5 Steps to Clean and Lubricate Your Drawer Slide Like New

Like all hardware, your drawer slide’s movement can lose finesse after years of use. But before you consider replacing your slides, apply these five steps to rejuvenate your drawer’s smooth movement.

Note: Specialty slides, such as those for refrigerators and ovens, use different types of lubricants, such as food-safe greases. This guide covers standard ball bearing slides, not those used in the aforementioned appliances. For maintaining movement on specialty slides, contact your appliance manufacturer’s customer service department

Step 1: Separate Your Drawer Members

Most Accuride drawer slides include a lever or mechanism to separate the drawer member of a slide from a cabinet member. Levers enable users to remove and re-install drawers quickly and conveniently

Most Accuride drawer slides include a lever or mechanism to separate the drawer member of a slide from a cabinet member. Levers enable users to remove and re-install drawers quickly and conveniently

Most drawer slides have a lever or other mechanism to remove a drawer from its cabinet.

Most Accuride slides have three members. The outer member attaches to the cabinet surface. An inner member attaches to the drawer surface. An intermediate member, connected to the outer one, lies in between.

Most Accuride slides have three members. The outer member attaches to the cabinet surface. An inner member attaches to the drawer surface. An intermediate member, connected to the outer one, lies in between.

The lever separates a drawer member (mounted on the drawer) from an intermediate one (which is connected to the cabinet member).

Step 2: Wipe Your Slide’s Individual Members

Once you’ve separated your slide members, grab a dry cloth and wipe the drawer member.

Use a dry cloth to wipe clean each slide member.

Use a dry cloth to wipe clean each slide member.

Next, wipe the cabinet and intermediate members. Move the ball retainer along either member so you can get access to any dirt and grease on the raceway. (Caution: The ball retainer may have sharp edges.)

Step 3: Start Spraying

Use a water-based spray cleaner (such as WD-40, 3M Citrus Cleaner, 409, and Fantastic) to loosen any grease-borne debris on the ball retainer.

Step 4: Grab a Q-Tip

Dab it in a wheel bearing or universal joint grease and apply along your slide’s raceways.

Dab a Q-tip in wheel bearing grease and apply along the slide’s raceways.

Dab a Q-tip in wheel bearing grease and apply along the slide’s raceways.

Cycle the ball retainer back and forth to spread the grease around.

Note: Avoid greases with:

  • Molybdenum sulfide
  • Graphite

Step 5: Reunited at Last

Move the ball retainer of your cabinet slide members all the way forward, then re-install your drawer.

And now you have rejuvenated movement!

Want to learn more about drawer slides? Check out our Slideology Series for helpful guides and advice on all things movement.