If you’re wondering how to lubricate a pocket door, I bet you’re dealing with one or both of these issues: it squeaks when you’re opening the door and it’s not sliding as smoothly as before.
I’ve had these two problems in the past and by lubricating the pocket door roller in the following way I managed to fix them in less than 10 minutes.
1. Clean the pocket door track
You should never apply lubrication to a dirty surface. Since you will be applying it on the pocket door track, you need to clean it beforehand of any dust, grime, stone pieces etc.
I recommend starting with a vacuum cleaner and vacuuming as much of the debris as you can. Then you can take an old toothbrush or wet wipes, depending on how much dirt there is and how difficult it is to remove. If you opt for using a toothbrush, soak it in soap water or detergent and then brush away the dirt.
After you’re done, dry the surface so that the lubricant doesn’t get diluted when you apply it.
2. Fix the roller and adjust it if necessary
If the roller is damaged then lubrication won’t fix the squeakiness or sliding difficulties. You should make sure that it doesn’t get stuck on the track. If there is damage try to fix it or replace it before lubricating.
The axis might also get out of track due to dirt accumulation on the track. This can sometimes be fixed by cleaning the track. If not, you might need to adjust or fix the roller so that it fits in properly. Also check the wheels on the roller and ensure that they move properly inside the track as well.
3. Lubricate the roller
There are two different lubricant types you can use: spray and oil.
I recommend using a Teflon spray lubricant like DuPont (link to Amazon) because its safe for all surfaces and it provides dry-film coating so it won’t make a mess. It’s also more resistant to dirt. If you use a standard lubricant it can damage the rubber parts that get in contact with it. These parts can then get wedged in the track.
All you have to do is spray the lubricant on the wheels and tracks. Have a rag at hand to soak up any dripping lubricant, although it will be minimal if you use a spray lubricant. Then slide the door a few times to make sure that the lubrication gets evenly distributed. If you notice squeakiness again, spray some more until its smooth and quiet.
What is the best lubricant for pocket door?
Both silicone and PTFE (Teflone) sprays are commonly used to lubricate a pocket door. However, Teflone lubricants are superior, and this is why:
- Silicone forms a thicker and wetter layer which collects dust and dirt more easily. Teflone creates a thinner and harder layer which remains clean for longer.
- Teflone also provides better corrosion protection during motion, which is a plus considering the fact that you’ll be applying it on metal parts of the door.
- Both silicone and PTFE sprays are suitable for metal, plastic, rubber, vinyl, wood, nylon and other materials so on that point it’s a tie. Both can be safely used on a pocket door. Pocket door wheels typically contain nylon and rubber, while the track is made of metal. The wood parts of the door are also safe in case the lubricant drips on as you apply it.
So both silicone and Teflone lubricants are a great choice, but Teflone is ultimately better. Like I said, I recommend the DuPont spray from Amazon. But if it’s not your cup of tea (for some strange reason), then check out my article on the other top lubricants for a squeaky door.
Lubricating a pocket door is a simple process. First clean the track and roller as much as you can of any debris, grime and dust. Than apply liberally a Teflone or silicone lubricant to the wheels, roller and track. A spray lubricant is the most convenient type of lubricant to use and it won’t create as much of a mess as oil.
Once you’ve applied the lubricant slide the door a few times so that it gets into all the nooks and crannies and so that it’s equally spread across the surface. By doing so you will ensure that your pocket door runs smoothly and will eliminate squeaky noises.