When and How to Lubricate A Treadmill: The Complete Guide

A treadmill helps users get in shape and lose some pounds by training indoors. However, similar to most machines with moving parts, it experiences wear and tear in its deck surfaces and running belt over time. As a result, these parts develop some resistance to their motor or electronics. Worst of all, this friction can cause the deck to break or make the parts run hotter, shortening their lifetime.

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For those reasons, it's important to lubricate your treadmill belt and deck surfaces from time to time. That way, you can protect your treadmill's controller board & motor from burnout. At the same time, it will protect the treadmill belt from premature degradation and reduce energy consumption. Better still, proper treadmill lubrication will increase the machine's longevity.

But, where do you even get started when you want to learn how to lubricate a treadmill? Well, this guide has got you covered! But, first, let's check some of the products you may need for this task!

Lubricating a treadmill is a relatively simple task. But similar to most projects, it's good to prepare before you start applying a lubricant. More importantly, you need the best lubricant for treadmills.

Fortunately, some manufacturers have lubricants designed explicitly for their treadmill models. Even better, you may get some lubricant when you buy a treadmill from such manufacturers. If that's the case, this is the recommended treadmill to use for your machine. On the same note, you can check the manufacturer's guide to determine if they've suggested a particular treadmill lubricant for their treadmills. This is crucial since using a treadmill oil that the manufacturer does not recommend can void its warranty.

What if your machine didn't come with a treadmill lubricant? Fortunately, there are various alternative treadmill lubricants you can use.

First, most treadmill manufacturers recommend using 100% silicone-based lubricants. Silicone lubricants designed explicitly for treadmill running belts are available in 2 forms. That is silicone spray and silicone liquid.

As the name suggests, silicone spray comes in a spray can, making it easy to apply. Besides, you just need to remove the cap and attach the tube/ can to the nozzle. Then spray the lubricant at the center & underside of your treadmill belt.

Silicone liquid, on the other hand, is available in liquid form. However, it's applied the same way as treadmill silicone sprays, provided you've got a spray can.

Another treadmill lubricant alternative is treadmill waxing, which uses wax bars or powdered wax. The only challenge with this approach is that you've to loosen the back roller of the treadmill belt before you lubricate it. Next, sprinkle powdered wax between the treadmill's deck surface and walking belt. Do this on both sides of the running belt, tighten it and run it at a slow speed. As for the wax bar, warm up the treadmill for about 15 minutes. Then follow the same steps as applying powdered wax.

The Best Treadmill Lubricants - Our Top Picks

Our pick

Treadmill Belt Lubricant

100% Silicone Treadmill Belt Lubricant

  • Pure and toxin free
  • Pure and toxin free
  • Risk free
  • Make a machine SMOOTHER


Runner up

100% Silicone Treadmill Belt Lubricant

100% Silicone Treadmill Belt Lubricant - Made in The USA

  • 100% silicone
  • Non-toxic and odorless
  • Protect your equipment from costly repairs
  • Keep your machine running smooth & quiet


Also great

2 Pack of Silicone Treadmill Belt Lubricant

2 Pack of Silicone Treadmill Belt Lubricant

  • 100% Silicone made in the USA
  • Easy to apply
  • Keep your machine running smooth & quiet
  • Protect your equipment from costly repairs


While choosing a treadmill lubricant, there are certain products you should avoid altogether. Such products include; WD40, Vaseline, and petroleum-based lubricants. Such oils can damage the running belt or deteriorate the parts of your treadmills. Besides, petroleum-based lubricants increase the treadmill's overall performance rather than reducing friction between the deck and the belt. This will eventually damage the treadmill and affect its efficiency.Although treadmill lubricant is the most essential product for this project, it's not the only thing you need. Instead, you'll need other items such as;

  • Spray bottle
  • Some hand wipes
  • A rag/ towel
  • A screwdriver

Once you've gathered all the necessary supplies and tools, go ahead and lubricate your treadmill!

How to Put Lubricant on a Treadmill

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Step-1: Unplug the treadmill

Before applying lube to your treadmill, unplug it from the wall outlet. This is essential for your safety since it prevents the equipment from starting up while working on it.

Step-2: Lay down the towels

Some lubricant will always drip from the treadmill regardless of how careful you are. For that, it's good to place towels along the edges of your workout equipment. This will prevent permanent grease stains from forming on the floor. However, make sure you reserve some clean towels to wipe off extra grease for exercise equipment from the treadmill after you are done.

Step-3: Expose the treadmill deck

After putting the towels on the floor, you need to expose the lower section of the treadmill belt. To achieve that, loosen the rollers and lift the edges of the running belt. Alternatively, you can use a screwdriver, provided it's the right type and size. Once you start seeing the other side of your treadmill, move on to the next step.

Step-4: Apply lubricant to the treadmill deck

As mentioned earlier, lubricating a treadmill is very simple, especially if you're using silicone spray for treadmills. Besides, you just need to spray the lubricant uniformly on the deck. First, however, make sure you check the consistency of the lubricant as it comes out of the spray can. If the formula is too thick, wipe off any excess treadmill oil to prevent the belt from becoming too slippery, rendering it risky to use. In addition, mop up the silicone spray on the deck's sides.

Step-5: Move the running belt

After lubricating the deck, apply a thin grease layer to the entire running belt. Doing so will ensure that the parts on the underside of your treadmill are adequately lubricated. Also, make sure you move the running belt while applying the lubricant, thus ensuring that every aspect of the belt is lubricated.

However, avoid applying too much lubricant to a particular section of the belt. Otherwise, the belt may become too slippery, making it dangerous to use.

Step-6: Wipe Out excess treadmill lubricant

In most cases, proper treadmill lubrication uses around 1 to 1.5 oz of 100% silicone gel. But if you've used more than that, the chances are that you've applied too much lubricant. More importantly, this indicates that you need to wipe off the excess grease before turning on your machine. At the same time, wipe off any grease on the side or top of the running belt.

Step-7: Tighten the running belt

Lower the running belt to its original location and re-tighten the screws to ensure security. Once the belt is tightened properly, its edges don't lift off the deck by more than 1 to 2". However, the belt tends to loosen over time due to regular use, hence tightening it from time to time.

Step-8: Test the treadmill

To check whether the machine is working correctly after lubrication, plug it back into the wall outlet and turn it on. Let it run for about 3 minutes at a slow speed to distribute the lubricant evenly throughout the belt. The best pace for this task is around 3 miles per hour. Running it faster than that may cause the applied lubricant to splash off the machine.

Lastly, walk on the machine to determine how it's working. If the belt feels a little slippery, soak up some excess oil and test it again.

How Often to Lubricate Treadmill Belt

Popular treadmill manufacturers recommend lubricating treadmills after every 3 months, roughly 40 hours of use. However, this general recommendation may vary depending on the machine's frequency of use. For example, walking treadmills need lubrication more often than running treadmills since they're used more hours per week. Similarly, heavy-duty treadmill models may require more frequent lubrication than their compact/ domestic counterparts.

To sum things up, how often you lubricate your treadmill will rely on how frequently it is used. Interestingly, some advanced treadmills show a warning on their monitor indicating that they need to be lubricated.

Final Word

As with other workout equipment, treadmills need regular maintenance to ensure they continue running properly. Knowing how to lubricate a treadmill belt is part of that maintenance routine. As you've seen, treadmill lubrication is a quick and straightforward process. Yet it will give your equipment optimal performance and help it last longer. However, it's essential to check everything we've included in this guide, including choosing the perfect lubricant for your treadmill model. More notably, lubricate the machine from the first time you buy it. And repeat that process after every 3-6 months, depending on its frequency of use.

FAQs

1. How long do treadmill belts last?

1-ply treadmill belts last for about 300 to 500 hours, depending on how they're maintained. In essence, this is about 3 to 5 years for an average treadmill user. 2-ply belts, on the other hand, last for about 5 to 10 years.

2. Can you use WD40 to lubricate a treadmill?

Using WD40 to lubricate your treadmill can damage the belt, electric motor, or other moving parts. Therefore, you should avoid using it or petroleum-based products to lube your workout equipment. Instead, look for 100% silicone lubricants designed for treadmill lubrication.

3. How do you know if your treadmill needs lubrication?

Touch the deck under the running belt to determine if your treadmill needs lubrication. If you don't feel a slightly oily or waxy coat of lubricant on the deck surface, it's time to lubricate it.

4. How much lubricant do treadmills need?

Lubricating a treadmill after every 3 months uses about 1 to 1.5 oz of lubricant per application.

5. What can I lubricate my treadmill with?

According to most treadmill manufacturers, 100% silicone oil treadmill belt lubricant is the best product for treadmill lubrication. However, you can use other treadmill lubrication alternatives like treadmill wax sticks, powdered wax, and paraffin-based lubricants.

About the Author Treadmill Express plus

"Erik Brown" is the health and fitness author for treadmillexpressplus.com. He works with a team of committed experts to create detailed reviews and informative articles about health and fitness. For instance, he covers various fitness-related topics especially on workout equipment like treadmills, stationary bikes and more. If you want to make a wise decision when buying any training equipment, check out more of his unbiased articles."

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