Treadmill Belt Lubricants - How to Lubricate a Treadmill
Over time, friction between the treadmill belt and treadmill deck increases, requiring more force from the motor and increasing the stress on the treadmill in general. This leads to larger wear and tear of the treadmill and often very costly repairs.
Regular lubrication of the treadmill belt significantly reduces required motor force and stress on the treadmill and can prolong its operating time significantly.
Published: February 11, 2016.
Treadmill belt lubricants are in most cases silicone or Teflon based, should be non-toxic, with no odor or harmful vapor. Which one to use, depends on the model of your treadmill and type of the belt - be sure to read your manual before you start to use your treadmill and verify few things like:
- what type of lubricant your treadmill requires,
- time interval between required/recommended lubrication,
- instructions on how to lubricate the belt, and
- instructions on how to adjust the belt to prevent slipping of the belt.
Lubricants like WD-40 and similar are not good and in fact, can cause more damage than good. If you need lubricant for the treadmill, get such lubricant, not some lubricant from the gas station!
Most of the treadmills require belt lubrication between 40 and 100 hours of use. This varies greatly due to the belt and deck material, type of use (home, commercial), room temperature, user weight, amount of dust and dirt in the room with the treadmill, and similar.
If you notice that your treadmill produces more noise than before, lubricate the belt.
Note: besides the belt, treadmill motors also require maintenance, lubrication included, but that is another topic.
Belt lubricants come in various forms like spray bottles, bottles with hand pump spray, plastic applicators with foam, as lubrication kits, etc.
For reaching the center of the deck under the belt, bottles with lubricants often have plastic tubes. This enables lubrication of the walking/running belt without loosening the belt - highly recommended for home use.
If your treadmill/lubricant requires loosening the belt, after you loosen the belt, but before you apply the lubricant, be sure to wipe the deck under the belt with a dry cloth - this helps remove tiny particles of dirt that would otherwise soak the newly applied lubricant. Again, if unsure, read the treadmill's and lubricant's manual!
Applying the lubricants evenly is important, but it is not a 'must-do' thing. Why? Well, after the lubricant is applied, turn on your treadmill for few minutes on a slow speed and let it work without the load (user).
During this test, the lubricant will spread itself evenly over the entire surface of the belt and deck. Also, observe the belt and adjust it, if needed, to prevent the belt from slipping on either side.
Then, walk on your treadmill at slow speed for few more minutes and check if your treadmill is operating as it should - it must be quieter and smoother than before lubrication.
Note: lubricant can drip on the floor - if you have a treadmill on the carpet or wooden floor, it is highly recommended to put some protective treadmill mat under the treadmill.