Made with a combination of moving parts and electrical components, treadmills require regular maintenance to keep them performing properly. Many treadmill maintenance kits include a liquid treadmill lubricant that you can use during routine maintenance to reduce friction on moving parts. However, making homemade treadmill lube allows you to customize the ingredients to your treadmill specifications and manufacturer's recommendations.
The lubricant solution keeps the belt, deck and any moving parts functioning properly by reducing friction and heat buildup during the workout. These treadmill components are essential for the machine's function, and replacing them can cost nearly as much as a new treadmill. Using the homemade lube routinely, however, can prolong the lifespan of the treadmill.
The ingredients for homemade treadmill lube typically include silicone-based products such as Teflon, and other products that protect against high temperatures, water and friction. The choice of ingredients is ultimately determined by the lubricant recommended by the treadmill manufacturer. Homemade silicone lubricants include an aerosol or liquid that can be applied by spraying on the intended treadmill parts.
Not every treadmill is designed to be lubricated, as some models feature pretreated belts and moving parts. Applying the homemade treadmill lube to these pretreated parts can actually lead to excessive wear and deterioration. In addition, some treadmills require 100 percent silicone-based lubricants, while some need nonsilicone lubricants. Consult your treadmill owner's manual for a guide on acceptable lubricants based on the construction and design of your treadmill.
Every treadmill requires a routine maintenance schedule that includes lubrication, if applicable. The frequency -- and amount -- of using the homemade treadmill lube varies among different models. As a general rule, apply the homemade treadmill lube annually if you use the treadmill for walking or light jogging, and every six months if you're a serious runner. Always clean the treadmill parts that are being lubricated before applying the homemade treadmill lube.