We demonstrate the efficient boundary lubricating properties of human whole saliva (HWS) in a soft hydrophobic rubbing contact, consisting of a poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) ball and a PDMS disk. The influence of applied load, entrainment speed and surface roughness was investigated for mechanically stimulated HWS. Lubrication by HWS results in a boundary friction coefficient of mu approximate to 0.02, two orders of magnitude lower than that obtained for water. Dried saliva on the other hand results in mu approximate to 2-3, illustrating the importance of hydration for efficient salivary lubrication. Increasing the surface roughness increases the friction coefficient for HWS, while it decreases that for water. The boundary lubricating properties of HWS are less sensitive to saliva treatment than are its bulk viscoelastic properties. Centrifugation and ageing of HWS almost completely removes the shear thinning and elastic nature observed for fresh HWS. In contrast, the boundary friction coefficients are hardly affected, which indicates that the high-M (w) (supra-)molecular structures in saliva, which are expected to be responsible for its rheology, are not responsible for its boundary lubricating properties. The saliva-coated PDMS surfaces form an ideal model system for ex-vivo investigations into oral lubrication and how the lubricating properties of saliva are influenced by other components like food, beverages, oral care products and pharmaceuticals.