diesel is a bit better in those regards. I would recommend trying to source a lubricant that is not as toxic, but if gasoline or diesel is all you've got, it will do the job.


If kerosene is an option, then go with kerosene. It's much safer than gasoline. Accidents happen. Be safe.

  • This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post. Mar 18, 2015 at 9:07
  • @BenediktBauer The op stated "(and other gas products like desiel and kerosene)". Which is best is valid response.
    – paparazzo
    Mar 18, 2015 at 13:19

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