There is a lot of confusion over the uses of WD-40. There are a
few versions of emails that ciruculate frequently and list many
benefits and uses for WD-40. Here are some comments which
I've sent to friends in regard to those emails about WD-40:
Here are some caveats and some comments on WD-40. This
is my opinion and my recollections from what I have learned about
it over the past few years:
- I've heard that WD-40 is great for cleaning & protecting guns and
ammo. But I'd definitely prefer to use good oil on gun parts instead
of WD-40. And I'd never let WD-40 get near the base of ammo.
It can penetrate into the primers and make them inert.
- Don't use WD-40 in place of lubricating oil. WD-40 is 80-90%
kerosene and will thin out or flush out existing oil on the part needing
lubrication. WD-40 is not a lubricant - it is a water displacer which
contains an extremely small percentage of lubricants. If used on
electric motors in place of real oil, it will destroy them.
- I hide the WD-40 around our house. I don't want anything that should
be oiled being treated with WD-40 instead.
- The formula for WD-40 is generally regarded as:
5-10% tallow oil
5-10% light oil
Trace amounts of other goodies such as antioxidants,
wetting agents, etc.
The manufacturer denies the accusations that their product is mostly
kerosene and they claim that there is no kerosene in the product.
This is technically true, but misleading since they are using Stoddard
Solvent, which is pretty much functionally equivalent to kerosene.
WD-40 is useful for many of the listed applications, but in many
cases it is a very expensive way of applying a bit of kerosene.
Charcoal lighter fluid is cheaper and number 1 or number 2 fuel
oils are even cheaper yet. But the spray can of WD-40 is often
much more convenient and 1 can, while overpriced, will usually
last many years.
I hope this helps a bit. The important warning is that you should
not use WD-40 in place of the proper lubricant for the item you
are maintaining. Many motors have been ruined because WD-40
was used in place of the proper lubricant.
Every homeowner should have a small inventory of good lubes
such as 3-In-1 Oil, lithium grease, silicone spray, Teflon spray,
etc. Buy quality products - you use them infrequently and you
will be paid back for the small extra price. For example, Teflon
(PTFE) produces range from excellent to junk.
(Never put a cheap PTFE produce in with any engine oil. It will
do more harm then good if it is the wrong version of PTFE or
if its particle sizes are incorrect for the application.)
I've copied one version of the many emails below. I hope this
all helps. Your question was short and my reply is very long,
but there is a lot to be said about WD-40.
HERE IS SOME COMMON EMAIL TEXT LISTING USES FOR WD-40.
I'm just listing the email text; I don't endorse any of these uses:
Here are some of the uses for WD-40:
Protects silver from tarnishing.
Cleans and lubricates guitar strings.
Gives floors that 'just-waxed' sheen without making it slippery.
Keeps flies off cows.
Restores and cleans chalkboards.
Removes lipstick stains.
Loosens stubborn zippers.
Untangles jewelry chains.
Removes stains from stainless steel sinks.
Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill.
Keeps ceramic/terra cotta garden pots from oxidizing.
Removes tomato stains from clothing.
Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots.
Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors.
Keeps scissors working smoothly.
Lubricates noisy door hinges on vehicles and doors in homes.
Gives a children's play gym slide a shine for a super fast slide.
Lubricates gear shift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on riding
Rids rocking chairs and swings of squeaky noises.
Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open.
Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close.
Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, as well as vinyl
Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles.
Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans.
Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons and bicycles for easy handling.
Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly.
Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools.
Removes splattered grease on stove.
Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging.
Lubricates prosthetic limbs.
Keeps pigeons off the balcony. (they hate the smell)
Removes all traces of duct tape.
I have even heard of folks spraying it on their arms, hands, and knees
to relieve arthritis pain.
Florida's favorite use was "cleans and removes love bugs from grills and
The favorite use in the State of New York--WD-40 protects the Statue of
Liberty from the elements.
WD-40 attracts fish. Spray a LITTLE on live bait or lures and you will be
catching the big one in no time. Also it's a lot cheaper than the chemical
attractants that are made for just that purpose. Keep in mind though, using
some chemical laced baits or lures for fishing are not allowed in some
It also kills wasps, bees and the such.
Truly remarkable product.
END OF EMAIL TEXT