|The all purpose
Welcome to my J-Lube FAQ!
- A service to the unlubricated masses -
A bit of a note before I begin...
This page has a history of being pretty well neglected. I apologize for that; the reasons why it is neglected aren't particularly relevant, so I'll skip discussing them here. The information in this page is, at least, correct to the best of my knowledge so it's not like the page is out of date or anything like that. But at the same time, I feel sort of bad seeing as I once felt myself to be a self-appointed gatekeeper of all things lubey.
It's a rare day that anyone e-mails me with questions, and the comments I receive are often negative, so there has never been much incentive to modify the content. I do, however, make changes from time to time; this page was last modified on November 17th, 2014.
So, with that out of the way, on with the show.
Now, you may have run across other J-Lube FAQs, but let me assure you, those other FAQs only seek to misinform and taint the minds of would-be J-Lube users. DO NOT BELIEVE THEM! For they are the false prophets, and should be ignored!
Why, you may ask, is this J-Lube FAQ so much better than the rest? Simple. Because I have actually spent time and effort researching the behavior of J-Lube, whereas those other web pages merely provide anecdotal information and poorly documented research on the subject. After all, the authors of THOSE pages actually have people to use their J-Lube with. I, on the other hand, have nobody but myself! And as such I have plenty of time to better experiment with it.
Also, because people have been stealing the contents of this page without giving me credit for writing it, I would like to make the following statement:
This page was written by one person (though contributed to by some others on the Internet, to whom I am very grateful for their input), who can be reached here. If you would like to copy it, redistribute it, or whatever I request that you let me know you're going to do it, or at the very least include a comment on your site that indicates where you took the content from. This page isn't much, but it is mine, and I'd at least like people to recognize the fact that I took the time to write it. So don't just blindly take it. You MUST properly credit me for it if you're going to use it, case closed. You may, however, link to it all you want and in any way you want. Just don't steal the content and claim (or imply) that it's yours, ok? That sucks.
One last note: If you are going to e-mail me, you might want to make some
mention of J-Lube in the subject line in case the message gets grabbed by my
spam filter software. I generally reply to all the messages I receive, so if you
do mail me and I don't answer it's probably due to my spam filter grabbing it and
me not seeing it. Feel free to send it again if I don't reply, but make sure to
have some obvious mention of J-Lube in the subject line.
If you'd like to read something more technical than what's listed here, please view the "What is J-Lube, really?" section down below.
I would be remiss, however, if I didn't go into greater detail about the potential health risks associated with all this, so there is a section down below called "Is J-Lube safe, really?" with more details.
Now if you're not keen to buying through a large company dedicated to something other than your genitally lubricative satisfaction, there are other sales alternatives. Many bondage and kink supply companies sell it, but they're usually overpriced and they really don't seem to be "about the J-Lube" so to speak. One of the better known and easier to locate vendors of J-Lube is www.jlube.net. This site changed ownership in 2008, and as of this writing it is operated by the people at www.brownbottle.com. I had received some complaints about them prior to the change in ownership, so if you have had issues with them in the past, please keep in mind that it is under new ownership with no relationship to the previous owner. I have received no negative reports about them since the ownership change.
If you are in the UK, your options for purchasing J-Lube are a bit limited. I haven't been able to find, nor has anyone told me about, a vendor similar to Nasco that specializes in farm supplies of this sort. As such, your best option is either ordering it directly from the US, or from a sex oriented store that carries it. One such store is Hard Sex Toys. They e-mailed and asked nicely if I would mention them here, so I will. Besides, I've done some web searches and haven't had any luck finding another J-Lube vendor in the UK anyhow, so they just might be the go-to guys for your goo. Failing that, I have seen some web pages referring to a product called "K-Lube" which is manufactured in the UK. The manufacturer makes lots of claims as to why it's better than J-Lube, but as I've never encountered it nor do I have a full list of the ingredients I can't provide a useful comparison between the two. I have seen a partial list of ingredients for some of the products in the K-Lube line (they manufacture four or five variants of the stuff), and it includes items such as polyethylene oxide (the magic ingredient in J-Lube) and propylene glycol (one of the magic ingredients in General Lube), plus some preservatives in the form of parabens (propylparaben and methylparaben). It may also contain some amount of methylcellulose in certain versions of the product line. All that leads me to believe it's not unlike a variant of the recipe I've included on this page, so if you're searching for J-Lube in the UK and aren't having much luck procuring a bottle you could try K-Lube to see if it fits your needs. Don't take that as an endorsement of any kind, because it isn't. I know nothing about the stuff other than what I've found on the Internet.
To get the maximum benefit of J-Lube when doing it this way, I have found that you want to take a little extra effort to make sure the powder is fully hydrated before you proceed. To achieve this, you can knead and rub your hands (or whatever body part has the powder on it) in the presence of a very light stream or spray of water. This alleviates the chunkiness that can happen with poorly dispersed powder, and the resulting lube will stick better, stay hydrated longer, and lubricate better. It doesn't take much in terms of water; in fact, less tends to be better because too much water will wash it away instead of hydrating it.
The thing I find most interesting about this method is that you can create an end product as thick or thin as you want it, and quite rapidly too. The longer you microwave it, the thicker it gets. The more water you add, the thinner it gets. You can microwave it to the point of being like a lump of gelatin, or you can thin it out to the point where it's little more than plain water. You don't have to worry about getting it right the first time, as you can simply add water/microwave it to push it in the other direction as often as you like until you achieve the desired finish. Also, despite behaving like "supercharged J-Lube" it seems to still wash away easier than it does when the powder is applied directly to your skin.
If you want to produce a high-quality batch of J-Lube that will last for quite some time, it really isn't all that difficult. Here's what you need:
Step 1: SANITIZE!
I used to use 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide for this task, but my supply of it has dried up and now I am forced to use more mundane items. Still, if it is available, 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide is a good way to go. It is, literally, ten times the strength of regular drug store variety hydrogen peroxide, plus it does not have any of the stabilizers normally added to it. Hydrogen peroxide is a very unstable chemical and will quickly turn itself into plain old water, which means it is ideal for this sort of application since it will not leave any harmful residue behind. But it is a powerful oxidizer, and if you choose to use it, carefully read and follow the warning instructions on the label.
Failing that, you should do a little research on your part as to what you feel is best for your situation. Certain concentrations of bleach are considered adequate for a task of this sort; the common suggestion is one part household bleach to ten parts clean water (or only five parts water if you're trying to kill off certain strains of tuberculosis). Items to be sterilized are then left to soak in this solution for at least 20 minutes. Bleach breaks down quickly into salt and water, so it does not leave behind any dangerous residue but you do want to rinse well as you don't want any excess salt creeping into your mixture.
Another choice is to use a strong, clean alcohol of some kind. Alcohols aren't the best when it comes to sterilization, but it's certainly better than nothing. My new favorite sanitizer is a product called Steramine (also available from Nasco) which, when used as directed, even kills the HIV-1 virus. However, keep in mind that I am not a doctor or anyone with any sort of official credential regarding cleanliness, so in the end you need to find what you feel safest doing and go with that.
When it comes to the selection of mixing implements, I highly suggest glass whenever possible. It is easy to clean and sterilize, doesn't degrade as do plastics, and is microwave safe. Plastic will do, but above all, try to avoid metal since you cannot use it in a microwave (especially with the mixing container, since you will need to microwave it).
Wash, in hot water, the mixing container, the measuring spoons, the stirring implement, and the bottle in which you will eventually store the mixed J-Lube. Rinse them thoroughly afterwards, especially if you used soap. Once they are clean and residue-free, sterilize them all with whatever you have chosen as a sterilizing agent. Rinse them again afterwards with clean water to wash away any remaining sterilizing agent (especially important if you used something that could leave a residue behind). Make certain that the measuring spoons are completely dry before you use them; everything else can be slightly damp. In fact, it is best to avoid drying things with a towel if at all possible. Towels have lint on them, and lint floating in your J-Lube is really unappealing.
Step 2: Measure out your ingredients
- Eight fluid ounces of water
- Two teaspoons of powdered J-Lube
- One fluid ounce of General Lubricant
Put the water into your microwave-safe mixing cup. This is where the size of the container becomes important; it needs to be large enough to comfortably stir the mixture in without spilling it all over the place. Next, add the two teaspoons of J-Lube. Make sure to stir constantly while doing this, and add the powdered J-Lube VERY SLOWLY. J-Lube loves to clump when it comes in contact with water. And while the lumps can be removed, the fewer lumps you start with, the easier it is as you progress. So sprinkle the J-Lube in slowly while stirring, making sure to vary the direction of stirring. As it gets thick, if you keep stirring in the same way, it builds up quite a bit of momentum and can fling out the sides.
Once you have fully stirred in the J-Lube, scrape off any that has accumulated on the sides of the measuring cup and on whatever you are using as a stirring implement. Then, set it aside and let it sit. This step doesn't seem to be entirely necessary, as the next step tends to compensate for it, but it does help. Let it sit for about an hour or so, longer if you can tolerate the wait. This gives the clumps of J-Lube time to hydrate; and as they hydrate, they will swell and un-clump. This is the trick most people seem to ignore. The clumps WILL go away if you hydrate them and stir them. However, most people aren't patient enough to wait for all the lumps to go away by themselves, and this is where the next step becomes important.
Step 3: Microwave your J-Lube
Your ultimate goal here is to boil the J-Lube for a little while. When I am making J-Lube, I usually microwave a single batch for a total of around four to five minutes on the highest setting, but you may need to do it for more or less time depending on your microwave. You want the entire batch to become uniformly boiling, as when the water begins to boil it bursts the remaining clumps from the inside out and leaves you with, if done carefully enough, perfectly smooth and lumpless J-Lube.
EXERCISE CAUTION HERE. J-Lube mixed into water thoroughly changes the behavior of the water, especially when it boils. Instead of just bubbling a little, it froths like mad (sort of like boiling milk) and can, with very little warning, bubble up and spray all over the microwave. A good way to avoid this problem is to just get a really large container so that it doesn't boil over. I find it best to use a microwave safe bowl, preferably glass, that is a minimum of four to five times the volume of the batch you are mixing. Also, it needs to be fairly wide as narrow containers tend to focus the boiling lube up into a column that will spray out the top. If you don't have a container that large, you may have to boil it in steps. To boil in steps, heat the J-Lube in the microwave until it just begins to boil; stop the microwave and stir it some. Repeat this process until the J-Lube is hot enough that it readily boils when you turn on the microwave, and then continue this microwave-and-stir process for a couple more minutes. You will see the clumps begin to disappear, and you can repeat this process until you are satisfied that all the clumps have been removed. Another word of caution; when you stop the microwave, the J-Lube will most likely stop boiling. But when you plunge a stirring implement into it, this can result in a large wave of boiling hot, bubbling J-Lube to burst up from the top. Be very careful with this! At best, you can spill it all over your microwave. At worst, you can severely burn the skin on your hand. Remember, this is a boiling hot slime, and if it gets on you, it will stick and continue burning until it cools off. And, speaking from experience, J-Lube retains its heat MUCH longer than plain water.
Once all the boiling is done, you will most likely have lost a decent amount of water in the form of steam. If necessary, simply add water back into the mixture to return it to the appropriate level. The water can be stirred in by hand, and it will incorporate into the mixture easily enough.
Step 4: Add the secret ingredient
Step 5: Bottle your J-Lube
Step 6: Let it rest (optional)
Step 7: Have fun!
Over my years of playing with the stuff, I have always found salt to be too inconvenient to have around, especially if I'm washing up in the shower. I have played with a few different soaps to see what cleans J-Lube off the fastest, and have I found that the fastest cleaners are also the ones you'd least want to use on your intimate bits. Case and point, the fastest cleaner I have found is a highly abrasive hand cleaner used for washing up after working with greasy machinery. This, of course, would be extremely painful to use on your sensitive parts, but for cleaning just your hands, it's the best. In the search for the ideal middle ground, I have (comfortably) settled on Doctor Bronner's Magic Soaps in the liquid form. It never seems to take any more than two good soapy passes to get all the slime off (even if it's trapped in your hair), and it's an excellent soap to boot. Just pour the liquid soap into your hands and wash up the affected parts. Don't use a washcloth or anything like that until after you've used your hands to get the lubricant off. The soap doesn't leave any sort of oily residue, so you'll know exactly when the lube is gone. Granted, salt does clean up faster, but it's inconvenient and it will rapidly draw your attention to any small cuts on the surface of your skin.
The residue left behind by J-Lube can, and will, rehydrate into a slippery goo if you get it wet. For this reason, if you spill some J-Lube on the floor, be sure to clean it up entirely. Otherwise, what seems like a perfectly safe bit of flooring can become an extremely slippery and dangerous spot when a wet foot steps down on it. It is EXTREMELY hard to stand if your feet are covered in J-Lube. It is also damn near impossible to pick someone up off the floor if they are covered in J-Lube. So please, be careful.
Things such as glycerine can be dissolved into your J-Lube. This may appeal to some. Food coloring can be added to change its appearance (though be warned that too much food coloring means the J-Lube will stain skin as well as clothing). Try mixing it with carbonated water. But above all, just play with the stuff until you find what is best for you.
One suggestion I received from a faithful J-Lube fan (I'd include her name and contact info here to properly credit her with the information, but she didn't insist on it and I really doubt she needs spambots and random visitors to this page contacting her) was to use just a pinch of unsweetened powdered drink mix to add flavor, color, and scent to your J-Lube. I haven't tested it myself, but it sounds like it should work really well. The key is to avoid the mixes with the sweetener already added to them, as having additional sugar in your lube is mostly just an invitation to bacterial growth.
I have conducted tests using batches of J-Lube that were mixed in what I would guess to be an environment typical to a standard J-Lube user. In those tests, the finished lube tended to last for at least a week, but the rate at which it would spoil completely depended upon the amount of cleanliness involved. Using straight tap water, mixing components washed in hot soapy water, and avoiding any skin contact when mixing produced a lubricant that was durable enough for use in the relatively near future (i.e. a week or so). Contacting the lubricant with skin, even recently washed skin, brought the life expectancy down to just a few days. Mixing in some standard cosmetics preservatives created a batch that has survived for a couple years with no sign of change.
A general guideline that seems to be reasonable is to assume that once it is mixed it will not last long outside of a freezer if you do not add any sort of preservative to it. Being that the mixture is basically just thickened water with a little sugar in it, it will most certainly inspire bacterial growth, especially if you do not start with clean water and you do not boil it. A batch of J-Lube mixed following all the guidelines for cleanliness and sterilization should be fine in a sealed container for at least a week or so, probably longer. With a preservative added, several months is reasonable to assume. In any case, check it for spoilage before using it and discard it if there is anything wrong with it. My experience with it indicates that these are very conservative measures of its durability, but I feel it is better to present minimums than maximums so as to not get people's hopes up too terribly.
First off, a blender is generally used for food. It has lots of nooks and crannies around the area of the chopping blades where bits of food can hide, even after a thorough washing. And those little bits of food invite bacterial growth, which while harmless in your digestive tract (which was designed to deal with bacteria entering the mouth) are a bigger question when they enter any of the other openings on the human body which do not encounter such bacteria directly on a normal basis. Cleanliness and safety are important here, so unless you are keeping one blender for just the mixing of lubricants, I would consider it too difficult to safely sterilize the blender for this purpose. That's my opinion, though. You may feel differently. Just don't get your dirty blender lube near my butt.
Second, cleaning a blender is a pain. It's even worse when it's gunked up with slime. Even if you soak the blades in salt, they're still a pain to clean. Cleaning a bowl and a stirring implement is far easier and less time consuming.
Last, blender mixed lube never seems to be quite as good as hand mixed and subsequently microwaved lube. I have tested this one, and I have found that blender lube reliably takes more powdered lube to achieve the same levels of lubrication. Interestingly, in doing a few web searches on the subject, I have found that others have come to the same conclusion as well, and that it is a behavior not limited to just J-Lube. Methylcellulose mixtures have the same problem. A blender's blades will essentially "chop up" the long polymers that make up a hydrated batch of J-Lube, and in the end you need more of them to achieve the same effect. It's possible that, given time to sit, the lube would properly thicken back up but in my tests the initial product, taken fresh from the blender, seems to be inferior. It also doesn't seem to save much time or effort, so do it if you want, but it's hardly necessary and doesn't carry any real benefits.
So to summarize, yes it does work. However, other offerings seem to work better, but a thinner mixture of J-Lube that didn't coat so heavily might work well enough.
Keep in mind that the article listed above is talking about pumping large amounts of lubricant into a horse to assist during birth. Even if you are pumping relatively large amounts of lubricant in, there has to be some additional mechanism by which a significant wound capable of passing lubricant could occur. If you aren't risking that sort of damage with what you are doing, then the risk described in the article does not apply. As there is no way to predict what sort of strange activity a person might do when a bucket of J-Lube is present, there is no way to be certain that there is no risk at all, so in the end it is up to the end user to determine the risk of internal damage associated with their activities. If there really is a risk of a major internal rupture, then J-Lube should be avoided, but then so should the risk of internal rupture!
So again, I'm no doctor, but I don't see much risk of this type of issue under normal circumstances. Fisting might cause it, but even then I doubt you'd get much J-Lube past the point of the wound. You'd have other issues to worry about in a case like that. A ruptured large intestine is dangerous enough.
General Lubricant is a product manufactured by First Priority, Inc. of Elgin, IL. It can be purchased through Nasco as well as through a few other supply houses. The ingredients are listed as deionized water, propylene glycol, sodium carboxymethylcellulose, methyl parahydroxybenzoate, and propyl parahydroxybenzoate. My whole reason for including it in the recipe is to provide some degree of preservative action in the mix to improve shelf life, and to make the final product a bit easier to handle. It seems to reduce the stringiness you normally find in a batch of straight J-Lube, and it also seems to make it a bit easier to clean up as well but it does not detract from the lubricative nature of the J-Lube.
I am guessing, although at this point I am not yet certain, that you could achieve a similar effect by mixing in a slightly larger quantity of KY Jelly (or, preferably, a generic replacement for KY that is less costly) than you would use of the General Lube. There is some similarity in textures and ingredients between the two products, and it would be available just about everywhere.
Ultimately, though, if you can't find a suitable substitute then you can just leave it out. It does make the batch of J-Lube easier to work with, but it isn't 100% necessary in order to make and enjoy J-Lube. If you can get your hands on some General Lubricant (or similar product) to mix in with it, I do suggest you try it especially if you like to have a small bottle of J-Lube around at all times for "emergencies."
J-Lube is basically two things; a polymer (polyethylene oxide) and a dispersing agent (sucrose). The real work is done by the polymer, the dispersal agent is just there to make it easier to measure out and mix. You'd be using a mere 25% of what you normally use if there were no dispersing agent, and given how J-lube likes to clump when it gets wet, if you didn't have the dispersing agent it would turn into one big clump when it hit the water.
The polymer is sort of like a piece of string. When it's dry, it's all bunched up and acts as a generally useless lump. Keep in mind, of course, this is on a microscopic scale so to the human eye those useless clumps just look like white powder. When you get them wet, they spread out and are no longer bunched up. Now they act like long little threads floating around in the water (although technically, from what I have read, polyethylene oxide will bond with the hydrogen in water so it's not so much "floating" as it is actually stuck to the water molecules, and the long "strings" are actually polyethylene oxide that is hydrogen bound to water, which is then in turn hydrogen bound to even more polyethylene oxide, resulting in a collection of these water/polyethylene strings). They'll stick to each other, but there's still water in between them so they can slide apart quite easily, albeit in a somewhat snotty fashion. Think of it like a pot of pasta. When there's a lot more water than pasta, it flows easily but has some long, stringy bits in it that slow things down. Reduce the amount of water, and eventually you've got nothing but pasta in one big clump. This is what goes on in technique two of the "mix it just before you use it" recipes up above, by the way. This is also why using a blender isn't such a good idea. You want all those long water/polymer threads in there, and whirring them around and chopping them up just makes them into much shorter threads, sort of like if you blended up your pasta. As you will see, you want those threads to be nice and long.
So now that you've got a mixture of water with all these microscopic strings floating around in it, how does it lubricate? Well, those strings will get between two objects that are rubbing together and cover it quite effectively. The end result is that now those two objects are no longer rubbing together directly. Instead, they're rubbing against the polymer threads, which are in turn rubbing against more polymer threads. Those threads slip and slide against each other much more easily than would the two lubricated objects if they were unlubricated and rubbing directly against each other. Skin is designed to use friction to its advantage... that's how you are able to pick up objects. There's lots of tiny little cracks and valleys that increase the surface area of your skin, thereby increasing the friction. But, if those areas are clogged up and covered by microscopic threads, they can't grab a hold of anything. This is how lubricants in general work, by the way. So why, then, is J-Lube so much more slippery than, say, another lubricant such as mineral oil? Because of how these tiny threads work. They can lay across the tiny cracks in your skin, and refuse to move out of the way or get sucked deeper into the cracks. An oil can get wicked up by your skin and won't have the viscosity necessary to withstand something your skin was designed to do... work its way through slippery things so that you can grab them. Shorter threads will more easily push out of the way as the pressure between two surfaces increases. But when the threads are very long, and there's enough of them so that you can't "push through" the barrier made by those threads, you have a recipe for a very slick lubricant that stands up very well to a surface designed to work its way through liquids in order to find some traction.
J-Lube, in a sense, takes its cues on how it functions directly from nature. What's one lubricant naturally made by the human body? Mucus, also affectionally called "snot." Which, by the way, is basically a bunch of cells (which aren't all that unlike the polymer in J-Lube) suspended in water. There's some salts in there as well, but that's sort of beside the point for the moment. The main thing is, it's a mixture very similar to J-Lube in how it functions. Which is one of the reasons why J-Lube does its job so well. It mimics the same lubricants that a human body produces, which are very much designed to make the body slippery.
Of course, the cells in mucus can be broken down more readily by your body should it get lodged somewhere it shouldn't be, which is where the issues with J-Lube in the peritoneal cavity come into play. Fortunately, as long as J-Lube is in a part of your body made to wash out foreign matter (rectums and vaginas do a good job of this, plus we can help them along if necessary) it's not such a big deal. But if it's trapped inside your body, and your body attempts to pass it into the bloodstream and through the kidneys, you would be in for a world of pain (and probably death).
Although J-Lube contains a polymer, when dissolved into water it does not behave in the same way as some other common polymers used for thickening and lubricating (like sodium polyacrylate, which is an interesting chemical in its own right). The polyethylene oxide in J-Lube bonds with the water molecules, but these bonds can be broken by chemicals that form stronger bonds than the hydrogen bonds holding the polyethylene oxide in the solution. This is one of the reasons why table salt is so useful in cleaning up J-Lube (the other reason being the abrasive effect of the salt crystals). Ionic compounds, of which table salt is one, will generally destroy sufficiently thick mixes of polyethylene oxide and water given time. It is possible to make J-Lube mixes that contain small amounts of salts and have them hold together for a while, which can be useful if you are trying to make a conductive J-Lube mix for electrostim play, but they really don't work well in the long term. Suitably concentrated ionic compounds added to a batch of J-Lube can actually cause the powder dissolved in the water to literally fall out of the solution right before your eyes. I have tested this using using a potassium hydroxide based pH adjusting solution, and it's really quite amazing to see, but does not bode well for attempts to mix J-Lube with any kind of salt. Things mixed with J-Lube should be as non-ionic as possible. That includes the water itself. The closer the water is to a neutral pH (i.e. a pH of 7) the better things will be, although again, as long as the amount of salts dissolved in the water isn't enough to completely overwhelm the bonds holding the polyethylene oxide to the water molecules, it should work well enough. It does mean that strongly ionic solutions can be used to remove J-Lube from fabrics, and things like alkaline drain cleaners can make short work of even the highest concentrations of J-Lube, but unless you have some reason why you're trying to break down a 55 gallon drum of lube it's probably best to avoid the highly caustic substances.
Glycerine soaps seem to break up J-Lube as well, but from what I know of glycerine and from what I've seen of washing with glycerine based soaps it seems to work in the opposite manner from salt. It appears to actually over-hydrate the J-Lube, diluting it down and washing it away. I'm guessing the reduction in surface tension of the water (since it's a soap) helps, but there does seem to be a definite "charging" effect that comes with glycerine soaps. Glycerine forms hydrogen bonds with water in much the same way as J-Lube, so instead of simply knocking the lube out of the solution it can mix with it. In fact I have seen cases where what seemed like clean body parts suddenly became slippery with J-Lube after the glycerine soap hit them, like there was a small amount of residue left behind by other rinsing methods that wasn't enough to do much in the presence of plain water, but with the glycerine it actually began to work again. This is totally a hypothesis based on anecdotal information, however, so I wouldn't give it much credit. Still, glycerine soaps do seem to wash it off better.
Anyhow, the only real point that should be taken away from all this rambling is that a batch of hydrated J-Lube is essentially a bunch of water with a lot of microscopic polymer threads floating around in it. Once you understand that, it's easier to understand how it does what it does, and how it's going to behave if you use (or abuse) it. Especially when it comes to mixing up your own custom version, as certain things will work better than others. Ionic compounds will eventually wreck your mix, and things that don't mix well with water normally (like oils, fats, Crisco, some silicones, etc.) will either require an emulsifier, or must be mixed so thick that the components cannot separate. You can create a lot of odd mixes that work well enough in the short term, but if you want an end product that has greater longevity after mixing, it is much easier to achieve success in your experiments once you begin to understand the limitations of the substance.
The sucrose in J-Lube is a sugar. It isn't anything particularly dangerous, but it does carry a few risks in certain instances. First off, it provides food for bacteria, and in the absence of any sort of preservative it is something of an invitation to the mixed product going bad and developing mold or other bacterial growth. This is easy enough to combat and prevent, but you should be aware of it so that you don't accidentally wind up with a spoiled batch of J-Lube that could lead to other nasty things like yeast infections. Second, as it is a sugar, if you are extremely concerned about coming in contact with sugar (for example, you are diabetic) you should keep that in mind depending on how you plan on using it. True, the amounts of sugar dissolved into the solution are incredibly small. Still, I have read posts online from people who refused to use J-Lube precisely because they were diabetic and afraid of how they might react to it. This is something you need to decide for yourself in terms of risk, but seeing as glycerin is a major part of many lubes out there (and glycerin is considered a carbohydrate by the US Food and Drug Administration) it seems like if you aren't afraid of glycerin lubes then there's probably no reason to be afraid of J-Lube. There's also questions of exactly how you'd manage to absorb an appreciable amount of the sucrose since there's so little of it in the final mix, but again, if you're truly health-paranoid then consider yourself warned.
The lubricant/thickener in J-Lube is the one with greater health warnings. Toxicity relating to infiltration of the peritoneum aside, there are a couple of known risks with it. There have been studies showing oral toxicity in rats, but this was for ingesting much larger quantities of polyethylene oxide than anyone is going to reasonably ingest when using it as a lubricant. If you are into sitting down with a huge bowl of dry J-Lube, a spoon, and a healthy appetite you might end up with some health problems. But for most cases, a person would not be eating it and it would be difficult to absorb it in appreciable amounts through any other route.
What is probably of greater concern is contamination by other chemicals. Polyethylene oxide is known by many different names, but the most common one is probably polyethylene glycol, also abbreviated as PEG. PEG is specified along with a number indicating the molecular weight of that particular kind of PEG. In the case of J-Lube, only the manufacturer knows exactly what kind of PEG is being used but based on my tests and comparisons against many forms of it, it is most likely what is called PEG-90M. PEG-90M is often used in shampoos, lotions, and most frequently, shaving gels. It can also be used in various industrial manufacturing and refining processes. According to the database at the Environmental Working Group's "Skin Deep" web pages PEG-90M can contain some nasty impurities such as ethylene oxide (a known carcinogen and suspected neurotoxin) and 1,4-dioxane (an irritant and suspected carcinogen). As such, they list it as a chemical with a moderate to high hazard rating depending on usage. In the case of J-Lube the amounts of PEG-90M would exceed the typical usage by an order of magnitude at least, so if you abide by the warnings at the EWG pages then J-Lube would fall well within the "high hazard rating" category. Absent of an actual chemical analysis, I would expect the contents of J-Lube to not be considered pharmaceutical grade based on the cost and the lack of human safety requirements (it IS intended for farm animals after all, and not humans). So again, consider yourself warned.
Now, with all those statements having been said, is there a realistic health risk? As always,
that is for you to decide on your own. The usage of any cosmetic carries with it certain risks,
and certainly the information on the EWP page makes it sound incredibly scary. All I can say is you
should decide for yourself. I have listed as much detail here as I have about the ingredients in
J-Lube, which should provide anyone concerned about the potential health risks with some good starting
points for further research. Anything beyond that exceeds the scope or the intention of this document.
Up to the main page.