CerMark alternative?

So on a laser FB forum, I saw this:

(Note: closed group, my bad. Name of group is “laser engraving and cutting”. Also they are rather anti glowforge…)

I am NOT endorsing or saying it works. I am just posting to the forum for feed back if it is a viable alternative. Anyone have any experience with this stuff?

(TL:DR. Molybdenum disulfide mixed with dish soap and spread over metal)


It’s a closed group, but if you request to join they will approve you. I just did it yesterday.

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Oups hang on copy and paste in a sec


Copy and paste of the FB post, not my words or ideas

Hi all…
Due to the (crazy) high prices on Cermark or similar products, most people are looking for usefull alternatives.
Like many others I tryed a bunch of different products containing the magic stuff: molybdenum disulfide, to use as a substitute for “the real product”.
Some product works quite okay, others are completely useless. The products are normaly ment for lubricating, why they are based on oil or grease.
They can be quite messy to use, and to clean off again after the marking-job is done.
So I started to think a little backwards and dicided to try making my own Moly-stuff.
We know that it is molybdenum disulfide that do the trick, so first I searched for the stuff in its pure form. On all the big chinese webshops and Ebay as well, you can buy this lovely powder for a quite low price. I bought 250g for arround 13 US$.
(just make a search for “molybdenum disulfide powder”)
I then putted a spoonfull pure moly into a cup and slowly added normal dishwashing-soap, until I had a nice paint-ish liquid.
This mixture is very easy to apply with a paintbrush (or maybe an airbrush?), and it dryes very nicely into a fine gray substance.
It engraves much better than the different moly-lubricants I have tryed so far. (and I have tryed all the products recommended on this forum)
After engraving / marking it is super-easy to clean…! It’s already made of soap, so a quick shower under the kitchen tap will do the trick without any mess. So far I only have done some tests on stainless steel, but they all turned out very well. Later I will test it on alu, glass, copper, brass etc. etc.

So go ahead and try it out… it’s cheap, it’s easy and it’s delivering a good quality.

Happy marking



Sounds viable, and makes sense. All of the moly-d sprays that I looked up last year came from auto-parts suppliers, so logical to assume they use a oil- or grease-based carrier, and that a different carrier would be better for laser use.

This made me lol, but its true: generally easier to clean up soap than oil.


Do you have a link? I can’t find it on ebay on that 250gr format.

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The best price I’ve seen is 12 oz (340g) for $40 on eBay. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Molybdenum-Disulfide-MoS2-99-AR-Grade-Powder-12-Oz-in-Two-Plastic-Bottles-USA-/322084114469

$13 would only get you 2oz (57g) from the same seller. (Or 1oz from a lot of other sellers.)


Wow. And if it’s easy to clean. (could probably play a little with the right amount of which liquids for maximum smoothness and spread, maybe even spray?)


I wonder if you could spray a bunch of the Moly-D into a jar and wash it successively with acetone (to remove the oil) to get a suspension of MoS2 in acetone. Filter off in a coffee filter, dry the powder, and there you go!


Saw that today in the group and already have some on order…:wink:
Will have a go when it comes in and report back. :grinning:


$48 for 16oz - http://www.rosemill.com/category_s/24.htm


I went with a small quantity to start…



Thanks! Anyway I still need the GF to try this so I’ll buy it later :grin:


How were your time savings? I didn’t think cermark could be worth it until it took me an hour to engrave one flask using dry moly lube. Looked good when done, but it was not feasible.

Does the high moly content cut the time correspondingly?

(And you are right, that group is just a tad touchy about GF.)


Here is the 250g (8.8 oz) for $13.50 deal:


With shipping to US and $1 off coupon now active, it comes to $18.69.

edit: shipping to US is about a month, but that doesn’t matter considering our delivery date (unless you just ordered a Muse instead :wink:).


I was somewhat concerned about washing that stuff down the sink, but the MSDS calls it pretty benign stuff, e.g., “Levels up to 750 mg/l powdered MoS2 resulted in 0 mortality to rainbow trout.” Eek, I’d hate to be those fish.


What does Ceramarking actually do? Does the moly react with the metal and chemically change it, or does it burn on a layer of the stuff, more akin to painting?


Sorry. Been bugging me since the OP. It’s CerMark™ (not ceramark). And here’s what they do. :slight_smile:


From my understanding, they bond with the metal or ceramic. So it will be a much more robust finish then painting.


Spoken like a true chemist, but way more complicated than the suggested mix. But if you were in a bind for time and you needed something…that’s kinda brilliant. If I were mixing up some I would put some moly d powder in some glycerin and if necessary add a little water (or a little IPA) to thin it. - Rich