The main ingredient in shredder oil that enables it to work best is soybean oil, as well as severely refined hydrotreated light napthenic distillate, solvent-refined hydrotreated middle distillate and butylated hydroxy tuolene. The soybean oil allows it to be thick enough to stick to the shredder.
Shredder oil has to be specifically bought for shredders, as other types of lubricants are too thin and will run off. Shredder oil has the consistency of vegetable oil but because it is made mainly from soybean oil it is thick enough to stay on the shredder teeth. There have been suggestions that one can use vegetable oil or kerosene in place of shredder oil, but this does not provide a long-term solution. These other products not made specifically for shredders will work temporarily but will eventually make the shredder require extra care.
The main base for shredder oil consists of soybean oil, but there are other ingredients. The first major ingredient would be severely hydrotreated light napthenic distillate at about 60 to 70 percent. The second major ingredient is 30 to 40 percent of solvent-refined hydrotreated middle distillate. The most undetectable ingredient due to amount in the oil would be butylated hydroxy tuolene equaling to under 0.2 percent of the mixture. The final ingredient would be commercial oleic acid at 2 to 8 percent of the entire mixture. The majority of shredder oil is from soybean oil as a base, and other synthetic ingredients added.