Lubricating oils for domestic use


Household lubricating oils, such as Svitol and WD-40, are essential tools for maintaining mechanical equipment and devices. Their ability to reduce friction, prevent rust, and remove impurities makes them indispensable in many contexts. This article examines the chemical composition of these lubricants and provides guidance on their correct use.


  • Mineral Oil: they are derived from petroleum and consist mainly of saturated hydrocarbons (paraffinic and naphthenic) with carbon chains ranging from C15 to C50. They provide the primary lubricant base, reducing friction between moving metal surfaces.
  • Solvents Aliphatic Hydrocarbons: they are open carbon chains that act as solvents (hexane or pentane). They help dissolve grease, old oil, and other impurities, improving the cleaning ability of the lubricant.
  • Corrosion inhibitors:

    they are made up of molecules such as bis(tridecyl)dithionium-1,3,4-thiadiazole or fatty acids amides. They are additives that form a protective layer on metal surfaces, preventing the formation of oxides and rust.

  • Propellants:

    are gaseous compounds such as butane, propane, or carbon dioxide (CO₂). In aerosol formats, they simply serve to expel the product from the can.


  • Surface Preparation: Make sure the surface to be treated is clean and free of dust, dirt, or old oil residue. Use a dry cloth or an appropriate cleaner.
  • Application: Shake the can well before use. Spray the lubricant directly on the surface to be treated, holding the can about 15-20 cm away. Apply an even layer, avoiding excesses which could accumulate dust and dirt.
  • Distribution: If possible, move the mechanical parts to evenly distribute the lubricant. Use a clean cloth to remove excess lubricant, preventing buildup.

Common uses

  • Lubrication of Moving Parts: Reduces friction and wear, improving operational efficiency and component life. Examples include door hinges, bicycle chains or mechanical tools.
  • Corrosion Protection: Prevents rust, prolonging the useful life of objects such as garden tools, mechanical tools or any exposed metal surface.
  • Cleaning: The solvent property is effective in removing grease, old oil and other impurities. Suitable for example for removing adhesive labels or cleaning dirty metal surfaces.

Types of lubricants

Lubricating oils are available in different formulations, each designed for specific applications and conditions of use. For example, two macro categories are lubricants for internal use and lubricants for external use.

Lubricants for Internal Use

They are usually composed of a base of light mineral or synthetic oils, with additives aimed at reducing friction and wear. They contain corrosion inhibitors, anti-wear agents, and thermal stabilizers. They have a low viscosity, suitable for penetrating tight spaces without excessive leakage. They are formulated to have a low odor and minimize the production of toxic fumes, and are often designed to leave no residue or stains on internal materials.

Lubricants for External Use

They are made of mineral or synthetic oils with high resistance to atmospheric agents. They contain more powerful corrosion inhibitors, waterproofing agents, and UV stabilizers.

They have high viscosity and resist washing and evaporation better under harsh external conditions. They are formulated to protect metal surfaces from humidity, rain, and salt, maintaining their lubricating and protective properties for long periods, even in extreme conditions.

In addition to the above types, there are special lubricants designed for specific applications, for example for bicycle chains, locks, engines, etc.