What are the Different Types of Silicone Fluid?

Maggie J. Hall

There are many types of silicone fluid, which is manufactured using silicon, which differ in color and viscosity. The fluid's appearance ranges from colorless and the consistency of water to dark brown, thick and semisolid. These variations combined with other physical properties allow the use of silicone products in a number of situations. Silicone fluid is generally used in its raw form or combined with other materials to make polymers or emulsions.

Silicone oil is a component of synthetic engine oil.
Silicone oil is a component of synthetic engine oil.

As this fluid exhibits resistance to extreme hot or cold temperatures and is water repellent, silicone applications are frequently seen in various types of industrial products including lubricants for automotive vehicles and machinery. Silicone oil is a component of synthetic engine oils and brake or hydraulic fluids. In spray form, silicone lubricant might be used for anything from bicycle chains to tool and die molds.

A bottle of fabric softener, which contains amino silicone fluid.
A bottle of fabric softener, which contains amino silicone fluid.

The substance can provide a glossy, protective coating and is frequently an additive in paints or automotive polishes and waxes. Silicone fluid also has many household applications as an adhesive, sealant or repair product due to its water repellent properties. Liquid silicone rubber is often used to seal the joints in aquarium walls and applied in bathrooms or kitchens to prevent water leakage. It is commonly employed to seal tile around counters or shower stalls and to seal pipe joints and water faucets in plumbing.

A washing machine with a slot for fabric softener, which is often made with amino silicone fluid.
A washing machine with a slot for fabric softener, which is often made with amino silicone fluid.

Bathing, shaving and numerous personal hygiene products also contain silicone components. Hair products incorporate silicone fluid because it retains moisture, provides detangling, minimizes frizzing and adds shine. Since it traps moisture and repels the harmful effects of the sun, silicone fluid is often an ingredient in bath oils, conditioners and sunscreens.

Amino silicone fluid combined with textile fibers often provides fabric softening. It's resistance to heat and moisture may be beneficial when used on clothing or furniture. Since it is naturally temperature resistant and non-conductive properties, silicone frequently comprises components of various electronic gadgets. This fluid also resists foaming, which makes it useful in a variety of products, from household detergents and antacid medications to commercial cooking oils.

The medical industry typically uses silicone fluid based products for a number of purposes, including lubrication for insertion devices. The coating on syringes and scalpel blades is also made from silicone. Physicians commonly use liquid silicone to replace the vitreous humor of an injured eyes and it is the substance used in cosmetic implants because it contains natural antimicrobial features.

The coating on scalpel blades is made from silicone.
The coating on scalpel blades is made from silicone.

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Discussion Comments


@NathanG - Silicone is useful for a lot of things. Of course rubber silicone is an obvious application for mending stuff around the house, but you can even use it for artistic purposes.

If you like to build crafts you can use silicone to create your own mold. It’s very adaptable and you can use different stencils to shape the final mold, and add dye for color as needed.


@Charred - Here’s my word of advice. If you use silicone oil, don’t switch back to regular oil. Do not go back and forth between silicone and regular oil.

As a matter of practice you should always stay with the same type of oil but this is even truer when you’re talking about switching between synthetic stuff and natural stuff. It will mess up your engine if you keep switching.


@MrMoody - It's interesting that you mention viscosity. Someone recommended that I should use silicone oil when I do my oil changes. I was wondering what everyone thought of that.

Supposedly the silicone products have better viscosity and are better for your engine. I really don’t know the difference. Isn’t the silicone stuff synthetic?

All I know is that it costs a lot more to use the silicone oil than it does to use the petroleum based product.


I use silicone every day. It’s in my hair gel. I am sure it’s in other silicone spray products but I know for a fact that it’s in my hair gel. I can attest that the stuff really works.

Sometimes I use too much hair gel and when I go to the stylist they have to cut through all the “goop” from my gel. They usually spray it with water to loosen it up.

Really with these products it’s true that just a little dab will do you, like the old commercial used to say. I think the thing what holds the hair in place is the viscosity of the silicone.

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