How to Lubricate Wood Drawer Slides

A drawer that slides out when you apply only a bit of force can be annoying. Fortunately, lubricating wood drawer slides is relatively simple.

In short, to lubricate wood drawer slides rub paraffin, a bar of soap, or a candle along the track that the drawer slides on. Make sure to run the lubricant over the areas of friction a few times.

Once you are done lubricating, simply slide the drawer back along the track and test it out. 

Although this approach is relatively simple, there are a few tips and tricks you should know about. Read on to learn more about lubricating wood drawer slides. 

How do wood drawer slides become difficult to slide

Typically wood drawer slides on dressers, kitchen drawers, and desks can become sticky or tough to open due to changes in humidity. When the air becomes warmer in the summer and humidity is high, wood tends to absorb moisture and expand as a result. This can cause a lot of friction between the moving parts of wood furniture. 

Old furniture in particular is prone to difficulty in opening. Over many years, the constant change in humidity can distort wood so that it becomes increasingly difficult to use. Nevertheless, furniture like this can still be salvaged but you may need to apply more effort to make it function properly. 

Related: Best Wax for Wooden Drawer Slides

A closer look at how to lubricate wood drawer slides

1. Choose a lubricant 

There are a few ways you can lubricate a wood drawer on a dresser, kitchen counter, or another piece of furniture:

  • Paraffin wax 
  • Candle 
  • Bar of soap 
  • Dry spray

Each solution can be quite effective and fortunately, these solutions are typical household items. 

2. Pull out the drawers 

If possible, pull out all the drawers. If the drawer can come out, you’ll be able to apply your lubrication solution to every angle of the track without the frame of the piece of furniture interfering. 

3. Apply the lubricant

A bar of soap and a candle can simply be rubbed along the inner tracks of a wooden drawer. Go over the tracks a few times to make sure the surface is completely covered. Every part of the track that comes into contact with another piece of wood needs to be lubricated. 

If you are using a dry spray then completely simply stray the track once or twice. 

4. Put the drawer back on the runner

Insert the drawer back into the piece of furniture. Pull it out and push it in a few times to test it out. If the drawer still isn’t running smoothly, there is a chance that the lubrication between the pieces of wood is not necessarily the issue. The wood could be deformed to the point where it’s difficult for the drawer to freely slide as it should.

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