5 Steps to Lubricate a Treadmill and Improve Its Work

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Last updated: September 04, 2023
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A treadmill can be a crucial asset to losing those extra pounds and getting in shape. It might be cold to run outside, and you don’t feel like heading to a gym. That makes a treadmill the perfect at-home device to achieve the targeted mile goal for the day.

If you want to maximize the device’s longevity, it’s vital to maintain it correctly. Apart from keeping it clean, you should also know how to lubricate a treadmill. The process isn’t demanding, but it’s vital to understand the required steps. That’s why we prepared a guide that will discover everything about lubricating these devices. Check out what you should know about treadmill lubrication!

What supplies are required for lubrication?

5 Steps to Lubricate a Treadmill and Improve Its Work

Before you can start lubricating your treadmill, it’s vital to prepare for the project. You’ll find most things required around the house, but there is one key item to acquire. It’s a specialized silicone lubricant gel. Some manufacturers even have their own lubricants designed, so it might be wise to choose them. If you need a versatile product, use the Spot On Silicone Treadmill Belt Lubricant. It’s a 100% silicone product, free from toxins and easy to apply.

The critical takeaway is that you shouldn’t use silicone from a can. That’s because you don’t want an oil-based silicone on your treadmill’s belt. It could compromise its performance and render it unusable. Make sure to read the label and confirm you are using a water-based silicone for your device.

Once you have the correct silicone, it’s time to prepare other items required. Here is what you’ll need:

  • A screwdriver of optimal size for your treadmill
  • A towel or rag and some hand wipes to minimize the potential mess
  • A spray bottle (if it is necessary as an application method)

You want to focus on the treadmill’s belt. That’s where you’ll apply lubrication to ensure everything works properly.

How often should you do that

That depends on the device’s frequency of use. You might only use it now and then, so occasional lubrication will be sufficient. Treadmills like XTERRA Fitness TR150 may seem like they will last for ages without any maintenance and they will, but for a decade at best. With the proper care for the device you won’t have to ever give up your perfect treadmill. But if you are a gym owner and your treadmill is used hours a day, like NordicTrack Commercial Series 1750, you’ll need to lubricate it frequently. Some advanced models will show a warning on the screen notifying you that it’s time for lubrication. The general rule is that you should lube the device every three months of 40 hours of use, whichever comes first. Your device might be different, so please consult the instruction manual. It should have a table or recommendations on how to recognize when the device requires lubrication.

Heavy-duty models might require more frequent lubrication that the domestic or compact treadmills.

Know your treadmill parts

Carefully learn manual that came with your treadmill to be familiar with the parts you are going to meet while lubricating the device. Watch YouTube video for disassembly process for your particular model if you’ll find one. To get an idea of how the treadmill looks on the inside, here’s a quick view on the creation process:

Safety advice

The entire process won’t take more than several minutes. But before you begin, it’s vital to take care of one thing.

We cannot stress the importance of this enough – unplug the treadmill from the electrical socket!

You should never work on any electrical devices while they are turned on since it may lead to serious and fatal consequences.

Be sure you have enough space around you to disassemble the device and place its parts on the floor. Never leave them standing so they won’t fall and injure you. If you are not sure you have enough strength to hold any part of the treadmill – ask for help and don’t try anything that can cause harm.

Treadmill lubrication

Now that you’ve learned the deal about safety – prepare the instruments and begin the lubrication process.

Step 1: Arrange Towels

Even if you are an expert, you can still expect some lubricant to drip off the treadmill’s edges. That’s why your first task is to avoid any permanent stains on your floor. You can do that by simply arranging towels below the areas where you expect the lubricant to drip. It might be wise to arrange it along the device’s edges, too, or anywhere else where there might be a dripping risk.

Apart from protecting the floor, you should consider how to remove excess lubricant from the product itself. You might accidentally apply the oil next to the belt instead of on it. If that happens, you can use a hand wipe to simply collect any excess. Make sure immediately to avoid the oil sticking to the device’s surface, which will make it harder to remove.

Step 2: Access the Treadmill Belt

Once you have the towels and the mess-stopping equipment ready, it’s time to start the process. Before you apply the lubricant, you’ll need to access the treadmill belt’s lower section. That will require a screwdriver, but make sure to choose the correct size and type.

You should look at the treadmill to see which screws the manufacturer used. That way, you will stop any unforeseen problems occurring during the project.

Now, the idea is to unscrew that section of the device, so you can pull up the belt. Lifting the belt should be easy, and you should be able to look at the opposite side after pulling it up. If that’s the case, the screws are loose enough.

Step 3: Apply the Lubrication to the Deck

It’s time for the core part of the project – spraying the deck of your treadmill with lubrication. It’s wise to see how your lubrication works first. Read the instruction manual to learn how to use it. You should try it a couple of times on other surfaces (be careful with the mess). That’ll confirm you understand how it works.

If everything is ready, it’s time to spray the deck. You should apply the lubrication evenly, but also make sure that you do not spray on a thick layer of the lubricate. Use a mop or a rag to wipe off any excess fluid. If you don’t do that, you risk the belt becoming too slippery. That can make it a huge danger to users, and you don’t want to risk injuries and performance problems. Also, analyze the device’s sides. If you notice any spray there, wipe it up immediately.

5 Steps to Lubricate a Treadmill and Improve Its Work

Step 4: Moving the Belt

Once you lubricated the deck, you want to apply a thin lubricant layer to the entire belt. That’s the best way to ensure optimal lubrication of the entire machine. You don’t want to leave a section uncoated and compromise the device’s performance.

The biggest risk lies in missing to lubricate the lower sections of the belt located below the actual treadmill. That’s why you want to move the belt and lubricate it completely. It helps to use some marking that will confirm you already lubricated a particular section.

We’ll pinpoint once again that it’s important not to use too much lubricant. That’s why marking helps because you’ll know you already covered a section.

The experts estimate that the total use of a silicone lubricant per a single session is no bigger than 1.5 ounces. It depends on many factors, but try not to use more than that. If it happens that you applied more, it might be wise to remove the excess from the machine. Inspect the device carefully and make sure that there’s no lube on the treadmill’s sides or on the running mat. You don’t want to risk someone slipping while using the unit.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

The finishing touches involve closing the lubricant for future uses and tightening the screws. You want to tighten everything properly so you don’t risk accidents when you activate the machine. Once you tighten the screws, it won’t be possible to pull the belt up for more than an inch or so.

Now, it’s time to test if the treadmill works right. Plug it into an electrical socket and activate it without you being on the running mat. Allow it to work for several minutes and assess how it behaves. Make sure to turn it on to a low setting – there’s no need for extreme speeds. If it happens that it goes faster than usual, perhaps you used too much lubricant.

It helps to establish a schedule for lubricating your device. You can even set an alert on your phone to remind you to check when you last lubricated the device and how many hours of use or time have passed since then.

Why It’s Important to Lubricate a Treadmill Regularly?

You might think it’s not necessary to lubricate a treadmill regularly, but it’s a vital consideration for maintaining these units. If there’s not enough lube, it can cause problems with the belt, electronics, and the motor itself.

Here is how problems happen – it all starts with the deck and belt making higher friction than usual. As a result, the machine uses more electricity. And it’s not only about the higher utility bills because additional electricity means motor brushes have to work harder. The same applies to electronic circuits, so improper lubrication accelerates wear and tear.

Additionally, you’ll find that extra friction and heat lead to rollers making additional torque forces against the belt and bearings. Those are all problems that lead to premature issues and failure of the entire treadmill.

How to lubricate treadmill by brand

The steps listed above will do for the most treadmill brands. Some of the expensive devices require more delicate approach that their cheaper colleagues but the whole process won’t be so different. Here we will add some tips for treadmill brands that will need special treatment.


Some of the treadmills come with self-lubricated belts. For the rest manufacturer advices to learn manual for the best lubricant for the particular model or series. You will also find thorough instruction for the process and how often should you repeat it. Here’s a helpful video for some of the models:


Horizon treadmills require lubrication after every 150 miles you’ve went or ran on it. Here we have a perfectly well explaining video that will guide you through the whole belt lubrication process:

Final Thoughts

Treadmills are now more affordable than before, but they are still a long-term investment. That’s why you want to get the most out of every machine purchased. As with other products, optimal maintenance will ensure that your treadmill lasts long and works properly.

Learning how to lubricate a treadmill is an essential component of its maintenance. It’s necessary to apply lubricant regularly if you want to keep the machine in top shape. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much time or effort to apply the lube. We hope you understand the entire process better now. Make sure to read the instructions carefully to discover any specifics referring to your machine. And always double-check if you plugged the treadmill off before you begin lubricating it!

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