Abstract In this work, the fullerene C60 nano-oil is proposed as a promising lubricant to enhance the performance of domestic refrigerator compressors. The stability of fullerene C60 nanoparticles dispersed in a mineral oil and the lubrication properties of the nano-oil were investigated experimentally. It was confirmed that the nanoparticles steadily suspend in the mineral oil at stationary conditions for a long period of time. The friction coefficients of the nano-oil significantly decrease with increasing the concentration of nanoparticles in the mineral oil, especially at the lower applied loads. The friction coefficients of the nano-oil with the concentration of 1–3 g L−1 are 12.9–19.6% lower than that of pure mineral oil. The applications of the nano-oil with the specific concentration of 3 g L−1 to two domestic refrigerator compressors were examined by compressor calorimeter experiments. The results shows the COPs of two compressors were improved by 5.6% and 5.3%, respectively, when the nano-oil was used instead of pure mineral oil.