How to lubricate wire ropes

Wire ropes are used in several applications, which requires them to be well lubricated to perform optimally.

While the best method for lubricating a rope wire immensely depends on its parent materials, this article will help you determine how a wire rope is usually lubricated and factors considered when determining to what extent a wire rope should be lubricated.

Lubricating wire ropes

Normally, initial lubrication of wire ropes is done during the manufacturing process. However, considering that the lubrication won’t last forever, it is important to know how you can relubricate different kinds of wire ropes.

Wire ropes with a fiber core are lubricated with mineral oil or petrolatum type lubricant, where the center absorbs the lubricant and keeps it for prolonged lubrication. For wire ropes with steel core, the lubricant is pumped in steam, effectively lubricating all the wires and strands.

In machines where the wire rope can move, you can use drip, spray, or trough methods to apply the lubricant. These three methods rely on an approach where the lubricant is applied at a single point, and then it spreads over the entire length as the rope moves. Some trough systems are very useful as they push the lubricant into the rope.

Manual brushing or spray can be used to lubricate static wire ropes.


Relubricating wire ropes can improve performance and prolong the service life of ropes. That said, the best method to lubricate your wire rope will depend on a number of factors, including whether it is moving or static. Hopefully, this post gives your insights into how you can lubricate your wire ropes.