WD-40 is marketed as a “multiuse product.”
The spray is 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 San Diego-based WD-40 Co. offers thousands of uses for its namesake product on the 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. Keep squirrels at bay
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 for this purpose as well.
2. Remove dead bugs
Is a summertime road trip in your recent past or near future? When the fun is done, remember that WD-40 has been used to remove dead bugs plastered onto everything from car radiators to boat windshields and golf carts.
3. Unstick chewing gum
WD-40 has been used to remove gum that was stuck to hair, shoes, concrete and lunch trays.
4. Wipe away permanent marker
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, thanks to WD-40.
5. Remove adhesive
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.
6. Separate stubborn Legos
Did Junior stick those blasted bricks together a little too well? Use WD-40 to spare your fingertips and nails for a slicker way to pry them apart.
7. Dissolve glues
Examples of glue removal from WD-40’s website include getting glue from carpet, leather and other surfaces; removing hair-extension glue from hair; and removing glue stains from jeans.
8. Clean shoes
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.
9. Remove coffee stains
Examples of successful removal listed on WD-40’s website include coffee stains on cups, tables, counters and floor tiles. Just be sure to wipe up all fluid after cleaning floors so no one slips.
10. Keep lawn mower blades clean
Spray your lawn mower blades with WD-40 to prevent grass clippings from collecting on the blades.
11. Fend off wasps
For evicting the buggers from a nest or preventing them from building one, users of Reddit’s LifeProTips message board agree on WD-40’s effectiveness. Just don’t spray a nest while wasps are around. As one commenter who made this mistake put it, “They do not like it, and will attack.”
12. Open iced mailboxes
Put the ice pick down. WD-40 is a safer “open sesame” when you find your mailbox door frozen shut.
13. Prevent snow from sticking
Spray your shovel and your snowplow blades with WD-40 to stop snow from sticking to them as you clear the walk.
14. Remove bird droppings
Try reaching for that familiar blue can the next time you find bird poop peppering the hood or roof of your car.
15. Prevent car parts from freezing
A frozen-shut door lock or ice-clogged windshield wiper spray nozzle is the last thing you need when you’re running late to work. Lubricating locks with a squirt of WD-40 before winter can keep them from locking up when icy times return.
16. Banish barnacles
Yes, WD-40 has even been used to remove barnacles from the undersides of boats.
For more unusual uses for everyday household products, check out “28 Ways Baby Oil Saves You Money.”
Do you have a favorite use for WD-40? Or a favorite alternative product? Share your thoughts by commenting below or on our Facebook page.