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Bright Ideas · 31 Uses For WD-40 That Prove It’s The Ultimate Problem Solver
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31 Uses For WD-40 That Prove It’s The Ultimate Problem Solver

WD-40 is the new duct tape.

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know that for the most part, I prefer natural and homemade alternatives when I have the option. But there are rare occasions when I’ll stick to my guns on a particular product, and one of those products is WD-40. Why do I feel so strongly about a spray lubricant, you might ask? Because it’s just so darn useful, and it has saved my hide many times!

One such experience happened about 20 years ago (yikes!) when my daughter Britta was little. She was going through a Silly Putty phase at the time, and carried it around everywhere. She must have fallen asleep with it in her hand one night, because when she woke up, I found her with a huge wad of Silly Putty stuck in her hair. And I mean STUCK!

Britta had beautiful, long, blonde locks at the time, so I was particularly devastated thinking I would have to hack her hair up to get the putty out. Luckily, someone recommended trying WD-40 first, and I was desperate enough to try anything at that point! I soaked her putty-matted hair with WD-40, and to my great surprise, I was able to get every last piece of the Silly Putty OUT and Britta got to keep all of her hair!

The website for WD-40 offers a list of 2,000 uses for this surprisingly versatile product. But I’ve decided to condense things a bit, so here is a bit of background on WD-40 and 21 of my favorite ways to use WD-40 for your consideration.

What Is WD-40, And How Does It Work?

WD-40 actually stands for Water Displacement, 40th Formula. It was invited in 1953 by a chemist named Norm Larsen, who wanted to prevent corrosion by displacing moisture from surfaces prone to corroding. He made many attempts at his water displacement formula, and finally perfected it on his 40th try. Thus the name “WD-40” was born!

But despite its name, this product is capable of far more than just displacing water! According to the product website, it also lubricates parts, penetrates rust, protects surfaces, and removes dirt, grease, and grime. And you’ll see all of those properties at work in the handy uses listed below! 🙂

12 Uses For WD-40

1. Toilet Cleaner

Spray WD-40 on tough limescale stains and mineral deposits in your toilet, and let it sit for a few minutes. Scrub with a toilet brush or a pumice stone, and the stains will dissolve easily!

2. Crayon Remover

Parents, raise your hand if you’ve ever faced a crayon-on-the-wall incident. (If your hand isn’t up, lucky you!) Waxy crayon markings can seem impossible to remove, but WD-40 makes it easy. Just spray a bit of WD-40 onto the crayon markings and wait a minute or two.

The lubricating action of the WD-40 will lift the wax from the paint, making it easy to wipe away with a cloth or a sponge.

3. Tool Treatment

If you own any household tools or gardening tools, WD-40 is a must! A spritz of WD-40 will lube up the hinges and springs in your snippers and pliers, and a thin layer will help keep rust from forming on saws, trowels, rakes, and other metal surfaces.

4. Sticker Goo Eraser

There are a hundred and one ways to remove sticker residue from things, and WD-40 is one of them! Remove as much of the sticker as you can, then coat the remaining sticker residue in a layer of WD-40. Wait a few minutes to allow the liquid to penetrate into the adhesive, then use a sponge to wipe away the residue. Easy!

5. Ring Remover

Use a spritz of WD-40 on your finger to help remove a stuck ring. Make sure to wash your hands afterwards!

6. Countertop Stain Remover

Clean stubborn tea and coffee stains on your countertops with the help of WD-40 and a little elbow grease.

7. Scissor Saver

Use WD-40 on the blades of your scissors to keep them lubricated and working well. Spray the blades, then wipe them off with a clean, dry cloth.

8. Repel Snow & Ice

A thin layer of WD-40 on your car windows during the winter can keep snow and ice from sticking to them overnight. Spray a small amount on to the window, and spread it over the window with a clean, dry cloth.

9. Gum Remover

Stepped in gum? Save your soles with WD-40. Soak the gum with WD-40, then wait for a minute or two, and the gum will peel away from your shoes easily.

10. Water Repellent

Use WD-40 as a Rain-X type coating on your glass shower doors. All you need is a thin layer, and the water will bead right off. You’ll avoid water stains, which means less cleaning in the future.

11. Shoe Saver

The same concept described above can be used to give your shoes a waterproof coating. Spray a bit of WD-40 onto a clean, dry cloth, and buff the outside of your shoes. This will also remove any salt stains you may have gotten during the winter!

12. Scuff Eraser

Use a small amount of WD-40 on a cloth to buff away scuff marks on your floors. Make sure to clean the area thoroughly afterwards to prevent anyone from slipping and hurting themselves!

13. Unstick LEGOs

Sometimes LEGO bricks snap together so securely that it’s almost impossible to pull them apart again. But you can use a spritz of WD-40 to help make it easier! Just spray it into the crack between the pieces, let it soak in for a few seconds, then pull the bricks apart.

14. Remove Tomato Stains

Keep a can of WD-40 handy in your laundry room, where you can use it to help remove tomato-based stains on your clothing. Just spray some onto the stain, wait a few minutes, then wash as usual.

15. Clean Carpets

You can use WD-40 in conjunction with your favorite carpet cleaner to help remove stubborn carpet stains (It works especially well on car mats!) Just spray it onto the stain first, then follow up with your carpet cleaner product as usual. The WD-40 helps to get between the stain and the carpet, making it easier for the carpet cleaner to wash everything away. Just a small spray will do the trick!

16. Water-Proof Your Outdoor Wear

Since it’s so effective at displacing water, you can use WD-40 to make your outdoor wear more water resistant. Spray it on boots, gloves, jackets, and other items, then let the item dry overnight. Once it is completely dry, your gear will repel more water!

17. Protect Bird Feeders

Squirrels are notorious for co-opting bird feeders and selfishly stealing the bird seed. If your bird feeder is supported by some kind of post, you can use WD-40 to keep those little rascals at bay! Just spray it onto the pole or post, which will make it too slippery for squirrels to climb.

18. Make Hangers Glide Smoothly

If your hangers tend to get hung up on the rod in your closet, WD-40 can help! Just spray a bit of it onto the rod, and use a cloth to rub spread it over the whole surface. Now your hangers will glide smoothly and easily over the rod!

19. Remove Oil Spots

Use WD-40 to remove unsightly oil spots and splatters from your driveway. Spray it liberally onto the spot, wait a few minutes, then blot with a dry cloth to absorb the oil. Repeat as necessary until the stain disappears.

20. Pest-Proof Your Trash

If cats, raccoons, or other local animals are rooting around in your trash, WD-40 can help keep them at bay! Spray it over the outside of your outdoor trash cans to make the surface slippery. The slick surface will keep most animals from climbing into your garbage.

21. Clean Gardening Equipment

A spritz of WD-40 can help remove sap, grime, and other gunk from your gardening tools. You can also spray some onto the underside of your lawn mower to prevent grass clippings from building up there and clogging up your mower.


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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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