How to Lubricate a Treadmill Belt Instantly the Smart Way

Learning how to lubricate a treadmill belt can prolong its life and minimize the frequency with which it has to be replaced. It can also prevent and get rid of treadmill noises, such as squeaking and grinding.

We recommend you lubricate your treadmill according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. But the following are some general rules and advice that can be helpful in doing so efficiently.

How to lubricate a treadmill belt at home?

Before beginning, ensure the treadmill is off and completely cool since any heat from its operation can negatively impact the lubricant.

Unplug the treadmill from the power adapter and remove any pieces necessary to access the belt or deck. Use a flashlight to inspect the machine’s underside for openings, as many treadmills have a prominent tread belt guide bar.

Once complete, the belt may need to be adjusted or replaced. If the belt seems worn or has excessive slack, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions. If only lubrication is necessary, use a silicone-based or synthetic lubricant, as this will work best with treadmills.

Carefully apply the lubricant to the deck where the belt runs and concentrate on the middle third of the belt. Most lubricants will come in aerosol cans with a long-reach nozzle, which is ideal for this task. Avoid getting the lubricant onto any other part of the machine.

Next, turn the belt by hand several times to ensure the lubricant is distributed evenly. The belt should move smoothly and should not jump or bind. Reattach any panels or covers and then plug the machine back into its power adapter and power on the machine.

Once the machine is powered on, ensure the belt runs appropriately and adjust the tension, if necessary. Make sure to recheck the belt tension as the lubricant wears off.

How do I know if my treadmill needs lubricant?

Look at the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Belt-driven treadmills need lubrication approximately every three months, while beltless treadmills should be lubricated every six months. Beyond this recommendation, you should also watch for any signs of wear that may suggest lubrication is needed.

Physical signs

Look for excessive noise, vibration, uneven belt movement, and perceived difficulty with running, walking, or inclining. Noise happens when there is improper lubrication causing the belt to grind when in contact with the deck.

Uneven belt movement results from increased friction that can slow the belt or cause it to stick in certain places. Finally, when you have difficulties running your treadmill, it might mean you need to calibrate it.

Higher-level visual signs.

Inspect the belt and deck visually, looking for any signs of wear. Check the bottom of the belt for any shiny strands, especially when the belt is excessively hot and dry. Also, you might inspect for any grooves or cuts.

Can I use WD-40 silicone on my treadmill?

It is possible to use WD-40 silicone on your treadmill. This silicon oil can help maintain the condition of your treadmill belt and keep it running smoothly. The oil can also prevent it from losing shape and getting dirty.

However, for it to be effective, some precautionary measures must be taken and applied appropriately. WD-40 silicone should only be used on clean, dry belts as it can be abrasive. .

Also, ensure that only a few drops are applied to the belt. Afterward, dry up the belt for about 10 minutes before use. Be aware that some silicone oils leave a white residue which can be avoided by following the directions carefully.

How to lubricate a treadmill motor belt?

You may want to check the tension of your belt first. Therefore, unplug the treadmill and locate the motor belt near the rear. Press down on the middle of the belt if it moves more than 3 to 4 inches, then it is tight. In addition, the manual will offer you directions on how to adjust the belt tension.

Once the tension is checked, proceed to lubricate your motor belt. Ensure your working area has good ventilation, as the lubricant may release harmful fumes. Consider using a silicone-based lubricant or a lubricating oil.

Apply the lubricant to the underside of the belt in a thin layer from the rear toward the front. Use your hand to push the belt up and away, and wipe off any excess lubricant with a cloth. Lastly, use a vacuum cleaner to eliminate any remaining flakes of lubricant.

Is WD40 a good lubricant for a treadmill?

Whether or not to use WD40 depends on the kind of lubrication your treadmill requires. For instance, if you are doing simple applications, light-duty mechanisms, and bearings, consider using WD40.

However, if you are doing heavier lubrication, such as roller bearings, WD40 might be unsuitable. Additionally, WD40 may accumulate grease and dirt in hard-to-reach areas causing more harm than good in the long run.

As a general rule, you should always consult the manufacturer’s instructions, because different treadmills may require a different lubricant.

What happens if you don’t lube your treadmill?

Decreased Belt Life

That will cause your belt to wear out much faster than expected and decrease its lifespan significantly. Your belt could then start skipping, or you may even have to replace it.

Safety Risk

Unlubricated treadmills are much more likely to suffer unexpected stalls or jerks during use, which may cause injury.

Damage to the Motor

Excessive heat and friction can be generated on an unlubricated treadmill, which may cause damage to the motor. That could lead to the treadmill having to be repaired or replaced.

Damage to Other Parts

The heat and friction may damage the deck, rollers, and other components.

Higher Electricity Consumption

An unlubricated treadmill will tend to use more electricity while running. That could even lead to a higher electricity bill if you run on a treadmill more often.

Treadmill Malfunction

When other parts overheat and malfunction, there will be an interruption in your daily routine.

Can I use olive oil to lubricate my treadmill?

Olive oil is a light oil that can lubricate the upper running mat, but with one caveat. It must be carefully cleaned and dried after use to avoid introducing food-grade contaminants into the treadmill components.

Only use the oil sparingly every three months and after the treadmill has been properly cleaned. To use the olive oil, dump a soft cloth into it and then wipe the belt lightly.

Can I use baby oil to lubricate the treadmill?

Most oils may do more harm than good when used to lubricate treadmills. The petroleum in baby oil can degrade the rubber increasing the chances of belt tearing. In addition, oil can attract dust and dirt, thus reducing airflow.

If you decide to lube your treadmill, use lubrication oils with a high viscosity, such as those used for automobiles. Thicker oil requires less frequent reapplication than lighter oil varieties. It is also important to note that some treadmills require higher-grade oils and special lubricants.

How often should you lube a treadmill?

It is recommended to lubricate your treadmill every 6 to 12 months. If you use the treadmill regularly, once or twice a month may be necessary. It is also essential to check the moving parts for signs of wear and tear as these may also contribute to any underlying noise or other issues.

It is vital to ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper lubrication of your treadmill. You will be guided on how often to lubricate, tips on the type of lubricant, and the proper application procedure. Always unplug the treadmill before lubricating it to eliminate the risk of electric shock.

Can you put too much lubricant on a treadmill?

Excess lubricant can cause a film buildup on the belt, deck, and motor, decreasing the treadmill’s efficiency. That decreases the ability of the treadmill to achieve belt speed and affects the performance of the belt’s grip.

The accumulation of lubricant also increases the probability of slippage, resulting in the belt and motor running slower. That increases the wear and tear on the motor, belt, and deck, reduces lifespan, and leads to higher repair costs.

Accumulated lubricants can also cause serious safety issues. The extra slippage created by increased lubricants can result in a belt jump, affecting the runner’s balance. That results in a fall and a potential injury. Moreover, the oily film can make the running surface slippery and increase the probability of slips and falls.

Using too much lubricant can also create a burning odor from the treadmill. This burning smell usually indicates buildup, and misalignment, causing excessive wear and tear.


This was a simple guide on how to lubricate a treadmill belt. The optimal amount of lubricant to use depends on the design of the treadmill and its usage. But, as a general rule of thumb, you should use a light, even layer of lubricant roughly the same width as a dollar bill. Focus more on the center of the belt where the belt meets the deck rather than the entire belt.

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