Lubricating your treadmill walking belt regularly helps prevent wear and tear to the belt from excessive friction. Most treadmill manufacturers recommend lubricating the belt once every six to 12 months, depending on how often you use your machine. Using the wrong type of lubricant can damage your walking belt more than protect it.
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Silicone is a synthetic substance that is found in many products. Lubrication is just one of many uses for silicone. Most fitness equipment manufacturers recommend using 100 percent silicone to lubricate the walking belt on a treadmill. Silicone is available in a spray and a liquid.
Teflon is a brand name and registered trademark of the DuPont company. It is a silicone-based lubricant. All Dupont lubricants contain the Teflon fluoropolymer, which, according to the DuPont website, provides extra protection against high temperatures, water and excessive friction.
Many treadmill manufacturers only recommend 100 percent silicone lubricants. This would mean Teflon is not appropriate, though DuPont lists treadmills as a valid application for Teflon. However, it does not specify lubricating treadmill belts. Rather, DuPont may be referring to lubricating other parts of the treadmill, such as the nuts and bolts. Johnson Fitness recommends lubricating the air shocks with a Teflon-based spray.
Not all treadmill belts require lubrication. Some models are coated with a high-performance lubricant at the factory. Many Icon Health and Fitness brands, which include NordicTrack, ProForm and Weslo, among others, pre-lubricate the walking belt. In this case, Icon warns that applying any silicone spray or other substance to the belt could deteriorate it and cause excessive wear.
Most treadmill manufacturers supply a list of recommended lubricants to use on the walking belt. Consult your owner's manual or contact the manufacturer of your treadmill brand to find out what is recommended. If you use an unapproved lubricant, you may void your warranty.