It seems I may have used the wrong lubricant for my LG clothes dryer rollers because the rollers kept seizing up. Since these rollers are simple and there are no bearings I did not put much thought into what lubricant to use:

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While I am not 100% sure I believe I either used Super Lube 51004 Synthetic Oil with PTFE or WD-40 Specialist Heavy Duty Multi-Purpose Grease

My question are:

  1. What lubricant, if any, should be used there?
  2. What could be that black film on axle? I believe it is culprit here.
  3. In particular, would grease be a better option here than oil because it would not mix with small lint particles (I suspect this is what may have happened here unless that is lube thickener or something like that)?

Grease or nothing would better here. Oil and grease will attract lint and dust and seize sooner. I have used a spray Teflon and graphite as the lube on my dryers with graphite lasting longer. The black film is probably the lube with some added dust. When you replace this try some powdered graphite or molybdenum dry lube, it lasts a long time and the black film that it produces is a lubricant.

  • Do manufacturers apply grease on those rollers? I am wondering if there was a reaction between what I applied (PTFE oil) and what manufacturer applied (possibly some other grease).
    – user389238
    Mar 8 '20 at 1:56
  • The new ones that I installed were dry, but yes some different types of lubricants can cause problems PTFE itself is inert but the carrier oil might be a problem. The spray Teflon I used had a propane propellent, working in a clean room I got it oked for use but no one thought the flammable gas would set off alarms and evac the fab , we all got a couple cans of that stuff to take home it was great stuff but not so good in a tightly controlled environment funny now.
    – Ed Beal
    Mar 8 '20 at 7:26
  • 6 month update... This time I did not apply any lubricant at all on the roller shaft and dryer still works great. I believe you are right that there is no lubricant needed here.
    – user389238
    Oct 22 '20 at 19:01

I would think about machining shaft and rollers to add sealed bearings...

Adding any sort of lubricant is a “magnet” for the lint to stick to and eventually gum it up.

That “flat” is a concern though - at the least it will cause noise & vibration...

  • yeah, a shaft that can mount a scooter wheel would be nice.
    – Jasen
    Mar 7 '20 at 3:51

First off, why is that bearing wheel flat? I've never seen one look like that. Oil shouldn't be used on a bearing because oil runs. You use oil in your car and it works because it's constantly pumped through the engine and runs down into the pan. You use grease on your bearings because it stays in place and does its job. Get some emery paper and clean of those shafts and then apply a general automotive grease to the shaft and bearing and then reassemble. you could always just but a new bearing and shaft too. Good luck.

  • You mean why the rubber part of wheel is not round? This is the original wheel that I replaced. The replacement wheel (that also seized) is perfectly round.
    – user389238
    Mar 6 '20 at 22:37
  • It’s normal for those wheels in a dryer to go flat when they seize, I have seen that quite a few times , some times the extra load will break the belt also.
    – Ed Beal
    Mar 6 '20 at 22:39
  • @user389238 Got ya, I thought you were going to use that wheel after cleaning it up...
    – JACK
    Mar 6 '20 at 22:48
  • @EdBeal that's a heavy duty seize up. ... and for quite a while. I've replaced them long before they got that bad...
    – JACK
    Mar 6 '20 at 22:50
  • I have seen it at least 4 or 5 times some times they even break loose and it sounds like a tennis ball is in there even with nothing. Most of the bad ones ended up braking the belt that’s when I got called, from my wife, daughter and customers that asked me to fix theirs.
    – Ed Beal
    Mar 6 '20 at 22:59

FYI-- I believe these are self-lubricated, or "sintered" bearings, which is why no lubrication is needed (since the dryer is a super dusty/linty environment).


I've had my Kenmore for 26 years I put 3 elements in it 3 belts last one 6 years ago and I've never put a dropper grease or any kind of lubricant on it and it still blowing heat spinning like a top

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