Is Vaseline a Good Lubricant for Plastic? [Explained]

Lubricants are applied to help assemble plastic parts and machinery, as well as for maintenance and repair. Lubricants are helpful for reducing friction, but many people have differing opinions regarding their use.

Some people think lubricants are unnecessary since they’re expensive and can be harmful to some plastics. Others believe that lubricants are necessary for efficient assembly and are more environmentally friendly than traditional methods of maintenance. Ultimately, lubricants are helpful when used properly.

Vaseline is a petroleum jelly-based product that has a wide range of uses, from healing cracked lips to lubricating door hinges. It’s also a common ingredient in many hair and skin care products.

If you’re looking for a lubricant that can keep your plastic things in good condition, you might want to consider using Vaseline. It’s a popular choice for many people, and it’s relatively inexpensive. Plus, it’s easy to find and apply.

Is Vaseline a Good Lubricant for Plastic?

Vaseline is often heralded as an all-purpose panacea, and can be found in everything from first-aid kits to cosmetics bags. It’s even recommended as a home remedy for ailments like dry skin and chapped lips. But is Vaseline a good lubricant for plastic?

The Best Lubricants for Plastics

Best Overall
Krytox GPL214 57 g/2 oz. Tube

  • High Performance Grease
  • Chemically Inert
  • Insoluble in All Solvents
Best Overall
Permatex 81158 Black Silicone Adhesive Sealant, 3 oz. Tube

  • Metal, Plastics, Fabric
  • Waterproof And Flexible
  • Protect And Repair Electrical Wiring
Best Overall
STAR BRITE White Lithium Grease 14 OZ Cartridge

  • Suitable for Plastic
  • Adheres well
  • Ideal

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

It’s a great choice for applying plastic because it is safe to use with most plastics. Petroleum jelly is a non-toxic and food-grade lubricant that can be safely used on most plastic parts.

It’s especially helpful for making plastic parts easier to assemble due to its compatibility with most plastics. Using petroleum jelly on plastic parts also prevents them from getting brittle and cracking over time.

This is helpful since plastic parts can easily break if they’re not durable enough to withstand normal wear and tear. Vaseline is therefore a good choice for applying to plastic parts that need maintenance or assembly help.

Vaseline is also a great choice for applying plastic because it’s thinner and more fluid than other types of oil. Many people worry about using thick lubes like grease because they believe it will wear down their part faster than thinner lubes would.

Those who have researched greases know that most greases are meant only for short-term or emergency use. They wear down faster than other lubes simply because they rely on being thicker than regular oils. A slower-moving lubricant like Vaseline is better at ensuring proper grip between moving parts without causing damage to your machine’s internals over time.

Is there any drawback to using Vaseline as a lubricant for plastic?

Not everyone agrees with this choice though; some believe that using Vaseline can be harmful if applied improperly or excessively. Although Vaseline is non-toxic, the improper application can still damage the plastic you’re applying it to if you apply too much or too often. This can lead to greater wear and tear over time, which will likely require more maintenance in the long run.

Some feel that adding lubrication interferes with how workers assemble parts from a distance since some parts need precise positioning for optimal function. For example, door hinges are often made from plastic so adding lubricant can make them less accurate and prone to jamming up in their movement.

In addition, some people prefer thicker lubes like grease since they last longer and provide a better grip than thinner oils do. These people advise against using petroleum jelly with plastic since it has a lower viscosity than grease. Plus, grease works better than oil since it’s thicker and longer lasting.

Therefore, using petroleum jelly on plastic can be counter-productive in the long run if you choose grease instead of Vaseline when assembling plastic parts.

Overall, using Vaseline on the plastic makes it easier to maintain the smoothness of your machinery or assembly line so you can perform your work quickly and efficiently.

However, using Vaseline on some plastics can be harmful if applied improperly so make sure you read the instructions on the label before using this product! Although Vaseline is recommended by many experts, some believe it can be harmful depending on how you apply it so always check the label first!

How to use Vaseline as a Lubricant?

Vaseline can be used as a lubricant for plastic, but it is not the best option. It can cause the plastic to become gummy and difficult to work with. If you must use Vaseline, apply it sparingly, and be sure to clean it off completely when you’re finished.

How to store Vaseline?

You can store Vaseline in any cool, dry place. A lot of people like to keep their Vaseline in the refrigerator because it feels especially soothing when applied to skin that’s just been shaved or waxed.

How long does Vaseline last?

Vaseline has an indefinite shelf life. It won’t go bad, but it may lose some of its effectiveness over time. If it does, you can still use it as a moisturizer. You just won’t get the same level of protection from the elements.

Vaseline vs. Other Lubricants?

While Vaseline may be good for some lubrication purposes, it is not necessarily the best lubricant for plastic. There are a variety of lubricants that are specifically designed for use on plastic, and they can generally prove a better choice than Vaseline.

Related Guide: Is Vaseline a Good Lubricant for Metal (2022)? [Explained]

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do you remove Vaseline from plastic?

Petroleum jelly can be removed from most surfaces with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol without causing damage to plastics or causing ventilation problems. Petroleum jelly can be easily removed using isopropyl alcohol, which is inert to most household surfaces, including almost all plastics.  

2. Is Vaseline good for car doors?

Vaseline may deteriorate door seals, so it’s better to use silicone grease/lubricant instead. Silicone grease or lubricant is better for deterring water and ice than Vaseline.

3. Is Vaseline a good sealant?

Most commonly known as Vaseline, petroleum jelly is one of the best lubricants and sealants for water.  

4. What are some alternative lubricants to Vaseline for non-latex materials?

Vaseline is a petroleum jelly that many people use as a lubricant. However, there are some drawbacks to using Vaseline as a lubricant. One of the main drawbacks is that it can be difficult to clean up after using Vaseline as a lubricant. In addition, Vaseline can cause condoms to break down and become less effective.

There are many alternative lubricants to Vaseline that you can use. Some of these alternative lubricants include:

Water-based lubricants: These lubricants are easy to clean up and are safe to use with condoms. Some water-based lubricants even come in fun flavors!

Silicone-based lubricants: These lubricants last longer than water-based lubricants and are also safe to use with condoms.

Oil-based lubricants: These lubricants are longer lasting than water or silicone-based options, but they can be more difficult to clean up.


Applying petroleum jelly to plastic also makes it easier to do repetitive assembly tasks without damaging your part. This is helpful in industries that need to assemble a lot of small parts quickly, like the auto industry or medical devices.

Using a lubricant with plastic makes friction-based assembly more efficient since it reduces the amount of force required to assemble parts. This helps make assembly lines more efficient and less likely to jam up due to excess waste or waiting time.

In addition, using a lubricant with plastic helps keep our environment cleaner since we don’t need to use as many solvents or cleaners when doing repetitive tasks with this type of lube.

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