Squeaky Chair? These Lubes Can Help

by Cynthia Fetherlin

When a squeaky sound starts to come from a chair as you shift around in it, it can be downright aggravating. That pestering noise can emanate from all kinds of seats— including armchairs, office chairs, and rockers— but the good news is, the best lubricants for squeaky chairs can provide the right fix.

Creaks or squeaks are usually an indication that something needs tightening or touching up with a slippery liquid (like an oil). With all the different lubricants on the market, however, choosing the right one for your needs can be challenging.

Material plays a big part in finding the best one. While silicone-based lubricants are great for metal, plastic, or rubber, they can damage wood. For wooden chairs, beeswax is the top choice.

The next thing to consider is where your chair will be used. Indoor chairs may not need a waterproof lubricant, but you'll want to find one with low odor. For outdoor chairs, a lubricant that is both waterproof and protects against rust and corrosion is the ideal choice.

To fix a squeaky chair that's also rusted, a penetrating oil works wonders. These heavy duty oils have low viscosity and are able to seep into small cracks to loosen and lubricate rusty screws and bolts. For a longer-lasting solution, consider a lubricant that also has PTFE in its formula.

With all of these materials and details in mind, take a look at the the best lubricants for your squeaky chair below.


The Best Silicone Spray Lubricant

This WD-40 Specialist Lubricant is a reliable option for use at home or in office buildings because it's quick-drying, won't create a sticky mess, and doesn't leave a strong odor lingering in the air. Compared to the original WD-40 formula, this silicone version is waterproof and does not break down when exposed to existing grease. It's safe to use on a variety of chair parts and materials, including non-metal ones like plastic, vinyl, or rubber. That squeaky noise your chair makes when leaning back? It can help lube those springs up, too.

This can also comes with a redesigned straw — referred to by the manufacturer as a "Smart Straw"— which is permanently attached to the can and can be flipped up for application on hard-to-reach areas. Several Amazon users note, however, that the straw can leak if not attached properly. "[The] straw takes some trial and error to use. [...] Once you figure it out, it works very well," reports one reviewer.

Fans say: "I love that it works so quickly and doesn't leave nasty residue. I got it for my computer chair's mechanics because I got tired of the squeaking. I've had to reapply it once, but it's fantastic and causes a nice, smooth action."


The Best Lubricant With PTFE

This all-purpose lubricant by 3-IN-ONE will work on a number of different materials. The squeeze bottle makes it easy to hold and get the precise amount exactly where you want it, and the product itself has no detectable odor. It's ideal for lubricating metal joints, like the ones you'll usually find on the legs of armchairs or office chairs. With the addition of PTFE — a polymer that is most often used for non-stick coating for pans and other cookware—the formula has the ability to reduce the friction between surfaces even more, making it stay put longer.

This is a good lubricant to keep around the house for whenever squeaky noises pops up (think door hinges), but keep in mind that it isn't waterproof, so it's not recommended for use on outdoor furniture.

Fans say: "Great oil. Easy to apply and seems to lubricate very well. I don't get any drips and can put a drop of oil right where I want it."


The Best For Wooden Chairs

Creaky wooden chairs are common because over time, wood can swell, shrink, or warp, causing joints to loosen or rub. Since traditional oil-based lubricants can soak into wood and cause damage, this beeswax wood polish is the perfect solution for squeaky wooden chairs. It's made of a blend of beeswax, Brazilian carnauba wax, mineral oil, and orange oil and can be applied directly to a noisy joint or used to fasten loose screws. When tightening, simply unscrew the joint and apply the beeswax polish to the screw itself. When reconfigured, the polish will keep the screw from moving, thereby eliminating the noise.

Beyond lubrication, a majority of the Amazon users who gave this polish a 4.6-star rating say it well-suited to use as a conditioning agent on on any wooden surface, especially when it comes to improving the looks of old floors and furniture.

Fans say: "I bought this for my papasans [lounge chairs] that were starting to look dry and make creaking sounds. It instantly brightened them and they make less noise now. I also ended up using it on the rest of my vintage furniture. [...] Highly recommend this stuff. Smells good, brightens and waxes wood, gentle, and a great price too."


A Penetrating Oil Designed For Loosening Rusty Metal Parts

While this penetrating oil by Kano doesn't come cheap, the 4.8-star rating across more than 1,000 reviews prove that it's worth every penny. If your squeaky situation is stemming from rusty screws, nuts, bolts, or other jammed metal parts, this aerosol spray works quickly to help loosen them. According to the manufacturer, it was designed to be able to creep into openings "as small as one millionth of an inch." Simply squirt it on the areas of your chair that are frozen, and wait as little as 15 minutes (or longer for more severely stuck spots) for it to start to dissolve rust and clean out other gunk so that you can realign the pieces to minimize creaky sounds.

Penetrating oil is also considered low viscosity, which means it can lubricate easily without any resistance. However, it's specially formulated for use on metal mechanisms that have been exposed to the elements, therefore avoid squirting it on wood, plastic, rubber, or vinyl. It also can leave a strong, lingering odor. Several reviewers note, however, that it's a tradeoff they don't mind making for an effective product. "The smell is absolutely atrocious, but we don't really care how it smells if it works!" one user writes.

Fans say: "I have tried a lot of oils in 55 years and this [one] is magic. Put a drop on something and then give it a while. You will be amazed at how easily parts come loose, or work for that matter."


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