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What lubricants are best for lubricating rubber

Grzegorz Dobrzański

Lubrication of rubber elements is crucial in many industrial and domestic applications to ensure their long-term and failure-free operation. Selecting the right lubricant is important because the wrong lubricant can degrade rubber, leading to cracking, hardening or brittleness. In this article, we will discuss the different types of lubricants suitable for rubber and their uses.

Synthetic lubricants are an important part of rubber maintenance, helping to maintain its elasticity and prevent cracking and aging. Here are some types of synthetic lubricants that are safe for rubber:

1. Silicone lubricants

Properties and applications

Silicone greases are one of the most popular and versatile rubber lubricants. They are characterized by excellent compatibility with rubber because they are chemically inert and do not cause material degradation. These greases are also water resistant, making them an ideal choice for outdoor applications and in humid conditions.

Advantages of silicone lubricants

  • Resistance to a wide temperature range: They can operate at extreme temperatures from -40°C to +200°C.
  • Water and Moisture Resistance: Silicone does not dissolve in water, making it ideal for use in humid environments.
  • Durability: Silicone greases are resistant to oxidation and have a long service life.
  • Safety: Safe for most types of rubber and the environment.


  • Car door and window seals
  • Seals in household appliances
  • O-rings in water installations
  • Rubber elements in the aviation and space industry

Molykote 55 O-ring pneumatic grease for O-ring seals

orings lubricant for o-rings
Silicone-based pneumatic grease for seals, gaskets and O-rings. Suitable for joining metal-rubber materials and dynamic movements in pneumatic systems. It facilitates assembly and disassembly, protects against corrosion and increases the service life of seals.

Molykote 111 silicone mixture

Silicone paste for lubricating plastics and rubber. Long fibers, electrically insulating and chemical resistant. Withstands vacuum. For use on seals, O-rings, etc. Approved for drinking water.

Molykote Separator Spray Food Grade Silicone Oil NSF H1 - 400 ml

Food-grade silicone oil in aerosol, used as a release agent.
Applications and uses
Release agent in the production of rubber and plastic products and cardboard packaging.

2. Teflon based lubricants (PTFE)

Properties and applications

Teflon-based lubricants, i.e. PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), are also perfect for lubricating rubber elements. PTFE has a very low coefficient of friction, which makes lubrication extremely effective. Additionally, Teflon is resistant to most chemicals and operates over a wide temperature range.

Advantages of PTFE lubricants

  • Low coefficient of friction: Excellent sliding properties.
  • Chemical Resistance: Resistant to most aggressive chemicals.
  • High temperature resistance: Can operate at temperatures from -50°C to +250°C.
  • Long service life: PTFE is very durable and wear-resistant.


  • Seals in industrial systems
  • Spacers in precision mechanisms
  • Rubber elements in the automotive industry
  • Laboratory equipment


White multi-purpose synthetic food-grade grease compatible with rubber and elastomers
Thickened with an aluminum complex, it uses white solids and PTFE as solid lubricants. Additionally, it is H1 certified by NSF for incidental food contact.

WEICON PTFE Spray Dry Teflon grease

Dry lubricant, great sliding properties
"WEICON PTFE-Spray is an oil-free, dry grease based on PTFE with excellent sliding properties. Adheres to all metal, wooden and rubber surfaces. High content
PTFE reduces the coefficient of friction, and the lubricant coating itself does not absorb dust, dirt or water, and is resistant to grease, oil and many chemicals.

MOLYKOTE® 3451 Chemically resistant grease compatible with rubber and elastomers

Chemically resistant fluorosilicone grease, thickened PTFE grease, suitable for rubber lubrication.

what lubricants for rubber

3. PFPE Fluorinated Greases (perfluoropolyether)

The highest grade of fluoride greases of all greases are also safe for rubber and can be used as a lubricant, especially in applications requiring contact with food. It is a non-toxic substance, which makes it an ideal choice for the food and pharmaceutical industries.

Advantages of fluorine greases

  • Colorless and odorless : PFPE greases are colorless, odorless and completely inert to most chemicals, including oxygen. They are also non-flammable and non-toxic, often certified for the food industry.
  • Compatibility : PFPE lubricants are compatible with most other materials such as plastics and rubbers.
  • Thermal stability : They retain their properties even at extreme temperatures.
  • Safety: Non-toxic and safe for health.
  • Food Compatibility: Can be used in places where food contact is possible.
  • Water and moisture resistant, often used as anti-corrosion lubricants


  • Seals and O-rings in the aviation and space industry
  • Rubber elements in food packaging machines
  • Lubrication of medical devices
  • Industry : Used in guides, bearings, gears, as well as in industrial machines.
  • Guides of furnaces, dryers, paint shops : Fluorinated lubricants are effective in difficult working conditions.

Krytox GPL 205 Non-flammable grease

High-quality non-flammable grease approved for contact with oxygen, white, clean, non-toxic, non-reactive. Compatible with rubber.
Fluorine grease based on perfluoropolyether PFPE, does not contain additives and can be used on elements that come into contact with chemicals. Used for lubrication of seals and O-rings in the aviation industry.

Molykote HP-300 PFPE grease for extreme conditions - 500g

Fully fluorinated grease provides exceptional performance in extreme conditions. PFPE-based grease with a base oil viscosity of 160 cSt at 40 C, uses PTFE as a solid lubricant.

Commonly used in harsh environments such as low or high temperatures, corrosive, solvent, liquefied natural gases, high vacuum, etc. Can be used in clean room equipment and semiconductor manufacturing equipment where volatilization of lubricant material is undesirable including seals made of rubber and elastomers

What should you avoid when lubricating rubber?

When lubricating rubber components, it is important to avoid petroleum-based lubricants such as lithium greases, mineral greases or mineral oils. These substances can cause the rubber to degrade, causing it to harden, crack or brittle.

rubber oils


Selecting the right rubber lubricant is crucial to ensuring long-term and failure-free operation of rubber elements. Silicone greases, Teflon-based greases, glycerin-based greases, and some lithium soap-based greases are good choices that do not degrade rubber and offer a variety of properties tailored to specific applications.

Before using any grease, it is always worth familiarizing yourself with its specifications and making sure that it is suitable for a given type of rubber and operating conditions.

The next article goes into great detail: Grease Compatibility with Elastomers: What it is, why it's important and a primer on how to test it

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