Is Vaseline a Good Lubricant for Metal (2023 – 2024)? [Explained]

Vaseline is a petroleum jelly-based product that has been used for generations as a general-purpose moisturizer, protectant, and lubricant. It can be applied topically to the skin or used as a lubricant for various medical and personal purposes.

If you’re looking for a quality lubricant for metal, you may be wondering if is Vaseline a good lubricant for metal. In this blog post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of using Vaseline as a lubricant to help you make the best decision for your needs.

What are the benefits of using Vaseline as a lubricant?

Vaseline is often used as a lubricant because it is cheap and easy to find. However, there are some advantages and disadvantages to using Vaseline as a lubricant.

One advantage of using Vaseline as a lubricant is that it does not dry out. This means that you can use it for long periods of time without having to reapply it. Vaseline is also unlikely to cause irritation or other skin problems.

However, one disadvantage of using Vaseline as a lubricant is that it can be messy. It can also be difficult to clean off afterward. In addition, Vaseline is not as effective at reducing friction as some other lubricants.

Best Lubricants for Metals

Best Overall
WD-40 Specialist Protective White Lithium Grease Spray with SMART STRAW

  • Metal-To-Metal Applications
  • Protection Against Rust And Corrosion
  • Protective Coating
Best Overall
Super Lube 83110

  • For Metal Parts
  • Rust and Corrosion Protection
  • Protect from Heat and Humidity
Best Overall
Anchorlube All-Purpose Metalworking Compound

  • All Metal Parts
  • Prolongs Tool Life
  • Non-Ferrous Metals

Every product was carefully curated by an Esquire editor. We may earn a commission from these links.

Is Vaseline a Good Lubricant for Metal?

Vaseline, also known as petroleum jelly, is a type of lubricant that is made from mineral oil and wax. While it can be used as a lubricant for metal, it is not typically recommended for use on motorcycle chains but only in emergency situation when suitable lubricant is not available or other metal parts due to its thick consistency and tendency to attract dirt and debris.

Here are some reasons why Vaseline is not a good lubricant for metal:

  • It is thick: Its consistency is thick and sticky, which can make it difficult to apply evenly and can cause the lubricant to attract dirt and debris.
  • Not suitable for high-speed applications: Its thick consistency can cause it to build up in crevices and become a hindrance to moving parts, making it not suitable for high-speed applications.
  • Not suitable for high-temperature applications: Its melting point is relatively low, making it not suitable for high-temperature applications.
  • Can cause damage to seals: Vaseline can cause damage to seals, such as O-rings or X-rings, which are commonly found on modern motorcycle chains, leading to dry chains.
  • Can make the chain too stiff: Vaseline can make the chain too stiff and can cause it to bind, resulting in increased wear and poor performance.

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on the specific metal in question and the desired outcome.

In general, Vaseline is not recommended as a lubricant for metal parts. It’s always best to use a lubricant specifically designed for the application, such as a high-quality chain lubricant for motorcycle chains, or a lubricant recommended by the manufacturer of the metal part.

For certain applications, however, it may be the best option available. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide whether or not to use Vaseline as a lubricant for metal.

Some good points are there that can be considered. It can help to protect the metal from rust and corrosion. Moreover, owing to its non-reactivity, high flash point, and viscosity, its usage for certain circumstances can be considered. The ultimate choice is up to you.

Related Guide: Is Vaseline a Good Lubricant for Plastic? [Explained]


1. What is a good lubricant for metal?

White lithium grease adheres well to metal and is perfect for lubricating metal surfaces. Silicone lubricant, however, can be used on a variety of surfaces.

2. Will Vaseline keep metal from rusting?

Tools can be prevented rust by applying Vaseline mixed with camphor. Before applying the mixture, it is recommended that it be heated over a slow fire. Use a soft rag to apply the coating to the tools.

3. How do you remove petroleum jelly from metal?

In most cases, petroleum jelly can be removed from most surfaces with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol without damage. 

Petroleum jelly can be removed efficiently with isopropyl alcohol, which is inert to most household surfaces, including almost every plastic.

4. Can Vaseline be used to lubricate screws?

By lubricating the screw before driving it in, you will make the process much easier. In addition to beeswax polish, candles wax, petroleum jelly, or silicone spray lubricant can be used to lubricate this screw.

5. Can you use Vaseline on nuts and bolts?

Neither Vaseline nor petroleum jelly should be used on screws or fasteners. These cannot be used under high temperatures and pressure.  

6. Can petroleum jelly be used as a mechanical lubricant?

In the absence of better options, it may be used. The thick jelly has staying power, so you should consider that when using it as lube. Water-based lubricants tend to dry out more quickly than petroleum-based lubricants.

7. Is soap a good lubricant for metal?

Grease contains soap that traps oil droplets as a holding agent. The soap releases the oil when force is applied to the grease.

8. How can I make my metal slide better?

The recommended lubricants for wood drawers (such as wax or tape) can still be used if the drawer slides are plastic or metal, but white lithium grease is your best bet. The finish can be damaged by harsh lubricators, so be careful not to use them.

9. What can I use on squeaky metal?

Squeaky hinges can be fixed with silicone spray. Using silicone spray as a lubricant on plastic, rubber, and metal surfaces is safe since it is free of mineral oils and grease.

10. Does WD-40 lubricate metal?

For metal-to-metal applications requiring heavy-duty lubrication, WD-40 Specialist® White Lithium Grease leaves behind a rust-inhibiting barrier. In harsh weather conditions, this formula won’t melt, freeze, or run.

11. What is the best lubricant for aluminum?

An aluminum contact surface can be lubricated with lithium grease. Aluminum on aluminum is frequently lubricated with it as the best grease and lubricant for aluminum parts.

12. What is metal oil?

All metals can be treated with metal oils. The products are protected against UV rays and corrosion. Drying metal oil produces a strong and durable product. The product is available in black and clear. Use a soft cloth, brush, or spray to apply the Metal Oil to the clean metal or patinaed surface.

13. Can I use Vaseline on car battery terminals?

Apply petroleum jelly to the terminals once they are dry. As a result, the connection will be lubricated, corrosion will be prevented, and further wear will be prevented. Reattach the positive and negative cables, and you’re all set.


Is Vaseline a good lubricant for metal? After doing some research, we have come to the conclusion that Vaseline is not a good lubricant for metal. While it may work in the short term, it will eventually lead to corrosion and damage to the metal.

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