Can WD-40 really do all that?

Can WD-40 really do all that?

By Greg Illes

The “WD” in WD-40 stands for “water displacement,” and it was reportedly the 40th blend that finally made it to production. Since that time (1953), the simple product has achieved near-legendary status in virtually all walks of life. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that an astronaut was spritzing the stuff on the pivot joints of the Hubbel telescope.

The “WD” in WD-40 stands for “water displacement,” and it was reportedly the 40th blend that finally made it to production. Since that time (1953), the simple product has achieved near-legendary status in virtually all walks of life. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that an astronaut was spritzing the stuff on the pivot joints of the Hubbel telescope.

Certainly, any RV has hundreds of places where a penetrating lubricant can do some good, and we all have found many of them. But in more recent times, the “legend” has branched out from a basic penetrating oil. People started using it for ancillary purposes like removing sticky-label goo. Eventually, with folks writing to the company, WD-40 compiled an impressive list of uses — more than 2,000, and counting. You can see this list on WD-40’s website, ten pages at 200 tiny-print items per page. Many of the entries are similar “loosens this” and “lubricates that” kinds of things — but there are some exceptions.

I’m thinking that only a small handful of people would ever read this list in its entirety. Certainly, I have not. I’m pretty happy with using WD-40 as a light-duty penetrating oil for squeaks and rusty fasteners. But I did scan the big list for interesting and/or useful items, a few of which are presented below. Mind you, I make no claim to have tried these out or verified them. I leave that to the (cautious) reader.

• Keeps wicker from squeaking
• Removes crayon marks
• Cleans bug splatter
• Keeps snow from sticking to shovel
• Removes gum from concrete
• Removes ink stains from leather

• Prevents bathroom grout mildew
• Cleans bird droppings
• Removes adhesive labels
• Helps remove burned-on food
• Keeps watch bands from pulling wrist hairs
• Removes duct tape adhesive

• Great for sharpening stones
• Removes stuck-on hair wax
• Stops ice formation on horseshoes
• Waterproofs feathers on arrows
• Keeps dirt from sticking to shovels
• Stops squeaking on stilts

And, lastly, an esoteric favorite:

• Keeps missile silo doors swinging freely.

Finally, a solution!

Remember, these uses are not represented by WD-40, RVTravel, or this author as anything but interesting or entertaining ideas. If an item has any merit, you will have to decide for yourself. And also remember to always try it on something you don’t care about first (grin).

photo: Pixaby / Wikipedia / Public Domain

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