Plant-Based vs. Petroleum LubricantsDid you know the stuff in that blue & red can you use to treat a squeaky door hinge or stuck screw is made from petroleum? Maybe you could tell by the smell—or perhaps because you get headaches when you use it indoors. That petroleum-based lubricant contains some serious chemicals that are bad for your health—and, you guessed it, not great for the environment either.
Thankfully, that bad-for-you-and-the-planet petroleum lubricant isn’t your only option these days. Enter: High-performance lubricants made with plants. Let’s break down exactly what you need to know about the dangers of petroleum, the benefits of plant-based lubricants, and if the WD-40 alternatives really work as promised.
What’s So Bad About Petroleum?Petroleum is a liquid found under the earth’s surface that’s made of massive quantities of microscopic dead organisms (algae and other small organisms mainly). Millions of products use petroleum—from jet fuel to plastics to lip balms.
A concerning component of petroleum-based products is phthalates. These man-made chemicals are derived from petroleum and used in countless products. Scientists and governmental agencies have banned some phthalates while others are still allowed, despite concerns that they cause low testosterone levels, ADD, diminished IQ, and a host of other problems.
Then there’s the issue of extracting petroleum. Giant machines dig into the earth disturbing habitats. Companies continue digging deeper into remote areas to find more oil, causing more destruction. All of this creates a massive carbon footprint from the machines used to mine the oil to the ships that deliver it around the world. And that’s without even taking into account the catastrophic oil spills and explosions that have happened throughout history, and continue to happen today.
The Benefits of Plant-Powered LubricantsBio-based (or plant-based) products come from renewable organic materials, unlike non-sustainable and non-replenishable resources such as petroleum. For examples, we can always grow more plants, but there’s a finite amount of oil in the world, and after we use all of it, there’s no making more. Plant-based lubricants come with five great benefits:
- SAFER FOR THE PLANET — Plant-based lubricants reduce the downsides of petroleum production and use, including conventional greenhouse gas emissions, exhaustible resource depletion, and dependence on unstable foreign suppliers.
- BIODEGRADABLE — Plant-based oils degrade quickly, with some degrading in just weeks. Remember the giant Deepwater Horizon oil spill? Yale researchers found it could take 30 years for those clumps of oil and sand to decompose.
- SUPER, SUPER LUBRICATING — Plant-based oils have excellent lubricity! Yep, that’s a real word for the measure of the reduction in friction and or wear by a lubricant. Plant-based oils’ viscosity (how it flows) stays fairly consistent when it’s heated or cooled, so it performs well under multiple conditions.
- LESS FLAMMABLE — Plant-based lubricants have flash points of just over six hundred degrees for soybean-based oil vs. around four hundred for mineral oil. This means there’s less danger from accidental ignition.
- REDUCES WASTE & EXPENSE — Plant-based oils don’t evaporate at the same rate as petroleum-based oils, so you can use less over time for reduced waste and expense. All while protecting against environmental conditions that cause rust and corrosion to keep your gear in play longer.
What About Performance? Do Plant-Based Lubricants Really Work?Perhaps you tried a natural dish soap that didn’t clear off grease as well as you liked. Maybe you’re thinking, “I’ve used greener, more sustainable options in many categories and they never work as well.” We hear you, sometimes there’s an efficacy tradeoff many of us are willing to make for the long-term upside. But you won’t find that trade off with Gear Hugger Multi-purpose Lubricant.
We created Gear Hugger as a plant-based petroleum-alternative that doesn’t sacrifice performance. In fact, Gear Hugger has 3x the lubricating power of the leading petroleum-based brand!
Pretty crazy, right? If you’re wondering how this is possible, we found plant-derived lubricants worked better under hot or cold conditions, degrade quickly upon disposal, and aren’t as flammable. And before we knew it, we had created a game-changing, earth-saving product that’s perfect for thousands of uses.
See How Well Gear Hugger WorksPlants can be just as powerful within sustainable products as they are gentle on the Earth. Here at Gear Hugger, we’re a bunch of tree-hugging, gear-loving people. If our product didn’t perform, we’d kick it out of our garages and we’d certainly never go through the process of producing, bottling, and selling it. Have we mentioned it has 3x the lubricating power of the leading brand???
Don't believe our performance claims? Awesome—we love a challenge! See for yourself how plant-based Gear Hugger performs against a traditional lubricant in our controlled test. They try in at home for yourself.