Best Wax for Wooden Drawer Slides

There is nothing worse than pulling open a wooden drawer only to be met with resistance. Drawers that don’t slide easily can be a minor inconvenience or extremely irritating depending on how bad the problem is. 

Fortunately, wax can solve the problem. 

Wax is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to keep wooden drawers sliding properly. In this post, we’ll list the best wax for wooden drawer slides to try for your pieces.


The best wax for wooden drawer slides is paraffin, beeswax, carnauba wax, or a mixture of these three. Some of the best brands include:

  • Minwax Paste Wax
  • Furniture Clinic’s Wood Beeswax Polish
  • Gulf Wax
  • Clear Carnauba Wax

You can also use common wax candles at home for lubricating your wooden drawers.

Minwax Paste Wax

Minwax Paste Wax is one of the most popular products on this list for waxing chalk-painted surfaces. It’s easy to use, versatile, and widely available at hardware stores. This wax is made of beeswax, paraffin wax, and carnauba wax, and moderate to low amounts of VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

This product is also easy to apply to your drawers to improve their glide. You can simply dab a clean microfiber cloth in the wax and rub the product along the drawer slide from front to back. It dries quickly at 10-15 minutes and can be used on untreated or stained wood.

This wax is available in clear and dark and typically comes in a 1lb can.

View Minwax Paste Wax on Amazon

Furniture Clinic’s Wood Beeswax Polish

The Wood Beeswax Polish by Furniture Clinic is made from natural beeswax and is perfect for protecting your wood surfaces. Like the Minwax Paste Wax, it can be applied on stained and unstained wood surfaces. Furthermore, this product can fill in minor scratches in wood.

This product is non-toxic and environmentally friendly so you can use it in any part of your home.

The Wood Beeswax Polish is slightly more expensive than the previous product. However, we still recommend this as a can is enough to keep your drawers sliding smoothly for several years.

View Furniture Clinic’s Wood Beeswax Polish on Amazon

Clear Carnauba Wax

The Real Milk Paint Co.’s Clear Carnauba Wax is made of carnauba wax, beeswax, and candelilla wax. However, its main ingredient is carnauba wax, an extremely durable type of wax.

Carnauba wax is sourced from the leaves of the carnauba tree (endemic to Brazil) that is dried and beaten to release the wax. This is commonly used in polishes, cosmetics, candles, medicines, solvents, oils, and even printer ink. It is also extremely durable once it hardens and is scratch, moisture, and UV resistant.

This product, in particular, is great for wood furniture as it dries clear and is neither tacky nor sticky. It is about as expensive as Minwax. However, it isn’t as accessible since it can only be purchased online via The Real Milk Paint Co.’s website or on Amazon.

View Clear Carnauba Wax on Amazon

Gulf Wax

Gulf Wax is a popular paraffin wax brand that helps protect wood furniture and reduces the friction of wood drawers. It comes in bar form, and it can be rubbed directly along your drawer tracks to lubricate them. 

Its main component is paraffin derived from petroleum, coal, and oil shale. It appears as a soft, colorless, and odorless material. It is also commonly found in candles, lubricants, and crayons and is much cheaper than beeswax and carnauba.

This brand is also extremely accessible. It is available in most hardware stores or online via Amazon. However, it is less durable and needs relatively more frequent reapplication.

View Gulf Wax on Amazon

Candle Wax

Perhaps the least expensive and most convenient way to lubricate wooden drawer slides is by using candle wax. It can be made of paraffin or soy wax, a plant-based wax created from oil extracted from soybeans. Soy is a popular ingredient for candles since it has a long burning time and excellent fragrance-holding capabilities. It is also more environmentally friendly and sustainable than the other waxes on this list.

If you’re on a budget, paraffin or soy wax candles are a great choice for lubricating your wood drawer slides. You might even have a candle lying around at home already. If not, you can simply pick the least expensive or smallest candle in stores near you. However, avoid colored soy candles as they can stain your furniture.

Other ways to make sticky wooden drawers slide easier

Wax is an easy and economical way to make your drawers slide easier. However, there are still many options for how to lubricate wood drawers besides waxing. Here are two popular alternatives to check out.

Drawer slide tape 

Drawer slide tape is available in most hardware stores or online via Amazon or even Walmart’s website. It is a self-adhesive nylon tape attached to the wooden drawer runner to reduce friction. This is a more permanent solution than sanding or waxing, and it is fairly easy to do too.

Before sticking the tape, lightly sand the drawers with medium grit sandpaper. This is necessary to remove wax and dirt buildup and improve the tape’s durability and adhesion. After sanding, wipe off the wood dust, and cut the tape to size. Then, simply attach it to the wooden drawer runner.


Wood is prone to warping over time, and drawers can get stuck as a result. If this is the case, you can always sand down the drawer tracks slightly so that the drawers can slide a bit easier. 

This solution is best if the underside of your drawer is so warped that it will not benefit from waxing. However, it is time-consuming and laborious since sanding by hand is a very manual process. If the warping is severe, sand first with medium grit sandpaper to efficiently wear away at the track. However, always move on to finer grit to make the drawer slide as easily as possible. 

Note that this method requires trial and error to sand down your drawer tracks to the point where the drawers slide smoothly and easily.

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