Created | Updated Jan 28, 2002
If Duct Tape is the most useful object commercially available today, then WD-40 must come a close second. It is distributed in blue and yellow cans of varying size, with WD-40 emblazoned shamelessly across the front. There is also a WD-40 Website, which, among other things, has a WD-40 fan club. Along with duct tape, it is another product that is really handy to have in emergencies. It can be found in home improvement and DIY stores - just ask the nearest helpful store employee to point it out to you.
At first WD-40 seems to just be an interesting, but meaningless, product name. The name is not meaningless at all, but rather stands for 'Water Displacement perfected on the 40th try'. You can find out more about its history at WD-40's History Page.
Most people think of WD-40 only as a lubricant, but it is useful for so much more:
Lubricates moving parts such as hinges, wheels, rollers, chains, and gears.
Cleans most surfaces of grease, grime, tar, adhesives, gum, tape, crayon, scuff marks, and water deposits.
Protects against rust and corrosion on items like tools, firearms, and sporting equipment.
Penetrates to free stuck parts, like nuts, bolts, valves, and locks.
Displaces moisture to restore wet or flooded equipment, such as engines, spark plugs, and power tools.
As can be seen from the list on the can, it is quite a useful product. In addition to the listed uses, many people have decided to use it in other ways. Most are variations of what is hinted at on the can, but others are rather more creative. Judge for yourself1:
- Removes ink from blue jeans
- Removes old cellophane tape
- Removes stains from coffee cups
- Cleans magazines for an AK-47
- Cleans bed pans
- Frees up stuck keys on organ2
- Dissolves glues
- Softens stiff leather sandals
- Keeps pigeons away from balconies (they hate the smell)
- Removes peanut butter from dog hair
There are many more uses for it. One Researcher has found that it does a good job of cleaning his car and car windows, although it has a tendency to streak. Also, a WD-40 soaked rag is extremely good at getting fresh spray paint off things that have accidentally been sprayed.
One final thing of note is that WD-40 removes duct tape, thus proving the old saying: 'There are only two things that you need in the universe: duct tape to make things stop, and WD-40 to make them go again'.