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WD-40: The Multi-Use Product You Need

WD-40: The Multi-Use Product You Need

In the world of household maintenance and DIY projects, few products are as versatile and essential as WD-40. This multi-use product has been a staple in homes and workshops for decades, praised for its ability to solve a wide array of problems. From lubricating squeaky hinges to removing sticky residues, WD-40 is a must-have for anyone looking to keep their home and tools in top shape. In this article, we’ll explore the many uses and benefits of WD-40, demonstrating why it deserves a permanent spot in your toolkit.

What is WD-40?

WD-40, short for “Water Displacement, 40th formula,” was invented in 1953 by the Rocket Chemical Company. Originally designed to prevent rust and corrosion on missiles and aerospace components, it quickly found its way into households and workshops around the world. Its formula, kept a closely guarded secret, is known for its ability to lubricate, protect, clean, and displace moisture.

Lubricating Moving Parts

One of the primary uses of WD40 is as a lubricant. It can be used to keep various moving parts operating smoothly, reducing friction and wear.

Common Uses for Lubrication

  1. Hinges: Eliminate squeaky doors and windows by applying WD-40 to the hinges.
  2. Locks: Keep door locks and padlocks working smoothly by spraying a little WD-40 into the keyhole.
  3. Chains: Use WD-40 on bike chains, garage door chains, and other similar mechanisms to ensure they move freely.

How to Use

  1. Identify the Problem Area: Locate the part that needs lubrication.
  2. Apply WD-40: Spray a small amount of WD-40 directly onto the moving parts.
  3. Work the Part: Move the part back and forth to distribute the lubricant.
  4. Wipe Excess: Use a clean cloth to wipe away any excess WD-40.

Protecting Against Rust and Corrosion

Rust and corrosion can significantly reduce the lifespan of metal objects. WD-40 can help prevent and remove rust, protecting your tools and appliances.

Preventing Rust

  1. Tools: Apply WD-40 to hand tools, garden tools, and power tools to prevent rust.
  2. Outdoor Furniture: Use WD-40 on metal patio furniture to protect against the elements.
  3. Appliances: Spray WD-40 on metal appliances prone to moisture exposure, such as washing machines and dishwashers.

Removing Rust

  1. Apply WD-40: Spray WD-40 directly onto the rusty surface.
  2. Let it Sit: Allow it to penetrate the rust for a few minutes.
  3. Scrub the Rust: Use a wire brush or abrasive pad to scrub away the rust.
  4. Wipe Clean: Wipe the area with a clean cloth to remove any residue.

Cleaning and Polishing

WD-40 is also effective as a cleaner and polisher, making it ideal for various household tasks.

Cleaning Uses

  1. Sticky Residues: Remove adhesive residues from stickers, labels, and tape.
  2. Crayon Marks: Clean crayon marks from walls and furniture without damaging the surface.
  3. Grease: Remove grease from kitchen surfaces, tools, and car parts.

Polishing Uses

  1. Stainless Steel: Polish stainless steel appliances to restore their shine.
  2. Brass: Use WD-40 to polish brass fixtures and fittings.
  3. Silverware: Restore the luster to tarnished silverware.

How to Use

  1. Apply WD-40: Spray WD-40 onto the surface you wish to clean or polish.
  2. Wipe with a Cloth: Use a clean cloth to wipe away dirt, grime, or tarnish.
  3. Buff to Shine: For polishing, use a dry section of the cloth to buff the surface to a shine.

Loosening Stuck Fasteners

Stuck nuts, bolts, and screws can be a major headache during DIY projects. WD-40 can help loosen these fasteners, saving you time and effort.

How to Use

  1. Apply WD-40: Spray WD-40 onto the stuck fastener.
  2. Let it Penetrate: Allow it to sit for a few minutes to penetrate the threads.
  3. Use the Right Tool: Use a wrench or screwdriver to turn the fastener.
  4. Repeat if Necessary: For stubborn fasteners, repeat the process until they loosen.

Unsticking Zippers and Windows

Zippers and windows can become stuck due to dirt, rust, or wear. WD-40 can help get them moving smoothly again.

Unsticking Zippers

  1. Apply WD-40: Spray a small amount onto a cotton swab.
  2. Rub the Zipper: Apply the WD-40 to the teeth of the zipper.
  3. Move the Zipper: Gently move the zipper up and down to distribute the lubricant.
  4. Wipe Excess: Remove any excess WD-40 with a clean cloth.

Unsticking Windows

  1. Apply WD-40: Spray WD-40 onto the window tracks.
  2. Move the Window: Open and close the window to spread the WD-40.
  3. Wipe Clean: Wipe away any excess WD-40 with a cloth.

Maintaining Garden Tools

Garden tools are frequently exposed to moisture and soil, making them prone to rust and reduced efficiency. WD-40 can help maintain and protect these tools.

How to Use

  1. Clean the Tools: Remove dirt and soil from the tools with a brush or cloth.
  2. Dry the Tools: Ensure the tools are completely dry before applying WD-40.
  3. Apply WD-40: Spray a light coat of WD-40 on the metal parts of the tools.
  4. Store Properly: Store the tools in a dry place to prevent rust.

Preventing Frozen Locks

In cold weather, locks can freeze, making them difficult to operate. WD-40 can prevent this from happening.

How to Use

  1. Apply WD-40: Spray WD-40 into the lock mechanism.
  2. Operate the Lock: Turn the key back and forth to distribute the WD-40.
  3. Reapply as Needed: Reapply periodically during cold weather to prevent freezing.

Cleaning Car Parts

Car parts, such as engines, wheels, and exteriors, can accumulate grease, dirt, and grime. WD-40 can help clean and protect these parts.

How to Use

  1. Apply WD-40: Spray WD-40 onto the dirty car parts.
  2. Scrub if Needed: Use a brush or cloth to scrub away grease and grime.
  3. Wipe Clean: Wipe the parts with a clean cloth to remove any excess WD-40.

Additional Tips for Using WD-40

  • Test on a Small Area: Always test WD-40 on a small, inconspicuous area before using it on a larger surface to ensure it does not damage the material.
  • Use Sparingly: A little WD-40 goes a long way. Use it sparingly to avoid leaving a greasy residue.
  • Proper Ventilation: Use WD-40 in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes.
  • Follow Safety Guidelines: Follow the safety guidelines on the WD-40 can to ensure safe and effective use.


WD-40 is a remarkably versatile product that can make your life easier in countless ways. Whether you need to lubricate moving parts, prevent rust, clean surfaces, or unstick zippers and windows, WD-40 offers a simple and effective solution. By incorporating WD-40 into your regular maintenance routine, you can keep your home, tools, and projects in excellent condition. Keep a can of WD-40 on hand, and you’ll be prepared to tackle a wide range of household challenges with ease.