Squeaky Office Chair: Common Problem Area & Simple Ways How To Solve It (With More Tips)

Black leather office chairs beside table

Last Updated: July 19, 2021

Are you tired of working numerous agonizing hours because of the uncomfy and irritating noise your chair produces?

I bet, you are.

An obvious solution to this issue would be to replace the chair, but luckily, it isn’t the only solution because neither is it the best. Chairs go through wear and tear and endure hours of uneven weight and pressure, which is why issues like these are common.

Most of the time, a squeaky office chair is still in good condition. That means you still have the chance to try and fix it.

Grab a few tools and allow us to teach you to fix a squeaky office chair.

Targeting The Problem And Proper Solution

empty office chairs in a room

Below we will discuss a series of trial and error procedures to help you fix your squeaky office chair.

We’ll begin from the most common causes to the least common ones.

Each procedure may or may not contain the solution to your specific issue. If it doesn’t fix the problem, then just proceed on to the next one.

Tightening And Securing

Loose and missing mechanisms are often the culprit of a squeaking chair. Every time your chair spins or receives a lot of pressure, these bolts and screws slightly loosen up.

If you want to know how to stop an office chair from squeaking, your go-to step should be to flip it upside down and see if everything is still intact. If you were the one who assembled your chair upon purchase, this step would be much easier for you.

There’s a chance that you won't be able to locate the loose parts within a short period of time. But the good news is, you don’t have to!

Get some wrenches and both flathead and Phillip screwdrivers, and just start tightening everything!

Through this, you can quickly identify what parts are loose and secure them at the same time.

If you find any missing or faulty parts, feel free to replace them. Once you feel like everything is already intact, turn your chair upright and do a squeak test.

Cleaning And Lubricating

man with yellow gloves cleaning an office chair

Rust & Stiffness

Due to humidity, dirt particles, and of course, oxidation, and its mechanisms are prone to rust and stiffness. Once this happens, there’s a huge chance that it will start making squeaks and noises because of the amount of friction they have with the other parts.

Once you’ve located these areas, you can either use a can of WD-40, a lubricating agent, or oil on them. Just begin spraying or applying the substance all throughout the gears of your chair.

Remember to work in a safe area and place newspapers on the ground.

If you’re using oil and you don’t want it to get everywhere, you can use a cotton ball to spread it on specific parts.

You can also ask for a little help from a friend, all they need to do is sit on the chair and swivel it around while you examine from below.

With this, you can check if there are any moving parts or where the squeaking is coming from. Once these areas have been located, repeat the process above where you flip your chair upside down to lubricate and tighten its mechanisms.

If this doesn’t do the job, you can also use vinegar and steel wool.

You’ll be soaking the ball of steel wool in vinegar and working your way through each rusty mechanism.

Make sure to use gloves for this step to avoid any accidents.

If you scrub thoroughly enough, you’ll be able to get rid of the rust. But there is also stubborn rust that a simple solution of vinegar cannot remove, so go easy on yourself.

Faulty Seat-Tension Springs

black chair and white office table

Now, if your chair only squeaks every time you lean back on it, then it’s time to focus on its springs. This means that the back area of your chair has been receiving constant excessive pressure causing it to wear down.

The first thing you should do is find your chair’s turn-knob, from there you’ll easily spot the seat-tension spring.

Loosen and remove the turn-knob and directly spray oil onto its housing.

After this, you can try taking a seat and leaning back to check if it worked, you can repeat this process if necessary. 

Worn Out Wheels

The wheels do produce noise too! The metal posts that connect them to the chair’s body tend to wear out and loosen over time causing too much friction just like the rusty mechanisms.

In this situation, we’ll be making use of a silicone spray. Flip your chair upside down and start spraying inside each wheel’s post housing. It is important that it is the housing that receives the silicone and not the wheels itself to avoid any issues.

Once you flip your chair back up, wait for 5-10 minutes before testing it as the silicone still needs to spread around the housing. 

Care And Prevention

Earlier in the area where we tackled how to fix a squeaky chair, we discussed how prone they are to loosening, rusting, and breaking which are what cause them to squeak a lot.

Even though it is prone to such, a little maintenance can lengthen the life and improve the durability of your office chair.

Tightening and oiling its mechanisms every once in a while can go a long way. You can also monitor whether its parts are rusty and need cleaning or replacement.

Occasionally, cleaning the entire chair is ideal too as it will prevent any build-up of dirt particles.

On top of everything, you just really need to be gentle and care for your chair, like making sure you’re seated properly to distribute your weight evenly.

This is a step-by-step guide on how to fix a squeaky chair:

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Apply Any Type Of Oil To Stop My Office Chair From Squeaking?

While “any” type of oil could possibly lubricate your chair, there’s a huge chance they won’t be as effective as lubricating agents, a can of WD40, or mechanical grease —which were made to do the job.

Your chair will just end up greasy and weird smelling and neither would these effects last if ever there were any.

In this article on how to fix a squeaky office chair, we’ll be using the correct and suitable materials for the activity to avoid any inconveniences.

It Is Only When I Lean Back That My Chair Squeaks... Why?

As mentioned earlier, chairs that produce noise when leaned on have poor and faulty seat-tension springs.

This could be because they receive too much tension or that they have gone through too much wear and tear over time.

Final Remarks

And that ends our journey on how to stop an office chair from squeaking.

If none of these solutions has helped you fix your chair, don’t be hard on yourself. Office chairs, like all items, wear down through time. So maybe it’s time to let it go and gift yourself a new one.

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