Do You Grease a Trailer Hitch Ball? (What Kind of Grease)

Metal on metal. Those are keywords when you are in doubt about using grease or not. When you have metal parts moving against metal parts, moving or stationary, then you know you need to protect both parts. There is only one way to do that.

You need lubrication as the hitch is made of strong metal and it goes over the ball which is made of strong metal. Unfortunately, these two parts do not remain still. To tow better and not harm your hitch and ball, you need to add grease.

To learn more about this topic, just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to know about to keep your hitch and ball in top shape. Without the grease, you may still be able to tow but your replacement costs will eat into your budget.

Does a Hitch Ball Need Grease?


Yes, it does. You should grease the ball to protect it from the metal hitch you will be attaching to it. Whenever you have metal parts rubbing against each other, lubrication, in this case, grease is needed for smooth operation.

Plus, adding the grease is the easiest way to protect your trailer ball from damage. Metal on metal parts are not easy on each other and the frictions, as well as the heat, can cause a lot of damage.

Besides that, grease is an excellent defense when it comes to corrosion and rust. Both elements can add to the damage friction causes when you tow long distances. Even short-distance tows can add up and make you replace those parts sooner than you expected.

Using the best grease is part of a good maintenance program when you own a trailer. While you need to maintain your trailer parts, add the hitch and ball to that list. It only takes a minute or two to add the grease and keep that ball in top shape and ready to use.

Your parts store should have a good supply of different types of grease that you can use. There is no shortage of grease at this time.

Do You Grease Trailer Hitch Ball?


Yes, you do. To prevent rust, corrosion, and metal on metal damage you always need to use a good lubricant to make sure the metal on your hitch ball is protected.

Keeping your hitch ball in top shape means that it won’t lose any integrity throughout the time you own it. You can rely on it to do its job when you tow your trailer to your next destination.

But when you go to grease this essential part, make sure to wear old clothes. Grease can get everywhere if you are not careful, especially when you absent-mindedly wipe your fingers on your pants.

Make sure to have a rag on hand to make sure your hands get clean without using your pant leg. Apply grease is also very easy to do. You just need one or two fingers to dip into the grease and spread it over the ball.

Make sure to get all parts of the ball so no portion is left unprotected. If you want, you can grease the inside of your hitch. This protects it from rust and corrosion as well and adds another layer of lubrication just in case you missed a spot.

Don’t use anything but grease though. The grease is thick enough to remain where you put it.

What Kind Of Grease do You Use For a Trailer Hitch?

This time we will provide you with some top brands as most people do not know who makes grease and if their products are any good:

1. Mission Automotive 4oz Trailer Hitch Ball Lubricant- made in the US and it is an ideal brand to use to keep your hitch ball in shape. It works on other metal-to-metal parts and is said to be non-staining.

Plus, it should not run on you and is non-toxic.

2. Reese Towpower 58117 Hitch Ball Lube - this non-toxic product helps reduce friction, extends the life of your hitch ball, and fights off corrosion. Plus, it is water-resistant meaning that it does not break down easily when water hits it.

This is a white-colored grease product.

3. Unisport Trailer Hitch Ball Lubricant- also made in the US, this compact container holds top-level grease that should lubricate more than your hitch ball. Its drawbacks include it getting very dirty in dusty conditions.

Plus, it needs to be reapplied every time you hitch your trailer to the ball.

4. Bulletproof Anti-Friction Grease - this product comes in a 1-ounce tube but it is supposed to do a great job lubricating your hitch ball. It reduces wear on any powder coat you may have as well as friction.

Then it helps resist rust and corrosion every time you use it. Maybe a bit spendy.

5. LubriMatic LMX Industrial Strength Grease - this product is made for 5th wheels and it comes at just under $1 per ounce. It is sold in 14-ounce tubes but it should not break down when exposed to water.

This product should work on hitch balls and hitches.

How do You Lubricate a Trailer Hitch?


The following instructions are for one specific ball and hitch and come from the Equalizer hitch website:

- Remove tension from the spring arms by lifting them off the L-brackets.

- Swing the spring arms sockets until the spring arms are perpendicular to the tow vehicle.

- Remove the spring arms from the hitch head sockets.

- Using a high-quality cloth rag, wipe clean the friction surface areas of the sockets, top, and bottom.

- Using Equal-i-zer High-Performance Lubricant (or a quality bearing grease), place a pinhead-sized drop onto the top of the socket.

- DO NOT use a degreaser such as WD-40 on the hitch sockets.

- Spread the lubricant with your finger or rag until it covers the entire surface.

- Repeat this for the underside of the socket.

- Insert the spring arms into the socket and rotate the socket back and forth.

- DO NOT lubricate the L-brackets or spring arms.

The 3 lines in bold will be the process for almost every other ball you own. It is not difficult to grease a trailer ball. The key is to make sure you get all the ball covered so rust and corrosion do not get a foothold on your hitch parts.

Also, when you go shopping for grease, make sure it is a high heat variety. You do not want to take chances with any other kind of grease on the market today. That hitch and ball do generate lots of heat when towed.

Some Alternative Options


There are some different products you can use if you do not want to get your hands dirty. These products contain graphite and they can come in a tube or a spray can.

Grease will attract dirt but the graphite options, loose or spray, do not. It is a dry formula that will stick to the hitch ball and it will go on easily. The spray sticks better than the loose graphite options.

The drawback is that graphite is known to conduct electricity so be careful where you spray it. John Deere is supposed to be one of the better graphite options to use.

To keep the dirt off the greased ball, there are hitch ball gloves you can buy and secure over the ball. Once in place, your grease should remain dirt and dust-free.

Best Grease For Trailer Hitch


There are several good brands out there and options you can use. The best for graphite has been said to be CRC & Blaster dry graphite in spray cans. If you want the best grease that is actually grease, check out the list we provided above.

You want to make sure it can handle the high heat that comes when the hitch and the ball rub together. Then add a ball glove to make sure you do not have to wipe off the previous product and wipe on the new.

Dirty grease will still work but it is not as good as clean grease will be. If your parts store does not carry those brands, just ask for the best of the brands they do carry. There are more brands than the ones listed that will be effective and good.

Some Final Words

Keeping your hitch ball in top shape may not be a priority for you but it should be on the maintenance list. Without greasing the part, you will damage it. That means another repair bill you have to pay.

Adding grease only takes a couple of minutes at best and it will save you in the long run. Just make sure you get a brand that can endure high heat levels when it is in motion. And does not need to be applied every time you connect the hitch.

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