Let’s talk about something that’s been on my Amazon shopping list for a while – Super Lube O-ring silicone lubricant.
There are so many different types of oils, lubricants, and greases out there, covering so very many different applications and needs. This stuff is described as being dielectric, food grade, clean.
Basically, the dielectric part means it helps seal out and protect against moisture, the food-grade part means it should comply with NSF and USDA regulations governing use in certain equipment where incidental food or water contact might occur.
Technically, dielectric means non-conductive, but a primary use of dielectric grease is to seal out moisture and contaminants. As this lubricant is also advertised as protecting against moisture, it’s fair to associate this property to its dielectric grease commonality.
This Super Lube O-Ring lubricant is said to help with O-ring assembly, and as a lubricant. Lubricants typically help o-rings last longer and resist certain types of damage.
I added this to my Amazon shopping list some time ago, when I was looking for an easier-to-apply o-ring grease. I was mainly looking to buy this for flashlight maintenance, for o-ring lubrication and thread sealant.
I typically use Molykote 111 for water filter o-rings and general sealant applications, but it lacks an applicator and can be very messy to apply by finger. That’s why I am looking to get the Super Lube.
Super Lube also makes an o-ring silicone grease. My understanding is that this O-ring lubricant is a very thick oil, and that the grease is thicker – probably similar to Molykote 111. (The specific gravity, or relative density, is higher for the grease than the lubricant.)
Proper o-ring lubrication and seal maintenance can help prolong the life of products, but can be a mess to navigate. There are material compatibility concerns, proper oil vs. grease tackiness or weight ratings, and temperature considerations. For example, silicone oil and grease compounds are NOT compatible with silicone rubber materials, but are usually plastic-safe and work well with other types of rubber o-ring materials.
In other words, be sure to research material and application compatibility before you use this or any other lubricant or grease.
Price-wise, this O-ring lube costs more than say general-purpose Super Lube grease, but as it’s specially designed for o-rings and similar applications, it should perform better than a grease made for gears or similar.
Price: $6.05 for a 4 oz bottle
Buy Now via Amazon
See Also: Silicone Grease
This Super Lube O-ring silicone lubricant seems to be a highly recommended go-to, and I have had good experiences with some of their other products. Have you used this stuff before, or perhaps something similar?
Been using paintball lube- grease in my flashlights for years. Paintball guns are full of o-rings and a good lube helps extend the life of the o-rings. During a tournament we might have +10,000 cycles in one day before the gun gets broken down to be cleaned & re-lubed before the next day.
Super Lube is the manufacturer-recommended product for the o-rings on the waterproof sensors and instruments I use. I like it, I find it easy to use and easy to clean up after. My only objection is that the package I have notionally lists a one-year expiration date after you open it, and there is no way I can use a tube in a year.
Super Lube says:
A lot of fluids and chemicals have shelf lives. For professional needs, shelf life and open-container expirations ensure certifications remain valid and properties consistent.
It’s frustrating for sure – threadlocker that has a very short shelf-life expiration, but I will sometimes go beyond it for non-critical applications.
Solder also has a shelf life for the rosin core. It’s frustrating, but understandable.
I would not have thought to buy an o-ring specific lube until I read that the product existed here. That said, because it’s cheap and might have some advantages, I might just give it a go.
I typically just use a silicone lube if I need something to help with reassembling o-rings (I’ve never had any issues with compatibility – not suggesting you’re wrong about the potential though).
I’m glad to hear it!
I worried about whether or not the post would be of any interest.
Silicone grease is usually incompatible on silicone o-rings or tubing, and I find this to be easier to remember than all the various rubber compound compatibilities.
Same here. I have a small tub of 3m silicone paste that gets used on the cars and lots of other things including anything that resembles an O ring. Stuart’s post led me over to McMaster where I found some helpful descriptions of the different greases available. I might give it a little more thought the next time I have a need. I say “might” because I’m not crazy about buying another tube of stuff that will last a lifetime or more at the rates I would ever use it.
But I will add this, I picked up a tube of shin-etsu silicone grease used by Honda on sunroof tracks and the like. It’s a white thin grease. This stuff is fantastic for lubricating plastic components where exposure to dust and dirt is not an issue. It’s thinner than silicone paste but not thin enough to run. Viscosity makes a difference. I’ve used it to fix the shifter handle in my wife’s car (now operates like butter) and to fix a service the vacuum cleaner brush head (works better than new).
Years back I designed a test machine that incorporated a number of static o-rings and this was the lube recommended by the o-ring manufacturer. I never had any problems with it and always found it easy to work with.
Not sure what happened to my earlier comment (probably lost in the ether some place) – but I’ve been using a CRC dielectric grease that has a novel and nice adjustable spout plastic bottle. It sells for about $10 at Lowes
(Nothing in moderation or spam – you must have offended the anti-spam AI in some way, sorry!)
An important thing about the Super Lube is that it’s food-grade. For something like a flashlight, where I might not be too careful in applying the lubricant, or a small fountain pen that’s been turned into an “eyedropper” style pen with whole body reservoir, I prefer food-grade compounds. With say battery changes in a flashlight, it’s a preference. With water filtration systems, it’s necessary.
Maybe it was something in the link to the Lowes webpage that caused “offense” . Anyway – I like the I like the dispenser bottle that the CRC stuff comes in – perhaps more than the stuff itself. So I’ll try the HD link:
Been using 3M silicone paste on o-rings for many years.
On the subject of the Molykote’s lacking an applicator. I once purchased some anti-seize and it was shipped with several disposable mascara brushes, and they worked great for the task! I imagine they’d also work well for silicone lubricant purposes too. You can find them in handy bundles for dirt cheap on amazon.
Hmm, I never considered that – thank you!
Hmm, decisions decisions – do I want pink, or blue with sparkly handles!
My wife gave me some strange looks when I asked if different brush colors had different bristle properties.
I was helping my girlfriend work on her ’59 AH bug eyed sprite one day and she gave me that look when I asked her to “hand me that pair of dykes.”
oh man, I might have to put sparkly handles on my list for next time I restock on those hahah
Thanks for sharing this tip of using disposable mascara brushes!
“Basically, the dielectric part means it helps seal out and protect against moisture” is entirely wrong. Dielectric means it is an electrical insulator. It’s quite literally built into the word.
What something is called and what it does are two very different things. While dielectric greases are non-conductive, a MAJOR part of their function is to seal out moisture and contaminants.
I took the liberty of associating common features between Super Lube and dielectric grease to the Super Lube’s dielectric property, and it seems like a reasonable convenience to sum things up in a concise manner. This post is about Super Lube o-ring lubricant, not an introduction to dielectric grease.
Dielectric greases resist moisture. This o-ring lubricant resists moisture. The o-ring lubricant has dielectric properties. So, I attributed the moisture-resistant property to the dielectric property.
I think that I learned that not all insulators exhibit dielectric properties. And – that dielectric materials are insulators where their molecules can be polarized when subjected to an electrical field. I also recall something called a dielectric constant – but don’t recollect what was the use of that measure – but maybe it has something to do with electrical capacitance.
Dielectric materials have insulating properties, but not all insulators are dielectrics.
Permittivity – the measure of polarization in the presence of an external electric field.
Dielectric constant, or relative permittivity – a ratio of how easily a material can become polarized by an electric field imposed on the material, compared to the permittivity of a vacuum (or space), which is 1.
The higher the ratio, the more easily it can be polarized. The more easily it can be polarized, the greater the energy-storage potential
So, I guess they try to use material with a high dielectric constant as the insulation when building electrolytic capacitors
For a parallel plate capacitor, the capacitance is directly proportional to the dielectric constant.
C = k x ε (permittivity of space) x Area/Separation
k = 1 for free space (vacuum), ~1 for air, and >1 for other materials
The greater the dielectric property, the more polarizable the material, the higher the relative permittivity or dielectric constant, the greater boost to capacitance and energy storage.
2nd year-level electrodynamics was my weakest class – I might have to pull out a textbook soon.
I’ve always used Vaseline, as Maglite recommends, even though I don’t use Maglites any more. So far, so good.
I should mention that Vaseline is a very bad choice for rubber o-rings.
I’ve heard of Maglite recommending that before, but could never find a reference to it. Maybe they used different o-rings, or recommended it more for sealing metal-on-metal threads?
Neoprene (probably the most common O-ring material) is perfectly happy in NGL2 grease. It hates Oxygen but will live almost forever in grease. Vaseline would not be a bad choice for normal everyday o-ring lubrication in systems that don’t see a lot of movement. 10-20% swelling.
This is my favorite compatibility chart.
Ooh, that is a good chart!
True, but EPDM is also popular, and it’s not recommended at all with Vaseline or other similar compounds.
This reminds of a time when a lab student put a sample and acetone into a petri dish – a clear polystyrene petri dish…
I’ve seen weird incompatibilities before. I had a pencil eraser next to an inexpensive clear-body pen, in a drawer. A long time later, I discovered that the eraser was melting the pen!!
A similar-sized bottle of glycerin costs probably half that and will work very well. Shelflife is indefinite, and I have used it on hundreds of O-rings without any failures, including many applications where a petroleum – based product will make the O-ring swell over time.
As an avid airgunner the super lube line…particularly a light weight oil and fortified with ptfe (or syncolon as SL names it, only in certain products) is as ideal a rust preventive, seal assisting, oxygen safe, and cost effective one drop per fill maintenance tool as one will find. This is the only game in town as far as pressure vessel sealing and protection is concerned…..let me be clear however even the ptfe fortified stuff falls short for metal on metal applications as silicone does little as a metal lubricant.
…I’m sorry for my immaturity… but I can’t help but remark “Yes. And now it burns when I pee” when the title of the article has “Has anyone used this?” at the time I first saw it posted… I’m SO Sorry, Stuart… I must be tired or something…
Used this in my faucets. I’ve used the standard version in all my ratchets. Costs more but it does not gum things up, and it’s nice to know around plumbing it’s non-toxic.
I test and repair firefighter equipment and use many different lubricants. Air packs use Parker Super “O” lube, or a Reolube which is 158 dollars for two ounces. Hand line nozzles use Molykote 111.
i don’t mean to get on your case, but I just looked into that parker super “O” lube, I found it for $13.81 for a two ounce tube. You may want to have a chat with your supplier.
Never mind, apparently i can’t read today. Carry on.
I was talking about another lubricant made by NyE that is the one that is 158 dollars for 2 ounces.
yea sorry. the “a reolube” part of your post apparently went in one eye and out the other.
It’s not just you, I read it the same way. An autocorrect gremlin must have taken an “and” or “or” away – I’ll add one back in.
It reads, or read, similar to “For a snack I’ll have an apple, a fuzzy brown kiwi that I can peel.”
Molykote 111 is a great o-ring lubricant. I have designed numerous devices for critical marine and subsea applications, and almost always specify Molykote. One of the main purposes of an o-ring lubricant is to ensure the o-ring is protected during installation and assembly. I’ve found that thicker grease works better than oils in this regard.
Thank you for your insights!
That’s a great point about ease of installation, and I would completely agree that a thicker grease would be better for this than oil.
I still plan on using the Super Lube o-ring lubricant where a little lubricity is needed, and Greg’s mascara brush tip will help me extend use of Molykote 111 to tasks I would have considered it too messy for.