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Old 10-19-2014, 06:12 AM   #1
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WD-40 Fact and Fiction

There is an email circulating regarding the miracles WD-40 can work that includes over 40 "tips" as to what it can be used for and what it is made from.

Here is "the other side of the story."

Not all true.
The manufacturer of WD-40 and through their customer service department has indicated a modified list from which they "removed the tips we do not recommend."
The manufacturer-recommended uses for WD-40 spray that remained after their non-recommendations were as follows:

3. Protects silver from tarnishing.
4. Removes road tar and grime from cars.
10. Loosens stubborn zippers.
11. Untangles jewelry chains.
14. Keeps ceramic/terra cotta garden pots from oxidizing.
18. Keeps scissors working smoothly.
19. Lubricates noisy door hinges on vehicles and doors in homes.
21. Lubricates gear shift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on riding mowers.
22. Rids kids rocking chairs and swings of squeaky noises.
23. Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open.
24. Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close.
26. Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles.
27. Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans.
28. Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons, and bicycles for easy handling.
30. Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools.
33. Lubricates prosthetic limbs.
34. Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell).
35. Removes all traces of duct tape.
37. Florida's favorite use is: "cleans and removes love bugs from grills and bumpers."
43. If you sprayed WD-40 on the distributor cap, it would displace the moisture and allow the car to start.
44. It removes black scuff marks from the kitchen floor! Use WD-40 for those nasty tar and scuff marks on flooring. It doesn't seem to harm the finish and you won't have to scrub nearly as hard to get them off. Just remember to open some windows if you have a lot of marks. Wash off after use.
45. Bug guts will eat away the finish on your car if not removed quickly! Use WD-40!


Of course, this doesn't mean WD-40 won't necessarily work (more or less effectively) for the other purposes originally listed, just that the manufacturer doesn't recommend them.
As for the claim the "basic ingredient" in WD-40 is "fish oil," it's a common rumor and one that is easily propagated (because cans of WD-40 spray include no ingredients list), but a glance at the composition information included in the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for WD-40 aerosol indicates the product is primarily petroleum-based, with the main ingredient being "solvent naptha, petroleum, medium aliphatic" (also known as Stoddard Solvent):


  • solvent naphtha petroleum, medium aliphatic, > 60%
  • petroleum base oil as paraffinic distillate, heavy, solvent-dewaxed (severe), 15% to 25%
  • corrosion inhibitor unregulated, 1% to 10%
  • wetting agent unregulated, 1% to 10%
  • fragrance unregulated, 0% to 1%
  • carbon dioxide, 2% to 3%

Read more at http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/household/wd-40.asp#o2yWUjiv3uWvAhIs.99
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Old 10-19-2014, 06:31 AM   #2
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I would remove number 27. WD-40 is extremely flamable. spraying on an open motor will create a nice fire ball. Don't ask me how I know this.
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Old 10-19-2014, 08:09 AM   #3
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forgot "desert topping"
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Old 10-19-2014, 08:15 AM   #4
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#44 is suspect. Why use something slippery to clean a floor? How many people would bother to wash it off?
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Old 10-19-2014, 08:16 AM   #5
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I would add "Works as a starting fluid".
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Old 10-27-2014, 03:21 PM   #6
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We use it as propellant when we make Potato Gun's... Great muzzle flash at night.. Great Fun


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Old 10-30-2014, 10:17 PM   #7
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I'd debate the lubrication properties of it as well. It's a solvent. It'll quiet your door hinges for a bit but it doesn't take long for them to start squeaking again.
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Old 10-31-2014, 08:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Backcountry View Post
I'd debate the lubrication properties of it as well. It's a solvent. It'll quiet your door hinges for a bit but it doesn't take long for them to start squeaking again.
I agree...it's much more of "cleaner" than it is a lubricant.
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Old 10-31-2014, 08:55 PM   #9
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WD-40 is a water displacer. Blow it into locks of all kinds to keep them from freezing in the winter.

Use sparingly to remove adhesive residue from almost any non porous surface.
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Old 10-31-2014, 09:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indybp57 View Post
I would add "Works as a starting fluid".
X2 as I actually used it for that purpose once!
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Old 11-02-2014, 10:55 AM   #11
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When I first saw the thread title I thought it said, "WD-40 Fact and Friction".
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Old 11-02-2014, 02:21 PM   #12
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Indeed, it is a horrible lubricant. In fact, if you spray it on something that is greased (like a bearing) it will dissolve the grease and the bearing will be ruined. I would not use on a painted surface either, the naptha eats clear coat, turns it cloudy looking. If you need a cleaner there are many cleaners that are far better, if you need a lube there are tons and tons of lube products far better. To me using WD-40 to fix a problem is akin to using duct tape to fix problems, short term fix at best.
The stuff is crap and it smells as such.
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Old 11-02-2014, 05:17 PM   #13
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I find it amazing that the lubricant recommended for my Superglide is WD40 or 3 in 1 oil to be used on the way tubes and plastic wear plate on each day of use.. I chose 3 in1 oil.


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Old 11-02-2014, 05:36 PM   #14
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Yep WD40 is a water displacement agent and it does some other things well. As for spray lubricate, IMHO yo can't beat Slip Plate.
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Old 11-02-2014, 05:38 PM   #15
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Thanks.. Will give it a try.


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Old 11-02-2014, 09:26 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by RhoZeta View Post
Indeed, it is a horrible lubricant. In fact, if you spray it on something that is greased (like a bearing) it will dissolve the grease and the bearing will be ruined. I would not use on a painted surface either, the naptha eats clear coat, turns it cloudy looking. If you need a cleaner there are many cleaners that are far better, if you need a lube there are tons and tons of lube products far better. To me using WD-40 to fix a problem is akin to using duct tape to fix problems, short term fix at best.
The stuff is crap and it smells as such.
I would agree. It's not a great lubricant. More of a solvent. I do use it as a penetrating oil but not for permanent lubricant. The solvent evaporates and what's left does not do much.
As for cleaning do you really want to put that much solvent into ypur environment.
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Old 11-25-2014, 10:57 PM   #17
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Fact: WD-40 used on machinist tools will lead to "black rust". I was taught this back in 1969 while taking machine shop course. The instructor used WD-40 on a piece of tool steel which had been heat treated and ground to a mirror finish. He used another product on a sister piece of this steel. Two days later the WD-40 coated piece started showing small black spots on it then five days later it looked as though it was infected with something. The other piece never showed a change. Just saying that WD-40 is not a good metal preservative.
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