How to lube over stock lube on switches

I am planning to lube SWK Outva Yangs (Linear one’s). And it comes pre-lubed, the question is, how do I lube over the stock lube that comes with the switch? I am planning to lube it with Krytox 205g0 and 105g0 for the springs.

Thanks in advance.


I generally just lube right over the factory lube. I have heard of some people cleaning stems in an ultrasonic cleaner first. I haven’t ever done that.


What do I clean them with?

Why do you want to lube over the factory lube? Is it not smooth enough, or you specifically want it deeper sounding?

Same for me, I just use a little less lube than what I would use with unlubed switches to make sure I’m not over lubing.

Good question. I believe @donpark has cleaned off stems. Maybe he can offer advice

1 Like

I just want to well, have the lube experience and also maybe make it sound better. Sadly I have already bought the Krytox 205g0 and 105g0.

Hmm ok.

I will check his profile and maybe ask him.

I would see how you like them without any more first. You’ll want to build one for yourself after and will eventually use them, don’t worry :wink: You’ll also want the 205g0 for the stabilizers in any event.

Ah alright, guess im going stock, maybe. I have asked DonPark about it, so ill wait for his reply. But if I find removing the stock lube hard, may have to put little lube over the stock lube, or maybe not at all.

Also I think ill just use the Krytox 205g0 for future builds or maybe the stabilizers.

Also, do you have any stock switch recommendations, perhaps unlubed?

1 Like

Hi @TechKid.

Cleaning - I wipe 4 sides of each stem against a lotion-free kleenex tissue while holding the stem with a stem holder. If done right, just takes two wipes to cover all 4 sides. Sloppy but fast and easy.

Tedium - Whether lubing or relubing, I lube only the stem to keep tedium at acceptable level. I did try using degreaser spray (Vertrel MCA Cleaning Agent MS-750M) but it’s tedious and result is mixed so now I use it only when it makes sense. In most situations, wiping with tissue will do.

Lube Viscosity - When relubing, I try to take into account lube viscosity so similar or thicker lube is applied. Applying 3203 over a stem previously lubed with 205g0 is not great. When I’m not sure which lube to use, I start with tinner lube. So oil → 3203 → 3204 → 205g0.


Hello DonPark, thanks for answering!

Though I decided to go with the stock lube since it was already great, and I think cleaning it and then relubing it would take soo much time.

Also I have finished building the keyboard, my sister was so happy and shocked when I told her this was hers.

Though this info you gave me will be very useful in the future.

Best Regards, Rade.


Sounds great, and congratulations!

1 Like

I also just lube over the factory stuff with Krytox 205g or Idontknowwhatthegmmklubeiscalled. I initially tried to clean my first batch of self lubed switches because over the time I started to recognize what “too much” means. I used a 10 liter bucket of initially warm water with a heavy amount of dish soap. Stirred it around every few minutes for about an hour.
And then I brushed every part with a soft tooth brush. After about 40 switches I lost patience and my fingers hurt so I cleaned the rest a few days later with the same process.

It was less than ideal.

1 Like

Thanks for that info.


1 Like

Like they said it was less than ideal, but I’d imagine soap & water is better than just dry wiping lube off switch parts. IME Vertrel XF is the best way to remove lube from switch parts, but it is a bit pricey. DuPont™ Vertrel® XF – Ringer Keys

Thanks for the information.

Though I would agree that it’s not ideal to clean lubricant off a switch with soap and water. The thing is, I’m afraid of breaking things, especially electronics. So I would never ever remove a lubricant off a switch with soap and water.

I would trust tools, items, liquids that are confirmed to be useful for removing lubricant from the switch. Like the IME Vertrel XF you mentioned.

Though, in your opinion, should I just lube over the switch that comes factory pre-lubed or do I remove the factory lubricant first then apply lubricant manually?

Thanks in advance.

  • TechKid.

Hey @donpark

If I’m lubing/relubing, is it fine to also apply lubricant on other parts of the switch like the floor, stem rails, etc?

And for removing the lubricant, can I use the IME Vertrel XF, that @Rob27shred told me?

And another question, since I’m not sure what factories use to apply lubricant on their switches (I suspect that they use a thin lubricant like Krytox 105g0 (oil), oil lubricants, etc), can I just use any lubricant to relube them? Since you mentioned that “Applying 3203 over a stem previously lubed with 205g0 is not great.” which I suspect you are saying that using thicker lube over thinner lube is bad.

Thanks in advance.

  • TechKid

It should be fine. AFAIK, the metallic contact point area where two parts of the contact leaves touch is the only area in a mechanical switch that may break a switch when lubed.

Question is whether you should. I lube only the stem out of convenience. When I lubing other areas, it’s to either change the sound to my taste or to remove undesirable noise.

  • lubing top or bottom housing will affect sound up to a point.
  • lubing areas on top or bottom housing where stem strikes against will reduce noise.
  • lubing area where stem pushes against the contact leaves will affect tactility.
  • thick lube on some parts of contact leaves will remove leaf noise.

Yes. Question is again whether you should. I found IME Vertrel XF difficult to work with because it evaporates fast and I had no information on best way to use it. If you use it, use an airtight plastic container just large enough to hold the switches.

  1. Place the disassembled switch parts inside
  2. Add some Vertrel XF into it. I think I used ~7ml, losing the rest to evaporation.
  3. Leave the container sealed for a while to let Vertrel fume degreases the parts.
  4. Wash the parts then let dry before lubing.

Another option is to use a spray can of Vertrel MCA if you have a lot of switches to degrease.

Bad in the sense relubing 3203 over 205g0 won’t make much difference so you’ll be wasting time.

1 Like

Thanks for the big explaination.

And I think I misunderstood what you said about applying 3203 on 205g0, in my mind, I thought the other way around.


  • TechKid.
1 Like