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How to Clean and Lubricate Cabinet Drawer Slides?

Is your cabinet drawer slide not moving smoothly? We bet you’re looking for how to lubricate kitchen drawer slides.

Well, it surely needs a little lubrication if its movement is not smooth. Try these steps, rejuvenate the lost finesse, and understand how to make metal drawers slide smoothly using a lubricant for drawer slides.

All kinds of hardware can lose their smoothness over time. Likewise, you might notice some hindrance in your drawer slide’s movement after years of use. However, replacing the slides should be your last option. First, clean and lubricate metal drawer slides and ball bearings using the best lubricant for metal drawer slides; reunite the assembly later on.

Furthermore, the point is to apply those drawer lubricants specified for the ball bearings. Grease for ball bearing drawer slides is specifically used to make the drawers slide easily while the refrigerator ones are only to protect the shine. Try not to apply those used for refrigerators and ovens. That’s because the dedicated one is the best lubricant for drawer slides. Here are the steps you need to follow to understand how to lubricate drawer slides for smooth and effortless cabinet working. 

Let’s get started with the process of lubricating drawer slides!

Lubricate Drawer Slides

1- Separate the drawer members:

The very first step in how to clean slides is to separate the drawer members. Almost all drawers have a mechanism to remove them from the kitchen cabinets. If yours has a lever, then remove it and separate the slides. An immediate opening will assure its separation.

2- Wipe your slides individually:

Wipe each slide individually. Use a dry cloth to wipe the drawer members. Also, move the ball retainer to get all the dirt and debris that gets along with the wipe. But beware of the sharp edges.  

3- Spray water-based cleaner:

Now spray water-based cleaner onto the sides to take off the sticky grease drawer slide (if any) before you apply the best lubricant for drawer slides. It will further enhance the smooth movement of the slide members. Carefully wipe the ball retainer as well. Let’s get to the exact step of how to lubricate wooden drawers.

4- Apply joint grease on the slides:

Now it’s time to apply joint drawer slide grease or wooden drawer slide lubricant. Apply it along the slide’s raceways and move the ball retainer back and forth. Note that the grease does not have graphite and molybdenum sulfide.

5- Reunite the slides and reinstall the drawers:

Once the cleaning and greasing are done, reunite the slide members. Move the ball retainer forward and reinstall the cabinet drawers. Finally, feel the difference while opening and closing the drawers.

6- Fixing wooden drawer slides:

Fix the wooden drawer slides in the final step of how to clean metal drawer slides. You can use paraffin, wax, or a candle to fix sticky wooden drawer slides. Just rub the paraffin on the slides and wipe them clean. Or you can dry spray the lubricant.

Note: You need to understand what to use to lubricate drawer slides. The lubrication for ball-bearing drawer slides and grease for ball-bearing drawer slides might vary if your cabinets have metal, wooden, or plastic drawer slides. However, properly wipe the excess lubricant before you reunite the slides.

Let’s Conclude:

You have read the five steps on how to clean kitchen drawer slides right here. So, follow the steps by separating the slides, using the right wooden drawer slide lubricant, and cleaning it. Move the ball retainer back and forth. Lastly, reunite the slides and reinstall the cabinet drawers. You can smoothen the sticky drawer slides at home. Although, call for professional help if they are broken, warp, or swell. Also, read our extensive guide on how to disinfect and how to clean drawer slides and wood drawers to keep them hygienic in the long run.


Are you wondering about how to lubricate drawer slides? Well we are here to help. You can rub a bar of soap along the tracks on the bottom of the drawers as well as the cabinet and dresser. Make sure you are rubbing everywhere wood is touching wood and use plenty of soap. This is where quantity over quality matters!

There are many things you can use as grease for drawer slides to make them slide easier. Some of these things are: soap, paraffin wax, candle, sanding, and wax paper.

We are here to answer your questions of ‘how to lubricate drawer slides’. You can use paraffin wax as a solution. Rub the wax on the inside surface of the drawers that you can see.Then slowly slide them back and take them out. This motion will push the wax into the unexposed areas making them slide easier.

WD40 is an excellent choice for drawer slide grease. If your drawers are not as smooth as you want, just spray a small amount of WD40 on the slides. It will work best if you can apply to both slides on the cupboards and drawers.

The best lubricant on how to fix drawer slides is white lithium grease. If the drawer slides are plastic or metal, you can still use lubricants like wax or tape but your best bet would be to buy white lithium grease. Do not use any harsh lubricants as it will damage the drawer finish.

We are here to give you a solution on how to fix drawer slides. If you have metal slides, you can switch them out but if your slides are wooden, you will need to restore them. That is because they are built into the cabinet framework and can’t be removed. You can get these drawers working again by using paraffin wax. These will give your drawers a new life.

Carnauba wax is one of the hardest waxes on the market and a great wood drawer lubricant. Using it on the drawer slides helps the gliding action without creating a sticky mess or even ruining the wood itself. Beeswax is also much softer and can be sticky when applied on its own but it gives the required lubrication.

You can fix sticky kitchen cabinet drawer slides by rubbing them with a lubricant. Rub the spots where the drawer glides into the frame with either candle, paraffin wax, or even a bar of soap to give it extra glide.

If the drawers are not sliding smoothly, inspect the rollers. Inspect the rollers for any kind of damage that would prevent the drawer from operating smoothly. If the roller has damage, you will need to replace the entire assembly. If they are in good condition, just spray them with a spray lubricant.

If your wood drawers are hard to close, you need to lubricate wooden drawers. You can use paraffin wax, dry spray lubricant or a bar of soap. 

Dry lube PTFE spray reduces friction and wear on blades, doors, window tracks, slides, rollers, hinges, and power tools. It is great for reducing friction and wear on multiple surfaces and even 

Stuck drawers are annoying but there is a handy DIY trick that can help in opening and closing it smoothly in no time. Vaseline is a cheap everyday available lubricant that is great for wooden drawers.