How To Fix A Squeaky Recliner

You just recently bought a new recliner, and everything was going well until you started hearing squeaky sounds every time you sat in your chair. How annoying must that be? Your recliner can make squeaky sounds when you use it regularly, causing wear and tear in the mechanism and joints. The joints can also become loose over time as you use your chair more daily. But worry not; squeaky recliners are not something you should worry about because it is easy to fix them in a few simple steps that we have written down for you.

Get rid of the squeakiness 

The process is simpler than you might have expected. Follow the steps closely to eliminate the squeaky sounds your recliner makes. You will start by tilting your chair forward so you can have a better look at the mechanism and frame at the bottom of the recliner. Make sure the recliner is resting on the top part of the seat, and both your hands are free to work on the frame. 

Remove the coverings

In this step, you will need to grab a pair of screwdrivers or claw hammers to remove the detachable coverings at the bottom part of the recliner. Some coverings can be removed by hand, but others are fastened with screws. Depending on the covering your recliner has, remove it from the base of the recliner.

Fixing the mechanism

Look for the damaged part in the mechanism. The damaged part is indicated by metal scrapings or black runs where the metal parts rub against each other, causing wear and tear and creating squeaky noises. If you see any loose part in the mechanism like screws hanging down, bolts, or nuts about to fall off, make sure you tighten them with the help of screwdrivers or a pair of pliers. Turn the loose nuts, bolts, or screws clockwise to tighten them back. Ensure exercising precaution when dealing with small parts of the mechanism to avoid injuries. Wear goggles if necessary or gloves to protect your hands.

Apply a lubricant

Once you have ensured that all bolts, nuts, and screws are tightened, and every part is securely placed in its respective place in the mechanism, you can proceed to add a lubricant. A lubricant can help reduce friction between the parts rubbing together and causing squeaky sounds. Just the way you would oil a creaking door, generously spray the lubricant on the mechanism’s metal components, including all the bolts, nuts, and screws. If you are working close to the recliner’s fabric, use a piece of cloth to apply the lubricant to nearby metal parts to avoid staining the fabric.

Once you have generously applied the lubricant to all metal parts, use a cloth to wipe off any excess liquid and pat everything dry. Be cautious when walking on the floor where you have performed this step. If you have spilled any lubricant on the floor, clean it right away and keep children away from the area. 

Another thing to keep in mind is not to overuse the lubricant since it can cause the chair to move down and shift. If your chair keeps squeaking after lubrication, it can be due to a broken part in the mechanism for which you might need the help of an expert.

Check the recliner for squeaks

Once you have followed all the steps, it is time to test your recliner for squeaky sounds. Put the recliner back in its upright position and test the reclining function. Sit on the recliner as you would normally and listen for any sounds. If you can still hear the squeakiness from your chair, then do not be bummed out. It could be possible that you might have forgotten to tighten a screw or nut, or the metal parts need more lubricant. Repeat the necessary steps and test until you are satisfied with the results.

Once you are satisfied with the results, it is time to put the covering you took off earlier back in its place. Use a pair of screwdrivers to secure the cover and make sure it is tightly put together. 

Why Do Recliners Make Squeaking Noises?

Before you try to fix the problem, you must understand why it’s happening in the first place. Recliners make squeaking noises for several reasons- I’ve mentioned some common ones below.

  • Dry Mechanism. Over time, the lubricant applied to the recliner’s moving parts starts to wear off. It causes friction between the parts, which results in a squeaking noise.
  • Loose Bolts. Another common cause of squeaking is loose bolts. If the bolts that hold the recliner together are loose, they’ll make a noise every time you move in the chair.
  • Worn Out Parts. As your recliner gets older, the parts start to wear out. This includes everything from the upholstery to the springs. Worn-out parts can also cause squeaking.
  • Upholstery Material. The type of upholstery material you have on your recliner can also be a factor. Some materials, like leather, are more prone to squeaking than others.
  • Overloaded Recliner. You may hear a squeaking noise if you try to recline in your chair when it’s overloaded. It’s because the mechanism isn’t designed to support that much weight.

Why does my chair squeak when I lean back?

The most common reason for this is that the lubricant has worn off, and there’s now friction between the parts. You can try lubricating the moving parts of the recliner, such as the seat tension spring, to see if that fixes the problem.

Should you oil recliners?

Of course! In fact, monthly oiling is recommended to keep your recliner working properly. You can buy a furniture oil spray at most hardware stores. WD-40 is a great choice!

Why does my leather recliner squeak?

Besides the internal mechanism and poor lubrication issues, the main culprit for leather recliners is the material itself. Because leather is a natural material, it tends to squeak more than other upholstery materials like microfiber.

Frequently asked questions:

Which lubricant is best for a squeaky recliner?

A silicone spray is considered best for lubricating the metal parts of your recliner.

Can I find replacement recliner parts?

You should find replacement parts from the manufacturer you bought your recliner from because they will work best with your recliner, but sometimes you can find replacement parts online too.

How should I clean my fabric recliner?

You could use a solvent-based upholstery cleaner to clean the fabric of your recliner.

How do I get rid of the smell from my recliner?

You could place small bowls of white vinegar around your recliner, which will help absorb the odor from it.

Can I have bed bugs in my recliner?

Even if a single bug has made its way to your recliner, it may be infested with bed bugs.

How can I kill bed bugs in my recliner?

Many bug-killing sprays contain harmful chemicals that could saturate your leather or ruin your fabric. Try to find a water-based formula that is safe to use on fabrics and furniture in general. 


Understanding how to fix a squeaky recliner will help it last longer and reduce the wear and tear in its parts. The process is not as complicated as you might think, and with the right tools, you will be able to fix your squeaky recliner in little to no time and save money by doing it yourself!

About Karen Miller

As an interior designer, I believe that living spaces should be welcoming and comfortable. When you walk into your home or office for the first time after it's been remodeled by me - all of those efforts are paid off with a sense of comfort in knowing how much care went into making sure every detail was attended too!

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