WD-40: Two Thousand Uses and Counting

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In 1953, a small company in Dan Diego, California set out to create a rust-inhibitor and degreaser product for the aerospace industry. WD-40 was their fortieth attempt and they got it right!

WD-40: Spray Lubricant with 2000+ Different Uses

The actual ingredients are a trade secret, but the WD-40 (Water Displacement - 40th attempt) Company publicly proclaims that their product contain no silicone, water, waxes, kerosene, graphite. A perfect water damage solution for your electronics!

WD-40 is a canned lubricant that uses compressed CO2 as propellant, thus not harming the ozone layer. Nor does it contain any known carcinogens. WD-40 lubricant when used as directed it is a completely safe consumer product.

While the original intent was to create a product to effectively displace water, prevent water damage and corrosion. But WD-40 is also used for cleaning equipment, mechanical devices with hard to access recesses such as bicycle chains and general use tools.

WD-40 lubricant penetrates and gets under grime and grease, loosening and dissolving it away. It is excellent at loosening those hard-to-remove sticky labels and adhesive tags from glass bottles. Imagine being able to more easily remove bumper stickers from chrome fenders and painted automotive surfaces. WD-40 spray lubricant can do that, too!

WD-40 lubricant and moisture-displacing spray

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It displaces moisture of course and is very handy to clean and restore water-logged electronic and mechanical devices like camcorders, cameras and wristwatches that may have accidentally gotten immersed in water. We used WD-40 once on a color television set that had gone through a flood. The water had flowed through the unplugged set and it was given away untried, considered to be a total loss.

It sat on the porch under a plastic tarpaulin for about a year until we opened it up and cleaned it out with short hand-brooms and long handled paint brushes. WD-40 was used. -And amazingly, the television set still worked!

WD-40 Removes Road Tar and Dead Bug Stains

WD-40 being an excellent solvent also makes road tar and those icky dead bug smears on the grill of the car easier to remove. Spray it on, let it soak a little bit and wipe it away. Cleaning the dead bugs off of your headlights and headlight shields will improve visibility for nighttime driving and makes further bug suicides easier to clean off next time.

The varied uses people find for WD-40 lubricant and water-displacing spray far exceed the scope of uses that the chemist envisioned for it back in 1953.

People use this product on their bowling ball to reduce the ‘lane drag’ making their bowling game better. They spray their hands with WD-40 before handling fishing lures; the intent being to mask any ‘human scent’ that can cause a wise ol’ lunker to not take the bait.

Some fishermen even use a SMALL amount of the WD-40 as a fish attractant applied directly to the bait. You should be mindful however that some states forbid the use any kind of ‘fishing bait attractant’ (even including commercial products made for that purpose are disallowed in some states) so you need to be aware of your state and local game/fishing laws.

Hunters use WD-40 on their firearms to protect and prevent rust (remember, it also displaces water and what hunter has never gotten rained on at least once?) WD-40 will not harm the gun barrel ‘bluing’ or wooden stock finish.

Computer Uses for WD-40

WD-40 remove thermal compound from Processor attach point on computer motherboard

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(WD-40 effectively cleans and removes thermal compound from Processor cooling fan contact juncture)

A spray of WD-40 removes ink from denim jeans and loosens glue and chewing gum from carpets and the bottoms of sneakers, cleans and restores old dried chalkboards. People even claim that a good heavy spray of WD-40 helps break-in stiff leather moccasins and work shoes too. -Squeaky soles? WD-40 would cure that!

My favorite use for WD-40 is for removing the sticky duct tape residue left behind of surfaces like glass, stainless steel (where heavy scrubbing would mar and scratch the finish.)

I have heard that people use WD-40 on tuning pegs and keys for stringed instruments such as piano, guitar and violin. I might think that excessive lubrication here could cause the tuner to loosen and thus, change the pitch or tune of the string. I would use WD-40 for a good cleaning and restoration, but not regularly. For restoring a rusted tuner key sure I am confident it works great. For regular usage I might advise restraint on friction tuners lest you find yourself playing solo to a crowd with an instrument that keeps losing tune while you are playing!

Because it is a lubricant, imagine how useful WD-40 could be to remove an engagement or wedding band that is stuck upon one’s finger? Long story short folks, -my then-fiancée’s engagement ring was at least one size too small and it got stuck on her finger. We tried for over an hour to remove it. We used soaps, lotions, vegetable oils; nothing helped. We tried ice water soaking her hand too. Still no success and by then, her finger was beginning to swell a bit making matters worse. We ended up going to Emergency to have them remove the ring and we even considered that they yes, they may have to cut the ring off if necessary!

They used glycerin and it was still a veritable chore to remove it, but it finally slid off. Had we know about using WD-40 we possibly could have gotten the ring off hours sooner at home and saved ourselves an embarrassing (but funny) tale to tell later in life.

Did you know that there is even a WD-40 Fan Club? If you have ever had an unusual experience or wish to share an interesting use for WD-40 brand lubricant, you can submit your story to share with other fans. You likely won’t be in small company either for there are thousands of fans of WD-40 worldwide.

1 comment

Kaleidoscope Acres
Posted on Apr 4, 2010