17 Unusual but Handy Uses for WD-40

WD-40 is best known for lubricating, loosening and driving water out of various parts and tools. But these lesser-known uses are just as helpful -- indoors and outdoors.

17 Unusual but Handy Uses for WD-40 Photo by Ismail Sadiron / Shutterstock.com

WD-40 is marketed as a “multiuse product.”

It’s known for the capabilities for which it’s usually enlisted — such as lubricating squeaky hinges, loosening rusted parts and driving out moisture. In fact, “WD” stands for “water displacement.”

But WD-40’s uses extend well beyond those tasks.

The WD-40 Co. offers thousands of uses for its namesake product on its WD-40 website, including 2,000-plus uses contributed by the product’s devotees. Folks have been discovering more uses since the original WD-40 product was developed in 1953 after 39 failed attempts. (Thus, the “40” in its name.)

We’ve rounded up some of the least known but most helpful uses below.

If you try a new use for WD-40, test it in a small inconspicuous area first. WD-40’s list of fan-submitted uses notes that the company has not tested those suggestions, and that “customers should exercise common sense whenever using WD-40” and read the label.

1. Unstick chewing gum

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WD-40 has been used to remove gum that was stuck to hair, shoes, concrete and lunch trays.

2. Wipe away permanent marker

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Did you or the kids unwittingly pick up a Sharpie and go to town on the dry-erase board? The damage need not be permanent.

3. Remove adhesives

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Give your fingernails a break. Whether you’re trying to peel off a stubborn sticker, decal, price tag or tape, reach for the blue can. WD-40 also works on adhesive residue that has been left behind by sticky stuff.

4. Separate stubborn Legos

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Did Junior stick those blasted bricks together a little a too well? Spare your fingertips and nails.

5. Dissolve glues

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Examples from WD-40’s website include removing glue from carpet, leather and other surfaces; removing hair-extension glue from hair; and removing glue stains from jeans.

6. Clean shoes

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Paint or grass stains on your favorite sneakers? Dog poop or salt in the crevices of your boot soles? WD-40 has been used to tackle it all.

7. Remove crayon and modeling clay

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WD-40 is among the cleaning products that Crayola’s website recommends for removing Crayola products from various surfaces.

8. Remove coffee stains

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Examples from WD-40’s website include coffee stains on cups, tables, counters and floor tiles. Just be sure to wipe up all fluid from floors so no one slips.

9. Deter squirrels

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WD-40 Co. CEO Garry Ridge told the Los Angeles Times that his favorite story about an unusual use for WD-40 involves a woman who sprayed it on her backyard bird feeder pole because squirrels were filching bird food. Petroleum jelly — good ol’ Vaseline — works as well.

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