When your trampoline springs are looking rusty, or that you have lots of squeaky noise coming from the trampoline when the kids jump, you might decide that you need to grease the trampoline springs.
To grease trampoline springs, apply synthetic grease to the area where the spring connects to the frame, so that you eliminate metal-on-metal friction. This should stop the springs squeaking. You can also apply it to the length of the spring, to prevent rust.
Let’s jump into the details of when and how to grease your trampoline springs, so you can get rid of those squeaky noises. There will still be some noise as the springs extend and snap back into shape, however, it shouldn’t be as annoying.
Why Do Trampolines Make Squeaky Noises?
Trampolines make squeaky noises primarily from metal rubbing against metal.
It can be very high pitched, and annoying when you hear the rhythmic squeaking noise. And no doubt, if you have sensitive neighbors, they will complain!
This phenomenon is called stick-slip by engineers, and is the same noise as the squeaks and squeals that come from a train moving around a curve on a train track, and the old brake systems.
The roughness on surfaces of the metals catch each other and they stick together. The forces acting upon the metal then force one of the metals to start moving, and they slip past each other. The driving force then loses energy, and the metals stick again again, until the force builds up enough for it to slip past that friction.
This stick-slip action results in an acoustic wave which is the squeaking noise. It often has a fairly high pitch and can be very irritating.
Where Do Squeaky Trampoline Noises Come From?
Trampoline squeaks can come from three main areas. These are where the springs attach to the frame, the frame joints where they connect by bolts, or even the springs themselves, particularly if there is rust.
For this article, we’re going to focus on the springs, and how you can get rid of the squeak by applying grease to the trampoline springs.
Spring Hook Attaching To The Trampoline Frame
The squeaky noise occurs when two bits of metal rub at the junction of the metal spring hook and the metal frame of the trampoline.
When a kid bounces on the trampoline mat, the springs extend, and move downwards. It is the downward action at the hook hole or eyelet that causes the rubbing of metal on metal.
We will discuss how you can apply grease to the springs below.
Rusty springs can also cause some squeaky noise. It’s relatively unlikely that this is the main cause of any squeaking noise.
It is important though, to get the rust off before it eats into the integrity of the spring.
Read here for useful information about how to get rust off your trampoline, including the springs.
Loose Joints Or Bolts On The Trampoline Frame
The other main culprit for trampoline noises is the actual frame itself. Where the frame attaches together in the legs and around the top frame, there are large forces pushing and pulling these pieces of metal together.
This can result in the stick-slip sounds where the metal grinds on metal.
Do Springfree trampolines Squeak?
Springfree trampolines don’t have metal extension springs. They have composite rods that allow the mat to move when somebody jumps on it.
As springfree trampolines don’t have metal springs, this eliminates a great deal of the potential noise. You may still get some noise from where the bolts of the frame are loose, however this will be a great deal less than a conventional trampoline.
How Does Grease Work To Stop Trampoline Springs Squeaking?
Grease is an astonishing substance. It is able to stay in contact with two moving surfaces, without oozing away under gravity, or being squeezed away by the moving parts. It is able to retain its lubricating function under shear forces, at a wide range of temperatures.
Grease is made up of a lubricating agent and a thickener. The lubricating agent might be petroleum-based product such as mineral oil or a synthetic product such as silicone.
As the metals are pushed together, the oil (natural or synthetic) bleeds from the grease and lubricates the sliding metal surfaces.
When grease is applied to a trampoline, where the spring rubs against the frame, the grease provides lubrication that allows the two pieces of metal to slide over each other, without making any noise.
What Types Of Grease Work Best And How To Apply?
It surprised me to learn that not all grease is equal.
Synthetic grease is the best form of lubricant for a trampoline. It’s ideal as is suited to outdoor weather conditions including rain and harsh sun. It lasts a long time, and you only need to apply it a couple of times a year. At outdoor amusement parks, they use synthetic greases over oil-based greases.
The oil-based greases include petroleum jellies, such as Vaseline. They don’t keep the shear-force lubrication for as long as the synthetic greases, as they are not as weather-resistant. They also don’t do well in high temperatures. Trampolines can get very hot in the sun.
A lubricating spray oil such as WD-40 will stop a squeak for a day or two, but it won’t stay in position well. WD-40 also has a synthetic grease, so don’t dismiss all WD-40 products.
You can see in the table below I’ve shown how long you could expect a lubricant to last with different amount of usages per day.
How Long Do Lubricants Last On A Trampoline?
|Jumping Time Per Day||10min||30min||60min|
|Synthetic Grease||6 months||4 months||1 month|
|Automotive Grease||4 months||2 months||2 weeks|
|Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline)||1 month||1 week||Daily|
|WD-40 Spray Oil||Daily||Less than Daily||Less than Daily|
What Synthetic Grease Is Recommended For Trampoline Springs?
You want to be careful that dirt and dust doesn’t get into the grease. This will add to the friction, and start to rub away at the metal hook and the eyelet.
I recommend WD-40 Specialist Heavy Duty Extreme Pressure Grease . It can withstand high temperatures, all sorts of weather conditions, and will last a long time.
How to Apply Trampoline Grease?
Apply grease to spring hook and eyelet
To apply grease to the trampoline springs, you want a good quality synthetic grease, such as WD-40 Specialist Heavy Duty Extreme Pressure Grease. Just rip off the lid, and then use your Q-Tip to get some out.
It is easiest to apply if the trampoline isn’t set up yet.
If the Trampoline Isn’t Set Up Yet
Take a small amount of grease onto a Q-Tip or other cotton swab. Put this in the eyelet holes, not enough to plug it up, but enough to coat the sides. Repeat many times. As there are probably around 70-120 springs, depending on the size and shape of your trampoline, take your time, and be sure to do each one carefully.
If you don’t have a Q-Tip, and are using your fingers, be careful of sharp metal burrs around the edges of the eyelets.
If the Trampoline Is Already Set UP
If the trampoline is already set up, put the grease onto a Q-Tip still, and try to get as close to the eyelet as possible. You want to try to lift the spring a little so that you can get underneath the hook of the spring where it almost goes into the hole in the frame.
Get the kids to jump on the trampoline a bit. Once they’ve jumped for a few minutes, listen for where any squeaky noises are coming from.
If there are any noises still coming from the springs, get the kids to stop jumping so you can apply a bit more grease.
Once the eyelets are well coated, if there are still squeaky noises, it is likely to be the joints in the frame.
Note: You don’t have to put grease on the hook that attaches to the trampoline mat.
How To Apply Lubricant Inside Trampoline Springs
If you decide to put a lubricant on the springs themselves, remember that a lubricating oil will not last long. It’s better to use grease from the start.
To get the coverage right, it is easier to do this when the spring is detached from the mat.
Take the spring in one hand, and rinse it clean and then dry it. It is very difficult to remove dirt and dust from grease. So, it is important that the spring is pristine before you start applying the lubricant.
With a long Q-Tip dipped in grease, insert the grease into the inner coil of the spring. Rub the Q-Tip in a spiral, starting at the middle and working back towards you. Then turn the spring around in your hand, and with a bit more grease, start from the middle again, and spiral your way back to the outside.
This will coat the entire inside of the coil well.
Replace the springs and mat, and get the kids to have a good bounce to ensure the grease is well spread throughout.
Here’s a great 2 min video showing how to grease a rebounder trampoline. It’s different to a regular sized trampoline, but it shows very clearly how the metal is making the friction noise. It also shows just how grease can make an enormous difference.
Trampoline springs need to be greased to help remove the squeaky noise caused by metal friction on metal. This is mainly caused at the point where the spring hook enters the eyelet on the frame. A good synthetic grease that will last well is WD-40 Specialist Heavy Duty Extreme Pressure Grease.