Three Reasons You Need Oil for Your Paper Shredder

Keep the wheels turning with this easy solution.

The Tin Man. Vinegar. Your paper shredder. What do they have in common? They all need oil! Whether from a bottle or lubricated sheet, oil will extend the life of your shredder by keeping the blades sharp and making them more resistant to buildup.

Prevents Jams

These sharpen, clean and grease blades to reduce static and dust. Just feed one into any machine—it’s compatible with all of them—and let it work. AmazonBasics

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Shredder sheets are a terrific option if you want to avoid the potential mess of applying oil yourself. The trade-off is that because they’re basically like sheets of paper, they’re not as environmentally friendly.

Easy Squeeze

To use this liquid option, run the shredder in reverse, place the tip above the paper feeder and gently squeeze twice; then run the shredder in reverse again for 10 seconds. Presto change-o, you’re lubricated! Fellowes

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Make sure to oil your shredder at least twice a month or every time you empty the wastebasket (for microcut shredders, oil after every 15 minutes of use). If you’re using a bottle of oil, instead of feeding it directly into the machine, you can also create homemade lubricated sheets by oiling a piece of paper, letting it soak in for a few minutes, then layering another sheet of paper on top of the oiled side. Just don’t eat this oil sandwich—leave that to the shredder.

Eco Option

This natural option is made with vegetable dye and recycled materials, so it’s easier on the environment than others. Bonsaii

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Shredder sheets are pre-oiled and look like an envelope. You shred the entire package to lubricate the cutting blades. As with the bottle of oil, it’s important to run the machine in reverse first, before you feed in sheets in the forward position.