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Home made grease #5420877 05/04/20 03:06 PM
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BillsMyfordML7 Offline OP
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Hi, does anyone know how to make grease at home ? I have tried with engine oil and liquid laundry soap. I know that is not supposed to work, but I had to try it see what happened. I did not get a grease, but a bit thicker oil, even a little thicker than the laundry soap. Slippery it is.
I should have had lithium stearate or calcium stearate, but that is almost impossible to find online, except maybe in tiny quantities for a very high price.

Re: Home made grease [Re: BillsMyfordML7] #5420885 05/04/20 03:13 PM
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Grease is a complex product that is highly engineered for specific applications.
Attempting to make grease at home is a fool's errand.
The only thing that you will guarantee by making your own grease is that you will have created a product that is not appropriate for it's intended application.
Use a product that is specified for your needs or work with a local distributor/supplier to find the product that is correct for your application.

Re: Home made grease [Re: BillsMyfordML7] #5420902 05/04/20 03:33 PM
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Hes right in that you should not use it for anything that needs a grease requiring certifications or specs... but to try and make a grease for fun and learning is what it is.

I've never done it, but I imagine that it would be very difficult to make a grease using a laundry soap that didnt have some water content to it. Even bar soap has some water in it. Plus I dont know if that type of soap would work for thickening.

Last edited by Brian553; 05/04/20 03:34 PM.





Re: Home made grease [Re: BillsMyfordML7] #5420903 05/04/20 03:34 PM
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kschachn Offline
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Originally Posted by BillsMyfordML7
Thank you for calling my a fool!

He said it was a "fool's errand" which is correct. The rest of what he posted is exactly spot-on.

Much like motor oils, most greases are manufactured to a specification that correlates to a specific intended use. What specification are you blending your grease to meet?


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Re: Home made grease [Re: Brian553] #5420904 05/04/20 03:36 PM
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kschachn Offline
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OP, are you using laundry detergent or an actual soap?


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Re: Home made grease [Re: BillsMyfordML7] #5420912 05/04/20 03:41 PM
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ABN_CBT_ENGR Offline
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Originally Posted by BillsMyfordML7
Hi, does anyone know how to make grease at home ? I have tried with engine oil and liquid laundry soap. I know that is not supposed to work, but I had to try it see what happened. I did not get a grease, but a bit thicker oil, even a little thicker than the laundry soap. Slippery it is.
I should have had lithium stearate or calcium stearate, but that is almost impossible to find online, except maybe in tiny quantities for a very high price.


I know the manufacturing process and how to work with a manufacturer to develop custom greases for specific machines and I'm not calling you a fool in any way.

That said, if your goal is to make an equal to a commercial grease ( say #2) for mechanical use then unless you are a Chemical Engineer, Chemist, have a grease kettle and a substantial amount of money to invest in some very serious blending and mixing equipment- don't even attempt it.

Re: Home made grease [Re: kschachn] #5420945 05/04/20 04:05 PM
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BillsMyfordML7 Offline OP
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As far as I know, it is impossible to use laundry soap for making grease. I just wanted to try to see what happened. Anyway, most greases are an oil, mineral oil, synthetic oil, or an "edible" oil, (soy bean oil, canola oil, or whatever) mixed with a soap. And the soaps are most often a lithium soap, which is also called lithium stearate. Then it seems to be calcium soaps that is a good number two, and it is also possible to use aluminum and/or magnesium soaps. All these mentioned soaps comes as a white powder. The soap and oil is heated, and the oil will thicken. It is of course a lot more to it than that, what type of oil to use, how much oil, and how much soap for example. The end result can be a fairly thin grease, or a thicker grease. These "soaps" I have mentioned is also called stearate, like lithium stearate, calcium stearate and so forth. The soaps are not washing soaps in the sense we think about for washing our hands and so forth.
For example calcium stearate is not dangerous, it is even used as an additive in food. And mixed with an edible oil you will get food grade grease. Mixed with mineral oil, like a gear oil, it will not be a food grade oil anymore. So, as far as I have read and found out, all greases are based on an oil. Just mixed with something that makes it thicker.


Some greases are made of oil thickened with something else than soaps, for example is aircraft greases often thickened with a clay. And it is even possible to mix an oil with a petroleum jelly to make it thicker. And, a couple of places I have seen it mentioned to use washing soda. But, I don't know what kind of washing soda.


Last edited by MolaKule; 05/05/20 05:31 PM.
Re: Home made grease [Re: ABN_CBT_ENGR] #5420947 05/04/20 04:08 PM
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BillsMyfordML7 Offline OP
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No, I am not at all attempting to make some kind of high end 2020 super grease. More like, maybe at the very best a 1930's grease if I am extremely lucky.

Re: Home made grease [Re: BillsMyfordML7] #5420961 05/04/20 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by BillsMyfordML7
Thank you for calling my a fool!

I did not call you a fool.
I stated that by attempting to make grease at home, you are engaging in a fool's errand.
Those are two very different things.

Re: Home made grease [Re: BillsMyfordML7] #5420967 05/04/20 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by BillsMyfordML7
No, I am not at all attempting to make some kind of high end 2020 super grease. More like, maybe at the very best a 1930's grease if I am extremely lucky.



Its certainly "possible" but the equipment and probably minimum quantities you would have to buy will probably be cost prohibitive.

This cant be done on a stove with a spoon ( possibly for a food based grease yeah but that's about it)

Re: Home made grease [Re: ABN_CBT_ENGR] #5420984 05/04/20 04:54 PM
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I have gotten my hands on 1 lb of magnesium stearate on eBay, not got it yet though. (About $15). So, what I have managed to find is that at a certain temperature the soap and oil will "react" and it will stiffen. But, I have not found anything certain about the temperature. I assume the temperature will differ between different kind of soaps, and maybe also oils. The magnesium stearate is made of two components, and some places it looks like you use the finished magnesium stearate, or other stearate and mix it with oil and then heat it and stir it. And then it will stiffen. Other places it leads me to think that the two things magnesium stearate is made of has to be separate, and during the merging of them, you also add the oil, and get the desired result. But, then other places again mention that if the thickness is not what you are looking for, it is common to heat it back up again and either add more oil to get it thinner, or add more soap to get it thicker. One place I saw the temperature 150 degrees celcius mentioned as a temperature where the thickening happened.

And, I have also seen it mentioned that it needs to be an automatic stirring of a certain speed, and also the cooker has to be under pressure. But, I have not found if that is something that has to be, or just desirable in a commercial setting.

Re: Home made grease [Re: BillsMyfordML7] #5420989 05/04/20 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by BillsMyfordML7
I have gotten my hands on 1 lb of magnesium stearate on eBay, not got it yet though. (About $15). So, what I have managed to find is that at a certain temperature the soap and oil will "react" and it will stiffen. But, I have not found anything certain about the temperature. I assume the temperature will differ between different kind of soaps, and maybe also oils. The magnesium stearate is made of two components, and some places it looks like you use the finished magnesium stearate, or other stearate and mix it with oil and then heat it and stir it. And then it will stiffen. Other places it leads me to think that the two things magnesium stearate is made of has to be separate, and during the merging of them, you also add the oil, and get the desired result. But, then other places again mention that if the thickness is not what you are looking for, it is common to heat it back up again and either add more oil to get it thinner, or add more soap to get it thicker. One place I saw the temperature 150 degrees celcius mentioned as a temperature where the thickening happened.

And, I have also seen it mentioned that it needs to be an automatic stirring of a certain speed, and also the cooker has to be under pressure. But, I have not found if that is something that has to be, or just desirable in a commercial setting.


The part you didn't get ( and its IP with every manufacturer I have dealt with) is 3rd party chemicals where a specific base oil is made to blend and chemically bond to the thickener ( a process within a process within a process) under heat/pressure/agitation. That's before the additives are mixed and cook in the grease kettle usually.

This isn't like mixing stuff in a bowl and a grease comes out. The base oil and thickener have to be made chemically compatible- they don't start that way.

Re: Home made grease [Re: BillsMyfordML7] #5420991 05/04/20 05:02 PM
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trolling


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Re: Home made grease [Re: BillsMyfordML7] #5420993 05/04/20 05:06 PM
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that thought occurred to me too, we shall see

Re: Home made grease [Re: BillsMyfordML7] #5421000 05/04/20 05:17 PM
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I was told there are only five outfits in the US that make grease.

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