Froglube, Tracklube, and Seal1 Laboratory Analysis

Froglube, the minty green gun lube/toothpaste some people love and others love to hate, has been rumored to be the same as Tracklube Plus, a blue roller coaster track lubricant paste.

Seal1, an orange gun paste, has also been rumored to be the same as Froglube. If all the rumors are true, that means Froglube, Tracklube+ and Seal1 are all the same product.

But when are all the rumors true? Rumors are never true. All the rumors? Come on.

Well, they are in this case.

Initial Laboratory Analysis, October 2015

Froglube, Tracklube+, and Seal1
Froglube, Tracklube+, and Seal1

The results of infrared specroscopy testing done at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts show astonishing similarities between the three products. For more information from Everett Baker, who conducted this testing, please read this very informative post on his blog, and the subsequent ones as well.

When I sent the results to different people for their input, here is what they had to say:

“For the IR, you are looking at how functional groups of atoms in a molcule absorb light.  The X-axis gives us the stretch of the molecular bond and the Y axis gives us the number of photons that were absorbed.  These IR spectra are clearly hydrocarbon spectra.  Samples 11, 12 and 13 are functionally identical.  There are minor differences in sample 16 from 6 and 8 that reflect the presence of carbon oxygen bonds which may suggest the absence of an additional functional groups, perhaps oxygens, so perhaps that is a different kind of vegetable oil like peanut oil, but these are all effectively light vegetable or vegetable like oils. In fact, I am a bit shocked at how similar samples 11, 12 and 13 are…”

(note: samples 6, 8, and 16 will be discussed in a separate post)

“All three samples in that spectrum look nearly identical, with the caveat that IR is not a very conclusive way to determine the overall structure of a molecule. IR allows us to determine the presence of various functional groups (esters, alkenes, alkanes, alcohols, etc), but doesn’t really provide a way to link them together (NMR is a much better technique for this). The only thing I can really get from those is the presence of a carbonyl compound at 1750 cm-1, and various C-H stretches near 2800-2900 cm-1. So for example, a wax might look very similar to a vegetable oil in IR, but there’s obviously a huge difference in the physical properties as a gun lube. In this case though, they are so similar, it’s likely that all three are composed primarily of the same compounds. “

A Separate Laboratory Analysis And Opinion, January 2016

Infrared spectroscopy is one important part of this analysis, but a more complete picture can be found with additional testing. To that end, NMR and GCMS tests were done at a separate laboratory (NMR stands for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and GCMS stands for Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy). What follows was written by the person conducting these tests, who has a PhD in chemistry.

TrackLube vs. Seal1 vs. FrogLube

TrackLube, Seal1, and FrogLube all appear to be very similar, color differences notwithstanding. The 1H (Figures 1 and 2) and 13C (Figure 3) NMR data shows nearly identical spectra for all three products. They are a blend of a few different compounds: primarily methyl salicylate (wintergreen oil) and mostly-saturated triglycerides, with some preservatives and other molecules rounding out the mixture. The degree of saturation (as compared to the more highly unsaturated triolein, for example) makes these triglycerides semisolid at room temperature, which would explain the paste-like consistency of these products. A very rough estimate of the methylsalicylate:triglyceride ratio (as the 1H NMR peak areas) suggests these consist of a few percent wintergreen oil by mass.

Figure 1. 300 MHz 1H NMR of TrackLube, Seal1, and FrogLube showing monounsaturated fatty acid spectrum.
Figure 1. 300 MHz 1H NMR of TrackLube, Seal1, and FrogLube showing monounsaturated fatty acid spectrum.
Figure 2. Downfield portion of 1H NMR spectra showing methyl salicylate peaks (10.8, 7.8-6.8, 4.0 ppm), plus vinyl and glycerol protons of unsaturated triglycerides (5.4 ppm and 4.3-4.1 ppm, respectively).
Figure 2. Downfield portion of 1H NMR spectra showing methyl salicylate peaks (10.8, 7.8-6.8, 4.0 ppm), plus vinyl and glycerol protons of unsaturated triglycerides (5.4 ppm and 4.3-4.1 ppm, respectively).
Figure 3. 13C NMR spectra showing similar composition between lubes. All peaks are accounted for by methyl salicylate and triglycerides.
Figure 3. 13C NMR spectra showing similar composition between lubes. All peaks are accounted for by methyl salicylate and triglycerides.

Upon opening the tubs of product, one notices that Track Lube and Frog Lube smell very similar, with a strong wintergreen scent. Seal 1 also has this minty scent, but one might also notice hints of bubblegum, and this likely means there are small volatile compounds not present in the other two paste lubes. The best way to quickly determine the identity of all of these compounds is GCMS (Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy). As we see below (Figure 4), all three lubes are very similar, in that they share nearly all the same representative peaks. It’s not too illuminating to measure the height of each peak, nor is it particularly helpful to measure the relative peak areas (much more thorough and expensive work is needed to do with any decent accuracy). As predicted by smell, we see that Seal 1 (red) has two small peaks that correspond to isoamyl acetate (4.0 min) and limonene (5.7 min), which smell of banana and lemon, respectively. Otherwise we see a number of compounds present in all 3 samples: BHT, terephthalates, and the fragments of mostly-saturated triglycerides. The size of these fragments suggests that triglycerides with carbon chain lengths of ~10-18 were most common, but it is difficult to tell based on the nature of GCMS. These numbers do roughly match up to NMR integrations, so it’s likely a good estimate of the range. As in the NMR spectra, it is difficult to tell exact proportions here. It may be that the ratio of methyl salicylate to triglyceride varies somewhat, and that the average chain length changes slightly between products, but in general we can say that they are very similar mixtures.

Figure 4. GCMS chromatogram of FrogLube (blue), Seal 1 (red), and TrackLube (green) with compounds labeled via NIST library matches.
Figure 4. GCMS chromatogram of FrogLube (blue), Seal 1 (red), and TrackLube (green) with compounds labeled via NIST library matches.

Since the mixtures’ exact ratios were difficult to discern, rheology was performed on the samples to get a feel for their mechanical properties at various temperatures and shear rates. First, samples of each were subjected to moderate, constant shear and the temperature was swept from 25-60°C (77-140°F) to simulate a firearm warming up under use. The viscosity of the mixture decreases drastically from 25-45°C (77-113°F) as the pastes melted, and then held steady. The plots do show some differences in viscosity during melting, and there may be several possible causes: (i) potentially varying ratios of wintergreen oil to triglyceride slightly affect the melting temperature, (ii) air bubbles/voids in the paste escape during melting, causing faulty readings by the instrument, or (iii) variation in the triglyceride chain length/degree of saturation alters the melting characteristics. Either way, at slightly warm temperatures, they have nearly identical viscosities, which serves as a rough proxy for other mechanical properties one might find useful in a firearms lubricant.

Figure 5. Temperature vs. viscosity plots for the paste lubes shows similar responses as the lube melts. The small differences during melting (25-40°C) may arise from a number of factors.
Figure 5. Temperature vs. viscosity plots for the paste lubes shows similar responses as the lube melts. The small differences during melting (25-40°C) may arise from a number of factors.

The second rheological test was a sweep of shear rate while held at 25°C. This test showed that there is significant shear thinning at higher rates, typical of these types of mixtures. Again, there are differences between the three products, but the same general response was noted for each with respect to decrease in viscosity at higher shear rates. At high shear rates (such as found on rapidly moving firearms parts), these differences are very small, and the various products have very similar properties.

Figure 6. Viscosity versus shear rate for three paste lube products showing shear-thinning properties.
Figure 6. Viscosity versus shear rate for three paste lube products showing shear-thinning properties.

From the above data, we can see that Froglube, Seal 1, and Track Lube are very similar in composition and mechanical properties. Perhaps a thorough and robust firearms live fire test is necessary to determine any practical differences, but all expectations are that they would perform similarly. At the time of writing, the costs of Seal 1 ($18.95/8 oz,, Frog Lube ($18.40/8 oz,, and Track Lube ($16.99/8 oz, are also nearly identical, so it ultimately comes down to these two questions: Do you prefer your firearms to smell like just mint or minty bubblegum? Is your favorite color green, blue, or yellow-orange?

Company Responses & My Opinion

I contacted each company and asked if their product was identical to the others.

Froglube has no contact info other than a customer contact form on their site, and their response was to thank me for my inquiry and direct me to the instructions on how to use their product. No, I’m not kidding. I called them after the second round of testing. When asked if FrogLube was the same as TrackLube, they replied, “no, it is not.” When asked if it was similar, the response was “It’s an all-natural lubricant.” When asked if FrogLube was the same as Seal1, the response was “no, it’s not like Seal1 at all.”

Tracklube+ told me that they have been selling their product since 2003 to amusement parks around the country and just started selling direct to the public. They said that their company does not sell Tracklube+ under other names. In the interests of fairness, here is their entire response.



I contacted Seal1 by email and their response was:

“Our product is not similar to Froglube or Tracklube. We develop and manufacture all of our own products. Please give me a call if you have any further questions.”

On the phone, Seal1 told me that their product was unique, entirely unlike Froglube and Tracklube, and when I described the results of the test, they said it must be “false readings.” They also said it has been in development since the early 1990s. Okay.

Let’s operate under the assumption that Froglube, Tracklube+ and Seal1 are all the same thing with, say, different food coloring added to give the appearance of uniqueness.

I’m not even mad. They’re all priced roughly the same. It’s not like Froglube is just Tracklube+ with a huge markup and a snazzy marketing campaign.

If you like Froglube and see no other reason to stop using it, I wouldn’t be mad about this and wouldn’t stop using it. However, I think there are much better products on the market.

When I last wrote about a variety of gun oils and gave my thoughts on them, I said that I had never used Froglube. That has since changed. During the 2014 test of a Battle Rifle Company AR, all 10,000 rounds were fired with Froglube as the lubricant. This was done because BRC prefers Froglube, and I probably fired about 6,000 of the 10,000 rounds. The performance of the weapon during the test was somewhere between Gigli and Taurus, but I don’t think Froglube had anything to do with it. The gas port was way too big which caused major problems – all of the problems, as far as I’m concerned.

I have never used Seal1 or Tracklube+ on a rifle – but then again, if Seal1 and Tracklube+ and Froglube are identical, and I’ve used Froglube, then I guess I’ve used the other two as well.

I do have some specific concerns about a claim made by Froglube which I think cannot possibly be true. Those will be addressed in a future blog post.

If you order Tracklube+ it comes in a brown paper wrapped box from a company called “Amusement Lubrications Specialties” and your longtime mail lady will never look at you the same way again.

Also, in my opinion, Seal1 smells better than Froglube. It smells the way Banana Runts taste.

This post brought to you by Banana Runts.

58 thoughts on “Froglube, Tracklube, and Seal1 Laboratory Analysis”

  1. Vuurwapen going all scientific method on everybody’s asses.

    Bringing in multiple tests and verified people to submit an analysis and form a final conclusion.

  2. I have been using a mix of motor oil and banana runts for the last 82 years, and find that it works better–especially in cold temperature–than Froglube UNLESS you apply the froglube on correctly by degreasing everything with denatured alcohol in an ultrasonic cleaner, waiting for a full moon, re-degreasing everything, applying the froglube (while jogging in place), putting it in the oven at 300 degrees (or using a hairdryer for 30 minutes), and then wiping off the extra while saying a prayer and asking forgiveness from Seal1 and Tracklube. Then it does appear to work well.

    1. 2 questions:
      1. What setting on the hair drier
      2. Do you think sacrificing a chicken, to Seal 1 or Track lube would be as effective? I find that actually giving something to the lesser gods of slip instead of just words gives my matrix 23% more resistant bonding.

  3. Could the results be similar because they are all eco friendly lubricants. It wouldn’t surprise me if different chemists have similar thoughts as to how to develop a certain product and the methods and compounds used by each are close.

    I currently use FrogLube and
    I believe in their CLP wholeheartedly. I have used numerous other products on my weapons including synthetic motor oil and nit one matched the reliability of FL. With only one application of FL, I ran approx 1260 rounds through my DDM4 without one hiccup and my weapon wanted to continue to run. This was done in a two day period in temps ranging from above freezing to freezing and below freezing.

    Having worked in LE in a variety of specialized capacities, I know the importance of having a fully functional
    weapon at all times. I refuse to look no further for a CLP because FL has been thoroughly tested in the field by many operators (military and LE) and it works.

    The true testing ground for a product that is meant for a weapon is in a weapon and out in the field in a variety of conditions. I hope you’re able to conduct your weapon test again w a weapon that won’t malfunction so you can give each product an honest assessment. Posting lab findings and suggesting that all three products are
    essentially the same without testing them in the environment they are intended for is unfair.

    1. Because independent, objective, scientific testing is obviously unfair.

      He’s got you, Andrew. Using that science to explain things? Tide goes in, tide goes out. Can’t explain that, Andrew.

    2. Froglube is excellent for high round count usage. It keeps carbon from sticking to things and doesn’t burn off as quickly as other lubes. We use it on our machine guns and it works really well in that application. It also works reasonable well as a carbon solvent. It has some serious downsides though.

      Since froglube is a vegetable based lube it does go rancid after a period of a couple of months sitting on your weapon. Once it goes rancid it gets sticky and loses some of its lubricity. It also is a horrible lubricant in cold weather (real cold weather like 10 degrees and below). At those temps it’s almost a solid. I have personally experienced a failure to fire with a frog lubed bcm ar 15 in sub zero temps due to frog lube solidifying and preventing the firing pin from moving. Once I remobed the froglube the gun fired. Since experiencing that failure to fire (with a work gun I might add), I have switched to slip EWL for all my duty/carry guns. I’ve had no issues whatsoever with slip even down as cold as -10f.

        1. There’s parts of guns that need some lube where you cannot readily wipe down to a film. That’s where froglube failed me consistently and gummed up the gun but good.

          If one is seeking a one product for all their cleaning lubrication and protective needs, this is a fail once it sets up.

          On the plus side, I guess, I now know how to take apart several of my grandfathers ancient guns and get them back together.

    3. I have lubes that are more slick without a doubt but they will poison you if you get them in your Ovaltine and contain carcinogens from petroleum derivatives. I was impressed with the minty smell of FrogLube and after slobbering it on my 1911 and shooting it dry I wasn’t too impressed and moved back to my synthetic nano diamond lube. Anyone who is an expert at 1911’s knows that they were designed for thin oil lubrication, not paste. I started using M-Pro cleaner and I found it was a real B and the carbon wasn’t going anywhere. I jumped back to my CLP cleaning solution which gets the job done. After a while, I noticed carbon again and in a desperate effort to remove it, I pulled out the FrogLube paste and slathered it all over my frame and slide. Over the next few minutes months of carbon and lead fouling milked out of the pores of the steel. I wiped it clean and slathered a second coat on, and an equal amount came out. This was after I had used the M-Pro cleaning solution liberally.. My thoughts are that even if this stuff isn’t the best lube, it’s definitely the best cleaner, and I wont grow a fourth testicle if it gets in my sammich.. I have since purchased the extreme formula, and several bottles of the professional grade liquid lube which should solve my 1911 problems. I plan to run this stuff on my M4, but my only complaint is the amount of fouling it pulls out of the damn thing after having used other cleaning solutions. ; )sarcasm).

  4. You mentioned that you thought there were better products on the market. I’d like to know your thoughts on that.

    1. I think I linked to my previous article on gun oils/lubes. Short answer, my go-to if I have to buy a firearm related product is FP-10.

      1. You approve of FP-10. Cool! Have you ever tried Weapon Shield? Both products were developed by the same gentleman, George Fennell, so WP could be considered the successor to FP-10. I would love to hear your thoughts on WP since since it’s been available for several years now (and appears to have garnered respect from the community).

  5. Another enlightening post- thank you and those involved for putting the time in to conduct these tests.

    I’m not a user of Froglube or any similar products. At the moment I use TW-25b grease and Slip2000, and regular CLP if nothing else is available. I’m sure these tests and analysis take a lot of time to conduct, but I would really like to see Slip2000 tested, because it makes a number of similar performance claims to FireClean, but is open about being synthetic and doesn’t claim to be all-natural or hippie friendly. Please keep it in mind, if you decide to run another battery of tests.

    Keep up the awesome work! When’s the next podcast, Andrew? :p

  6. Thanks for sharing another excellent piece of scientific research and informative writing for the gun community. Keep up the good work!

  7. I use reclaimed raccoon roadkill rump fat to greaze my master blaster5000. It only jams when I get fur and bone particulate stuck in that thar whiz bang whatchymacallit. I jest might package that surply of extra I got an sell it as RF-500 Super Greaze.

  8. Very disappointed you didn’t extend the viscosity test into lower temperatures.

    I would have enjoyed seeing the massive value at lower temperatures.

  9. Its all marketing with these brands…….look at the popularity of the gun sports as of late and the rapid increase of products across the entire spectrum from, wipes, to parts, to greases, to cleaners, and so on…….Stay with the tried and true, it will cost less and works.

  10. Man, you are just raining on EVERYONE’S parade.
    Maybe you should give someone a positive review so people won’t think you’ve turned into a grumpy old man or something.
    Or, just continue to do science and make people mad. That has it’s own charm to it.
    And the claim that science hating is just for the church is CLEARLY wrong; anyone with a vested interest may hate the science when it comes down on them.

  11. And we need “all natural” gun oil for why? As I recall. whale oil is all natural, it’s the original bio-fuel and a renewable energy source.

  12. “If you order Tracklube+ it comes in a brown paper wrapped box from a company called “Amusement Lubrications Specialties” and your longtime mail lady will never look at you the same way again.”

    I laughed a little too hard at this, my wife is looking at me like I’m nuts. On the other hand, that isn’t abnormal.

  13. Sooooo, I’m still good running Remoil spray and 3in1 oil. Good to know! I think all these “gun lube” companies should just put you on retainer, ya know, a little payolla never hurt anybody, and you could certainly use the extra scratch to fund some serious research. Like a trip to Pittsburgh. Get some hands on range time with a Primanti Bros Samich!

  14. Keep up these tests Andrew! It’s nice to have actual data to look at instead of just endless ‘testimonials’, which the gun lubricant industry is awash with.

    Froglube does seem to be mostly hype, and a marginal product when it comes to lubrication. The fact it seems to oxidize over time really makes it sub-par, especially for carry guns, and other firearms which only see infrequent maintenance.

    That said, I don’t know if it’s on your list of tests to come, but one interesting one would be to see if Rem Oil actually contains any Teflon/PTFE, as it claimed. After looking at a rather large amount of wear tests here on the internet, I actually think it might not contain any fluorinated compounds at all (much less PTFE), despite the claims on the packaging.

      1. re: I have IR data for remoil. I’ll check into it.

        It’s always worth tossing in a ringer, just so those unfamiliar can see just how different an actually different formulation reads…

        …unless you end up discovering that all three are just rebranded flavored colored RemOil.

      2. Hi Andrew, Teflon is toxic above 500degrees f. Is also consider an oxidizer. Not good for some one who puts a lot work on the range. Any product that is petroleum base is going to require some type of solvent. A lot of gun maintenance products are fortified with ptfe. Not much disclosure in Gun maintenance products far as ingredients. If you want to test my product to test the test. If you sign a none disclosure. I’ll share the ingredients .

  15. It does claim to have teflon lubricant, and also to be “same great lubricant since 1913”. Hmmm, did not realize teflon was a thang back before dubyadubya1. No sciency type testing here, I just like how well it works, from well below freezing to well above boiling(guns do tend to get warm, even when ambient temps are around zero). Be interesting to see what is in it, and no, I don’t wear socks with my sandals.

  16. I cannot confirm nor deny that they are the same product, but given that they are similar products made from the same family of materials for similar uses, it would only stand to reason that they would have very similar signatures. I would love to see some other product that is known to be different used as a control; put the readouts for Hoppes or FireClean or Canola Oil on the same graph, so that we have some sense of the scale and margins of the difference.

  17. You know what would be genuinely refreshing? If one of these lube companies would up and say “yeah, it’s the same thing. We buy bulk tubs of Tracklube and put food coloring in it, and then sell it at retail. U mad bro?”

    But that’ll never happen, because apparently the lubicration side of the industry is completely bug-fuck nuts.

    1. Its all about dat cash, ’bout dat cash, ’bout dat cash, oh yeah.

      Not that I am against making money! Problem is people being so blatantly dishonest about it that pisses me off. Industries are filled with people who believe PR is all that is needed, and as long as they hide behind the curtain of “its just advertising, folks” they say and claim ANYDAMNEDTHING they want. And then get all pissy and butthurt when they are called for their lies and sh*tspew. Just like politicians. Word salad. No truth or facts needed, just sales numbers.

  18. froglube and tracklube are the SAME EXACT THING! Both are made by Rydon Corporation! GOOGLE!! AND LOOK AT THE GOOGLE DESCRIPTION!

    I went on tracklube’s website just to check them out and found a MSDS:

    “RYDON Corporation provides the best gun cleaning supplies including Froglube gun care products.”

    From Rydon’s website.

    “RYDON Manufacturing Services
    RYDON Corporation is an OEM manufacturer of bio-based lubricants and cleaners.

    We manufacture gun cleaning, gun care, & shooting products. We have been in business for over 25 years producing quality American made gun accessories, supplies, cleaning and shooting products. We are proud to say our products will meet or exceed the performance of our competitors’ products.

    We produce products for Cabela’s, Thompson Center/Smith & Wesson, Traditions, TrackLube, Knight, RMC Muzzleloading and Ox-Yoke Originals.”

    1. Who made all of the products for Ox yoke originals and TC and track lube? Who manufactured all TC bore butter and wonderlube and Tracklube? When you boil it down one man is behind it all! SCOTT LEE. Just Google Scott Lee and all of the companies above you will find he developed all of the bio based products that are in this article. OH he also owns Seal1 so how is Froglube so similar?

    2. Interesting read about Rydon. Who produced the products for Cabelas, Thompson Center/Smith & Wesson, Traditions, TrackLube, Knight, RMC Muzzleloading and Ox-Yoke Originals. Prior to Rydon buying Ox-Yoke? I read the Ox-Yoke went out of business in Milo Maine in late 90’s and Rydon bought the rights to all the natural lubricants that use to be made up there. I dont think Rydon invented any of the products they are selling. It was someone else.

  19. Pingback: 1911s and Froglube
  20. Late to the party but wanted to say it was an interesting read. I have some experience with Frog Lube as a tacticool replacement for Ballistol but the jury is still out. How about a comparison between those two.

  21. Cabela’s now sells plastic tubs of a bright yellow grease branded “Cabela’s Slide Lube.” It smells like wintergreen. I wonder if it’s rebranded Tracklube too.

  22. Hi Andrew,

    first, let me thank you for all your well-researched, no-BS articles.

    It seems over here (in Germany) we are not that overflooded with all the different snake oils and greases that you have in the US. But still we have more than enough of them.

    I would love to know how a classique like Ballistol would compare to all these new revolutionary products you have. It’s over a hundred years old and still my favourite gun oil. Although I recently added Ballistol GunCer to it. Now I use Ballistol mainly for cleaning and GunCer for lubricating.

    Since I know that PTFE starts to disintegrates at only 250 °C and emits Carbonyl fluoride which is highly toxic and together with water (from the air) builds Hydrofluoric acid, every lube containing PTFE/Teflon is out of the question for me!

    1. I live in the United States and have been using Ballistol…seems to be just one version of Ballistol in the USA…for several years. Really like it. Tried FrogLube and Seal1, but just to messy and involved. Never heard of Ballistol GunCer. Is that available in the USA? I will also try and find it on the internet.

  23. I have been happy with Frog Lube and discovered other great uses. I spent years as an automobile mechanic and as a result have a cronic dry skin issue with my hands. They constantly dry and the skin splits painfully. One day after gooping (scientific term) my BCG with minty magic, I noticed my hands were soft and smooth. I have used dozens of products over the years and now keep a tub of FL on hand for when my hands get dry. It also works better than Carmex or ChapStick on dry chapped lips!

    I am NOT trying to be funny, this stuff really works!

    1. As per the article, might be worth trying pure coconut oil for this? A lot of people use it for the skin, and it’s probably a lot better than rubbing metal lubrication-specific chemicals and additives into your skin…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *