Back Button

How to Unclog Grease Fittings

Dale Yalanovsky

A grease fitting, commonly called a Zerk fitting, is attached over sealed metal joints that need lubrication. These joints are commonly found on automobiles and trucks, aircraft and watercraft, and heavy machinery.

A hair dryer may help unclog grease fittings.

The grease fittings allow a grease gun to pump grease into such places as ball joints, U-joints and hydraulic joints, to lubricate and protect those joints from metal to metal contact. When they clog with dirt, dust or hardened grease, they need to be cleaned to accept grease correctly.

  1. Wipe off a grease fitting with a rag after an application of spray lube. Often when the gunk is removed from the outside and some lube has been sprayed over the top, the fitting will un-clog when a grease gun is attached.

  2. Heat up the grease fittings with a hair dryer. Hardened grease will soften, and when a grease gun is attached and used, the old grease will un-clog as the new grease from the gun is introduced.

  3. Attach a grease fitting cleaner, available online or at auto parts stores. Tap it lightly with a hammer to either force oil or air past the clog and open it up to take grease.

  4. Remove the grease fittings with a wrench and clean them thoroughly. Use a rag and spray lube to completely clean them out from the backside. Alternately, install new grease fittings and discard the old ones.