Rubber gaskets are used to create seals in everything from SCUBA gear to soda machines. Some types of lubricants can degrade and crack rubber, making it brittle and crumbly.
Safe Lubricants for Rubber
Silicon, polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE), and lithium are used as gasket lubricants. Silicon-based lubricants resist heat and corrosive compounds while not degrading the gasket. PTFE, also known as teflon, is appropriate for use on seals that may be exposed to temperature extremes, high speeds, high pressures or chemicals. Lithium grease, suitable for lubricating seals that will be exposed to high pressure or high temperature, and is often also used to lubricate areas where there will be metal on metal contact.