A squeaky office chair is a big source of annoyance and disturbance in the workspace. It not only annoys the person sitting on it but also others around. Whenever you move, a squeak noise is produced and everyone around suddenly looks at you. You get awkward, right?
Fortunately, the squeaks in the chair are not a very big problem and, in most cases, can be fixed rather than replacing the chair itself. Now, your next question would be: How to fix a squeaky office chair?
First of all, identify the source of the squeak. Sit on the chair, spin it, lean back on the backrest, and use the armrests to pinpoint the source. Have someone sit on the chair and closely inspect to get a better understanding. Most commonly, loose screws and lack of lubrication of wheels, seat tension springs, or other metal parts are a source of squeakiness.
Once you have identified that component that creates a nuisance, fix it. For that, flip the chair upside down. Tighten all the loose screws and nuts. Apply good-quality silicone spray to all the screws and related chair mechanisms. Bravo, you did it!
Before we get into the detailed step-by-step guide to fixing a squeaky office chair, let’s first understand what causes the squeaky noise in chairs.
Why Office Chairs Become Squeaky?
There can be multiple reasons behind a squeaking office chair. In most cases, when a chair is used for a long time, it suffers a lot of wear and tear, and its screws and bolts loosen. This creates friction in different chair parts that result in a squeaky noise.
Rust is the second major source of squeakiness. Moisture present in the air causes rust in the iron or steel components which cause this issue.
If loose bolts and rust are not the sources of the squeaking sound, then it’s most likely that the gas lift mechanism of the chair is the culprit. The tilting mechanism often tends to lose with time and become the source of squeakiness. Sometimes, dirty chair wheels can also be a source of squeaky sounds.
Additionally, loose metal posts can also be the reason behind the squeaking noise. This is because, metal posts wear down with time and thus lose, which is a direct cause of squeakiness.
Materials Required to Fix a squeaky chair!
To fix squeaky chairs, you would require some basic tools and materials. Most of them would be easily available in your home. However, if something is missing, you can easily purchase it from nearby hardware stores. So, here is the list:
- Cotton Cloth
- Crescent Wrench
- Silicone Spray lubricant
- Paper Towels
Once you have arranged all the necessary tools, it’s time to jump into the procedure of fixing the squeaking office chair.
How to fix a squeaky office chair!
Before getting into the procedure of fixing a squeaky chair, the first step is to remove all debris from different parts of the chair, especially the problematic area. You don’t need to carry a thorough cleaning for this.
Just take a soft cotton cloth and remove all the debris so that subsequent steps become easy and effective. You can also use paper towels for this purpose.
Identify the Faulty Part
First of all, keenly observe all the parts of the chair to identify the source of the squeak. Half of your work is done if you have rightly gaged the source of squeakiness.
You can identify the source by either sitting on the chair and reclining on it or getting help from a friend to sit on the chair so that you can easily observe where the sound is coming from. Check if all the metal elements are properly fastened as screws get loose with time and cause squeaky noise.
Generally, squeakiness occurs in the metal parts that wear down due to excessive use and lack of lubrication. So observe these areas critically.
Turn over the Chair
After you have identified the source of squeakiness, the next step is to fix the issue. For this, you have to flip the chair upside down to easily work on its bottom.
Be careful while flipping it to avoid any damage. It’s better to put it on a high desk and then turn it over. After flipping the chair, you can easily work on its bottom area.
Fasten the Loose Screws and Bolts
Now, check each screw and bolt to ensure that they are completely fastened. Go through all the metal posts and make sure everything is tightened rightly.
If there is a loose metal post, fasten it with a screwdriver. It’s better to tighten even those components that don’t appear loose. However, avoid over-fasting any screw as it would worsen the problem.
Lubricate the Problematic Parts
After that use a gentle lubricant to spray on the areas of the chair where you identify the fault. The best lubricant for metal and plastic elements of an office chair is a silicone lubricant such as WD-40. However, if it is not easily accessible, sunflower oil or petroleum jelly can also be used as an alternative.
- Before applying lubricant, place a paper towel or tissue paper to avoid lubricant sipping on the fabric part of the chair and prevent staining. Use an oil that has a spray mechanism so that it reaches all the nooks and crannies of the required part.
- Make sure to spray on all the metal posts generously and watch out if the post housing has been sprayed well or not.
- After applying lubricant, let it settle and dry, and clean the excessive sipping oil well.
- If you are using sunflower oil or if the lubricant does not have a spray mechanism, apply oil on a soft cotton cloth, and rub the oil onto all the screws, bolts, nuts, and other metal parts to evenly distribute it.
- Regular lubrication of all the metal parts prevents rust from building on the chair and it also helps to loosen stiff joints. Wheel axles also require lubrication.
- If squeaky noises are still coming even after applying lubricating oil and tightening all the loose joints, simply loosen and take out all the bolts and screws and lubricate all the individual pieces with light machine oil before placing them back in their position.
Fix the Seat Tension Spring
If the office chair squeaks only when you recline back, it is due to the seat tension spring which is present at the bottom of the seat. To fix this issue, lubricate the seat tension spring present inside the turn knob housing. Remove the seat tension turn knob and spray oil inside the turn knob housing.
Clean the Office Chair Wheels
If wheels are the source of the squeak, clean them thoroughly. The castors of the office chair flipped upside is easy to clean. The cleaning of casters starts with turning the chair upside down and disassembling its wheels. After that remove the dirt and debris using a nail clipper or tweezer.
Remove adhesive dirt using duct tape. After that, you can either soak casters in soapy water and rinse them off or use a towel dipped in soapy water to clean them. After that dry wheels and reattach them. It is a good idea to spray the lubricant on the wheels as well. Spray oil inside the wheels and move the chair on the floor so that the oil is evenly coated.
Can a Wooden Chair be Squeaky?
Although it seems a bit unusual, wooden furniture also gets squeaky over time. However, the procedure to remove the squeakiness in wooden chairs differs from the other chairs. This is because the squeakiness in wooden chairs is caused basically by the gaps in the chair joints.
We will not discuss the complete procedure of how to fix a squeaky wooden chair because that’s a detailed topic and requires another complete article. But just to give you an idea, a wood swelling liquid is applied to the chair parts, which fills the gaps in between. Wood glue can also be used to do this job.
Pro Tips While Handling a Squeaky Office Chair!
While fixing the issue of squeaking office chairs, the following few things should be kept in mind:
- Disable all the nuts, screws, and bolts before you apply oil so that it goes well in all the internal components.
- Avoid using excess lubricant as it would dip out later onto whatever surface the chair is on.
- It’s a good practice to grease all the nuts, bolts, and screws with lubricating oil regularly whether the chair is squeaky or not as it also protects the chair from rust or decay.
- Whether your chair is squeaky or not, it’s good practice to check all the components after every six months and ensure that they are completely fastened.
In a nutshell, squeaks and creaks in the office chair do not indicate that it’s time to replace it with a new chair. Instead, you can easily fix a squeaking office chair. We have outlined a series of steps following which you can fix the squeakiness in your chair. Do follow them and let us know if they were helpful!