Squeaky chair

topic posted Sat, July 19, 2008 - 11:03 PM by  Jessica
My computer chair is so squeaky I can't even sit in it anymore, because it irritates everyone in the house. My boyfriend says to use WD-40 but I was hoping I could use something I have around the house already... Wax paper, or some kind of oil. I don't know. Does any one have any good ideas on how to stop a chair from squeaking?
posted by:
  • A
    offline 0

    Re: Squeaky chair

    Sun, July 20, 2008 - 11:21 AM
    "... hoping I could use something I have around the house already..."

    First have you pin-pointed exactly where the squeak is coming from?
    Knowing exactly where and what is squeaking may go a long way in the best approach.

    As far as "around the house already", I've found WD-40 to be almost indispensable; always try to have a can around the house, but I can understand your maybe going with something a little more ... shall we ... say organic?

    Now that I think of it - if you can locate the squeak - maybe try melting some candle wax (your waxed paper idea reminded my of that).

    A lot of "cures" can get messy, even the wax, so you may want to keep in mind doing the work outside and then - if your chair is on a surface susceptible to staining - to placing something under the chair for the first week or so after applying the squeak stopper.
  • Unsu...

    Re: Squeaky chair

    Mon, July 21, 2008 - 6:39 AM
    WD 40 is Water Displacement formula #40.

    It's a shitty lubricant.

    Try a good moly grease. Take the thing apart and grease it up.
  • Re: Squeaky chair

    Wed, July 23, 2008 - 4:49 PM
    i'm assuming this is metal and plastic office type chair - if it's metal on metal making the squeaking then a good lubricant would do the the trick. I'd recommend 3 in 1 oil because it'll stay in the joint for a good long time and is good to have around the house. If it's metal to plastic or plastic to plastic the squeaking is probably coming from wear or cracks which is harder and possibly not worth fixing. If you find the problem spot you can try taking a utility knife and trimming back the part that's rubbing. If the plastic is doing something functional where trimming will mess it up just look around downtown areas - plenty of abandoned office chairs in good condition hanging around.
  • Re: Squeaky chair

    Tue, August 25, 2009 - 2:09 PM
    I joined just to share a warning and a tip with everyone on this subject. After I sprayed WD40 on a computer chair, the squeaking stopped, which was great. The next day the WD40 must've soaked in and lubricated the mechanism so well that the chair adjustments would not stay in one position. Without pressing any levers, the seat started tilting back and forth just from my weight, and if I leaned back in the slightest the back of the chair would recline. I almost threw it away, which would've been a real shame, but then got an idea. I turned the chair upside down and sprinkled baking soda liberally on the mechanism where it was supposed to grip but wasn't. I worked the powder in with my fingers and also by opening up a bit more space with a flathead screwdriver, holding down the levers to release the tension, while also moving the seat and the seatback back and forth to make sure the powder got everywhere. The entire process took less than 10 minutes, and the result -- no squeaks, no problems! (plus the baking soda seems to have absorbed some of the WD-40 smell, an unexpected bonus).
  • Unsu...

    Re: Squeaky chair

    Tue, August 25, 2009 - 3:17 PM
    Where would the wax paper go?
    I mean in your mental picture of things chair-like where would it go?

    WD 40 is a 5 minute fix. The stuff pre pretty useless for most of the things people try to use of for.
    It is composed of:
    Fuel oil
    deoderized mineral spirits
    some very small amount of microcrystalline paraffin
    And propellant

    That's it.

    If you can figure a way that any that stuff will help with whatever you want to do then great. But Fuel oil won't last longer than a few minuted as a lubricant.

    To fix a squeak you need to get something in between the parts that are rubbing. This can be heavy grease or a nylon washer.
    If it's a cheap-shit-chair (less than $400 new) toss it out. If it's a nice HON chair,it is worth you taking it apart and re assembling it with a heavy lithium grease.
    • Re: Squeaky chair

      Tue, August 25, 2009 - 6:31 PM
      "If it's a cheap-shit-chair (less than $400 new) toss it out...."

      You live in a strange world, Cliff. A world of massive landfills, spoiled upper classes / first worlders apparently.
      • Re: Squeaky chair

        Tue, August 25, 2009 - 7:22 PM
        And he has a LOT of $$, I mean less than 400 is a, " cheap-shit-chair" ? If I spent $400 for a'd better have a motor on it !
        And throwing it out, rather than simply fixing a squeak, seems well...........non DIY, to put it nicely.
      • Unsu...

        Re: Squeaky chair

        Tue, August 25, 2009 - 7:39 PM
        **********You live in a strange world, Cliff. A world of massive landfills, spoiled upper classes / first worlders apparently. ***********

        Well I've had those god awful heaps of trash they sell at staples and I have HON chairs that cost near 4-bills each and I can tell you of a certainty that there are only two classes of office furniture: (a) garbage now worth owning and (b) expensive well made and reliable. There seems to be nothing in between

        For office furniture on a budget you are way far better off going to the Used commercial furniture houses and buying stuff from the early 1970's an awful lot of it is still perfectly good today.
        They didn't use gas springs they used real screws and substantial amounts of steel. Now it's all plastic crap and cheap shit gas shocks pretending to be springs.

    • Re: Squeaky chair

      Sat, October 16, 2010 - 7:46 PM
      Well for starters.
      "The long-term active ingredient is a non-volatile, viscous oil which remains on the surface, providing lubrication and protection from moisture. This is diluted with a volatile hydrocarbon to give a low viscosity fluid which can be sprayed and thus get into crevices. The volatile hydrocarbon then evaporates, leaving the oil behind. A propellant (originally a low-molecular weight hydrocarbon, now carbon dioxide) provides gas pressure in the can to force the liquid through the spray nozzle, then itself diffuses away."

      Then you have.
      "WD-40's formula is a trade secret. The product is not patented in order to avoid completely disclosing its ingredients.[2] WD-40's main ingredients, according to U.S. Material Safety Data Sheet information, are:

      50%: Stoddard solvent (i.e., mineral spirits -- primarily hexane, somewhat similar to kerosene)
      25%: Liquefied petroleum gas (presumably as a propellant; carbon dioxide is now used instead to reduce WD-40's considerable flammability)
      15+%: Mineral oil (light lubricating oil)
      10-%: Inert ingredients
      The German version of the mandatory EU safety sheet lists the following safety-relevant ingredients:

      60-80%: Heavy Naphtha (petroleum product), hydrogen treated
      1-5%: Carbon dioxide"

      I personally have used WD40 more than a few occasions for various projects and, well your assertion that it only lasts a few minutes is bunk. I've used it on squeaky door hinges, bicycle chains, etc. it lasts, and works, quite well.

      HOWEVER!!!! It does not last as long as proper greases and oils. These are not always handy, often more difficult to apply, and make bigger messes, etc.....
  • Re: Squeaky chair

    Tue, October 19, 2010 - 6:50 AM
    After scanning the suggestions I don't recall anyone mentioning the possibility of tightening a loose screw or bolt. If the fastener is in plastic, be careful not to over-tighten. Some joints are supposed to slip, like a reclining mechanism. For those that aren't supposed to move even a slight rotation of a fastener may solve the squeek. If you get even a slight change in the squeek, you've at least identified where the problem is.
    • Re: Squeaky chair

      Tue, October 19, 2010 - 10:09 AM
      Also, while grease is really good at greasing things, to temporarily figure out if something is a lubrication issue you can use WD 40. If you don't have any proper grease, you can always use something like Tri-flo, 3-in-one household oil, etc.

      And, you, check all the screws, bolts, and pivot points on the chair. Having someone else cause the squeaking or listen for where the squeeking is coming from is also often useful in pinpointing the problem area for adjustment and/or lubrication.
  • Unsu...

    Re: Squeaky chair

    Tue, October 19, 2010 - 10:49 AM
    WD-40 is about the worst imaginable lubricant.
    Mostly because it is not a lubricant. It is a Water Displacement formula
    That's what the W and the D stand for.

    WD-40 is a very, very, very expensive way to purchase the following:
    Paraffin wax and deodorized kerosene
    That's it. The rest is propellant

    Putting WD-40 on anything needing lube is worse than no lube because the Kero' will dissolve the real lubes and wash them away.

    If you want something to stop squeaking you gotta take it apart and apply a real grease.

    The WD 40 will stop the squeak for a day or so and then you are in a worse place than you started out.
  • rik
    offline 0

    Re: Squeaky chair

    Tue, October 19, 2010 - 11:38 AM
    Slick 50,... put/save some in a clean container, and use a small tool to apply it to your chair and other stuff as needed.
    Put the rest in your car(where the oil goes)preferably after a fresh oil change.

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