Ball bearings remain one of the most crucial components in industrial machines and due to their critical role, it is of great importance to monitor their conditions under operation. However, due to the background noise in acquired signals, it is not always possible to identify probable faults. This incapability in identifying the faults makes the de-noising process one of the most essential steps in the field of Condition Monitoring (CM) and fault detection. In the present study, Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) and Hankel matrix based de-noising process is successfully applied to the ball bearing time domain vibration signals as well as to their spectrums for the elimination of the background noise and the improvement the reliability of the fault detection process. The test cases conducted using experimental as well as the simulated vibration signals demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed de-noising approach for the ball bearing fault detection. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.