Can You Use Canola Oil As Lube Or For Anal Sex? Is It Safe?

Canola oil can be safely used as a lube alternative in some, but not all, sexual situations.
Photograph Of Canola Oil Bottle On White Tabletop With Bed In Distant Background
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Updated:July 2023

The answer is it depends. You could use canola oil as lube, and it could be safe, but not always.

Here’s why:

  • Canola oil will break down condoms that are made from latex or polyisoprene, which can encourage the transmission of STDs or STIs and potentially result in an unwanted pregnancy.
  • Canola oil can also cause skin irritation and clog pores, trapping bacteria that can lead to infections, and during vaginal sex, may increase your risk for developing a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis.

The question to ask might not be whether you can use canola oil as lube but rather if you should use it at all.

Canola oil is an affordable and often readily available oil that could function as an oil-based lube for vaginal or anal sex. If you’re in a pinch, and it’s all you have on hand, it might be okay to use once in a while.

Should you make a canola oil lube part of your regular sex life? It depends.

In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about using canola oil as a personal lubricant, including: 

Editor’s Note: This article is part of our Lube Alternatives and Everything Lube hubs, in-depth and evolving resources that comprehensively explore all aspects of personal lubricants from the different types and how to use them, to ingredients and safety — created to help you achieve the sexual pleasure you deserve.

Can You Use Canola Oil As Lube?

In a word, yes, you can use canola oil as a lube, but not without understanding a few realities first.

Canola oil cannot be used with latex or polyisoprene condoms. Just like any other oil-based product, it can degrade the condom, making it ineffective — which can put you at risk for STDs, STIs, or unwanted pregnancy.

That said, canola oil is safe to use as a lubricant with condoms made from polyurethane, nitrile, or lambskin, although the latter will not protect you from STDs or STIs.

Canola Oil might be safe to use without condoms, but unfortunately, it can clog pores, trapping bacteria that can lead to breakouts, skin irritation, or even infection.

Using canola oil as an external lube during masturbation is safe to a degree, but because it can clog pores and trap bacteria beneath the surface of your skin it can cause irritation or lead to infection.

When used as a personal lubricant during vaginal sex, oils of any kind can increase your risk of developing an infection, including bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection.

Canola oil is an alternative for oil-based lubes you normally buy at an adult store. Because of that, It requires the same precautions you’d take with any oil-based personal lubricant.

Here’s what you need to know about using canola oil as a lube:

  • It’s thick and sticky which can feel strange on the skin
  • Canola oil can stain clothing and sheets
  • Canola oil is also very hard to clean up

If those realities don’t turn you off from using canola oil, and you’re ready to grab a bottle from the kitchen, there’s more to know.

Whether canola oil is a good option or not depends on what kind of sex you want to have — and we’ll talk about that in a moment.

Canola oil is a food product, so yes, it’s safe to ingest if you use it as lube to go down on your partner. It’s almost tasteless so you won’t have to worry about a gross aftertaste in your mouth.

It’s important to mention that oil-based lubes are not necessarily safe to swallow because they’re formulated to have a thicker consistency compared to cooking oils and can be a choking hazard.

It is safe to use canola oil only with silicone, glass, and metal sex toys. We don’t recommend using jelly or rubber sex toys due to concerns over the safety of their materials, but we know a lot of people own them, anyway.

Canola oil as lube will damage toys made from latex, jelly, or rubber, just like any other oil-based lubricant so avoid it with those toys.

Can You Use Canola Oil As Vaginal Lube?

Using oils as a personal lubricant for vaginal sex can increase your risk of developing an infection like yeast or bacterial vaginosis.

The same holds true during pregnancy when hormonal shifts put you at greater risk for yeast infections.

In this case, we recommend reaching for a safe, water-based lube.

Additionally, if you use a diaphragm to prevent pregnancy, do not use canola oil as vaginal lube.

Any oil-based lube could break down a diaphragm’s material, rendering it ineffective.

For anyone who is actively trying to conceive, however, there is good news! Canola oil isn’t toxic to sperm; it’s actually considered sperm-friendly.

So if this is baby-making time, yes, you can use canola oil as lube without it impacting conception.

Canola oil as a vaginal lube won’t automatically raise the pH balance in your vagina, but it could clog your pores.

Clogged pores and the thick, sticky residue that canola oil leaves behind could increase your risk of infection by trapping bacteria within your skin’s pores.

As we mentioned earlier, canola oil is difficult to clean — and this is especially true when it’s on the inside of your vagina.

Aside from the risk of clogged pores, it is safe to use as an external lube during masturbation — but if you have sensitive skin, you may find it’s not the best choice for you.

Again, if you masturbate using toys and intend to use canola oil, make sure not to pair it with toys made from latex or jelly rubber, as it will degrade their materials.

Can You Use Canola Oil As Anal Lube?

Assuming you don’t mind how it feels on your skin, or inside your anus, and you aren’t using latex or jelly rubber sex toys or condoms made from latex or polyisoprene, canola oil could be a safe alternative if you run out of your favorite brand of anal lube.

It’s important to remember that condom breakage can increase your risk of STD and STI transmission, however, so if you’re not sure of your partner’s status — or your own — choose a lube that works best for your preferred condom type.

If you’re using oil-safe condoms, such as those made from polyurethane, nitrile, or lambskin, canola oil can be a safe lube option.

Canola oil can clog pores and trap bacteria, leaving your skin prone to infection — so if your skin is sensitive, it might be best to seek a better lube alternative.

Anal-safe toys, such as those used during pegging, can be used with canola oil provided they are not made from latex or jelly rubber.

All of this aside, canola oil is still thick, sticky, and hard to clean up — potentially leaving stains on your sheets.

But oil lubes are highly recommended for anal sex because they’re thicker, last longer, and reduce friction more easily.

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What Is Canola Oil Made From And Is It Safe?

Canola oil is a highly processed and refined cooking oil made from the canola plant, whose seeds are 45% oil by composition.

The oil is made up of linolenic acid, oleic acid, and saturated fatty acids, as well as vitamin E. The fatty acids can help make your skin feel softer, which is a nice perk for any personal lubricant.

Some folks may have heard misinformation regarding canola oil being closely related to the rapeseed plant — believing they are equally toxic.

Although the canola plant belongs to the same family and was created through cross-breeding that involved rapeseed, it was intentionally bred to remove two components from the latter, including toxic erucic acid.

The erucic acid content in canola oil is extremely low — far below the FDA’s standards — making it completely safe.

Additionally, canola oil must meet international regulation standards to be labeled and sold as “canola oil.”

This means that if you’re going to use it as a lube, you can rest assured it’s exactly what it claims to be on the bottle.

That said, canola oil is highly refined. The seeds from the canola plant are crushed to release their oil before being treated with hexane, which is used to extract any oil left behind.

After the hexane is removed, the oil is treated with organic acids and water to remove fine particles, free fatty acids, lipids, and gums, before being filtered through natural clay and going through steam distillation.

Compared to something like extra virgin olive oil, which is basically just pressed and filtered, this process introduces a lot of chemicals and ingredients which can potentially react negatively with your skin, both inside and out.

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What Are Better Lube Alternatives To Canola Oil?

If you’re rethinking using canola oil as a lube, that’s understandable, and you have plenty of other options.

Better personal lubricant options include:

Here’s a cheat sheet for selecting the best lube based on how you intend to use it:

Lube Type:
Oral Sex Yes Yes Not usually
Vaginal Sex ONLY if pH/Osmolality suitable Yes Yes
Anal Sex ONLY if pH/Osmolality suitable Yes Yes
Condom Types All All Polyurethane, nitrile and lambskin only
Sex Toy Types All All but silicone All but latex
Bath/Shower Use No Yes Yes
Does It Stain? No Yes Yes
Lube Type:
Oral Sex
Vaginal Sex
Anal Sex
Condom Types
Sex Toy Types
Bath/Shower Use
Does It Stain?

There is a personal lubricant designed for every situation, so if you’re not sure which to choose, you can read through our in-depth lube guide or take our lube quiz to find your perfect match.

Our Top Lube Recommendations

After researching hundreds of personal lubricants — and personally testing dozens of them ourselves — we have found the very best lubes of each type, vetted by our team and recommended for their safety and performance.

Editor's Note: When you purchase a product via an affiliate link (*) on our site, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. On behalf of our entire team, thank you in advance for your support!

We’ll take a quick look at the four main lubricant categories below.

  • Water-Based Personal Lubricants

Water-based products are the most versatile type of lube because they’re water-soluble and easy to clean, plus they can be used with any kind of condom, dental dam, diaphragm, or sex toy.

Being water-based, however, they don’t last as long as other lubricant types and will generally require reapplication — but they do feel like your body’s natural lubrication.

Unfortunately, they can’t be used for sexual activities in the bathtub or shower because they dissolve in water.

Still, water-based lubes remain incredibly versatile otherwise so if you’d like to learn more about them, we reviewed the best water-based personal lubricants.

  • Silicone-Based Personal Lubricants

Silicone-based lubricants are long-lasting and safe for all condom types and most sex toys — aside from those made of silicone.

Silicone lube will degrade toys made from silicone, even though it sounds like they should get along well together.

Silicone-based lubes have a smooth, silk-like texture that doesn’t necessarily feel “natural” the way water-based lubricants do.

But because of their texture and thick consistency, they’re an especially great choice for anal sex.

Silicone lubricants are waterproof so they can be used during sex in the bath or shower, but they are more difficult to wash off afterward and can stain your bedding and clothes.

We explored the best silicone-based personal lubes to find the safest and most effective lubricants available.

  • Oil-Based Personal Lubricants

Oil-based lubes are usually made from natural (and sometimes organic) oils that are body-safe.

However, some oil-based products use oils that are derived from nuts, which can be an issue for people with allergies or sensitivities.

As we talked about earlier, oils can’t be used with condoms made from latex or polyisoprene because they’ll degrade their material; they’re only safe for lambskin, nitrile, or polyurethane condoms.

We did the research and reviewed the best oil-based personal lubricants to help you along with your search for the perfect one.

  • Natural And Organic Lubricants

Natural or organic lubes can be water-based or oil-based, depending on their formula — which can sometimes include nut-based ingredients.

Again, if you have a sensitivity or allergy to nuts — or anything, for that matter — do yourself a favor and read through the ingredient list first.

We researched and found the best and safest natural and organic lubricants so you can find the right product for yourself.

Are There Any Safe At-Home Lube Alternatives?

If you’re in a pinch and looking for something handy — and you can’t use canola oil or don’t have any in the kitchen — coconut oil or pure aloe vera are probably worth trying.

Coconut oil is a safe lube option but like canola and all other oils, it can’t be used with latex or polyisoprene condoms or dental dams, or latex or jelly rubber sex toys.

Pure aloe vera can be a safe lube alternative for many people, though not everyone. Its ideal for vaginal sex because its pH closely matches that of the vagina and its texture is similar to your body’s natural lubrication.

That said, it’s not a great fit for anal sex for those exact reasons; an anal lube with a thicker consistency and a higher pH is best.

Additionally, aloe vera is not-so-great if you’re actively trying to conceive.

Lastly, people who have latex allergies should be aware that aloe vera contains natural latex.

Quality manufacturers such as Aloe Cadabra, who we personally reviewed, ensure that the manufacturing process removes all traces of latex — but the same might not necessarily be true for every manufacturer.

Bottom Line:

Canola oil can be safely used as a lube alternative in some, but not all, sexual situations.

That being said, there are plenty of formulated oil lubes that may serve this purpose far better because they’re designed to.

Remember that if you grab canola oil for sexy fun times, you should treat it like any other oil-based lube.

And if oils aren’t a fit for you, after all, there are plenty of amazing lube options to choose from!

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