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How to stop an office chair squeaking

How to stop an office chair squeaking

Is your office chair doing its best mouse impression? Here’s how find and fix an annoying squeak for good

Leaning back in your office chair to the sound of a squeak can be really irritating, particularly when you’re trying to focus. Even the best office chairs aren’t immune to the occasional loose part. But what’s causing the noise?

Why does your office chair squeak?

The most common causes of a squeaking office chair are either loose parts or stiff joints. Through general use, the metal parts of the chair can often start to move around more freely, causing the seat, backrest and wheels to shift and squeak. More problematically, this can reduce your stability while you’re sitting, and lead to poor posture. Tightening these metal components should put an end to the noise.  

If the chair doesn’t have any loose parts, the squeak may also stem from stiffness. In that case, you’ll need to lubricate the joints by applying oil to the mechanisms and patting dry. This reduces friction and allows the joints to move more smoothly, thus eliminating the squeaking sound. 

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How to stop your chair squeaking

Luckily, loosening and tightening the moving parts of an office chair are easy enough to accomplish without a professional. Grab a screwdriver and an allen key for potential tightening, and some WD-40/silicone spray lubricant and a clean cloth for loosening and lubricating, then follow these steps: 

Turn the chair upside down –This allows you to easily see the chair’s mechanisms without crouching on the floor. 

Tighten any loose parts – Locate all the connecting parts holding the chair together – this means nuts, bolts and screws. Tighten each of these with a screwdriver until they’re snug.

Lubricate any stiff joints – The springs, wheels and handles are common parts that might stiffen up. Lubrication is the answer here: spray or apply a decent amount of WD-40 directly onto the mechanisms, and wait for a few minutes. Move the mechanism a little to properly work the oil in, then wipe off the excess with a cloth. If applying to the wheels, roll the chair to ensure the wheels are evenly coated with lubricant. If you can’t find the specific source of the squeaking, feel free to lubricate every moving part.

Check the seat tension spring – If you’ve still not fixed the noise, it might be due to the tension of springs in the chair’s back. Find the turn knob that adjusts seat tension, remove the knob from the housing and spray some oil inside. 

Check the gas lift mechanism – The adjustable height function can also be a squeaking culprit. To lubricate this, spray WD-40 into the part where the cylinder fits into the mechanism and wait for the oil to soak in. 

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What else can you do to prevent any future squeaking? 

There are plenty of moving parts in an office chair, most of which will easily collect dust and dirt. It’s a good idea to periodically check your chair for any damaged or worn out parts a couple of times a year to avoid bigger problems in future. Some parts might need replacing entirely, but others can just be tightened or given some oil. 

Even if the metal parts aren’t squeaking right now, regular lubricating will still guard against it, as well as preventing any rust from building up. Other aspects of the chair to keep an eye on include any sagging of the seat, worn-out upholstery or debris/dirt collected in the wheels. 

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