Best cork grease for clarinet

Cork grease is used as a lubricant and works in reed instruments. With all the variety of cork greases available, what is the best cork grease for clarinet? Let’s keep reading to find out.

When settling for cork grease, many people often get lured by the sweet scents and the sleekness of the bottles. I like sweetly scented cork greases, but I also recognize that this product should be much more than that. The main reason why I always have a bottle of cork grease is that the clarinet is made to be disassembled for easy storage. This means that you will need to put back parts when using it. In our search for the best product for my instrument with a saxophone friend, we came across some nice products, and I decided to put them in this post to make your search easy. Let’s look at some of the best cork greases available.

The Best cork grease for clarinet comparison table

Vandoren CG100B Clarinet Cork Grease-Chapstick TubeBlossom scentBeeswaxCheck price
KEY LEAVES Cork Grease - USDA Organic All-Natural cork lubricant for clarinetChap Stick TubeUnscentedBeeswax, SunflowerCheck price
Duo Korea Cork Grease for Woodwind instrumentDuo pink and yellow round containersStrawberry and mango scentsBeeswaxCheck price
Rico D'Addario All-Natural Cork Grease - DCRKGR01Chapstick tubeUnscentedJojoba wax, carnauba wax, candela waxCheck price
Rico Cork Grease, Box of 12 tubes - RCRKGR12Chapstick tubeUnscentedBeeswax, lanolin oil, castor oilCheck price
Conn-Selmer Cork Grease for Woodwind InstrumentsChao stick tubeUnscentedCorkCheck price

Vandoren CG100B Clarinet Cork GreaseThis single tube cork grease is best for any woodwind instrument

My first impression of this cork grease was the pleasant blossom smell that it produced. If you have previously used cork greases that stunk more than they gripped your cork, this is the best solution to this problem. The Vandoren cork grease comes in a sleek single tube that looks like lip balm. The bottle is in shades of black and white with hints of purple and yellow. This product is your best bet if you are looking for something that will keep your cork supple and airtight. It is designed to protect the cork, and only weighs 0.15 ounces. The Vandoren brand is known for delivering exactly what it promises, and their cork greases are not exceptional. This product first hit the market in 2007 and has stuck around for over a decade. Although it is mostly used for clarinet, it has been proven to work in any woodwind instrument like the saxophone and bassoon. We were impressed by how durable the cork grease was. It can last for ages when used gently. The tube is designed to make it as less messy as possible. Your cork grip will be just right, and it is not too greasy.

What we liked

  • The pleasant blossom scent
  • The sleek tube
  • The durability

What we didn’t like

  • A little pricy


If you are looking for a proven, top-quality grease, this should be your first stop. It doesn’t just smell amazing, but it also protects your instrument’s cork and keeps it supple. It will be 100% airtight.


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KEY LEAVES Cork Grease – USDA Organic All-Natural cork lubricant for clarinetThis product works best for both students and professional instrumentalists

This is a great product that boasts 100% natural ingredients and is also usable for all woodwind instruments like clarinets, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, and oboe, among others. We liked that it is USDA certified and comes with nontoxic ingredients from Mother Nature. When we tried it out on my friend’s saxophone, we found that it made the cork soft, and not dry, unlike some cork greases we had used before. What impressed us is how flexible it was with all corks in different instruments and gave the same smooth feel. I like sleek items, so the chapstick tube impressed me right away. It is easy to apply with no mess, and you store it as clean as you bought it. Some of the notable ingredients include sunflower oil, beeswax, and organic lubricants. As a lover of scents, I was not pleased by the unscented feature, but everything else worked out perfectly.

What we liked

  • Climate-friendly, all-natural ingredients
  • Great grip and supple, smooth feel on the cork
  • Easy Chap Stick application design

What we didn‘t like

  • The price was high


This product works best for those who dislike strong scents. It is unscented with all-natural ingredients. It works best for all woodwind instruments and keeps the cork airtight.


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Duo Korea Cork Grease for Woodwind instrument Scented (Pink Yellow)Best for any woodwind instrument

This cork grease by Duo Korea is a pleasantly scented product that comes in two colors and scents. It is known for prolonging cork life and making it smooth and supple. We tested this product on my Bb clarinet and loved the grip and the airtight result it gave us. It is made with beeswax, and this makes it nontoxic. However, the round container can be a choking hazard for children below three years. These toddlers have a high affinity for cute, round things, and you should be careful around them with this product. The Duo Korea cork grease comes in two scents. The pink bottle comes in a sweet strawberry scent, while the yellow comes in a sweet mango scent. Each container comes with 5g of cork grease, and you don’t need to worry that they won’t fit in your grease slot.

What we liked

  • Two sweet-scented attractive containers
  • Made with natural ingredients

What we didn’t like

  • The small size could be a choking hazard for children below 3 years old
  • The application is not non-messy


The Duo Korea cork grease is good quality and has fun scents. The natural beeswax will not deteriorate the cork, unlike petroleum-based greases. It is also fairly thick, meaning it will last for some time.


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Rico D’Addario All-Natural Cork Grease – DCRKGR01The best cork grease for all users of all levels

This is a single-unit cork grease by Rico, and it comes with all-natural ingredients. The all-organic cork grease comes in a sleek black, and white Chap Stick design that makes your dispensing nonmessy and easy. The ingredient blend in this product is best for keeping your cork supple and protecting it by maintaining its natural structure. Some of the notable ingredients are jojoba wax, carnauba wax, and candela wax. It works best for students and professionals. This product weighs 0.352 ounces and was first availed to the market in 2015. I was impressed by the clean storage, and the clarinet was not left with a heavy scent.

What we liked

  • This product is all-natural
  • The protection given to the cork
  • The sleek chap stick design

What we didn’t like

  • A little price


This cork grease is great and is of high quality. It comes in 4.45g for a tube and lasts long. It is made in the highest quality as all the Rico brands, so it will do the job. The natural ingredients are enough to endear you to it as you are assured of a protected cork that remains soft and smooth.


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Rico Cork Grease, Box of 12 tubes – RCRKGR12Works best for students and professionals

This 12-pack cork grease is what you need to stock up with high-quality products. The attractive red tubes are non-messy and will have clean storage. This grease impressed us by how it locked out dryness from the cork and left a smooth, soft feel. We tried it on the saxophone and it worked great. This product is ideal for oboes and bassoons. The box is 4 ounces, and a single purchase will last for years. This product is not new in the market as it has been around since 2009. The Chap Stick design makes application easy, and it barely possesses any choking hazard. It is all-natural, so you do not need to worry about toxins. The scent is moderate, and your cork will be in good condition for a long time. We liked that you do not have to apply tons of layers for it to work. A gentle amount goes a long way.

What we liked

  • It is durable
  • It is made with natural ingredients
  • It has a non-messy Chap Stick design

What we didn’t like

  • Does not contain instructions


This cork grease is from a reputable brand and works great in all woodwind instruments. Its ingredients are made to protect your cork and keep it soft. Say goodbye to forcing things to fit with this cork grease.


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Conn-Selmer Cork Grease for Woodwind Instruments (Cleaning and Care Product) (2929SG)Best for all woodwind instruments

This Conn Selmer cork greases tube contains 4.2g of grease and comes in a sleek Chap Stick tube. The tube weighs only 0.2 ounces and was first availed to the market in 2004. The tube comes in white greases that can be a little hard. A gentle application works well, and you do not need to keep greasing your cork every time you assemble it. I was impressed by its cork material. I was used to beeswax and hadn’t heard of it before. Cork material is a natural product that appears on the bark tissue of the oak tree. It resembles a honeycomb, and it is durable. The black and white sleek tube fits perfectly into your cork grease compartment. The no mess dispenser comes in handy, and you do not have to deal with greasy hands again.

What we liked

  • The durable cork material
  • The no messy dispensing
  • The attractive Chap Stick tube

What we didn’t like

  • It was a little hard


This pure-white cork grease is amazing for all woodwind instruments and does the job. It can be used by experts and learners similarly.


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Buying Guide for a Cork Grease –What to look out for


When buying cork grease, you need to consider that sometimes the temperatures will be elevated. So, does the cork grease melt or does it remain intact when it’s hot? We all know what would happen to your cork if all the cork grease melted in the middle of a performance. Luckily, the best commercial cork greases are made from beeswax or cork. These are sturdy materials that do not melt in high temperatures. You will still find it in the same consistency even in elevated temperatures. You need to consider the nature of the material. Your cork grease should be made with nontoxic material for obvious reasons. Most cork greases will be made with natural products like sunflower oil and beeswax that will cause you no harm.


This might look like a non-issue, but it matters. There are cork greases that smell awful, and others are strongly scented. I’m sure no one likes horrible scents, but people also would rather have moderately scented cork greases. In this case, you can opt for an unscented product like the Key Leaves cork grease. If you are into sweet scents, the Vandoren cork grease will be your best bet. Some cork grease companies strive to keep things in moderation while eliminating the traditional horrible scents that came with many cork greases.


Good cork grease is not too slimy, neither is it too hard. When you are looking for cork grease, consider what people are saying considering the texture. A hard cork grease will be difficult to apply. It might not offer the kind of lubrication that you desire. A slimy grease, on the other hand, will slide and might not hold your cork in place as you would like. It might also be too messy on your hands and instrument. The perfect grease finds a balance between hardness and sliminess. All the above-mentioned greases have a reasonable texture and work well with woodwind instruments.


You will require a grease that lasts for a reasonable amount of time. A cork grease that requires tons of application will only last a few weeks, if not days. This also has to do with the value. A good quality cork grease is good to go with only a gentle amount. However, some cork greases require large amounts to hold your cork in place. However, a cork grease is not made to last forever but does not mean you will be required to be at the shop for cork greases now and then. Those that are made with beeswax and other durable materials like cork, work best. Some natural oils are great for keeping your cork supple like castor oil. A product with such oils is also great.

Customer reviews

The opinions of people who have used the product before are significant when buying cork grease. Unlike other accessories like mouthpieces that allow you to test before you purchase, the cork grease will require you to make a purchase. In this case, you will want to listen to what others users have had to say to see what you are getting yourself into. I like to look at both positive and negative reviews and weigh my options. I eliminate the product after any red flag. For instance, a person might say that cork grease is great, but it’s too hard. This is a red flag, and you might want to move on. Go through all the reviews and settle for the best product according to the majority of opinions.

Final Verdict

Cork grease is a basic clarinet accessory, but plays a vital role in lubricating the instrument and protecting the cork. The market is flooded with many varieties, and can get confusing to settle on the right one. In our guide, we recommend the Vandoren cork grease as it has been a household brand in the musical world. Furthermore, it has been tried and tested and found to be of high quality. Other great brands you can try out are the key leaf cork grease and Rico grease.


Can I use petroleum jelly instead of cork grease?

No, don’t substitute cork grease with petroleum jelly, as it will deteriorate your cork and reduce its lifespan.

Does a clarinet come with cork grease?

Yes, a clarinet should come with a first-time cork grease and when it runs out, you should replace it.

Can you use too much cork grease?

No, you need to use it sparingly as the excess grease remains on your cork and results in crumbling when the cork becomes too soft.

Does cork grease expire?

Yes, but it takes years, and due to the frequency of its use, it never makes it to the expiry date.

How often should I apply cork grease on my clarinet?

When it’s new, you need to apply it on your cork every time you assemble it but s you go, you can use it once or twice a week.

Charlotte Moore is a Clarinetist by profession and has over time offered lessons on how to play the clarinet among other musical instruments. And while a majority of clarinet players are well versed with the process of settling with a good clarinet among other accompanying features. There is little information about clarinets. The reason why Charlotte prepared comprehensive experts touching on the various facets of the clarinet. The consolidated information will offer more insight on everything clarinets including the best stand to use, and the best plastic clarinet that you can invest in, among other information. Charlotte Moore is a devoted mother of two and a professional clarinet player.

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