What Can I Use Instead of Lube – Check out These 10 Substitutes!

Here are the 10 lube substitutes that are totally safe for you to use
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Last updatedLast updated: November 15, 2022
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Lube is an essential sex tool. Besides providing extra comfort and pleasure, it prevents you from getting nasty abrasions that result from friction during intercourse. To enjoy all these benefits, you must have some lube lying around. What happens if you have none to save the situation? The right question to ask yourself is, what can I use instead of lube?

This article looks at the 10 best lube alternatives you can use when you run out of lube and sex is on the table. The alternatives can step in when you are facing a dry situation down there and need a quick fix. However, you must be careful with any stand-ins you grab from your household, as they can contain allergens, interfere with condoms, and deteriorate your skin. All the lube substitutes on this list are organic and easy to wash out.

10 Best Substitutes for Lube

These are the best lube alternatives you can easily grab from your household;

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a top favorite for many as it smells great. It is also easy to use because it is solid at room temperature and turns into a liquid at a warmer temperature. Besides having a pleasant, mellow smell, coconut oil is good for the skin.

Virgin coconut oil is better than the refined options because it is purer, and tastes and smells like coconut. You could go with refined coconut oil that doesn’t have fragrance or additives. Nutiva coconut oil is a prime example of virgin coconut oil. It is 100% organic and cold-pressed.

Coconut oil’s only downside is that it deteriorates latex condoms. Do not pair the two during sex if you do not need maximum protection.

Before using coconut oil, ensure both you and your partner have no coconut allergies. An allergic reaction amid coitus could be the worst thing to ever happen to you in a while.

Although coconut oil has antimicrobial and multiple other benefits, it has a high pH that can disrupt the normal pH of your vagina, making you more prone to vaginal infections.

CBD Oil

CBD oil is a perfect lube alternative for sex or masturbation. Essentially, CBD oil is oil with the CBD compound in it. Using CBD oil for lubrication is like using any other oil, but CBD has many health benefits, especially for the skin. Remember that CBD is not THC, so you will not get high amid coitus like many assume.

According to a research article by  Healthline Trusted Source CBD and Libido: Research, Benefits, Drawbacks, and More CBD products that claim to boost libido and increase lubrication are popping up everywhere. Research shows that CBD may help, but more studies are necessary. www.healthline.com , topical CBD has anti-inflammatory effects which can make sex more comfortable. It also claims that CBD can help relax blood vessels and promote better blood flow to the penis, relieving erectile dysfunction and ensuring longer-lasting sex.

If you use CBD oil as a lubricant, ensure it is manufactured with a trusted brand. You can use it without a condom if neither your nor your partner is allergic to hemp. Another concern with CBD oil is that it stains fabrics and can be challenging to remove from the skin after use. Also, since it is an oil, it is not the best option to use with condoms and toys.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a famous go-to ingredient for skin and hair DIY products. It is an easy-to-grow plant you cannot miss in the nearest farmer’s market. You may have it in your home’s plant collection or may have bought some to manage your sunburns. You can break a piece and extract the gel to use as a lube substitute.

You can also use store-bought pure aloe Vera gel. Ensure the gel has no other harmful ingredients like alcohol. The gels are affordable and can last you a couple of sessions. For safety purposes, check the expiry date and ingredients list before using the gel. Also, the consistency varies across brands. Some gels may be too sticky or thick for your liking, spoiling your experience.

The best thing about aloe Vera is that it is safe to use with or without condoms because it is water-based. Since it is a plant, it is basically nature’s water-based lube. Plus, it adds hydration to the skin.

The Several minerals pure aloe vera gel remains the most acclaimed aloe vera gel in the market. It is one of the purest and strongest aloe gels on the market because it is made with freshly cut aloe leaves.

Sweet Almond Oil

Sweet almond oil is the oil you are least likely to have in your home on this list, but it can be super handy. The oil is body-safe and smells amazing. It is incredibly versatile as it has multiple benefits, like reducing the appearance of stretch marks on the body. It is also a superb skin and hair moisturizer.

Sweet almond oil is a natural fit as a lube alternative and a better option than most oils because it remains slick for long. A little will go a long way.

Also, since it is slick, almond oil is less damaging to latex but will still weaken the condoms because it is an oil. If you are using toys and condoms, you better go with any other water-based lube alternative in this list.

Another thing to consider is that almond oil has nuts as its base ingredient. Many people have nuts allergies that can be fatal. Ensure neither of you has allergies.

Egg Whites

As strange as it sounds, egg whites, aka albumin, has a similar texture and appearance with cervical mucus. The similarity makes it a great organic lube alternative. Plus, compared to all the other alternatives in this list, you are highly likely to have it readily available in the house.

Moreover, egg whites are water-based, thus safe and easier to use with condoms. You can use it with all toys and condoms, including latex and silicone.

The biggest downside of using egg whites is cross-contamination of the sex space. Oral sex is almost impossible with a penis or toy with egg whites. Also, infections from egg whites are not so common, but they are still a possibility. Some eggs contain salmonella, which can give you an infection. Pasteurized egg whites would be safer if you are concerned with infections. Nonetheless, you must maintain good hygiene with your partner when using egg whites as a lube alternative and clean up well afterwards.

Plain Yogurt

Plain yogurt has plenty of nutritional benefits as it contains crucial nutrients like calcium, Vitamin D, protein and probiotics. Probiotics are good for growing beneficial bacteria. When you use antibacterial medicine, you lose the good bacteria in your ether regions. Using an organic lube alternative like plain yogurt that contains probiotics can help you recover the beneficial bacteria.

Ensure the yogurt is plain without sugar or other additives. Sugar can cause yeast infections which make intercourse uncomfortable and impossible. Unlike most lubricant, plain yogurt does not contain harsh chemicals or leave the skin irritated. Moreover, it is safe to use with condoms and toys.

Cornstarch and Water

Homemade DIY cornstarch lube can come in handy if you are feeling dry down there, but cannot take sex off the table. It is cheap as the ingredients are readily available in your kitchen or next-door grocery store. If used correctly, cornstarch-water lube can get the job done effectively, giving you a smoother and pain-free sex experience.

Making the lube is a no-brainer. Here is a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Add four tablespoons of cornstarch to one full cup of water and mix.

Step 2: Let the mixture boil on medium heat, then stir it for about 30 seconds.

Step 3: Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool.

You have to use the mixture on the same day and discard whatever is left. Using left-over cornstarch and water lube alternative can risk infections.

The misture is safe to use with toys and condoms as it is water-based. However, it can dry up easily and may force you to keep re-applying. You have to clean up properly after using the mixture to prevent the possibility of an infection.

Vitamin E Oil

Vitamin E oil is unregulated because it is a supplement, thus readily available. According to an article by the  Harvard School of Public Health Trusted Source Vitamin E | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin with several forms, but alpha-tocopherol is the only one used by the human body. Learn how much you need. www.hsph.harvard.edu , the vitamin has tons of benefits to the human body, from enhancing immune function, acting as an antioxidant and preventing clots from forming in the arteries.

Since it is unregulated, the oil may be pure or may contain additives that make it an unsafe lube alternative. Be sure to go with a trusted Vitamin E oil brand for the best experience.

Before using Vitamin E oil as a lube alternative, ensure you are not allergic to it. You can rub some on your inner elbow, then monitor the area for any signs of irritation. Moreover, like other oil-based lube alternatives, Vitamin E oil will break down latex and polyisoprene condoms, exposing you to STIs and increasing the risk for unwanted pregnancy. In addition, Vitamin E can degrade the material of latex and jelly rubber sex toys. Another downside of Vitamin E is that it can make you prone to vaginal infections like bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections.

On the bright side, you can use the oil with condoms made from other materials like nitrile, and polyurethane. What’s more, you can use it for oral sex because it is edible.

Keep in mind that Vitamin E oil stains fabrics. You don’t want any of it on your whitest bedding and clothes.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is another fantastic oil-based lube alternative that you can quickly grab in the heat of the moment. Like other oil lubricants, it is thick and, thus lasts longer than any water-based lube alternative on this list. Water-based lube alternatives are the best to use with condoms and sex toys but you would keep reapplying because they do not last.

Olive oil, like all the other oil-based lube alternatives is not safe to use with latex condoms. It will break the condom and expose you to STIs or increase your chances of getting pregnant. You can use the olive oil with synthetic condoms made with materials like polyurethane.

Another concern is that olive oil is too heavy and gets absorbed into the skin pretty fast. For this reason, you might want to consider other options if your skin is prone to breakouts. Additionally, like other oils, olive oil can trap bacteria in the vagina and anus, leading to an infection. It also increases the risk of getting a yeast infection.

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil, like all the oils in this list has great benefits that make it a solid lube alternative. Besides lasting longer than water-based lube, it is edible, thus perfect for oral sex.

Compared to coconut and olive oils, avocado oil is a more neutral natural oil. Its smell and taste are less noticeable, which is great as you would forget you are using a lube alternative. Moreover, the oil offer anti-inflammatory properties.

Although it is a perfectly acceptable oil, you cannot use avocado oil with condoms and sex toys as it would degrade their material. It also leaves some sticky residue that may spoil the fun for you.

What to Avoid

Your kitchen, pantry or bedroom are filled with things you may be tempted to grab and use as lube alternative in the heat of the moment. Here are some of the things you should never use in place of lube;

Baby Oil

You may be tempted to grab baby oil because it feels nice and slick. Plus it has a thick consistency and would never need reapplying. However, like all oils, baby oil will break the condom and degrade your sex toys’ material. Moreover, baby oil contains additives that increase the risk of a yeast infection in the vagina. It can also trap bacteria in the vagina, anus or urethra, making you prone to infections.

Furthermore, baby oil can irritate the vulva and other outer parts of the female genitals. You may experience itching, rash, soreness, discharge, and burning which can be super uncomfortable. Worst of all is that baby oil is hard to wash off, thus can make the skin irritations on your genitals worse.

Vaseline

Vaseline is a popular option for masturbation but it is not safe for sex or masturbation. If you need lube for a hand job but have no idea where to get one, read our article on the best lube for hand job for the best-rated options that offer slipperiness, longevity, and maximum sensation.

Vaseline is not good for condoms at all. Oils will break condoms but Vaseline will literally obliterate them. You don’t want Vaseline inside your partner’s anus or vagina as it would create a breeding ground for infections. Even if you decide to use Vaseline as lube, you would have to use a significant amount as too little would get absorbed on the skin and leave you dry. On the other hand, too much of it would be too grease and messy as it doesn’t melt like most oils. Finally, Vaseline is not easy to clean. It does not come off anything it sticks on easily.

Shortening

Shortening is an oil-based cooking essential with a lot of saturated fat. It makes for a terrible lubricant for various reasons. For starters, shortening is not slippery, thus ineffective for women. If any of it remains in your vagina or anus, it will go rancid and lead to infections. Also, since it is oil-based, it is incompatible with condoms and sex toys and will cause their material to breakdown. When you go to the kitchen to grab something to use as a lubricant, leave the shortening alone and pick up olive oil. It is a far better natural option.

Lotion

Lotion, just like baby oil will be the first thing that crosses your mind because of its texture. Plus, if you are having sex in the bedroom, you are likely to spot it first. Although it is a popular option for masturbation, lotion is not safe for lubrication during intercourse. It may provide the slickness you need, but it is filled with different ingredients like dyes, fragrance, and stabilizers that will hurt and make you prone to infections when they go inside your vagina or urethra. The ingredients in lotion will interfere with your vagina’s pH balance and make you more vulnerable to yeast infections and other vaginal infections.

If you need the perfect lube for pH balance and can’t seem to find any, check out our article about the best lubes for pH balance. All the options on the list will prevent pH-related issues like burning, itching, and discomfort.

Spit

Spit is the most common lube alternative among couples. Many men also use it as a masturbatory aid. Spit is not great for sex. First off, it is unromantic to see and hear your partner spit in preparation for coitus. Second, it is not slippery enough to be an effective lube. It makes very little difference, even when used in significant amounts. Lastly, spit facilitates the transfer of STI during intercourse. It can easily introduce infection into your vagina just like you would contract one from oral sex.

Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly may be tempting because it looks like lube. All petroleum based products should be a total no-go during sex because they can cause infections in the vagina, urethra and anus. According to an article by  WebMD Trusted Source Baby Oil as Lube: Is it Safe? Find out what you need to know about baby oil as lube, and discover the risks, benefits, and how it may affect your health. www.webmd.com , women who use petroleum jelly as a lube substitute are likely to get bacterial vaginosis while those who use oils are likely to get a yeast infection. What’s more, they are oil-based, which means they will screw up your condoms and sex toys.

Butter

Just like shortening, butter can go rancid if not cleaned properly after use, leading to infections. Butter is yummy but not great for sex. Plus, it is not a great lubricant because it is not slippery enough. A better lube alternative to grab while in the kitchen would be olive, coconut, or avocado oil.

Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil might work effectively as a lubricant, but it is not the best, especially from the kitchen or pantry. Vegetable oils, peanut, canola and corn oils are full of omega 6 fatty acids which are inflammatory. You don’t want anything inflammatory in your vagina, urethra, penis or anus.

Honey

Honey is sweet, but it shouldn’t even cross your mind as a lube alternative. Its consistency wouldn’t lube anything and it would create a sticky mess in your sex space. In addition, it would cause infections.

Pro Tips for Choosing the Best Lube Alternative

Condom and toys safety:  If you intend to use condoms and protection is important to you, ensure you choose a lube alternative that is condom-friendly. Only water-based lubrication works well with all types of condoms. An oil-based lube substitute is likely to break your condoms, exposing you to STIs and increasing your risk of getting pregnant. Aloe vera gel is a great water-based lube substitute.

Oil-based lube substitutes are less likely to be compatible with most of your toys, especially if they are made with latex. Before choosing a lube alternative, ensure it won’t degrade the material of your sex toys. Again, water-based options would be safer for most sex toys. Do you need silicone lube to make you fun last longer but can’t settle for any from all the brands in the market? Read our article on the best silicone lubes for top-rated options.

Oral sex-friendly options: If you love oral sex, you might want to consider edible substitutes for an easier and fun experience. Edible substitutes include avocado oil, which is odorless and tasteless, sweet almond oil, which smells delicious, plain yogurt and Vitamin E oil which has tons of health benefits. Coconut oil and egg whites are also edible but their smells may be discomforting.

Allergies: Lube alternatives are foreign substances that you are applying to your genitals and they are not meant for that purpose. You must ensure that neither you nor your partner is allergic to the substitute you choose. If you are not so sure, take some of the substance and rub it on the inside of your elbow then wait a few minutes to see if there is any irritation. The last thing you want is to go to the emergency room because of an allergy flare up that happened because you were having sex.

Brace yourself for unpleasant stains and smells: Stains and smells are inevitable with nearly all lube alternatives. Some oils may be great lubricants but will leave stains on your bed sheets. Alternatives like egg whites will not only contaminate your sex space, but also make it smell bad. Before choosing the lube substitute ensure it is safe for your bedding and if not, lay something on the bed to protect them.

Proper hygiene: Good hygiene is a non-negotiable if you choose to use lube alternatives. Remember, the lube substances are not meant to be applied in the genitalia, and if hygiene is not observed, they can cause infections. Majority of the substitutes can create a breeding ground for bacteria inside your genitals. Ensure you wash properly after using any substitute for lube.

FAQs

What can I use instead of lube at home?

The safest substitutes for lube in your home are probably in your kitchen. Since you are introducing the lube alternatives into your genitals, you want to go organic as it is safer. That said, you can use natural oils like virgin coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, and sweet almond oil. You can also use pure aloe vera gel or plain yogurt and egg whites from your fridge.

What can I use instead of lube for anal?

Anal sex requires maximum lubrication because unlike the vagina, the anus does not produce natural lubrication during sex. If you are not using condoms, you can use slick lubricant substitutes like sweet almond oil and vitamin E oil. If you must use a condom, water-based substitutes like egg whites and pure aloe vera gel can be handy.

Final thoughts

Lube is crucial, but having none lying around does not mean you should miss some action. You can easily grab something from your pantry or kitchen that would work as effectively as most store-bought lubricants. Although they work well, most lube alternatives are not meant to be inserted in your genitalia. Therefore, you have to up your hygiene after use to avoid infections.

Also, you should expect unpleasant smells and stains from most of the lube substitutes. You can opt for odorless options if you can’t stand smells and cover your white bed sheets to protect them from tough stains. We have answered the question ‘what can I use instead of lube’ with all the listed options in this list, together with tips on how to use them safely and effectively.

References

1.
CBD and Libido: Research, Benefits, Drawbacks, and More
CBD products that claim to boost libido and increase lubrication are popping up everywhere. Research shows that CBD may help, but more studies are necessary.
2.
Vitamin E | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin with several forms, but alpha-tocopherol is the only one used by the human body. Learn how much you need.
3.
Baby Oil as Lube: Is it Safe?
Find out what you need to know about baby oil as lube, and discover the risks, benefits, and how it may affect your health.
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