Can I Use Household Lubrication On A Treadmill? (No)
By Simon Gould
Treadmills need regular maintenance to keep going at their peak to help you get fit and healthy. This includes lubrication, many of the treadmills parts may require lube including the belt and maybe other moving parts in the motor especially if it squeaks. Most of us have lubrication in the house but is it suitable for a treadmill?
Types of household lubrication
Most of us think of WD-40 and it's true that it is great for lubricating some metals but there are others you can buy. What you might be surprised to know that WD-40 isn't actually a lubricant, it's lubricating affect comes from the water displacement components and it works very well for moving metals. Nearly all of us have WD-40 to hand.
- WD-40 and lubricants like it are not suitable for lubricating treadmill belts.
Lubricant types are grease, silicone, graphite and teflon. These types of lubricants are favored for certain metals and their uses. Like bicycle chains should not be lubricated with WD-40 instead there are special chain lubes of dry and wet weather. Grease is best used for gears and depending on how fast the gear moves relates to the type of grease or splash oil needed.
Lubrication for treadmill belts
The treadmill belt requires a silicone based lube. These are available at Amazon* (the link goes to a selection of treadmill lubes and are suitable for all brands). They are sometimes named silicone oil but they all do the same thing. See the video below for a visual guide for how to apply the lube.
- You should lubricate your treadmill belt every 130 miles or 3 months, which ever is sooner.
Further, we would recommend you search for treadmill lube specifically made by your manufacturer then you know it will work for your machine. This is also a good thing to keep the treadmill valid for it's warranty. If the wrong lube is used they may ask you to pay for a repair. So just to make sure check the brands website, even though the oil maybe the same and a little more expensive, it's better to be safe than sorry.
So for lubricating the treadmill don't use any old household lube, go for the manufacturers own or special silicone based lube you can find for sale anywhere. To lube the whole treadmill there's is a fantastic web page where it goes through the pivot points to lubricate in case the it is squeaking. The page is a general treadmill maintenance guide with videos.
Lubricating the belt itself is easy. It's just a case of loosening the belt using the screws at the end of the deck. Apply the lube between the belt and the deck and make sure it goes along the entire width. Then re-tighten the belt and run the treadmill without stepping on it for 3 minutes at 3 mph. There is a video below to further help you:
Thinking of buying a treadmill? Here's my favorite, I always recommend it when asked*