6 Cheap Ways to Make Plastic Wheels Quiet

make plastic wheels quiet

Last updated: April 17, 2023 at 13:19 pm

Plastic wheels are hardwearing and can take a lot of damage. This is because they are generally quite hard.


This means on harder surfaces like laminate, concrete or wood… they can also be noisy. Whether it’s a desk chair, wheelie bin, or scooter – too much noise coming from any kind of plastic wheel can be frustrating. So here’s what you can do to remedy it!

How to Make Plaster Wheel Quieter

1. Lubricate the Wheel Bearings

One of the most common causes of noise when it comes to plastic wheels is friction between the wheels and the bearings. Any kind of friction in and around the plastic wheels will lead to a grinding or squeaking noise.

Fortunately, this friction can be resolved relatively easily. Just like with any friction, be it a door hinge or a drawer, it can be remedied with simple lubrication. There are several things that you can use as an effective lubricant in plastic wheels, such as:

  • WD-40
  • Oil
  • A spray lubricant

Any of these should work well, as they’re all high-quality and low-noise lubricants. Find the area that is suffering from the friction, and simply spray or apply your lubricant as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

You should find that lubrication has helped to quieten plastic wheels quickly, and, if it hasn’t, you can always try to lubricate it again. Should that fail, there are always other options!

2. Prioritise Lightweight Wheels

Sometimes, the noise created by plastic wheels is created by heavy wheels that make noise on hardwood or even carpeted floors on impact. These types of wheels are often hard to navigate and manage, too.

You can swap these wheels for more lightweight alternatives that are not only easier to manage but are gentler on your floors. The swapping of the wheels is pretty easy, so long that you have simple DIY tools.

This can be done on most desk chairs, wheelie bins, furniture, and even in some kids’ toys. It’s a great way to permanently reduce the noise that your plastic wheels are making without having to constantly go back and re-lubricate the wheels on a regular basis.

Also read: Impact vs Airborne Noise

3. Install Traction Bands

traction bands

One of the simplest and yet most effective ways of reducing the noise that plastic wheels are making is to create rubber traction bands around the wheels. These are used on everything from plastic tires to bigger, rubber tires like those on vehicles.

To do this, you must first clean the wheels with soapy water to ensure that there’s no dirt or grit stuck to the wheels. Rinse the wheels carefully, making sure all the soapy residue is gone, and then dry them completely. You will then need to take a rubber band and stretch it out. Place it over the tire, from the top to the bottom. You want the traction band to sit in the approximate center of the plastic wheels.

Once your band is on, you will need to use some adhesive of some kind to keep it in place. Superglue, for example, is a great way to keep the rubber traction band in place. To apply it, either fold the rubber band out of the way or lift sections of the band at a time and put the adhesive onto the tire.

Replace the rubber band, and carefully wipe away any excess glue with kitchen roll or a rag. Let the glue dry, and then your plastic wheels should be ready for use!

Doing this on all the wheels should help to dramatically reduce the noise made by pesky plastic wheels.

4. Swap the Wheels Out for Rubber

Some plastic wheels can be quite hard and as a result it can create a lot of noise. Especially when children are throwing and shoving cars and toys around on the floor!

Plastic on the hardwood floor can be very repetitive, and if you live in a flat it can not only be noisy for you, but it can be disruptive for residents beneath you in a flat.

To limit this noise:

You can swap the plastic wheels out but instead of replacing the lightweight plastic, you can choose to swap the plastic wheels for rubber wheels instead. Rubber is much more lightweight and gentle, and as a result, it tends to be significantly quieter!

5. Remove Worn Out Wheels

While plastic is a relatively sturdy and strong material, it can, over time, become warm and rough. When this happens, the material can become noisier when it’s used – particularly on wheels. Rough plastic can scrape and grind, and this can cause a lot of noise, but it can also damage flooring and be a hazard when it comes to things like children’s ride-along toys!

To help reduce the noise created by these worn-out wheels, the only option, really, is to remove the wheels entirely. The wheels are very difficult to fix, and it is usually just safer to remove the wheels all together. This can usually be done with a simple screwdriver and a small amount of time.

6. Apply Some Duct Tape

Finally, one of the quickest and simplest ways to reduce the noise caused by plastic wheels is to simply wrap a layer of duct tape around the wheels. This will cover any rough surfaces and will provide a small layer to dampen the noise.

Make sure that you apply an even layer of duct tape and be aware that this can make plastic wheels slippy, so it should be avoided on things like wheelie chairs or children’s ride along toys.

If you don’t have duct tape to hand, some other alternatives could be:

  • Velcro straps
  • Gaffer tape
  • Bandages
  • Repair wrap
  • or anything softer which will reduce impact noise of hard wheels on a hard surface

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About the Author: AJ

AJ is a self-confessed soundproofing nut. He has written full-time on Quiet Living for the past 4 years, and has a wealth of knowledge about living a quieter life, soundproofing and fixing loud noises.

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