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It is possible to purchase grease in many colours.

For example, "lithium grease" appears to come in at least red, green, blue, white, and black.

Is there any standardisation on what the colours signify?

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    The technical requirements for grease in push bike use are pretty much 'any grease will do as good as any other'. We don't do high temperature, high pressure or fast spinning. We don't need waterproof grease (if we get water in our bearings, we get grit in there as well). The best grease for a bicycle might last a little longer than a general-purpose automotive grease.
    – mattnz
    Jul 24, 2023 at 1:15
  • @mattnz I guess with the caveat to not mix incompatible greases? (eg. machinerylubrication.com/Read/1865/grease-compatibility - although I don't understand why their compatibility chart is not commutative)
    – jhnc
    Jul 24, 2023 at 1:42
  • Ideally you avoid mixing grease altogether (such a small amount in bikes, clean bearing, repack done...) and avoid worries about compatibility. In practice the reasons for incompatibility are mostly loss of specialist properties that are not required for a bicycle.
    – mattnz
    Jul 24, 2023 at 2:22

1 Answer 1

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There isn’t a universal standard for what color grease means what. Some brands may have their own color schemes (eg. red for high-temperature grease, or using colors to indicate thickener types). Other brands simply use color as a marketing thing—for example, Lucas Oil makes their signature “red and tacky” grease, which is red as you might imagine.

From a bit of research, some other purposes of grease color include:

  • differentiating different greases in an industrial setting where generic, unlabeled grease guns are used.
  • serving as a visual indication of contaminated or overheated grease by allowing people to observe changes in color.

Note that some black greases have that color due to additives such as molybdenum disulfide or graphite. Don’t mix those up with grease that is simply dyed black. Similarly, white grease may contain Teflon as an additive.

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    Thanks, I'm thinking specifically of relevance to bicycle products. Question was prompted by seeing a company advertising red and green lithium grease alongside red rubber grease, all for bicycle use.
    – jhnc
    Jul 23, 2023 at 18:49
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    @jhnc Which products were you looking at specifically? Let's take a look at what that company is doing with their color scheme. And my answer mostly applies to bicycle stuff too--there isn't a universal, standardized color scheme. Brands are free to do their own thing.
    – MaplePanda
    Jul 23, 2023 at 23:02
  • It was a brand advertised on a certain big ecommerce marketplace... Now I dig into it, I see that their website, created in 2021, has a product page that simply says "This shop has not yet been created". Companies House filings indicate it is a one-man band so I guess he's just rebadging other products. Probably not worth analysing his naming choices... 🤣
    – jhnc
    Jul 24, 2023 at 0:28

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