How to clean and lubricate cabinet drawer slides?

Is your cabinet drawer slide not moving smoothly? It might need a little lubrication. Try these steps and rejuvenate the lost finesse.

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 your cabinet drawer slides and ball bearings and then reunite the assembly.

Furthermore, the point is to apply those lubricants specified for the ball bearings. Try not to apply those used for refrigerators and ovens. Here are the steps you need to follow for a smooth and effortless cabinet working. 

Let’s get started!

Step #1

Separate the drawer members:

Almost all drawers have a mechanism to remove them from the cabinets. If yours has a lever, then remove it and separate the slides. An immediate opening will assure its separation.

Step #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.   

Step #3

Spray water-based cleaner:

Now spray water-based cleaner onto the sides to take off the sticky grease (if any). It will further enhance the smooth movement of the slide members. Carefully wipe the ball retainer as well.

Step #4

Apply joint grease on the slides:

Now it’s time to apply joint grease on the slides. 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.

Step #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.

Fixing wooden 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: The lubricant 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 the five steps to clean and lubricate drawer slides right here. So, follow the steps by separating the slides, using the right 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.