How to Fix a Squeaking Office Chair: Step by Step Guide

A squeaking office chair – is there a more annoying thing in the whole wide world than the sound of a squeaking office chair? Probably not! Well, the coworker with the squeaky office chair might be more annoying than the chair itself, since they don’t want to fix it!

And yes, this is an issue almost every single office out there deals with from time to time, more frequently than not. The irritating squeaky noise is so powerful in distracting you from your work, so much so that you can hear it even if you put your earphones on. It can be pretty hard to concentrate on your work when there’s something so annoying going on in the background. So, what’s the solution?

Generally speaking, the owner of the chair will probably have to either try to fix the chair or ask the office manager for a new one. However, if squeaking is the only issue at hand, then the fixing would probably be the only option. But, how does one fix the chair so it stops squeaking? Well, you’re at the right place! In the following paragraphs, we’ll guide you through every step of the way and show you the best methods you can use to put an end to the squeaking, once and for all!

Preparation for the Job

Before we get into the fixing of the chair, it is essential you are well prepared so you can finish the job as quickly as possible. Considering all the potential culprits responsible for the squeaking, we can assume which tolls you may need to fix the chair. So, prior to fixing make sure to acquire;

  • A screwdriver – for loose screws and chair parts
  • Additional nails and screws – should you need to replace old parts
  • Bolt remover bits
  • Lubricant, greaser- WD-40 spray oil with a straw
  • Heavy-duty adhesive – in some cases
  • Paper towels or plastic covers – to prevent grease and oil from messing up the floors

How to Fix a Squeaking Office Chair: Step by Step

Step 1 – Flipping the Chair

Before you get to any work, you will first need to flip the chair, upside down. This can be hard to do around the office, so make sure to do it outside the main office area. We recommend you stack a bunch of books onto each other, and then place the seat of the chair, upside down, onto the books. Don’t make too high of a book tower for the chair; it might end up being unstable and wobbly. Just make sure to add enough books to keep the chair off the floor, nice and stable.

Step 2 – Checking the Loose Screws

To understand how one can fix a squeaky office chair, one must first understand how the chair works. Once you sit on the chair, you’re allowed to move forwards and backward, or turn swivel and turn from side to side thanks to a number of screws and individual pieces that hold everything together.

As you use the chair, for hours every day, the screws and other parts start wearing off, rubbing against each other, lacking lubrication in most cases. So, the first step towards a squeak-less office is – checking the loose screws and individual chair parts. If anything seems to be loose and not in its place, try to screw it back or replace it with a new screw.

Tip: Use a screwdriver or a crescent wrench to tighten up loose screws and achieve the best result!

Step 3 – Lubricating the Metal Parts

The metal parts of a chair, as they wear off, start losing the much-needed lubrication. This means that, after you check the loose screws and you tighten them back into their place, you need to oil the metal parts. Use an oil spray and apply it directly onto the screws and other metal chair mechanisms to ensure they loosen up, together with the joints.

If you don’t have an oil spray, simply apply oil onto a cotton cloth and rub it onto the problematic screws and metal chair elements. For the best results, remove the chair off the books, and flip it back onto the wheels. Have someone sit on the chair as you lubricate the metal parts. This will make it easier for you to locate the problematic area and source of the squeaky noise.

Tip: use a WD-40 spray grease (the one with the so-called Smart Straw), to achieve the best results. Thanks to the thin straw, you can easily lubricate even the smallest, most difficult target area. Make sure to bring some paper towels to prevent the grease from falling onto the ground; you don’t want your colleague to slip on the oil and fall.

Step 4 – Checking the Springs

The chair springs, responsible for enabling you to lean back while in the chair, are generally the main culprit when it comes to the annoying squeaky noise. Because they’re responsible for the seat tension, they tend to wear off pretty quickly. So, make sure to apply the oil spray to these springs. How you may ask. Just check out the spring-adjusting knob on your chair, and try to turn it so make the springs loose. Then, simply remove the know and spray the inside of the housing.

Step 5 – Checking the Wheels

Generally speaking, office chair wheels are made from plastic. But, they’re often placed inside a metal post that fixes them onto the very chair. As the wheels turn, they can wear down the metal posts, which in turn makes them loose and prone to making those annoying squeaky sounds.

So, keep the chair flipped upside down and remove the wheels. Make sure to lay the weels onto paper towels and spray them with a silicone spray. You can use the same spray for the metal posts, so make sure to apply it inside the post housing as well.

Once the spray dries down, put the wheels back into the metal post housing, screw them into the housing real tight, flip the chair and check whether it makes the squeaky noises. You can move the chair around so the spray coats everything as evenly as possible. This will make sure the chair moves smoothly.

Step 6 – Checking the Pipes

Every office chair is made using two metal pipes, one inside the other, designed to help you lift or lower the chair. Due to extensive use, the pipes can wear out and lose lubrication. As a result, your chair may squeak every time you move up or down, or adjust the height, which can be pretty annoying. So, to fix this, make sure that the chair is still upside down. Then, get some spray oil and apply it onto the inner pipe while having them fully exposed (as if you would raise your chair to its maximum height).

If you want, before applying the oil, you can even sand the inner pipe if you notice some bumps and lumps. Moreover, you can add the spray oil to the pivot point of the air ram, to make everything smooth. Don’t forget to clean any excess oil before flipping the chair, otherwise, the oil might run down onto the floor, dripping from the chair.

Wrapping Up

A squeaky chair in the office can be a pretty annoying thing. And, you don’t want to be that coworker- the one with the annoying, squeaky chair. As you can see, having a squeak-free chair is pretty easy, so gather your tools, take the chair and you can have it fixed in less than 20 minutes, depending on the difficulty of locating the source of squeakiness. If our step-by-step guide doesn’t work, then maybe you should consider getting a new chair after all.

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