Just like you need to switch out your running shoes once you hit a certain mileage, your treadmill is no exception. And while you don't need to get a new treadmill completely, your machine does require a little maintenance.
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One important part of treadmill maintenance is belt lubrication. Learn how to lubricate a treadmill and find the best treadmill belt lubricant for your machine.
Silicone Lubricants Versus Teflon Lubricants
Wondering what you can use to lubricate your treadmill belt? Treadmills have specific lubricants made of either silicon or Teflon. Both can be used to grease up your treadmill belt to prevent wear and tear over time. The main difference? Silicone lubricants often come in oil form, whereas Teflon lubricant is more like an ointment.
Both lubricants can help keep your treadmill belt rolling smoothly, according to NordicTrack. Aim to lubricate your belt every three months or 130 miles (whichever comes first). But if you spend a lot of time doing high-intensity sprints on your machine, you may need to apply treadmill belt lubricant more often.
Check if your treadmill needs to be lubricated by unplugging your machine and loosening your belt (specific steps will vary from machine to machine, so be sure to read your treadmill's instructions). If the inner surface of your belt feels dry, it may need some lubricant. But if you feel oil underneath, then you don't need to lubricate it.
The best lubricant for your treadmill depends on the manufacturer's recommendation. Most companies call for silicone treadmill lubricants but make sure to read your product instructions closely before you buy.
Treadmill Lubricants to Try
- SEKODAY 100% Silicone Treadmill Belt Lubricants ($6.68, Amazon.com)
- Godora 100% Silicone Treadmill Lubricant ($9.98, Amazon.com)
- Spot On 100% Silicone Treadmill Belt Lubricant ($14.95, Amazon.com)
How to Lubricate a Treadmill
As mentioned above, you should aim to lubricate your treadmill every three months, but this timeline can vary depending on your machine and mileage. The lubrication process will vary depending on your machine's manufacturer, so be sure to read the product info closely or call customer service if you're not sure.
Don't use just any treadmill oil or grease to lubricate your treadmill, according to NordicTrack. This can get into the machine, clog it and cause permanent damage.
- Unplug your machine and loosen the belt with a screwdriver or Allen wrench.
- Lift the belt slightly and either spray or squeeze the lubricant underneath the belt.
- Apply about three to five applications of your lubricant on either side of the belt (read the lubricant application instructions).
- Lower the treadmill belt.
- Plug your machine back in.
- Start your treadmill at a slow speed (about 3 mph) for 5 to 6 minutes with no weight on the machine. This should help evenly distribute the lubricant.
- Unplug the treadmill again and clean off any extra lubricant on the belt.
- Tighten the belt back into place and plug in the machine.