Bulb Grease – What Is It and How to Apply It?

If you replace your car’s lighting system with newer lights and electrical components, make sure they’re going to last. Bulb grease can help extend the life of the lights. What exactly is bulb grease, and why is it significant?

Bulb grease is a type of silicone-based dielectric grease. It’s used to keep electrical connections from corroding and rusting, as well as to improve their efficiency. Electrical connections, light bulbs, floor lamps, taillights, headlights, batteries, and other items can all benefit from it.

Also, bulb grease is waterproof. Silicone and a thickener are used to make it. Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is the most common silicone oil used in the process, and amorphous fumed silica is the thickener.

Read on to know more about bulb grease, including how you can use it to protect the electrical parts, electrical wiring connections, and lights of your car.

What Is Bulb Grease?

bulb grease

Bulb grease is a protective coating that can be applied to your car’s electrical connections, headlights, rear lights, and other electrical components. You can also use it in your home’s electrical sockets.

Its material is silicone dielectric, which improves the efficiency of electrical connections while also avoiding corrosion and rust.

Silicone oil and a thickener are combined to make dielectric grease. The silicone substance contains polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), and the thickener contains amorphous fumed silica.

You’ll save money, time, and effort if you use bulb grease in your next car lighting upgrade. Why? Moisture will not affect your lighting connections or electrical components.

Corrosion and rust will not form on them. These parts will require fewer repairs and replacements as well. It can be used in any lighting upgrade or installation that involves electrical connections and parts.

This bulb grease can be used to seal or protect anything that is put to it. If you use it on electrical connections that are constantly exposed to moisture, it will seal the connection/connectors, preventing moisture from entering and corroding the electrical parts.

How to Apply Bulb Grease?

Apply bulb grease on electrical connections and parts as a rust and corrosion preventative measure. The application of bulb grease is simple, so you can do it on all exposed car electrical connectors regularly.

It should be used on bulbs, spark plug boots, hood electrical connections, and any other connectors that are prone to corrosion and wetness. Bulb grease is available in a large tube or a small packet, depending on the amount of sealing you require.

Follow these steps to apply bulb grease on any connector:

1. Remove the Electrical Component

Remove the bulb from the socket, unhook the connector, or remove the electrical component you’re working with as a first step. Avoid breaking the electrical part, so be careful when removing it. If it breaks, you must replace it before reconnecting the wires.

2. Clean the Connector or Electrical Part

To clean the electrical part or connector:

  • Get a tiny wire brush and combine baking soda and water.
  • Dip the wire brush into the baking soda and water solution.
  • Clean the connector or thread of the light bulb or its socket with the wire brush. Only use light pressure.
  • Continue cleaning the connector or electrical component until it is entirely clean.

3. Remove Tough Dirt Using a Scraper

  • Get a small screwdriver or pick tool. 
  • Scrape the caked and tough dirt off the thread, socket, electrical part, or connector of the light bulb.
  • Carefully scrape the dirt using your scraper.

4. Apply Bulb Grease

  • Open the bulb grease tube or packet.
  • Apply a tiny amount to the cleaned surfaces and socket of the light bulb, or where the connectors meet.
  • The dielectric grease layer will protect the bulb’s cleaned surface as well as the connector from corrosion and rust. It will also be able to conduct electricity.

5. Reassemble the Connector

  • Reconnect the electrical part or gently reassemble the connector or thread in the bulb into its socket.
  • Wipe any excess grease from the connector or electrical part with a cloth or rag.

Why Use Bulb Grease?

what is bulb grease

One of the most common issues with light bulbs is that they’re frequently left alone. It’s prone to corrosion if you don’t check them regularly. Then they eventually stop working.

Why?

This happens because rust has formed in the sockets and bulb threads, preventing electricity from flowing.

Moreover, you may not unstick the bulb on its socket because when this happens, it will be difficult to remove it from the socket. The solution to this problem is light bulb grease. Dielectric grease is mostly used for this purpose.

It prevents corrosion in electrical connectors/connections and guarantees that electricity flows freely.

The lack of ventilation accelerates the bulb’s burnout if it is tightly enclosed in the socket. This condition is exacerbated by heat. Moisture has a role in this as well.

If you want to avoid having to remove a stuck bulb out of its socket, use dielectric or light bulb grease before you thread a light bulb into its socket for the first time. It’s at this point when bulb grease comes in helpful.

Dielectric grease protects light bulbs from water entry. It prevents corrosion and extends the life service of the bulbs. You should learn how to use and apply bulb grease since it will save you time and money.

How to Use Bulb Grease?

In general, the idea is to start with a minimal amount of dielectric grease wherever you wish to use it. Suppose you’re going to use it in the spark plug boots.

This is what you must do:

  1. Squeeze a small amount of grease from the tube or packet it came in.
  2. Coat inside one of the spark plug boots with this small amount of grease.
  3. Do not allow the grease to sink and reach the terminal within the spark plug wire. Your car will experience misfiring if it does.
  4. Apply a bit of grease to the spark plug thread as well.

The most important thing to remember is to only use a small bit of dielectric grease wherever it’s needed.

Bulb grease can also be used on electrical connections. The grease will properly seal the connections and prevent them from corroding due to water and air. Electric arcing can also be avoided by using dielectric grease to coat electrical connections.

Silicone is the main component of bulb grease. So, it shouldn’t be used on surfaces with plastic or silicone-based rubber coatings. Over time, the grease will degrade these materials.

Dielectric grease shouldn’t be applied directly to the mating surfaces of electrical connections or parts like pins and sockets.

Can You Use Bulb Grease in Headlights?

Dielectric grease is often used to seal electrical connectors, preventing moisture and water from penetrating the electrical connection and corroding the pins. For this purpose, it’s known as headlight bulb grease.

However, do you need to apply bulb grease to your car’s headlights? Since most headlights are manufactured with waterproof housing inside, it is not really necessary. 

But if you notice any rust or corrosion on the headlight housing after removing the bulb, you should clean the socket first and then add a little amount of dielectric grease.

Uses of Dielectric Grease

Bulb grease is a non-conductive material because it is silicone-based. It’s also non-curing, which means it won’t harden or solidify over time. It will, however, collect debris over time if it’s exposed to grime and dirt.

You’ll notice its greasy nature as soon as you squeeze it out of the tube or container. It will remain greasy for the rest of its lifetime. Similarly, it behaves like grease and will not harden for an extended period of time. It can also be used as an insulator due to its non-conductive nature.

The effective uses of dielectric grease are as follows:

1. Anti-corrosion and Anti-rust Agent

The use of the proper amount of dielectric grease on electrical connectors like bulb sockets will prevent metal parts from corroding. If the metal parts of electrical sockets are rusted or corroded, their efficiency will suffer. It will prevent the bulb from lighting up when it is turned on.

When exposed to oxygen and air, bare metal undergoes a chemical reaction if left unprotected. It will go through the oxidation process. Because an electrical socket has already been oxidized, it will decrease power flow. This indicates that it is less conductive than before.

how to apply bulb grease

If the socket’s oxidation isn’t too bad, the reduced flow of electricity won’t be much of an issue. However, if the socket’s oxidation is not monitored and addressed, significant conductivity issues will develop over time.

The socket voltage will be reduced in due time, causing the light bulb to malfunction. More serious electrical issues, such as electrical sparks and short circuits, may occur.

2. It’s an Insulator to Prevent Electric Arcing

You can use dielectric grease as an insulator. This idea is related to #1. Electrical sparks are the result of electric arcing. The problem of oxidized or rusted electrical connectors and connections is a serious issue.

Using dielectric grease is an excellent way to prevent electric arcing in connectors and electrical connections. To prevent arcing, it will act as an insulator. If the power source generates a voltage spike, the dielectric grease will reduce the voltage leak.

3. Serves as Water and Moisture Barrier

Bulb grease can be used to secure an electrical connection. The silicone in the grease effectively prevents water and air from coming into touch with the metal of the electrical connectors.

Corrosion and short circuits will no longer be a problem if air and water are not allowed in.

4. Rubber and Plastic Parts Lubricant

It can be used to extend the service life of electrical connectors’ plastic and rubber parts. Lubricating rubber and plastic fittings will also prevent them from fusing with metal components.

In this case, dielectric grease can be used to loosen bulbs, including electrical connectors and connections that are tough to remove and disassemble.

Spark plug threads, for example, can be lubricated with dielectric grease before being inserted into their boots to prevent them from fusing with their boots.

5. Can Be Used in Many Applications

Bulb grease doesn’t dissolve in liquid. Therefore, you can use it in many different ways. You can use this beneficial grease when:

  • Protecting headlamp and bulkhead connectors;
  • Insulating electrical panels, battery terminals, and circuit breakers;
  • Insulating vehicle electrical wiring;
  • Protecting electrical sockets at home; and
  • Protecting ignition coil connectors.

Conclusion – What Is Bulb Grease?

Bulb grease works well to keep electrical sockets and parts free from corrosion and rust. Silicone dielectric grease is the most common type. It will improve electrical connections when applied to electrical parts.

Because it is waterproof, this dielectric grease can protect against moisture. It can be used on electrical connections, tail lights, light bulbs, floodlights, headlights, batteries, and a variety of other things.

How do you apply bulb grease? It’s quite easy to apply bulb grease. The following are the five steps to applying bulb grease:

  1. Remove the Electrical Component
  2. Clean the Connector or Electrical Part
  3. Remove Tough Dirt Using a Scraper
  4. Apply Bulb Grease
  5. Reassemble the Connector