Cool Whip Is Lube

Wired took a peek under Cool Whip’s sheets, and the results are not appetizing. Mandatory food labels ostensibly exist to empower consumers; when companies label ingredients with their scientific names, rather than their common names, consumers can wind up eating lube, or as it’s called in Cool Whip, Polysorbate 60. From Wired:

Polysorbate 60
Polysorbates are made by polymerizing ethylene oxide (a precursor to antifreeze) with a sugar alcohol derivative. The result can be a detergent, an emulsifier, or, in the case of polysorbate 60, a major ingredient in some sexual lubricants.

Shame we never got to hear Charlton Heston exclaim: “Cool Whip is Lube!” — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER

A delicious blend of sugar, wax, and condom lube. [Wired]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Hoss says:

    We need lab subjects and video…

  2. kenposan says:

    You mean everyone doesn’t use cool whip as…. oops. :-O

  3. Hoss says:

    @kenposan: floor wax?

  4. KevinQ says:

    Meh. You could look at it the other way, and say that lube is made from Cool Whip. This is like the whole toothpaste is floor scrubber scam. It’s just fear porn – “Oh my god, it’s going to kill you!”

    Show me something that suggests Polysorbate 60 is actually bad for me (and not just that it’s a “precursor to antifreeze” – that’s a bullshit phrase). Otherwise, you’re just trying to make people fearful for no reason.


  5. TomK says:

    Hydrogenated Fats make great lube as well. Ask any fisting expert.

    Cool whip is good lube for a hand job thats followed by a bj.

    More specifically, it’s really dumb and ignorant of science to push this kind of crap.

    I could just as easily say that orange juice is a toxic mixture made from a potentially lethal solvent (dihydrogen monoxide) and a powerful industrial grease cleaner (citrus extractitives) and a toxic chemical (the dangerous monosaccharide levulose responsible for one of the most debilitating medical conditions (diabetes), and implicated in the chelation of minerals in the blood.

    All I’d be proving is I don’t have enough respect for my readers to not pass along bullshit to them, or that I don’t have the editorial discretion to vet science before talking about it.

    This is the sort of scare mongering that trades on people being ignorant. The worst sort.

    I am not particularly shitting on you for posting this. Instead, I’m disappointed by Wired magazine, which claims to be about tech trends but reveals itself to be promoting claims that will frighten a public afraid of and uneducated in chemistry and science. I’d expect this from supermarket tabloids, or the drudge report, not from wired.

  6. TomK says:

    I got your back Kevin.

  7. SOhp101 says:

    I don’t think they’re implying that it’s going to kill you… everyone knows that you can swallow some lube without any consequences.

    Now at least you know that whenever your partner wants some oral sex, at least it can taste good for you.

  8. hungerpang says:

    DUH! It only makes sense, not for its ingredients, but that whipped cream in itself is high in fat/oil (think butter, which is cream that has been taken beyond the whipped stage)which in itself is a natural lubricant. Of course Cool-Whip adds there own mixture of preservatives and such to enable the product to maintain air so you don’t end up with just plain cream.

    As far as the science behind the product, Wired should really take into account that these ingredients are also in many of the foods they consume already, not just the “Whip.”

    Was it a slow day at the office for Wired to delve out of there area of expertise?

    I would be more impressed if they

  9. spanky says:

    Oh, come on. This isn’t scaremongering. Nobody is actually going to read the article or this post and think that Cool Whip is literally made from Astroglide or anything like that. (What exactly is the fear this is supposed to monger, exactly?)

    It’s a slightly irreverent little article highlighting the fact that this isn’t really something we’d normally think of as ‘food,’ which is something that I like to see pointed out. I hope this is just one of a series.

  10. TVarmy says:

    No one thinks Cool Whip is actual cream. It’s a mysterious substance we are surrounded by in our society, like plastic and Coffee Mate. Most of us don’t know how it works, and the nerdier among us either already know or get excited when they find out how it works. If you eat something from a package, you know you are taking a risk that you’re eating an ingredient you’d never eat otherwise and that you’re eating chemicals that never existed 20 years ago. 99 out of 100 times, it’s not a big deal. Sometimes, like with trans-fats, it turns out it is a big deal.

  11. TomK says:

    It is scare mongering.

    Sciency stuff you don’t understand. Floor wax is bad to eat. Ahh!!! i just fed my kids cool whip.

  12. Spider Jerusalem says:

    Well, this at least fixes the earlier posting about Astroglide, right?

  13. ptrix says:

    OMG peoples, table salt is made of sodium and chlorine! It will kill you! ;)

  14. gryack100 says:

    Yum, give me completely artificial “products”.

    We are slowly moving towards a society like in Soylent Green. What is sick and disheartening is you have people like KevinQ who enable companies for putting in this crap into what we eat.

    anybody remember that 80’s movie The STuff?

  15. Jim C. says:

    So SNL was right!

    Spokesman:…New Shimmer is both a floor wax AND a dessert topping! Here, I’ll spray some on your mop.. [ sprays Shimmer onto mop ] ..and some on your butterscotch pudding. [ sprays Shimmer onto pudding ]

    [ Husband eats while Wife mops ]

    Husband: Mmmmm, tastes terrific!

    Wife: And just look at that shine!True classics have something to say to all generations. :D

  16. asherchang says:

    Woa, Cool Whip has trans fats? I’m never eating cool whip again!

  17. Mom2Talavera says:

    Cool whip is crap! I recommend people stay away from ALL Kraft products! If anyone wants to read more about food additives read the Book Twinkie deconstruced.

  18. homerjay says:

    Wow… This may be scaremongering, but I think we just learned a little bit more than we signed up for about TomK. Ask any fisting expert, eh? :)

    Everybody’s got their thing….

  19. Citron says:

    Saying that ethylene oxide is a :precursor to antifreeze” is like saying that table salt is a precursor to sodium hypochlorate (sodium bleach). While it’s true, it creates all sorts of unnecessary, fallacious implications.

    Just because something is chemically similar to or can be made from another compound doesn’t mean it is that compound. gg John Dalton.

    Now, I’m completely against processed foods because they’re horrid and make a lot of people sick — but there’s enough real science about that so that we don’t need to go around making things up.

  20. spanky says:

    Don’t get me wrong. I hate alarmist media stories as much as anyone. But this just doesn’t strike me as that.

    It’s making the very valid point that this product is not food in any meaningful sense, and it costs over twice as much as the real food it’s designed to replace.

    It’s a cute little fluff story about overpriced, nasty-tasting non-food. No even remotely reasonable person could interpret it as serious scientific analysis or anything like that.

  21. Citron says:

    @spanky: you would think so, but there’s a very popular idea floating around that margarine is “one molecule off” from plastic and therefore is BAAD! It’s mostly passed from e-mails, but I’ve seen it on the occasional anti-TFA website.

    People will take this sort of analogy at face value, and they do.

  22. Citron says:

    Err, and the whole plastic thing is completely false, of course.

  23. Anonymously says:

    If you didn’t have an emulsifier, you’d end up with a separated mess of oils and waters in a plastic tub.

    I kinda like the mouth feel of cool whip better than real whipping cream, personally.

  24. spanky says:


    Yeah, you’re right. People do love the hoogie-boogie. I still don’t think that was the intent of the article, though. It really doesn’t come across as serious.

    (Margarine is bad, though, but it’s bad because it is gross. And it’s usually haunted. But not because of any molecular similarity to plastic.)

  25. PDQ says:

    Personally I prefer drizzling Hershey’s chocolate syrup or honey on my hubby and then licking it off. Rule of thumb: You have to keep licking till the “sticky” is gone. Yummm!

  26. AcidReign says:

    …..Heh. The lube jokers are pretty much right, though. If getting KY in the mouth doesn’t kill you, Cool Whip won’t, either. Mmmmm. Cool whip…. Can’t eat fresh strawberries without it!

  27. zolielo says:

    Great posts KevinQ and TomK.

  28. coreyander says:

    I think people are being way too critical of this article. I went into it believing that the only purpose of Cool Whip was to make me wish I was eating actual dairy. Now I know that I could be using it as an all-in-one hemorrhoid cream and lubricant. I wouldn’t be surprised if this whole article wasn’t just a Kraft-sponsored feature in Wired.

  29. Citron says:

    Cool Whip would make a horrible lubricant if you’re using condoms. Again, Cool Whip has a lot of oil in it — and oils deteriorate latex.

    Man, that’s the second time I’ve said that on Consumerist. This is getting weird. More kittens, less condom-eroding oils!

  30. shdwsclan says:

    @ Latex condoms only….
    It the rubber portion of latex that reacts to oil, which dont understand rubber work boots and steel toes, their greatest enemy is a puddle of oil…

    Anyways you can get sheepskin[for people alergic to latex] condom and then you have a new flavored lube..

  31. rugger_can says:

    Actually just so you know, Cool whip was using it as an emulsifier allowing the water components and oil components of their edible oil product to mix properly. The same is said in Edible sex lubricant.

    Just so you know, Polysorbate 60 is used as an emulsifier as well in sex lubricants. It is NOT the lubricant it is the substance that keeps the oil and water mixed properly as well as keeps essential oil products in that state for a longer period of time.

    So your picture labeling Polysorbate 60 as lube is infact WRONG. It is a component in some sexual lubricant’s and it is infact in this case used as an emulsifier just like it is used in cool whip.

    If you don’t understand chemical properties of food components or how they interact with each other it is difficult to be a informed consumer.

    As well the product you label as wax/hemmorrhoid cream is infact used inconjunction with the Polysorbate 60 to help compliment the emulsification of the liquids. They use cetyl alcohol or sorbitan stearate (in this case Sorbitan monostearate)

    Again, if you don’t understand chemicals and how they work do not comment on the chemicals in foods. both those chemicals are safe for human consumption and are not the main component in either of the products you mentioned.

    Ignorance breeds fear. And fear robs you of your will to succeed.

  32. 302079 says:

    I never, ever interpreted this post, or the article which inspired it, as telling me that I should fear Cool Whip. To me, it just seemed funny that such products share ingredients. It’s not scary, nor was it meant to be. Deal with it.

  33. joeblevins says:

    Victim Worship and Fear Mongering.. We need to get this site back on track!!

  34. etinterrapax says:

    Meh. Orange oil kills ants, takes sticky label goop off of anything, and makes great cake and cookie flavoring. Just because something has industrial and/or sexual uses doesn’t make it toxic. Or not toxic. I can sort of see the melamine thing going that way. It isn’t a “poison.” It’s a non-food filler, and it’s what a lot of plastic goods, and Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, are made of. This doesn’t mean we ought to be eating it or feeding it to pets, but it doesn’t make it inherently bad. We’re comfortable with using vinegar for non-food purposes. People wander around eating margarine like it’s healthy. We’ll need to get over this, or stop eating it.

  35. Trai_Dep says:

    Boy does this give me ideas. Hey Consumerist, I can send my dry-cleaning bills to you if this doesn’t work out, right? (leather Tarzan loincloths, while quite fetching, are a BITCH to clean right)

  36. Polysorbates are in tons of processed foods. You’re just now noticing this?

  37. Jason.Falkner says:

    Seriously, it’s hard to find something that DOESN’T contain polysorbates, a.k.a. “Tween”. It’s a surfactant.

  38. nlatimer says:

    As long as its used in flavored lubes, I don’t see the big deal.

  39. scottso says:

    @rugger_can: You beat me to the punch. I’ve worked in food manufacturing and have handled/used polysorbate 60, and it’s far from a lubricant. I also understand that it can help create a “foaming” effect.

  40. kerry says:

    @Jason.Falkner: I never made that connection before. We use tween 20 in the lab. Now I feel sort of dumb for not knowing it’s real name, only the commercial one.

    Oh, and TomK – thanks for the hj/bj tip.

  41. kerry says:

    (And now I also feel dumb for hyphenating “its.” Crud.)

  42. corthew says:

    I feel compelled to point out that water is composed of 2 parts hydrogen, (a highly explosive component resposible for the Hindenberg disaster), and 1 part oxygen, (a substance who’s presence in its purest form makes even poorly flamible substances react explosively when exposed to high temperatures). Ahh…That must be why you have to keep this stuff cool.