Plumbers Grease Vs. Silicone Grease (In-Depth Comparison)

By - Ron Singh

Updated -

When you need to lubricate valves and other plumbing equipment, you must know if it is plumber’s or silicone grease you need.

Unfortunately, there are different types of greases in the market, and they may not provide the services they promise.

Plumber’s grease and silicone grease are silicone lubricants with slightly different usages.

In this article, we will find out the lubricants difference and what grease you should use, and for what purpose.  

Plumber’s and Silicon grease are different types of grease that you can use for different purposes. For example, silicone grease is more suitable for consumables repair like a kitchen faucet. However, a plumber’s grease is also a silicone lubricant but is more convenient for non-consumable water sources and plumbing fixtures.      

Is Silicone Grease the Same as Plumber’s Grease?           

Plumbers Grease Vs. Silicone Grease

Plumber’s and silicone grease are not similar and have different properties. Plumber’s grease consists of silicone grease with thickening additives to increase the thickness of the grease formulation. 

Silicone grease, on the other hand, is a combination of silica thickener and virgin silicone oil. It allows the grease to resist water or other consumables and keeps it from contamination. 

You can apply the plumber’s grease if you need to avoid sounds or leakages from your faucets. You must ensure that these faucets do not connect to any edibles directly.

Plumber’s grease keeps your metal or plastic fixtures corrosion-free and provides a lubricant to keep them working in good conditions.

Silicone grease is a grease lubricant that you could apply to your plumbing fixtures.

However, unlike the plumber’s grease, it is suitable for use in water sources that connect directly to the plumbing components. It is also health risk-free due to its chemical formulation.

What Is Silicone Grease?      

Silicone grease is a waterproof lubricant grease consisting of fumed silica thickener and silicone oil.

With its formulation, it creates a thick consistency that is suitable for lubricating plumbing fixtures. 

The silicone grease lubricant is mostly for industrial rubber products lubrication. Using silicone grease on other non-rubber surfaces protects the surface from dirt, corrosion, or rust.

It is a light-colored, transparent paste that you can apply using a grease gun or a rag

Silicone grease is also essential in laboratories, industries, and consumers. Its wide usage is due to its unique qualities like water, UV rays, and natural gas resistance.

In addition, chemicals and rough or foreign environments do not affect the silicone grease lubricant much. Silicone grease is also resistant to different temperature ranges and is non-toxic. 

The grease lubricant is also waterproof and durable. Once you apply it to your plumbing, fixtures will cure and protect the surface from rust, dirt, and corrosion.

You can also use it to make a product waterproof, thus protecting it from water-induced damages.

#1. Uses of Silicone Grease

One can use silicone grease for different purposes, from cooking to industrial usage. Its usage includes refrigerators, cars, and other electronic products.

You can also use it to coat prosthetic eyes, cameras, treadmills, and other sports tools and equipment.

Silicone grease comes in various formulations, depending on where you want to apply it.

For instance, electrical components will require heat-resistant, thick, and toxic formulations to function, while sealing pipes’ formulation is non-toxic and has a thin density.

In chemical laboratories, its application is mostly on lab glassware and tools. It does not interfere with solutions, reactions, or other laboratory chemicals.

Chemists also use silicon paste to separate macromolecules by reducing anomalies in a chemical reaction.

Below are some of the benefits of using silicone grease:

  • The silica thickener and silicon oil composition increases its efficiency
  • It is harmless to consumables, especially when it comes in contact with food.
  • It is also eco-friendly and health-friendly because it contains no solid chemical components
  • It remains stable at high and low temperatures
  • It does not affect plumbing fixtures after application
  • Silicone grease is also thick and does not change the composition of its application areas
  • It is a question of food-grade product, therefore, does not contaminate food products

What Is Plumber’s Grease?        

Plumber’s grease is a silicone-based lubricant that contains a waterproof chemical, or silicone oil and silicone grease.

The plumber’s grease formulation serves a variety of plumbing components for adequate lubrication.

It has a similar form to vaseline because of its thick consistency though it is thicker and more efficient than vaseline.

A plumber’s grease is typically suitable for most plumbing components, like faucets and valves.

With a good silicone grease, you can repair stiff plumbing fixtures, though these fixtures should not connect directly to edibles.

Plumber’s grease is a silicone dielectric grease though thicker and more efficient.

Some plumbing material manufacturers package their plumbing components “pre-greased.” Thus it will not require lubrication before use.

However, some components do not have lubrication and need a plumber’s grease to function correctly. 

To apply the grease, you will need to disconnect the components, consult the manufacturer’s manual, and apply the silicone grease lubricant where necessary.

For example, you can apply the plumber’s silicone grease on gaskets, handles, toilets, swivels, shower heads, and cartridges.

It also protects your plumbing fixtures from rusting and waste build-up. You will require tools like a spanner, screwdriver, a clean cloth, or a grease gun to apply.

If it is a complex process, you can contact an expert plumber to apply the silicone grease dielectric lubricant.

It’s an effective, high-value grease product that is easy to apply. It will offer excellent lubrication and not damage the plumbing fixture.

However, due to its high formation, it is a health risk if it contaminates consumable water. In addition, it is also water-resistant and does not react to oxidation.   

Difference Between Silicone Grease and Plumber’s Grease Usage  

From our observations above in the plumbers and silicone grease definition and usage, both types of grease have slightly different applications.

Therefore, you should consider the application location and risk before selecting suitable grease for your needs.

In addition, it would be best to consider which grease silicone lubricant will affect your health.

Plumber grease consists of high chemical formulations containing harmful substances that react when they come in contact with water.

You can only apply this silicone dielectric grease on plumbing fixtures that do not directly connect to drinkable or cooking water.

The health risk of the plumber’s grease can be dangerous if you do not consider it when applying the grease to your plumbing components.

Silicone grease is similar to the plumber’s grease but does not cause any harm to human health

It does not contain high toxins like the plumber’s grease. Therefore you can apply it to internal plumbing fixtures that directly connect to consumable water.

However, apart from the toxic difference, you can apply silicone lubricants to your plumbing fixtures.

They also have similar properties and application styles.

Plumbers GreaseSilicone Grease
You cannot apply it to consumable water supply fixtures.Convenient for consumable water sources
It can cause health risks if it contacts edible water sourcesIt is safe and health risk-free
It has only one varietyIt comes in different formulations variety
It is more effective due to its high formulationIt is not as effective as a plumber’s grease.
It is a combination of silicone grease and other chemical additivesIt contains virgin silicone oil and silica thickener

Silicone Grease Vs. Plumbers Grease Comparison            

Silicone and plumber’s grease are both suitable silicone lubricants though they have slight differences.

Here is a summary of their comparison:

#1. Contact with Drinkable Water

Silicone grease is more convenient if the surface of the application or plumbing components allows the flow of potable water or comes in contact with drinkable water.

Its risk-free usage because it does not dissolve in water due to its water-resistant quality. You can also apply silicone grease on dental tools, cooking equipment, and any ingestible material. 

On the other hand, you cannot use plumbers grease on ingestable materials and food.

However, you can apply it on surfaces that do not come in contact with consumables. In this case, silicone grease will be safer and health risk-free.

#2. Lubricant Formulation

The formulation of both silicone and plumber’s grease also differs in comparison. Plumber’s grease contains a variety of high chemical formulations and silicon grease.

These chemicals are dangerous for consumption, which means they have limited usage.

On the other hand, silicone grease comprises silicone oil and silica thickener to increase its consistency and efficiency. 

Final Thoughts

Silicone and plumber’s grease are effective lubricants, but you must consider their application location before using them.

In addition, a plumber’s grease is more suitable for plumbing components carrying non-consumable materials, which limits its use. Silicone grease is more convenient and safer for ingestible materials.

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