How To Lubricate Patio Swivel Chair

How to Lubricate Patio Swivel Chair

Your patio furniture perfectly rounds off the slice of paradise you’ve created on your patio. Relaxing, comfortable, and peaceful: that is, until your patio swivel chair squeaks and creaks whenever you sit on it. Sometimes the patio swivel chair’s parts can become dirty, rusted, and stuck – and we have ways for you to lubricate your patio swivel chair.

The rotation and ability to spin is what makes swivel patio chairs so versatile and useful. In many different styles, designs, and shapes, they allow people to swivel the chair to not only find the best view but also to turn to different groups of people or areas for better conversation. As with most people’s outdoor patio furniture, it all sits outside year-round to be exposed to all that Mother Nature can throw at it. Even with regular cleaning, your patio swivel chair can still squeak and creak.

Modway Buoyant Vertical Channel Swivel Chair

When you hear that squeak and creak or when the patio swivel chair becomes too stiff to rotate and spin, it is a sure sign that it needs extra TLC. The cause of the trouble is most likely metal-on-metal contact, which means your patio swivel chair needs lubricating.

As we have established, the patio swivel chair needs regular cleaning to prevent the swivel mechanism’s parts from becoming pitted, rusted, and stuck. The good news is that lubricating your patio swivel chair will save it from disaster. By using a degreaser, lubricating oil, and some cleaning, you can bring your patio swivel chair back to -like-new operational condition.

Types of Patio Swivel Chair Parts

There are several patio swivel chair designs and types, but they all feature roughly the same swivel mechanism design. The swivel’s mechanism’s seat post can rust and become clogged with dirt and without the maintenance of the bearings, it can cease, become stiff and stuck. It is possible to buy replacement bearings from your local hardware store: the majority of swivel mechanisms feature ball bearings, while some are fitted with roller bearings. The seat post joins the swivel mechanism: this is the site of the most problems of squeaks, creaks, and stiffness.

Types of Lubricants to Use

To return your patio swivel chair’s mechanism back to operation, you will need a metal degreaser and a lubricant. Both these lubricants and degreasers are available for just a few dollars each from your local hardware or DIY store. For outdoor use and metal, plastics, and rubber parts, it is recommended to shop for a silicone-based and waterproof lubricant. These will assist in protecting the roller or ball bearings from damage from dirt, dust, or water, and keep it as smooth as possible to function freely.

Flo-Kem 202 Heavy Duty Degreaser

Another type of oil you can seek out if your patio swivel chair is stuck and you need to unfreeze it is penetrating oil. These cover the bearings’ small cracks, chips, and scratches with a low viscosity film to ensure the bearing and swivel mechanism performs smoothly. For both types of lubricants, ask the store’s expert if your lubricant has PTFE as an ingredient: it will extend the longevity of the part.

Here are three of the most popular lubricants you can buy:
1) WD-40 Water Resistant Spray Lube
2) 3-in-1 Multi-Purpose Lubricant with PTFE
3) Kano Aerokroil Penetrating Oil

Tools and Items Needed for this Task

  • The lubricant of your choice
  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Metal Degreaser
  • Old Cloth/Rag
  • Steel wool

How to Lubricate Patio Swivel Chair

As we have already mentioned, metal-on-metal and dirt, dust and rust can prevent the smooth and proper functioning of a patio swivel chair’s mechanism. To learn how to lubricate your patio swivel chair, read our guide here for the inside info.

Step 1

If you have a table or workbench on which you can use, turn your patio swivel chair onto its side so that you can access the swivel mechanism more easily. Spin and wriggle the chair to listen and watch for places from where the squeaks, creaks, and metal-on-metal contact takes place. If the chair is frozen stiff, try to rotate it in a clockwise and an anticlockwise direction to see if it offers some release.

Mobile Garage Workbench

With a screwdriver or wrench (depending on what the manufacturer has used to fasten the machine to the chair’s base), remove the bolts holding the swivel mechanism in place. It is best to remove it so that you can attend to the parts of the swivel mechanism and then undertake maintenance on those parts to enable them to work as before once again.

Step 2

Replacement Ring Base w/Swivel for Recliner Chairs

Once you have removed the swivel mechanism from the chair, remove the swivel pin inside the swivel mechanism. Inside the mechanism, you will find the bearings.

Step 3

Remove the bearing and with the swivel pin, spray your metal degreaser onto these components and wipe with your rag/cloth. Examine the pin for signs of rust and dirt. If debris remains on the pin, use the steel wool to scrub those areas clean. Rinse it clean with the degreaser again and then wipe it dry.

Swivel Handle Hitch Pin

Turn your focus to the bearing. As for the swivel pin, inspect them for signs of wear and tear, damage, and rust. Use the degreaser to clean off as much of the grit and grime as you can and wipe it clean with your rag. Repeat the degreaser cleaning until it is as clean as possible. Lightly scrub the bearings with the steel wool to strip it of rust and stubborn dirt. As before, repeat the cleaning stages with the degreaser and then wipe it dry.

Step 4

Using the lubricant of your choice that is silicone-based, waterproof, and contains PTFE, spray the solution onto the swivel pin, the bearings and a gentle coating on the inside of the swivel mechanism’s bearing housing.

Heavy Duty Silicone Lubricant

You will feel tempted to spray a liberal amount of lubricant, but this won’t make the bearing perform any better or unfreeze the chair: it will only cause a mess when the excess oil leaks everywhere to cause stains on your patio. Use only a few squirts on the bearing and the swivel pin.

Step 5

While the swivel pin and bearings absorb the lubricant, you can clean the seat post of any dirt and grime that might have been caught on it and inside it. It is worth squirting a drop or two of lubricant on the contact points between the seat post and the swivel mechanism to remove any metal-on-metal contact.

Step 6

For this step, you will need to re-install the swivel pin, bearings, and swivel mechanism to the chair. Before you tighten the bolts, screws, and fasteners, you can give them a clean with the degreaser too. Re-insert the bolts, screws and fasteners and be sure to tighten them to their maximum. A tight fit will remove any possibility of wriggling or moving that may create squeaks and creaks.

Step 7

Once the parts are re-installed and tightened, spin and wriggle the chair’s swiveling base and mechanism to test if your handiwork has solved the problems of your patio swivel chair. If the patio swivel chair squeaks, creaks or is still not freely spinning or rotating, you may need to repeat this process. Your chair will most likely be rotating and spinning with little effort and will be as good as new again for peace and quiet on your patio for another season or two.


Your patio swivel chair might become stiff, squeak or creak whenever you try to use it. It doesn’t mean you need to go to the shops to replace it: instead, you can lubricate a few of the swiveling components to make them spin and rotate smoothly again. A good lubricant, a good degreaser and cleaning will return your patio swivel chair back to new.