Can I use sewing machine oil instead of silicon base spray in my window rubber channel to remove the friction? What are the chances that it might damage the rubber?


I have a slow window problem at the driver side in my 2008 Honda Civic. I recently got it fixed by a local mechanic(not a certified one). He took apart the door cover, removed the mirror and the scissor railing and the rubber channel. He cleaned the scissor railing which was all dusty, washed the rubber channel, oiled the rubber channel with some oil (which I believe was some engine oil bcz, it was thick and dark) and fixed the window back.

I experienced a little improvement. But after a week, the same stickiness is back. Now what I believe is that the oil that provided lubrication has dried up and caught the dust which is now causing more friction.

After some googling, I found that a silicon base spray can help reducing the rubber friction and smooth the window. But as a quick fix, can I use sewing machine oil.

  • The reason to use silicone spray is that it doesn't leave that much recedue that will catch dust etc. The sewing machine oil will probably just do the same thing as the other oil the mechanic added. I don't know if it's bad for the rubber (however silicone are supposed to be good for the rubber).
    – Markus
    Commented Mar 10, 2020 at 12:12
  • Silicone spray is the best option.
    – Moab
    Commented Mar 10, 2020 at 16:28
  • 2
    Wow, listen to that car, it runs like a well oiled sewing machine !
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Mar 11, 2020 at 18:10

2 Answers 2


It's not a good idea to use most oils on rubber that is not designed to come in contact with oil, since the oil can cause the rubber to swell and become soft. This could have caused your windows to stick again. Silicone grease (spray) is the correct lubricant to use.

Don't use sewing machine oil.

From Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicone_grease

Silicone grease is commonly used for lubricating and preserving rubber parts, such as O-rings. Additionally, silicone grease does not swell or soften the rubber, which can be a problem with hydrocarbon-based greases.

  • Sewing machine, gun oil, etc, are still mineral oils and can damage rubbers. Commented Aug 2, 2021 at 18:25

Silicone grease or spray is used to preserve and prolong synthetic rubber weather seals. A good silicone spray used once or twice a year after cleaning weather stripping prolongs them from drying out and cracking and prevents sticking doors in winter when moisture freezes. Silicone prevents sticking door seals. This treatment or regular oil probably isn't the reason for sluggish power windows. It's more likely the window motor unit and/or cable/plastic guides/pulleys needing lithium grease to free up dried out lube. Worse case is a worn power window motor. One of my rear power windows became sluggish and I tried lubing the window channels. It too worked but returned. I had to remove the inside door cover and sprayed lithium grease everywhere - window channels, hinged joints, gear, cables and plastic pulleys. Exercised the window several times and saw immediate improvement before replacing the door cover. It's been several years and still working.

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