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Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup" | Creative Commons License,

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The Mind-boggling Wonders of... WD-40

By Vicki McClure Davidson


With hundreds, maybe thousands, of uses—WD-40 is mind-boggling. | Photo credit:
Hundreds, maybe thousands, of uses— WD-40 is mind-boggling.

My dad is a retired realtor who loves his laptop. With more time on his hands these days, he sends me many e-mails with all sorts of information, usually about politics. I received one that caught me a bit off guard. It was about the hundreds of unusual (some rather bizarre) uses of WD-40®. Wanting to check the veracity of the e-mail, I promptly popped over to the product's website to verify. Dad's e-mail was right on the money! Zounds!

I'd never imagined that WD-40 had so many uses. In fact, a tag line on the site for it is "the can with thousands of uses." It is proclaimed to be the most versatile, multi-problem solver on the market.

If you've never heard of WD-40, or wonder why it's got such an unusual name, here's a brief description from the website.

WD-40 literally stands for Water Displacement, 40th attempt. That's the name straight out of the lab book used by the chemist who developed WD-40 back in 1953. The chemist, Norm Larsen, was attempting to concoct a formula to prevent corrosion-a task which is done by displacing water. Norm's persistence paid off when he perfected the formula on his 40th try.

WD-40 may not have thousands of uses (well, maybe it does), the website sports an impressive list of things it can do, and reportedly, the product is completely harmless.

Here are the tips and uses that were included in the email from my father, 43 in all. Go to the website to find more—the site has a section for professionals to upload new uses as they discover them. If one product can do so much, imagine how much money that could ultimately save. I will be stocking up on more WD-40 this week.

Uses of WD-40:

  1. Protects silver from tarnishing.
  2. Removes road tar and grime from cars.
  3. Cleans and lubricates guitar strings.
  4. Gives floors that 'just-waxed' sheen without making it slippery.
  5. Keeps flies off cows.
  6. Restores and cleans chalkboards.
  7. Removes lipstick stains.
  8. Loosens stubborn zippers.
  9. Untangles jewelry chains.
  10. Removes stains from stainless steel sinks.
  11. Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill.
  12. Keeps ceramic/terra cotta garden pots from oxidizing.
  13. Removes tomato stains from clothing.
  14. Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots.
  15. Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors.
  16. Keeps scissors working smoothly.
  17. Lubricates noisy door hinges on vehicles and doors in homes.
  18. It removes black scuff marks from the kitchen floor. Use WD-40 for those nasty tar and scuff marks on flooring. It doesn't seem to harm the finish and you won't have to scrub nearly as hard to get them off. Just remember to open some windows if you have a lot of marks.
  19. Bug guts will eat away the finish on your car if not removed quickly! Use WD-40!
  20. Gives a child's play gym slide a shine for a super-fast slide.
  21. Lubricates gear shift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on riding mowers.
  22. Rids kids' rocking chairs and swings of squeaky noises.
  23. Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open.
  24. Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close.
  25. Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, as well as vinyl bumpers.
  26. Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles.
  27. Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans.
  28. Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons, and bicycles for easy handling.
  29. Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly.
  30. Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools.
  31. Removes splattered grease on stove.
  32. Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging.
  33. Lubricates prosthetic limbs.
  34. Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell).
  35. Removes all traces of duct tape.
  36. Folks even spray it on their arms, hands, and knees to relieve arthritis pain.
  37. Florida's favorite use is: "cleans and removes love bugs from grills and bumpers."
  38. The favorite use in the state of New York is that WD-40 protects the Statue of Liberty from the elements.
  39. WD-40 attracts fish. Spray a small amount on live bait or lures and you will be catching the big one in no time. Also, it's much cheaper than the chemical attractants that are made for just that purpose. Keep in mind though, using some chemical-laced baits or lures for fishing are not allowed in some states.
  40. Use it for fire ant bites. It takes the sting away immediately and stops the itch.
  41. WD-40 is great for removing crayon from walls. Spray on the mark and wipe with a clean rag.
  42. Also, if you've discovered that your teenage daughter has washed and dried a tube of lipstick with a load of laundry, saturate the lipstick spots with WD-40 and re-wash. Presto! Lipstick is gone!
  43. If you sprayed WD-40 on the car's distributor cap, it would displace the moisture and allow the car to start.




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