If you are trying to replace or repair pipes and don’t have any plumber’s grease, it can be a frustrating situation. Unfortunately, a replacement isn’t as easy as one might think.
There is no ideal substitute for plumber’s grease. However, the closest alternative is silicone grease. You can also use dielectric grease, vaseline, silicone spray, WD-40, and vegetable oil temporarily, but all these have downsides.
In this article, I’ll discuss the best alternative to plumber’s grease and five other alternatives you can use if you don’t have plumber’s grease. I’ll also share the downsides of these alternatives so you can choose the best greasing option for your plumbing fixtures.
Is Silicone Grease the Same as Plumber’s Grease?
Silicone grease is not the same as plumber’s grease, though they are similar. Both contain silicone grease, but plumber’s grease contains other chemicals, while silicone grease contains only food-grade silicone.
Other than composition, silicone grease is usually used in potable water installments, while plumber’s grease is used on the outside of taps, along the joints of piping, and in other similar areas. However, plumbers will use both silicone and plumber’s grease interchangeably, especially if the plumber’s grease is food grade.
Since plumber’s grease is unique in its composition and usage, there’s no ideal alternative that gives the same results.
Yet, silicone grease is the closest and best alternative to plumber’s grease. It is similar to plumber’s grease and is used for the inside of faucets and pipes. Silicone grease is also safer than plumber’s grease since it doesn’t release toxic chemicals into the water and is more durable.
5 Other Alternatives for Plumber’s Grease
While there aren’t any ideal alternatives for plumber’s grease, besides silicone grease, you can use some alternatives to fix small problems in your taps and pipes. While these alternatives do help grease plumbing installments, they also have drawbacks, so keep this in mind before using them in place of a plumber’s grease.
1. Dielectric Grease
Plumber’s Grease vs. Dielectric Grease
Plumber’s grease consists of silicone oil and grease combined with other chemicals, dielectric grease contains silicone oil and a silicone thickener. Both are waterproof and can be used to grease all types of plumbing fixtures.
In fact, many plumbers use silicone grease in place of plumbing grease because of its food-grade rating.
Another benefit of using silicone grease or dielectric grease in place of plumber’s grease is that it’s much safer for potable water sources. If you’re worried about contaminating the water, use silicone grease instead of the plumber’s grease. Silicone grease is food grade, and there’s no harm in ingesting it (but it’s not meant to be eaten either!).
Plumber’s Grease vs. Vaseline
Vaseline is usually the first thing that many people think of using as a substitute for plumber’s grease. And it’s not a bad thought, as vaseline is a suitable greasing option for pipes and faucets.
Vaseline can be used in place of a plumber’s grease since it’s thick and waterproof. It will stop the squeaking sound in your taps and can help lubricant other plumbing fixtures. However, vaseline may damage the O-Rings in plumbing fixtures, causing the seals to break after a few months.
Overall, vaseline isn’t as safe or effective as silicone or plumber’s grease. It will be fine to use as a temporary alternative to plumber’s grease, but avoid using it regularly unless you want to replace the seals or deal with leaking taps every few months!
3. Silicone Spray
Plumber’s Grease vs. Silicone Spray
Like silicone grease, silicone spray is an effective alternative for greasing plumbing fixtures. Silicone spray is made from silicon and thick oils and is used as a universal lubricant. It will work on all types of surfaces, including wood, plastic, and metal, and is one of the safest lubricant sprays.
Silicone spray can be used to protect objects from rust, keep wood in good condition, remove adhesives, and is even effective in removing blood stains from clothes. While it’s not made for plumbing, you can use silicone spray to lubricate o-rings, faucets, and pipes.
Silicone spray is easy to use and can be applied without getting your hands dirty, making it an effective option for non-plumbers. It also contains silicon and is safer than other chemical-based lubricants. Some plumbers may even use it when applying plumber’s grease is hard.
However, silicone spray isn’t a completely effective substitute for plumber’s grease. It’s too thin to last as long as grease, and you’ll have to apply it more frequently. The only positive is that it won’t damage the O-Rings or other plumbing fixtures, so you can use it as a temporary lubricant instead of the plumber’s grease.
Plumber’s Grease vs WD-40
WD-40 is another popular greasing alternative for plumber’s grease. Like silicone spray, it’s easy to apply, and most people will have some lying around at home. If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to get a plumber’s grease, you can use WD-40 as a temporary alternative.
WD-40 is considered a “magic” greasing spray by many due to its effectiveness at preventing squeaking doors and lubricating hinges. In fact, it can even be used as a chain spray. WD-40’s effectiveness at lubricating different types of surfaces makes it a useful lubricant for plumbing fixtures as well.
However, just like silicone spray, it’s too thin to be used as a permanent replacement for grease. This doesn’t mean that it isn’t effective, yet you shouldn’t rely on it whenever you need to grease a plumbing fixture. If you use WD-40 instead of the plumber’s grease, you’ll have to apply grease after a month or two since WD-40 is temporary.
5. Vegetable Oil
Plumber’s Grease vs Vegetable Oil
Most types of vegetable oil are thick enough to be used as grease. Some great options to use in place of plumber’s grease are coconut or olive oil, as these oils are easy to apply and readily available. You also don’t have to worry about contamination when using vegetable oil as a lubricant.
Although, vegetable oil isn’t waterproof and won’t last as long as a plumber’s grease. It’s a temporary fix for squeaking taps, and you’ll have to apply proper grease afterward. Also, these oils are less effective in hot weather and may need to be applied more regularly.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Alternatives for Plumber’s Grease
While many of these alternatives work and may help with a squeaky tap, they aren’t meant to be used as alternatives for plumbing grease. Some, like vaseline and WD-40, will damage the O-Rings, while other alternatives aren’t effective in the long run.
Some reasons why you shouldn’t use plumber’s grease alternatives include:
Using Plumber’s Grease Alternatives Is Not Safe
Silicone plumbers grease is food grade and can be used in many different plumbing applications. However, alternatives like WD-40 or vaseline can contaminate the water, causing health problems, and shouldn’t be used on kitchen taps or other potable water sources. If you have to use an alternative to plumber’s grease for these areas, use silicone grease.
Using Plumber’s Grease Alternatives May Damage the Faucet Seals
One of the main reasons why plumbers avoid using other greasing alternatives is because they may damage the faucet seals or O-Rings on plumbing fixtures. Both WD-40 and vaseline will cause the O-Rings to wear off after a few months, causing leakages. Other alternatives like vegetable oils will cause the faucet seals to swell.
So, while you can use these if you have no other option, keep in mind that they aren’t plumbing friendly.
Using Plumber’s Grease Alternatives Is Not Effective
The simple reason why plumber’s grease is so popular is that it works. Most of the alternatives aren’t nearly as effective in greasing plumbing fixtures. Some, like vegetable oil, aren’t waterproof and won’t last as long as a plumber’s grease. Other greasing alternatives like silicone spray and WD-40 aren’t meant to be used for plumbing and don’t have the thickness of grease.
Best Plumber’s Grease
Since there’s no effective alternative to plumber’s grease (apart from silicone grease), you should keep some spare grease in case your faucets start squeaking. Here are some of the best plumbing grease options available on Amazon for you to consider:
1. Danco 88693P Waterproof Faucet O-Rings
This silicone lubricant is designed for faucet O-rings and is made to enhance the life of your faucets. It’s waterproof food grade oxidation resistant.
2. Weld-On 80427 Slik Seal Plumbers Grease
Professional plumbers use this quality grease for hot water systems and all types of faucets. It doesn’t melt or separate and is waterproof and oxidation resistant.
3. Evo Dyne Plumber’s Grease
Made for all types of materials, this plumbing grease is ideal for all plumbing fixtures. It prevents oxidation and stops corrosion and contains silicone for effective lubrication.
The plumber’s grease is ideal for lubricating faucets and O-Rings and can help with the squeaking sounds that taps get after some time. The best alternative to plumber’s grease is silicone grease or silicone spray.
Other alternatives like vaseline, WD-40, or vegetable oils don’t work as effectively and may damage the faucet seals over time. While you can use them as temporary alternatives, avoid using them permanently.
For more, check out The Best Substitute for Plumbers Tape | With 3 Alternatives.
Hey, I’m Jim and the author of this website. I have always been interested in survival, fishing, camping, and anything in nature. In fact, while growing up I spent more time on the water than on land! I am also a best-selling author and have a degree in History, Anthropology, and Music. I hope you find value in the articles on this website. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or input!
Can you use Vaseline instead of plumber's grease? ›
This depends heavily on the type of o-ring. If you use vaseline with a rubber o-ring, the rubber will be attacked by the vaseline which is mineral oil based. In most applications of o-rings it is used as a static seal, not as dynamic seal. Thus the lube is used as an aid in the assembly only.Is plumber's grease the same as silicone grease? ›
It's waterproof and is a combination of silicone oil and silicone grease; plumber's grease is typically thicker than regular grease. It is recommended that plumber's grease is applied on taps or shower faucets regularly to avoid rusting and the build up of waste.What can I use as a substitute for rubber grease? ›
Silicone is an effective rubber substitute because it has low toxicity levels and it's heat resistant. This is partly why it's used in cookware, feeding nipples and pacifiers. It is also used for industrial processes, silicone is an excellent lubricant and adhesive.What is the best grease for faucets? ›
The Danco Waterproof Silicone Sealant Grease is ideal for lubricating faucet stems, valves and cartridges when repairing a leaky faucet. Silicone Faucet Grease helps reduce friction provides long-lasting lubrication and helps hard-turning faucets work smoothly.What kind of grease is plumbers grease? ›
A: This plumber's grease is waterproof and is comprised of silicone oil (polydimethylsiloxane) in combination with silicone grease. It's a dielectric grease in nature, but is relatively thicker than regular grease. ... It's commonly used by plumbers when installing O-rings and faucets. Helpful?What lubricant is safe for rubber? ›
As mentioned above, and unlike lithium grease, silicone lubricant is the perfect lubricant for rubber surfaces, but it is also extremely versatile, so it can be used on most other materials, including metal, plastic, wood, and even painted materials.Can I use dielectric grease as plumbers grease? ›
It's a dielectric grease in nature, but is relatively thicker than regular grease. This type of grease is mainly used for lubricating and protecting plumbing fixtures. It's commonly used by plumbers when installing O-rings and faucets.Do I need plumbers grease? ›
Most new plumbing fixtures come “pre-greased” but some faucets and shower heads will recommend applying a little silicon grease to the moving parts to allow ease of operation and prevent any annoying squeaking from occurring.When should you not use silicone grease? ›
Silicone grease is commonly used for lubricating and preserving many types of rubber parts, such as O-rings, without swelling or softening the rubber, but is contraindicated for silicone rubber due to these factors.
Is Vaseline a good lubricant for rubber? It will rot rubber. If you put petroleum jelly or mineral oil on natural rubber, that 'softening' is actually the very start of a rotting process. It's never a good idea to use mineral oil or Vaseline on any natural rubber.
What kind of grease is safe for rubber O-rings? ›
What lubricant is best for o rings? Silicone lubricant grease. Protective, waterproof, simple to use. As o rings are made from synthetic rubbers such as Neoprene, nitrile, and EPDM, you can use petroleum grease to perfectly lubricate the o ring.What is a good substitute for lithium grease? ›
These include anhydrous calcium, aluminum complex, calcium sulfonate complex, calcium complex, barium complex, sodium complex, mixed base greases and polyurea.What does wd40 do for a faucet? ›
After this is done, remove any decorative parts from the handle knobs by prying it off with a flat-head screwdriver. Underneath each knob, there will be a screw that mounts the handle to the stem. Spray a little WD-40 Multi-Use Product to loosen the screw, and unscrew the faucet handle from the stem.
Apply a small amount of silicon faucet grease to the two rubber o-rings on the faucet body, as well as the inside of the spout. Press the spout back into place using a gentle twisting motion. Swing the spout back and forth to make sure it moves freely.Should faucet O-rings be lubricated? ›
Lubrication of O-rings is extremely important. The greatest benefit of using a lubricant is typically obtained during installation. Using a lubricant is going to decrease the surface friction of the O-ring helping to prevent abrasion, pinching or cutting of the O-ring during installation.Can you use silicone grease for plumbing? ›
Plumbers Silicone Grease can be used as a lubricant on sliding or rotating metal parts in steam and hot/cold water systems for valve stems, faucets, O-rings and ballcock assemblies.What grease is good for electrical connections? ›
Dielectric grease ensures longevity of your connection points and creates a proper seal. Dielectric grease helps create extra insulation for electrical connectors, prevents arcing and is ideal for any electrical connections with rubber gaskets.Is KY jelly safe for rubber? ›
K-Y True Feel also protects against discomfort during intimacy and is non-irritating. K-Y True Feeling has a longer lasting formula that provides the best lubricating experience during anal intercourse and it is compatible with natural rubber latex, polyisoprene and polyurethane condoms.Is wd40 OK to use on rubber? ›
WD-40 can be used on just about everything. It is safe for metal, rubber, wood and plastic. WD-40 can be applied to painted metal surfaces without harming the paint. Polycarbonate and clear polystyrene plastic are among the few surfaces on which to avoid using a petroleum-based product like WD-40.Is wd40 a good lubricant for rubber? ›
WD-40. WD-40 Specialist® Silicone Lubricant safely lubricates, resists water and protects metal and non-metal surfaces such as rubber, plastic and vinyl. This formula dries fast and leaves a clear, non-staining film that doesn't stick or make a mess, so it won't attract dirt.
Is dielectric grease just petroleum jelly? ›
A: Dielectric grease is different from Vaseline, as it uses a silicone base while Vaseline is petroleum jelly, which is made of waxes and minerals. Don't use Vaseline in your car.Is Vaseline a good dielectric grease? ›
No, Vaseline is not a dielectric grease. It's made from petroleum and doesn't contain any silicone. So it won't work as a dielectric grease.What lubricant is safe for electronics? ›
CRC Electrical Silicone Lubricant is formulated to protect various electrical equipment sited in wet or harsh environmental conditions. Designed to prevent corrosion, lubricate, and waterproof electrical parts, this silicone film lubricant is safe to use on most plastics.How do I keep my grease from clogging my pipes? ›
- Pour cooled fats, oils and grease into a container and put the container in the trash. ...
- Before washing, use a paper napkin or paper towel to wipe FOG from dishes and dispose of it in the trash.
- Use sink strainers to catch food waste.
Hot water will break down the grease better and when aided by a cleaning agent, grease is a goner. While cold-water jetting can bust through a blockage, you will not truly clean a pipe and rid it of the FOG buildup unless you clean it with hot water.Does grease really clog pipes? ›
Grease and cooking oil can cause extensive damage to your drainage system, garbage system and even sewer system by contributing to blockages. The improper disposal of fats, oils and grease (FOG) can result in plumbing clogs and even total blockages in your pipes.Can I use WD-40 instead of silicone grease? ›
Many people believe that WD40 is a fix-all lubricant; however, they would be wrong. WD40 is not a lubricant at all. WD40 is used as a degreaser or rust remover, and the main reason why it will stop those pesky squeaks is that it will clean most partial out of joints; however, the results will be short-lived.Can I use Vaseline instead of silicone grease? ›
Can you substitute Vaseline for silicone grease? At room temperature they both should work fine. However, vaseline being a low molecular weight paraffin has a very low melting point. Silicone grease is designed for high temperature applications.Can I use vegetable oil instead of silicone grease? ›
Vegetable oil should NEVER be used to lubricate mechanical parts. It always leaves a solid deposit which later will be stuck to the parts you wanted to lubricate. Save this answer.Does petroleum grease damage rubber? ›
Petroleum products can cause rubber to swell up and become real slimy and just disintegrate. So we always use the silicone on things that are rubber. Last but not least, here is one of our favorites here in the shop. This is white lithium grease.
Does silicone spray lubricate rubber? ›
Silicone spray is a highly effective lubricant for a wide array of vehicle and household applications. It's ideal for lubricating surfaces that may be damaged by conventional lubricants such as grease or oil, and it also helps prevent the cracking and drying of rubber and locks out moisture.Does lithium grease damage rubber? ›
Lithium-based lubricants are used in cars and machinery in general. It's not advisable to use them on plastic parts. As lithium is based on petroleum, it tends to speed up rubber and plastic components decay.Does synthetic grease damage rubber? ›
It is true that some lubricants (both mineral and synthetic based) can cause plastics and elastomers to swell or crack over time. The swelling, cracking and even discolouration are not instant and can take many hours of exposure to the grease for the damage to occur.Will grease damage rubber seals? ›
It isn't uncommon in industrial applications for for greases to come in contact with rubber seals or other parts. Many greases aren't compatible with certain types of rubber, which can cause seals to swell or crack and lead to damage and down-time.How do you make an O-ring seal better? ›
Parts often have a groove around their mating surface. This groove acts as a seat for an O-ring. When installing O-rings, you should check for a groove. Positioning the O-ring into the groove will create a stronger seal that's better protected against failure.Is vaseline a good lubricant for metal? ›
Vaseline: you can use vaseline for all sorts of applications. It is a great lubricant for metal parts such as the air installation, but it is also regularly used for installing PVC parts.What is the best grease for battery terminals? ›
Silicone grease is much better than almost any other product for preventing corrosion on battery terminals and lugs because it has such a wide temperature range and will not liquify at higher temperatures or summer heat - unlike automotive grease, Vaseline, etc.Is WD-40 a lithium based grease? ›
10 oz. WD-40 Specialist® White Lithium Grease is ideal for metal-to-metal applications that require heavy-duty lubrication and leaves behind a rust-inhibiting barrier for protection against corrosion.Will vinegar damage my faucet? ›
Even soaking your shower head or faucets for more than 15 minutes puts their finish at risk. Vinegar may be a mild acid, but it's an acid nonetheless. Prolonged exposure to vinegar will damage chrome finishes by eating the finish right off of your fixtures.Does vinegar work on faucets? ›
If you opt for any vinegar cleaning solution, use a 50/50 solution with half water, half vinegar to reduce possible damage to your faucet. Whenever you use vinegar as a solution for hard water aftereffects, make sure it's thoroughly rinsed with clean water and dried after cleaning.
Why do you put WD-40 in the toilet? ›
When cleaning a toilet bowl, WD-40 works by softening the rust and lime deposits, so they can be easily wiped away. You don't need to use much of it. Simply spray on the affected area, wait a minute or two and brush it away with a regular toilet brush.How can I make my faucet easier to turn? ›
If the handle is stiff to rotate without the cartridge, then it is possible there may be some build-up within the handle preventing it from rotating smoothly. Try soaking your handle in a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water for 30-60 minutes to see if this helps clear the build-up.Why do faucets get hard to turn? ›
Faucets become hard to turn due to the buildup of mineral deposits or problems related to the faucet's cartridge.Is petroleum jelly better than silicone grease? ›
If elevated temperatures are involved then silicone grease could be the better choice as it tends to have better high temperature capabilities, If lubricity is more important then petroleum jelly may be the better choice as it may have better boundary lubrication capabilities than silicone grease which is very inert ...Does Vaseline work like dielectric grease? ›
No, Vaseline is not a dielectric grease. It's made from petroleum and doesn't contain any silicone. So it won't work as a dielectric grease.Can you use Vaseline to grease O rings? ›
Do not use vaseline ! It is a petroleum product and will react negatively with the o-ring material. Use silicone.Can you use Vaseline instead of bulb grease? ›
The next time you replace a light bulb, rub a bit of Vaseline or another brand of petroleum jelly over the light bulb's threads before you screw it in. It'll prevent the bulb from getting stuck and save you from broken bulbs.Does Vaseline break down rubber? ›
Rubber and petroleum do not mix well. Petroleum derivatives, like Vaseline, mineral oil and petroleum solvents will all destroy rubber.Can WD 40 be used as dielectric grease? ›
Is WD-40 Dielectric? WD-40 is dielectric with a strength of 35KV. Due to this, it can be used to repair electrical connections, shield components from moisture, and even save equipment that has been submerged in water.What is the same as dielectric grease? ›
What Is Dielectric Grease? Dielectric, sometimes referred to as tune-up grease, is a viscous non-conductive waterproof substance used to protect electrical connections from corrosion and dirt.
What kind of grease do you use on electrical connections? ›
Dielectric grease ensures longevity of your connection points and creates a proper seal. Dielectric grease helps create extra insulation for electrical connectors, prevents arcing and is ideal for any electrical connections with rubber gaskets.What kind of grease is safe for rubber o-rings? ›
What lubricant is best for o rings? Silicone lubricant grease. Protective, waterproof, simple to use. As o rings are made from synthetic rubbers such as Neoprene, nitrile, and EPDM, you can use petroleum grease to perfectly lubricate the o ring.What is the best grease for oil seals? ›
Lithium or White Grease
It's thicker than other lubricants, so it stays put no matter how much pressure is applied to seal components. Keeping your seal components well lubricated prevents friction from ruining your machinery.
Vegetable oil isn't just for use in the kitchen. Some engine manufacturers recommend vegetable oil to lubricate O-Ring seals. In these applications, if petroleum-based lubricants are used, the result will be swelling and cracking of the seal, leading to a leak.What kind of grease do you use on battery terminals? ›
Silicone grease is much better than almost any other product for preventing corrosion on battery terminals and lugs because it has such a wide temperature range and will not liquify at higher temperatures or summer heat - unlike automotive grease, Vaseline, etc.Can I use WD-40 on a light bulb? ›
Do not spray WD-40 or other lubricant into the light socket, as it may damage electricals behind the light.Should you put petroleum jelly on battery terminals? ›
Before you reattach the terminals, it's a good idea to dab some petroleum jelly (Vaseline) onto them. A little goes a long way here. This provides lubrication for reattaching and helps prevent corrosion.