What can I use instead of lube? 2021 Best Lube Alternatives


Got a date tonight and you know things might get spicy? Or did you just found yourself left alone, in need of a quick tip for what you may use as a personal lube for solo action? Basically, to stumble upon this article, you must be wondering: “What on earth can I use instead of lube???”

Don’t worry, we have researched in-depth through many household items that you might have at home. And we are going to tell you exactly which and why, should or shouldn’t be used as a personal lubricant. Below you’ll find your answers, with the list of items you can safely use as a replacement for your (personal) lube.

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Now let’s answer the question you are here for – What can I use instead of lube? The best and the fastest way you can get your answer, is by watching the video below.

For more in-depth information on the topic and a specific lube alternative, simply scroll down, use the table of contents, and keep reading.

Hope you find our article helpful. Enjoy!

Here’s our video 15 best lube alternatives: what should and shouldn’t be used instead of lube.

For even more household items that can be used as lube, see this article about 9 healthy lube substitutes.


Can you use Shampoo as lube?

Is using shampoo as a sexual lubricant good or bad?
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No. Using shampoo as a lube is just a big no! Although one might think it could work, it doesn’t. It’s not even good for your skin if you are daily using shampoo for showering. Recommended frequency for showering with shampoo is once, max twice per week. Any other day, you should consider rinsing with pure water only. So do not use shampoo instead of lube, ever.

Verywellhealth.com says: “The biggest problem with too frequent showering is that it strips your skin of natural oils. Human skin is covered with a fine layer of oil called sebum.”

For minimizing this effect caused by most of modern shampoos, we recommend checking out WOW Natural Shampoos (link to Amazon). Made of natural bioactives and containing organic virgin coconut oil, this is one of top quality choices for your hair care.

Using shampoo as a personal lube will have really bad effect to your sensitive skin. Using it for a few times in a row, might even bring to serious problems. It will dehidrate your skin and irritate it. Peeing will become painful and you will need about a week or two to recover fully.


Can you use Olive Oil as a lube for sex?

Can you use olive oil as lube?
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Yes. In case you have cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil at your home, you can feel safe to use it instead of lube and as a part of your private acts. Olive oil is healthy and edible, thus being perfect choice when oral sex is in game. Looking from a health point of view, olive oil is a perfect option for your skin, digestion and body overall. You can also read our in-depth analysis of olive oil being used as lube in connection to health.


However, there are certain critical points you should be aware of:

  • Oils can break condoms. Using olive oil in combination with condoms is a bad idea. Oils dissolve condoms, which might lead to impregnating your sex partner, plus having remains of dissolved condom spread all over the interior of vagina just can’t be healthy for a girl. Wellandgood.com says: “As little as 60 seconds of exposure to oil can degrade latex condoms.”
  • Oils will dissolve dental dams. For those wondering what a dental dam is, here is definition from glamour.com: “A dental dam is a latex or polyurethane sheet created to block off teeth for dental surgery and repurposed to prevent STIs during oral sex.” Oil and latex just don’t go along hand to hand. Person wearing a dental dam can not use olive oil as a sexual lube, because dental dam will degrade when in contact with olive oil.
  • Oils can stain your sheets. Olive oil comes in golden-yellowish color. And if you ever had to clean a shirt that you somehow managed to stain with an olive oil, you know how hard (maybe even impossible) it was. Apply the same logic to your bed sheets. Smearing those with lots of olive oil may make you want to regret that particular sex act. Too late? Already got dirty sheets? Here’s how you can clean olive oil stains.

Speaking of Olive Oil, have you ever heard of Théa Olive Oil (link to Amazon)? Théa is a premium, family ran, olive oil brand. Their oil is made of organically grown olives, handpicked and harvested from family olive groves in Greece. The flavor of Théa olive oil is very rich and delicious.


Can I use Cooking Oil instead of lube?

Can I use cooking oil as lube
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Using cooking oil as a personal lube is not recommended. The only exception are extra-virgin cold pressed oils. Why? Standard industrial cooking oils are usually refined. These oils are also called RBD oils – Refined, Bleached and Deodorized – these oils are heavily processed and contain traces of various (toxic) chemicals. You may recognize these oils by being the cheapest mass-product available in a nearby store.

One of such chemicals is Hexane C6H14. Hexane is highly toxic solvent used for oil extraction. It is a standard element used for extracting oil from seeds and vegetables. To eliminate Hexane from these oils, the oils are exposed to high heat. By using heat they lower hexane level to less than 2% of total ingredients. By the regulations of FDA, companies do not need to list Hexane on the ingredients list (declaration label) if the total level of Hexane is below 2%. Here is an interesting “foreign” video showing hexane being used for extraction process.


Let’s take a look at what this study has to say about Hexane effects to human health [source epa.gov]:

  • Acute (short-term) inhalation exposure of humans to high levels of hexane causes mild centralnervous system (CNS) effects, including dizziness, giddiness, slight nausea, and headache.
  • Chronic (long-term) exposure to hexane in air is associated with polyneuropathy in humans, with numbness in theextremities, muscular weakness, blurred vision, headache, and fatigue observed.

Therefore, we believe using RBD cooking oils instead of lube is a very bad idea. You should avoid applying chemicals such as Hexane to your sensitive body parts and you should avoid consuming such products also. Personally I use lard (pork fat) for cooking and olive oil for dishes prepared cold. And as we mentioned, it is safe to use cold-pressed virgin oils instead of lube (olive, coconut, almond, …), so if you have something like that in your kitchen arsenal go ahead.


Is Johnson’s Baby Oil safe to use as lubricant?

Is It Safe to Use Baby Oil as Lube
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Well I believe after reading this, some of you keeping baby oil at home, will stop using it on your children. And that’s not because we would like to apply the logic “If olive oil is made of olives, than what baby oil is made of,” lol.


Actually, baby oil is made of mineral oil. Minerals you say? Sounds good so far doesn’t it? Let’s see how it’s made [source: chemicalsafetyfacts.org]:

Mineral oil is a clear, odorless liquid and a common ingredient in a variety of cosmetics and personal care products. Mineral oil is made from highly refined, purified and processed petroleum. – Wait, petroleum? Yes, petroleum, as in gasoline. And here’s what happens if you consume some of it.


Basically what baby oil does is, it creates an impermeable oily layer on top of your skin, not allowing any fluids to come out. Therefore, in a short term your skin will become softer due to extra fluids being trapped inside. But it may also cause acne, since your pores are being clogged. This properties are not in any way applied to natural cold-pressed oils (e.g. virgin coconut oil) which are all highly absorbable and healthy for your skin.


Here is what Tara Folley (follain.com founder) has to say about safety of using mineral oil:

First off, mineral oil is distilled from crude oil, which is not only gross to consider applying to your skin, and harmful to the planet, but it’s also known to congest and irritate many skin types. Another reason mineral oil is restricted from Follain is due to the fact that it can be contaminated with potentially carcinogenic PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons).


Do not use baby oil instead of lube or for that matter, do not include it in any type of sexual activity. Why? Due to its main compound being highly processed petroleum. It’s not safe, it’s not healthy, it’s not ecological to our planet… We recommend you switch to something natural to use as a lube, and more importantly for moisturizing your child’s skin. Extra virgin coconut oil is one of our favorite choices, and here you can also find a DIY recipe on how to make it at home.


Can Aloe Vera gel be used as a lube?

Homemade 100% Natural Water-Based Lubricant Aloe Vera
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Yes, Aloe Vera gel, which you can find inside of the aloe leaves, works great as a lube and has plenty of beneficial effects to human skin. It’s even good for digestion, since it contains more than 200 bioactives. Aloe Vera gel is healthy & water-based so you can use aloe safely instead of lube, even with condoms and your favorite sex toys.


Aloe Vera has been used since ancient times for medicinal and beauty purposes. There are documents proving that both Cleopatra and Nefretete were using Aloe Vera as part of their beauty care. Here’s an article thoroughly describing medical practices involving Aloe Vera as a key ingredient.

If you’d like to know more about how to make Aloe Vera lube, we recommend you check out our DIY recipe on aloe personal lubricant. If there’s an aloe growing near you, go grab it, cut off some leaves and you can make your lube in a matter of minutes.

One may think you merely take out the gel from aloe plant and use it, which is not the optimal solution, because it will absorb too fast and may even become sticky. The most important step is after you separate gel from the leaves, you should also use sieve and soft water to make your natural aloe lube. For a step-by-step including video presentation, see this article.


Can I use Nivea body lotion as lube?

Can I use Nivea body lotion as lube
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Is using Nivea Body Lotion as a sexual lubricant safe?

We do not believe that using Nivea Body Lotion is a good choice to use instead of lubricant. Here’s why: First of all, it’s water based – it is going to absorb into skin way to fast and you will need to reapply it frequently in order to achieve silky smooth glide effect. Second, it contains acidic ingredients and ingredients that are alcohol based, which may irritate sensitive skin types. Third, it’s meant for external use only.


Let’s jump right to the list of ingredients:

  • Aqua [water]
  • Paraffinum Liquidum [petroleum by-product that coats the skin like plastic]
  • Isohexadecane [iso-paraffin emollient]
  • Glycerin [trihydroxyalcohol with localized osmotic diuretic and laxative effects]
  • Isopropyl Palmitate [ester of isopropyl alcohol and palmitic acid]
  • Cera Microcristallina [hydrocarbon wax derived from petroleum]
  • PEG-40 Sorbitan Perisostearate [mixture of isostearic acid esters of sorbitol condensedwith an average of 40 moles of ethylene oxide]
  • Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate [diester of Isostearic Acid and Polyglycerin-3]
  • Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil [Sweet Almond oil extracted from the seed kernels of the sweet almond plant]
  • Magnesium Sulfate [magnesium salt having sulfate as the counterion]
  • Sodium Citrate [pH Adjuster]
  • Citric Acid [used as an excipient in pharmaceutical preparations due to its antioxidant properties],
  • Potassium Sorbate [potassium salt having sorbate as the counterion]
  • Linalool [it has a role as a plant metabolite, a volatile oil component, an antimicrobial agent and a fragrance – it is a tertiary alcohol and a monoterpenoid]
  • Limonene [used as a solvent for rosin, waxes, rubber; as a dispersing agent for oils, resins, paints, lacquers, varnishes, and in floor waxes and furniture polishes]
  • Benzyl Alcohol [aromatic alcohol that consists of benzene bearing a single hydroxymethyl substituent]
  • Geraniol [flavouring agent Geraniol is a monoterpenoid and an alcohol]
  • Citronellol [an unsaturated liquid alcohol with a roselike odor that is found in two optically active forms in many essential oils and is used in perfumery and soaps]
  • Butylphenyl Methylpropional [main trade name: »Lilial«, the substance is under study to possibly be classified as a CMR2 (substances suspected of being carcinogenic, mutagenic, or reprotoxic for humans) for its possible effects on fertility]
  • Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone [a synthetic compound in the form of a colorless liquid – adds fragrance, used as perfume]


Can you use Coconut Oil for lube?

DIY cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil for erotic massage
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We’ve written two natural DIY methods for creating your homemade coconut oil for sexual lube. Both of these methods will provide you with one the most amazing natural lubricants you can not only safely use for sexual acts, but also as a part of skin care, hair care, sensual massage and even for improving your metabolism. Using coconut oil instead of lube is a good option, especially if you can get your hand on cold-pressed extra virgin coconut oil.


The only downside of coconut oil is that it’s incompatible with condoms. But it is safe to use with silicone toys. Oil does not dissolve silicone. You should worry more about that if you are using silicone-based lube, which of course does not work with silicone toys. So basically if you are not planning on using protection, coconut oil is one of the best solutions to use instead of lube. As long as it’s natural (virgin).


Some sources speak of using coconut oil may contribute to certain complications. Such as:

  • Vaginal infection;
  • Coconut oil having wrong pH;
  • Coconut oil being antibacterial, thus killing good bacteria;
  • Etc.

What a coincidence it is, that such claims are being published mainly by manufacturers of Silicon and Petroleum based lubes and are not supported by any facts. Here you can find scientific article busting coconut oil myths and all the answers you might have on safety of using coconut oil in bed. Conclusion: coconut oil is natural and safe to use for all private acts, excluding the use with condoms.


I personally use cold-pressed virgin coconut oil for my private acts and it has always been one of my favorite choice as a lube. Here is what other people say [source: foriawellness.com]:

  • Sheri on Sep 18, 2019: My husband and I have used coconut oil exclusively for the past 4 years and I have never had any sort of infection. Not one.
  • Lynne on Aug 10, 2019: The purest of the water based lubes are very expensive and they dry out so quickly, needing reapplication often, and they’re sticky. I’m so glad we finally gave virgin organic coconut oil a try. No yeast infections, smells wonderful and silky smooth.
  • Dawn on Jul 09, 2019: My gynecologist said they have been recommending coconut oil as a lubricant for the past 5 years. No one has reported any problems. I have tried all sorts of lube and coconut oil works best for me.

What happens if you use Vaseline as a lubricant?

vaseline safe as lube for sex?
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Vaseline was never made for being used as a sexual lubricant. And we advise against using Vaseline as your choice instead of proper lube. Same applies for other petroleum-based products on this list.

All petroleum jelly’s work as a barrier. Applying petroleum jelly to your skin forms a thin impermeable layer, blocking body fluids from coming out, thus making your skin softer. Petroleum jelly is water resistant and cant be washed off with water. Using Vaseline as a personal lube might leave traces of it inside your vagina (or anal cavity) for days, maybe even weeks.

If you are thinking about using it for masturbation, we also advise against it – especially if there is a chance of you having sex with your partner in the next few days. You might still have traces of Vaseline on you, transferring those into your partner. If there is no chance of you having sexual acts with another person any time soon, there should be no problem if you use it once (men solo action). That is, in case you have nothing better to use instead of lube and you’re really “in need”. Just don’t not use it frequently, because long-term use might lead to problems.


There is even a warning written on the Vaseline label, saying: “For external use only.” So, use it according to the purpose for which it was made. You can read full article on Vaseline as lube here.


Can you use Sweet Almond Oil for lube?

almond oil as a personal lubricant
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Are you one of those people enjoying sweet almond oil in your cuisine? But could almond oil be also used instead of lube, and for other therapeutic purposes?

According to grinbergnews.com sweet Almond Oil is a perfect natural choice to use instead of lube. I most certainly agree with their statement “If it’s safe to eat, it’s generally safe to apply.” It is very important that you understand, we are here talking about cold-pressed almond oil (avoid refined, processed oils which contain additional ingredients and chemicals). Not only is sweet almond oil a healthy and amazing addition for your late night activities, it is also amazing for skin, hair and digestion. Read here in this article, how to prepare a perfect body scrub using almond oil as the main ingredient.


As with any other oil-based lubricants, sweet almond oil shouldn’t be used with condoms. It will dissolve (break down) the condom. So, in-case you are planning on doing safe sex, do not go for sweet almond oil as your choice of lube – or any oil for that matter. For safe sex, you should pick between water-based lubes or silicone-based sexual lubricants.

Other than that go for it and enjoy the pleasures of natural, chemical free, sweet almond oil. Another benefit: almond oil will glide perfectly on your skin as it is thin, smooth and lasts for a really long time. Reading all these benefits of using sweet almond oil, made you think of getting one for yourself? Here is my choice: made of the best quality, natural, cold-pressed Sweet Almond Oil by Viva Naturals.


Can you use Aquaphor instead of lube?

safe to use Aquaphor as lube
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A woman I know asked me about this. She and her husband used Aquaphor in bed and she came to me asking if it’s safe. Lots of people got Aquaphor at home, usually with a purpose such as healing minor skin irritations, for preventing dry skin, diaper rash, etc. However, is it safe to use Aquaphor as a lube for sex?

You’ll probably think I am being paranoid here, but with all honesty, just by looking at the ingredients I strongly advise against using Aquaphor as a sexual lubricant. There will probably be nothing wrong if you use it once, but long term use may lead to problems. Aquaphor is petroleum-based, made 47% of active ingredient petrolatum (aka petroleum jelly). We strongly advise against using petroleum-based products in general, for they are highly processed and refined and may be contaminated with PAHs.


Aquaphor, list of ingredients:

  1. Petrolatum (41%).
  2. Mineral Oil.
  3. Ceresin.
  4. Lanolin Alcohol.
  5. Panthenol.
  6. Glycerin.
  7. Bisabolol.

You can freely search on how (un)healthy all those ingredients are to human body. But in my case, when buying a new lube to try, I’m usually searching for sexual lubricants that are:

  • natural,
  • alcohol free,
  • parabens free,
  • and without glycerin.

Can you use Cornstarch to make a lube?

How do you make personal lubricant with cornstarch
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Using cornstarch instead of lube? I never thought about cornstarch being used as a sexual lubricant, until a friend told me about it. I then went to do some research and eventually tried it… and here’s what I found.

It certainly can get a bit messy, but indeed cornstarch can be used to make a healthy personal lube alternative. Cornstarch is gluten free, protects against frictional injuries, and it works as a shield against yeast and fungal infections. From health point of view, cornstarch is a good choice to use instead of lube. Here is our complete DIY recipe for making a lube from cornstarch.


Note that cornstarch lube is water-based, meaning it’s safe to use in combination with other materials. You can use cornstarch lube with condoms and sex toys, regardless of the material.

Cornstarch lube is safe to eat, and can even be “good” to eat, if you add in your preferred scent (e.g. you can add vanilla essential oil). Which makes it a good lube for oral sexual activities.

Same as in coconut oil case, some people are worried about the possibility that cornstarch may cause yeast infections. Scientific studies disprove such theories. National Institute Of Health written about correlation between Cornstarch and Candida albicans and here’s what they say [source ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]:

“These studies indicate that cornstarch and talc powders do not enhance the growth of yeasts on human skin and do provide protection against frictional injury.”


Is using Butter as a personal lube a good idea?

butter as a lube for sex any good
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If you watched the movie Last Tango in Paris starring Marlon Brando, you’ve probably seen that scene where butter is used as a lube. But can butter really be used instead of lube? Is it safe? Healthy?

We do not recommend using butter as a substitute for personal lubricant. Butter is made of milk and contains casein proteins. In cow’s milk, approximately 82% of milk protein is casein and the remaining 18% is serum, or whey protein. The problem is, casein proteins may become rancid (start to rot) pretty quickly. To have rotting stuff inside your vagina or anus, is not just completely gross but also unhealthy and may cause complications.

Second key point to note is; Do you have a natural homemade butter? If not, your butter bought from the local store, most certainly contains additives. Such as diacetyl C4H6O2 for example. Diacetyl can be found also in popcorn and margarine and is used in food industry as a preservative and also to add buttery flavor to foods that would naturally be more or less flavorless.


Here is a study of mice exposure to diacetyl, published by National Institutes of Health [source ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]:

Subacute exposure to 200 or 400 ppm diacetyl for 5 days caused deaths, necrotizing rhinitis, necrotizing laryngitis and bronchitis. Reducing the exposure to 1 h/day (100, 200, 400 ppm) for 4 weeks resulted in less nasal and laryngeal toxicity, but led to peribronchial and peribronchiolar lymphocytic inflammation.


Unbelievable… the thing we consume… Ok, if we go back to lubrication topic – I’ve seen some sources claiming margarine is fine to use as a lube. Well… It isn’t… it’s even more artificial and contains even more chemicals than butter. Avoid butter and margarine as a personal lube, period.


So, what are your best choices to use instead of Lube?

We covered 12 household items that one might think about using instead of personal lube. Out of 12, we found 5 of them to be perfectly safe, healthy and appropriate to use as a lube.

“What can I use instead of LUBE?”

In general, avoid using unnatural stuff that are meant for external use only. It’s best to use natural oils such as Virgin Coconut Oil, Natural Almond Oil, even Olive Oil can work fine and are healthy to use. When using oils you should always be careful not to use them with condoms!

There is also an amazing Aloe Vera gel with its medicinal benefits, from which you can make a water-based lube in just few minutes and use it safely even with condoms and your favorite toys. And did you ever try to make a lube from Cornstarch? Cornstarch can also be a healthy choice to use instead of lube.


If you’d like to know more about sexual lubricants, you may find useful tips in our article about 11 Natural Sex Lubes, where we list 4 DIY homemade lubes and also commercially available 7 lubes which you can buy and are safest to use for you and your partner.


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6 Replies to “What can I use instead of lube? 2021 Best Lube Alternatives”

  1. Wow, didn’t know Olive Oil is a good choice to use instead of lube. I also researched on other websites and it seems olive oil is actually one of the healthiest oils to use for a personal lube. Thank for sharing this post!

    1. Thank you, Mr. Donald. We try to give honest opinion and provide useful tips on using lubes. Olive oil is in-fact a good alternative. You just need to be careful not to use it in “safe sex” (it breaks condoms)!

  2. Hi. Great stuff to read here! :)
    Where can I find what types of sex lubes are there (available on the market) and how do I know which one is the right for me???

    1. Hi Antonio. Glad you liked your read here!
      You can find on our website two articles related to your question:
      1st: https://lubeforsex.com/best-and-safest-lubricant-11-natural-sex-lubes/ where we talk about DIY homemade lubes and also quality commercial lubes we believe are safe to use
      2nd: https://lubeforsex.com/4-types-of-lubricants-and-key-differences/ is a comment reply article, where we created an article based on your comment, to reply your question

      I hope it helps, and we are here for you if you’d like to ask anything else.

  3. Butter takes over a month to go rancid, and it was used 100’s of years ago, as a lube… But it just seems weird to use if you ask me :P

    1. Hey Ole. Thanks for your comment. Maybe other stuff are worse than butter, however, based on our research, it is not an optimal option to use as lube :) (from health perspective)

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