Should You Grease a Trailer Hitch Ball? if Yes WHY?

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When it comes to towing a trailer, one of the most important components to pay attention to is the trailer ball. Insecure trailer balls can lead you toward unwanted consequences. This small but mighty piece connects the hitch on your vehicle to the trailer, and it plays a crucial role in ensuring a smooth and safe towing experience. 

But, I’ve heard many times about greasing trailers. ball. People seem to be confused about whether they should grease the ball or not. In this guide, I’ll be talking about grease and give you a clear answer if you should grease the trailer ball or not.

Yes, you should grease your trailer ball to protect it from rust and corrosion, improve towing performance,  increase the lifespan, and make it easier to connect the trailer. It is recommended to grease at least once a year. 

It was a brief answer that was only for those who are in a hurry. I want you to stay till the last word so that you get complete information and don’t remain confused. Let’s get started.

Related Article: How to Set up a Weight Distribution Hitch?

Importance of Maintaining Trailer Hitch Ball

A trailer ball is a spherical metal piece that attaches to the hitch on your vehicle. It is what the coupler on the trailer connects to, allowing the two to be joined together for towing. 

For towing purposes, the trailer hitch ball is something that you’ll like to be in working conditions (free from rust) so that it doesn’t cause any sort of problem. Maintaining your trailer ball is essential for a safe and smooth towing experience. 

A poorly maintained trailer ball can cause a variety of problems, including difficulty connecting the trailer to the hitch, poor towing performance, and even damage to the ball or hitch.  But worry not, as greasing the hitch ball can make life easier and you won’t have to do something extraordinary.

Benefits of Greasing a Trailer Ball

Before going into more detail, I would love you to be aware of the basic advantages and benefits that you get when greasing your trailer hitch ball.

1- Protects against rust and corrosion

Trailer balls are exposed to the elements and can easily rust or corrode over time. Rusty hitch balls can cause many serious problems as the hitch ball can break due to excessive rust. Greasing the ball will create a barrier that protects it from moisture and other corrosive agents.

Note: If you don’t apply grease on the hitch ball, then the rust will develop due to moisture present in the air and cause severe problems.

2-Improves rowing performance

A well-greased trailer ball will move more smoothly within the hitch, resulting in a better towing experience. A rusty trailer hitch ball won’t let you move the trailer smoothly and will cause trouble in towing.

3- Makes it easier to connect the trailer

A greased trailer hitch ball will slide into the coupler on the trailer more quickly, making the connection process quicker and less frustrating.

Should You Grease Your Trailer Hitch Ball?

I’m pretty much sure that you’re now well aware of your answer. Greasing is very beneficial as it protects your hitch ball from rust, and makes your towing experience very smooth. I highly recommend you apply grease on the trailer hitch ball even if it is brand new 

Applying the layer of grease will protect your hitch ball from moisture attack and give your hitch a long-lasting impact. If you hate applying grease, keep in mind that you’re putting your hitch at risk of getting rusty.

How to Properly Grease a Trailer Ball?

It is not a very complicated process to apply grease. In fact, you can grease your hitch ball at home without the help of an expert. Below is the method that will help you if you’re confused;

  • Clean the trailer ball

 Before greasing, remove any dirt or debris from the ball using a wire brush or a rag. It is worth noting that if you don’t remove the dirt before applying the grease, then the effectiveness of the grease will be reduced.

  • Apply grease

Use a grease gun to apply high-quality marine or trailer grease to the ball. You can apply the grease with your hands by wearing gloves. 

  • Wipe off excess grease 

Once you apply, then you’ll see grease spreading around the ball. Use a rag to wipe off any excess grease, making sure not to leave any on the hitch or the coupler.If you leave any grease there, then it will attract dust which is not good.

Can You Grease a Rusty Trailer Hitch Ball?

If you’re the one who misses greasing your hitch ball and it got rusty right? That’s exactly what happens when you don’t apply grease on your newly bought hitch. Regret loud dude! No greasing an already rusty trailer hitch ball is not going to give you any advantages.

If your hitch ball has already rusted, then applying the grease layer won’t stop it from spreading. It is important to note that you should apply grease when the hitch is new and the ball doesn’t have any sort of rust.

Note: Applying grease to a rusted ball will slow down the rust’s spread, but it will not prevent it from continuing.

How Often Should You Grease Your Trailer Hitch Ball?

It is ideal if you grease the hitch ball twice a year. However, doing it once a year will also do a fine job. Are you confused about when to apply? Don’t worry, here is your answer.

  • Before towing

Always grease the ball before towing to ensure the best performance and to protect it from moisture attack. If you apply before towing, it will make your towing experience smoother.

  • After towing in wet or dirty conditions

If you’ve towed in wet or dirty conditions, it’s a good idea to clean and re-grease the ball to remove any debris or moisture that may have accumulated. If you have towed in a moist place, then chances are high that 

  • At least once a year

Even if you’re not towing frequently, it’s a good idea to grease the ball at least once a year to protect it from rust and corrosion.

Types of Grease to Use

I’m pretty much sure that you’re convinced to grease your trailer ball hitch. Am I right? Another question that might pop up in your mind is which type of grease should you use on the hitch ball.

There are many types of greases available in the market and it’s totally up to your personal preferences. Below are my favorite greases that will give you optimal lubrication power.

  • Marine grease

This type of grease is formulated to withstand the harsh marine environment and is perfect for trailer balls.

  • Dry Graphite Lube

This grease is specifically designed for use on trailer hitches and balls and provides excellent results. I love this grease because it does not attract dust, debris, and dirt when applied to the ball.

  • Lithium-based grease 

This is an average grease type that offers good but not ideal results. However, you can use them as they are budget-friendly. 

Are there any Better Alternatives to Trailer Hitch Grease?

There are many people who actually hate grease due to its stickiness and its love towards dust, and debris. I’m sure that you’ve also noticed that when you apply the grease, it immediately starts attracting dust and debris which is not good for the longevity of a hitch ball.

So, I’m going to give you some alternatives to grease that will do a decent job of protecting your hitch ball from rust and corrosion. Below are those alternatives.

  • Use candle wax coating on the ball
  • Use motor oil as an alternative to grease

Trust me or not, applying grease is much more effective and helps you get better results instead of using the above-mentioned alternative.

Note: I have used candle wax coating because it causes a mess on the ball which is pretty hard to remove. Certainly, I would go with grease, skipping these alternatives.

3 Things that every Trailer own Must Do

Prevention is always better than cure

Instead of waiting for the rusted sign to appear, you should always be checking your hitch ball to ensure that they are safe from rust and corrosion. If you see any sign of rust or anything else, the appropriate steps. If you are a trailer own, make the below-given task a must-do list.

  • Keep Inspecting the ball

Take a close look at the ball for any signs of rust, corrosion, or damage. If you notice any issues, it’s best to replace the ball.

  • Check the threads

Make sure the threads on the ball are in good condition and free of debris. If they’re damaged, they may not be able to properly connect to the hitch.

  • Check the hitch & ball

Make sure the hitch on your vehicle is also in good condition and properly secured. If you see any sign of rust, then immediately apply the grease.

Is Grease a Necessity for RV Owners?

It is totally up to personal preferences. I’ve given you all the information that you may need in making the final decision. It is necessary to note that if you don’t use grease, then the lifespan of your trailer hitch ball gets reduced due to rust. 

Whether it is a necessity for RV owners or not, I don’t know. But if you use grease, it will make a big difference and increase the hitch protection and towing smoothness. Now, the decision is totally up to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use regular grease on a trailer ball?

While regular grease can be used on a trailer ball, it’s best to use marine or trailer-specific grease. I recommend you ask the manufacturer or read the manual guide where the grease type that you should use will be mentioned.

How often should I grease my trailer ball?

It’s a good idea to grease your trailer ball before towing, after towing in wet or dirty conditions, and at least once a year. Even if you’re not towing frequently, regular greasing can help protect the ball from rust and corrosion.


Long story short, it is very important to apply a layer of grease on the trailer hitch ball to ensure its safety and longevity. In this guide, I’ve given you complete information about grease and how you should use it. I hope that all of your questions will be answered. See you with a useful information guide.

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