How to Lubricate a Treadmill

Although a treadmill is a fantastic way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, too often, we think that it’s a self-sufficient machine. By that, we mean most people don’t put much thought into routine maintenance, which can cause a lot of problems.

While there are a few things you should be doing to your treadmill to keep it in pristine condition, one of the most useful and consistent procedures should be lubricating it. Lubricating your treadmill will ensure that you can continue to use it unimpeded.

Today we’re going to go over the proper procedures for lubrication, as well as discuss the schedule you should be using to keep it running smoothly for years to come.

What You’ll Need for This Tutorial

Fortunately, this process is not too complex, but you will need some specialized equipment to get the job done. The most complicated aspect is finding the right lubricant to use on your treadmill. For the most part, we recommend a silicone solution as it will last longer than most alternatives.

You should be able to find silicone gel or spray online, especially if you search for treadmill lubricants specifically. Also, you will have to make sure that you have a reliable application method, such as a spray bottle. Overall, we think that spraying the belt is much easier than other options, as it provides a better coating.

Items to Use

  • Silicone lubricant gel
  • Spray bottle
  • Rag or towel
  • Screwdriver

When picking out a rag, you will need one to spread the gel around, as well as a towel to go underneath the treadmill. No matter how careful you are, there will be excess lubricant that will leak from the edges of the machine, so unless you want to get your floor or carpet messy, you should cover it beforehand.

Step by Step Guide

Here’s a cute video on one way to lubricate your treadmill. The more thorough method is shown below in our instructions.

Step One: Lay Down Towels

For the most part, the lubricant will drip from the end of the treadmill, but it’s a good idea to put towels all along the edges as well, just to be safe. Also, keep a few clean ones handy to wipe off any excess lubricant from the machine itself.

Step Two: Loosen the Screws

Since you have to get underneath the treadmill belt, you will have to loosen the screws on the sides to gain access. Look at the kind of screwdriver you’ll need beforehand so that you won’t have to get a different one after the fact.

You’ll know when it’s loose enough when you can lift the belt and see through to the other side easily.

Step Three: Spray the Treadmill Deck

When you’re spraying, pay attention to the consistency of the fluid coming out. If it’s too thick, then you should mop up any excess as it will make the belt too slippery and it could be dangerous to use. Also, wipe up any spray that gets on the sides of the machine while you work.

Step Four: Move the Belt

To ensure proper lubrication, it helps to coat the whole belt with a thin layer of gel as well as the deck. If you don’t, then the portions of the belt on the opposite side of the machine (underneath the treadmill) may not be coated properly.

If possible, mark the sections of the belt as you go so that you can be sure you’ve coated the whole thing. Also, you don’t want to put two coats on it if possible since that can still lead to an extra slippery treadmill.

Step Five: Remove All Excess Lubricant

Overall, you should have used about 1-1.5 ounces of silicone gel to get your machine back to normal. If you used more than that, you should mop up any extra before turning it on. Also, be sure to check the top of the belt and the sides of the treadmill so that you don’t accidentally slip when using it.

Step Six: Tighten the Sides

Return the screws to their original position. You should not be able to lift the belt very much afterward.

Step Seven: Run the Treadmill

To ensure that the whole thing is working correctly and that the lubricant is evenly coated throughout, you should run the machine for about three minutes. It shouldn’t be going too fast – around three miles per hour is sufficient. If it goes much faster than that, it might start spraying lubricant that you’ll have to mop up.

You can also walk on the treadmill to see how it handles. If it feels a bit slippery, then you might have to soak up some excess fluid.

Step Eight: Make a Lubrication Schedule

According to most treadmill manufacturers, it’s necessary to lubricate your machine about every three months or so, depending on usage.

You can either go by mileage or hours spent on the treadmill as a gauge. If it’s the former, then around 150 miles is sufficient, although it may need new lubrication at the 100-mile mark instead. As for hours used, we recommend lubricating it every 40 hours or so. Once again, depending on how much you use it, that could be several months, or it could be a few weeks.

Overall, it’s much better to use these metrics than time because your usage can change.


Thanks for reading our blog! Once you’ve lubricated your treadmill a few times, it will become like second nature to get it right each time. Also, remember that you can switch out belts as they become worn and cracked. If your belt is too old, lubrication isn’t going to help.

Happy walking!

Be sure to check out our article on best treadmill lubricants.

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