Best Lube for Garage Doors: Silicone vs. Lithium
Does your garage door make a ton of noise when opening and closing? Is the noise so loud you worry about the door itself shaking right off the tracks? If so, it’s time for a little lubrication. But what is the best lube for garage doors: silicone or lithium?
Both are perfectly acceptable. Just make sure you stay away from some of the stuff you have hanging around your workshop. For example, traditional WD-40 is not a garage door lubricant — though WD-40 does make a garage door-specific product now. Using traditional WD-40 can actually do more harm than good.
But back to our original question: What’s the best lube for garage doors? Here’s a look at both silicone and lithium options, as well as some product recommendations for each.
|Blaster Garage Door Lubricant (Best Overall!)||Silicone|
|3M 08877 (Best All-Purpose!)||Silicone|
|Lucas Oil 10533 (Best Lithium!)||Lithium|
The Benefits of Silicone Garage Door Lube
You’ll find silicone garage door lube in a spray can that often features a thin nozzle for focused application. This nozzle comes in handy as you try to apply the lubrication into tight spaces like garage door hardware and rollers.
Apply silicone garage door lube liberally along the hinges and tracks of your garage door. It’s always a good idea to wipe down these areas with a damp rag before you get started, which gives you a nice and clean area to apply the lubrication.
A lot of homeowners wonder how often a garage door needs lubrication. The easy answer is this: Just listen to your door’s operation. The louder it gets, the more likely that it needs lubrication. But if you’re looking for a rule of thumb, apply silicone lubrication twice a year.
Blaster Garage Door Lubricant — Best Overall!
If you’re anything like me, you prefer products that are designed for specific tasks. You can find silicone lubrication that’s nice to have around the house. But wouldn’t you prefer a silicone lubricant that’s specially designed for a garage door?
I use Blaster Garage Door Lubricant, which is a silicone-based product. It does what you need it to do — smooth out garage door operation and quiet the thunderous noise that grows louder over time. It also prevents dirt and dust buildup wherever you apply it, which helps further prevent rough and loud operation.
Another thing I prioritize above pretty much anything else: I want home improvement products I don’t have to worry about. That’s what the Blaster Garage Door Lubricant is to me. I put it on the shelf and it sits there. When I feel like my garage door is getting a little noisy, I grab it, quickly apply the lubricant, and I’m done. There’s no huge mess, and there’s no worrying about over-application — which can be a challenge with lithium lubricants
Is Blaster Garage Door Lubricant Right for You?
3M 08877 — Best All-Purpose Lube
Brand name matters when shopping for superior products, the best lube for garage doors and otherwise. And 3M is a brand name to be trusted. This company is synonymous with solutions in home improvement and in other industries. And the 3M 08877 silicone lubricant is a fine general solution when you need lube for garage doors and other household appliances and items.
What other items might need lubrication? You might have door hardware that’s sticking or otherwise not working properly. You might have SUV hatches that aren’t working properly. Lawn equipment sometimes needs a little bit of lubricant. Pretty much anything that is prone to sticking can use some lube from time to time, and this product from 3M is ideal for getting those stuck items unstuck.
You can choose either wet or dry options, though I would strongly recommend using wet lubricant for garage doors. While I strongly prefer the Blaster option for garage doors, you may want a more general lubricant that can be used to eliminate squeaks and rough operation in other products. If so, spring for the 3M 08877 silicone lubricant.
Is 3M 08877 Right for You?
The Benefits of Lithium Garage Door Lube
You can find lithium lubrication in a spray can, but it’s much more likely to come in a tube. Lithium lubrication is a little bit thicker than silicone, which means you have to be careful to apply only a thin layer to rollers and tracks. If you apply too much, dust, dirt and grime can find their way onto your garage door parts and actually make the door’s operation louder and less smooth. You certainly don’t want that.
I’ll be honest: I’ve never tested out spray-on lithium. I’ve used the lithium tubes before, and they can be a messy operation. It’s not impossible to apply lithium cleanly, but I’ve had far better luck (and results) when using silicone-based products.
The greater challenge with lithium is that it’s hard to apply into tiny crevices and tight spots — like those you’ll find around your garage door joints and hinges. You can work hard at getting lithium lubrication down into those spots, or you can simply choose a silicone product that includes a thin nozzle for the specific task of reaching those tight spaces.
Lucas Oil 10533 — Best Lithium Lube
Often times, the choice between silicone and lithium comes down to prior experience and preference. Perhaps you’ve always used a lithium-based lubricant, and that’s what you want. I prefer silicone because it’s clean, easy and effective. But lithium can get the job done — and Lucas Oil 10533 is your best option if you do prefer a lithium product.
This is multi-purpose lubrication, which means it can be used on your garage door as well as other household appliances and items — a lot like the 3M silicone lube. Also like 3M, Lucas Oil is a trusted name in formulating chemical solutions for household problems. You might know Lucas Oil because that’s the name of the stadium where the Indianapolis Colts play. But Lucas Oil is more than just a stadium. It’s a brand you can trust when you need dependable lube for garage doors and other household items. If you’re set on finding a lithium lubricant, you can’t beat this option.
Is Lucas Oil 10533 Right for You?
Final Thoughts on Choosing the Best Lube for Garage Doors
A garage door is made up of so many moving parts, each of which needs to be working at its peak potential for your garage door to operate at its peak potential. The best way to keep your garage door in good shape is to be proactive about maintenance — like applying lubrication. When you apply lubrication and take other proactive maintenance measures, you help prevent the need for expensive repairs and replacement.
You can apply lubrication on your own, but any more serious maintenance or repair tasks should involve a professional. A lot of what needs to be done to garage doors requires specialized tools and knowledge. A garage door is under an immense amount of weight and tension, which is what makes it work. But that weight and tension can pose a safety risk if you get into troubleshooting and more advanced maintenance and repairs.
Stick to the lube as your go-to maintenance action. Call on the pros for everything else.
Have you used a different type of lube with great success? If so, let us know about it in the comments section below. Also, you can always reach out to us directly using our contact page.
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