Can of grease

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( Can of grease.png
Name can of grease
Appearance can of grease
Base price 20 zm
Weight 20
Material iron
Monster use Will not be used by monsters.

A can of grease can be applied to grease any item. This protects items from rust and corrosion, and has numerous other effects.

Each can of grease is generated with d25 charges.[1] The can may be recharged; see Charging § Can of grease for more details.

The layer of grease is not permanent; each time it protects you there is a 50% chance that it will wear off.[2][3] On your next turn, you can apply your can of grease again to re-grease the item. Until that turn you will remain vulnerable, which can be a problem when fighting fast monsters.

Applying a cursed can of grease, or a non-cursed can whilst fumbling, has only a 50% chance of working. The other 50% of the time the can of grease will "slip from your fingers" and drop to the ground, consuming a charge. For cursed cans, if you do succeed in greasing the item, your hands will be made slippery. This does not happen with non-cursed cans, even when you are fumbling.[4] If you want to grease your hands for some reason, you can do so with a non-cursed can by choosing - when prompted to choose something to apply it to.


A greased item may slip when you attempt to throw it, with the result that it falls to the ground or goes flying in a random direction. As long as you don't intend to throw the item, greasing it is harmless. Feel free to grease your melee weapon, boots, or any other item you want to protect.


A greased cloak protects the player from grabbing attacks. A mind flayer cannot attach its tentacles to a greased helmet.

If a greased piece of armor is cursed, there is only a 23 chance that it will protect you from grabbing or mind-sucking attacks.[5]


Grease is also useful for containers. A greased container will protect its contents from water damage. However, the water damage has a chance of dissolving the grease, at which point you must re-grease the container if you still want the protection. Oilskin sacks have such protection permanently.

Spellbooks and scrolls

A greased spellbook, scroll, or potion will be protected from blanking and dilution as long as the grease remains intact.[6] Scrolls probably aren't worth a charge, but if you are wishing, you might as well order them greased.

Squeaky boards

Grease can be used to untrap squeaky boards.

What grease can't do

A greased weapon has no additional protection from a bullwhip's disarm attack.[7]

Greasing quest artifacts or the Amulet of Yendor will not prevent covetous monsters from stealing them from your inventory.


You cover your <item> with a thick layer of grease.
You applied the can to <item>.
You coat your fingers with grease.
You applied the can to your hands by specifying "-" at the prompt.
The <monster> grabs you, but cannot hold onto your greased <armor>!
You were protected from a grabbing attack.
The grease wears off.
A piece of armor is no longer greased.
Some of the grease gets all over your hands.
You greased an item, the can of grease was cursed, and your fingers are now slippery.
The can of grease slips from your fingers.
The can of grease was cursed, or you were fumbling, and it has fallen to the ground.

Encyclopedia entry

ANOINT, v.t. To grease a king or other great functionary
already sufficiently slippery.

[ The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce ]

See also


This page may need to be updated for the current version of NetHack.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.6.0. Information on this page may be out of date.

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