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Dielectric Grease vs. Vaseline: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on December 26, 2023
Dielectric grease is a silicone-based lubricant used for electrical insulation; Vaseline is a petroleum jelly used for skin protection and lubrication.

Key Differences

Dielectric grease is a silicone-based lubricant that does not conduct electricity, making it ideal for sealing and protecting electrical connections. Vaseline, a brand name for petroleum jelly, is primarily used for skin care and minor cuts, although it can also serve as a general lubricant.
Dielectric grease is used in automotive and electrical applications to prevent corrosion and moisture ingress in connectors. Vaseline, on the other hand, is commonly used in cosmetic and medical applications for its moisturizing properties and to protect skin.
Dielectric grease is stable at various temperatures and does not break down easily, suitable for high-stress electrical environments. Vaseline, while versatile, is not designed for high-temperature environments and can degrade, making it less suitable for industrial or automotive use.
Dielectric grease is non-conductive, ensuring that it does not interfere with electrical signals. Vaseline, while having insulating properties, is not specifically formulated for electrical applications and may not be as effective in protecting electrical components.
Dielectric grease is specialized and typically found in automotive or electrical supply stores. Vaseline is a household item, widely available in pharmacies and general stores, known for its general-purpose use.

Comparison Chart

Base Material

Petroleum jelly

Primary Use

Electrical insulation and protection
Skin protection and lubrication

Electrical Conductivity

Not specifically designed for electrical use

Temperature Stability

High-temperature stability
Less stable at high temperatures


Automotive/electrical supply stores
Widely available in pharmacies/general stores

Dielectric Grease and Vaseline Definitions

Dielectric Grease

Dielectric grease can withstand extreme temperatures.
Dielectric grease is used in engine compartments due to its heat resistance.


Vaseline is a brand of petroleum jelly used for skin care.
Vaseline helps to heal dry skin and chapped lips.

Dielectric Grease

Dielectric grease is a silicone-based lubricant for electrical components.
Apply dielectric grease to car battery terminals to prevent corrosion.


Vaseline is widely available and used for a variety of household tasks.
Vaseline can be used to loosen a stuck zipper.

Dielectric Grease

Dielectric grease is commonly used in automotive electrical systems.
Mechanics often use dielectric grease during vehicle electrical repairs.


Vaseline can be used to treat minor cuts and burns.
Apply Vaseline to small cuts to keep them clean and promote healing.

Dielectric Grease

Dielectric grease is used to protect electrical connections from moisture.
Dielectric grease is essential for outdoor electrical fixtures.


Vaseline is used as a lubricant in various household applications.
A thin layer of Vaseline can stop door hinges from squeaking.

Dielectric Grease

Dielectric grease is non-conductive and safe for electrical use.
Dielectric grease ensures that spark plug connections remain secure and dry.


Vaseline has moisturizing properties for skin protection.
Vaseline is often used to protect skin in cold weather.


Petroleum jelly.


Any particular kind of petroleum jelly or of any similar lubricant.


(informal) Vaseline glass or the colouring used in making it.


To lubricate with vaseline.
Even at this late date, vaselining will preserve the best of these leathers.


A yellowish translucent substance, almost odorless and tasteless, obtained as a residue in the purification of crude petroleum, and consisting essentially of a mixture of several of the higher members of the paraffin series. It is used as an unguent, and for various purposes in the arts. See the Note under Petrolatum.


A trademarked brand of petroleum jelly


What is dielectric grease mainly used for?

Dielectric grease is used for insulating and protecting electrical connections.

Can I use Vaseline for skin care?

Yes, Vaseline is commonly used for skin care and moisturizing.

Can Vaseline degrade over time when used on machinery?

Vaseline can degrade at high temperatures, so it’s less suitable for machinery than dielectric grease.

Is dielectric grease resistant to high temperatures?

Yes, dielectric grease can withstand high temperatures, making it suitable for automotive and industrial applications.

Is dielectric grease safe for all types of electrical connections?

Yes, it's safe and beneficial for most electrical connections, but always check manufacturer guidelines.

Is dielectric grease conductive?

No, dielectric grease is non-conductive.

Can Vaseline be used on electrical connections?

While Vaseline has insulating properties, it's not recommended for electrical connections like dielectric grease.

Does dielectric grease prevent corrosion?

Yes, one of its primary uses is to prevent corrosion on electrical contacts.

What should I do if dielectric grease gets on my skin?

Wash it off with soap and water; it's generally safe but can be greasy.

Does dielectric grease dry out over time?

Dielectric grease is designed to remain stable and not dry out quickly.

Where can I buy dielectric grease?

Dielectric grease is available at automotive and electrical supply stores.

Can Vaseline be used as a general lubricant?

Yes, Vaseline can be used as a lubricant for various household tasks.

Is dielectric grease expensive?

Dielectric grease is relatively affordable, especially given its specialized use.

Can I use Vaseline on electronic devices?

It's not recommended to use Vaseline on electronic devices.

Can I use dielectric grease in place of Vaseline for a squeaky door hinge?

While it can work, dielectric grease is over-specified for such a task; Vaseline or a household oil would be more appropriate.

Can I use Vaseline on my car's battery terminals?

It's better to use dielectric grease for car battery terminals due to its higher temperature resistance and electrical properties.

Is dielectric grease easy to apply?

Yes, it's typically applied with a brush or directly from a tube.

Can Vaseline be used for first aid?

Vaseline can be applied to minor cuts and burns, but isn’t a substitute for proper medical treatment.

Is Vaseline good for all skin types?

Vaseline is generally safe for all skin types, but people with very sensitive skin should test it on a small area first.

How often should I reapply Vaseline for skin protection?

Reapply as needed, especially in dry conditions or after washing the area.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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