Have always wondered a bit regarding WD 40.
Apparently it has a "solvent" component, and also some lubricating
oil mixed in.
A solvent and a lubricating oil seem totally contradictory in purpose, and,
to some extent,
But the stuff does, more or less, work.
Anyone explain ?
On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 07:54:28 -0600, firstname.lastname@example.org (m Ransley)
I use it to clean the heavy grease that flings off the chain of my
motorcycle onto the wheel of the motorcycle. What takes forever with
just a towel, takes a few minutes with a towel and some wd-40. The
grease comes right off, and the residue of the wd-40 is almost none.
Have to be careful not to get it on the tires though.
Remove NO-SPAM from email address when replying
Solvent/lubricant blends are pretty common, the theory is that the solvent
thins the lube and helps it penetrate tight spots and dissolve gunk , then
the solvent evaporates, leaving the oil behind. WD-40 might be a bit
different than just oil , it really isn't that great a lubricant for
anything that really needs oil or grease, though it is great for some jobs
that just need cleaning/freeing up and then a little bit of lubricity.
This is Turtle.
I can use WD-40 to free up a motor and oil it down with WD-40 , then in about 30
to 90 days the bearing will dry out and let the motor freeze back up. I can free
up a motor with WD-40 , then oil it down with 30 wt. motor oil and never have to
come back to it. WD-40 can be used to free up a motor but not to oil it with for
the WD-40 will evaperate out of the packing in short order from the heat of the
motor while running. I have tried this through the years in my business atleast
10 or 20 times and everyone did the same. I have not tried it in atleast 10
Don't use WD-40 as a oil !
Yep, it works great for freeing up big motors and
little motors. Last I used it on was 35mm fan in
a computer. A few squirts of WD-40, work the fan,
wipe off as much as you can get off. Add a drop
or two of turbine oil, work the fan, wick off as
much oil as possible, and good to go.
Don't know about your 30 wt oil, but I fixed my
attic fan about 10 years ago and haven't had to
oil it since even though it states that it is to
be oiled every 3 months (yeah, right). Of course,
getting rid of the composite spacers washers that
ended up making a sticky mess and replacing them
with nylon spacer washers was most beneficial.
Cheers, I'll stick to turbine oil, especially if
there is any high temperature involved.
This is Turtle.
You may have something there with the 10 weight oil if you oiled the motor every
6 months or every year , but 90% of people don't oil motor like they should. 90%
of my customer never get the motors oiled unless something breaks. They don't
have yearly check ups but only break check ups. If your tring to keep the oil in
the motor packing for 15 to 20 years and not adding any. You can use 30 wt. to
try to keep the oil in the packing for 15 to 20 years with no more.
Also most every motor I install now made by Fasco and G/E states 20 wt. oil for
lubricant of the motor. You can read for yourself here ---
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
If you've ever had anything steel that got wet and started to show rust
it will clean that up some. I've used it in the past on top of the steel
table for an old 10" Craftsman table saw I used to keep covered with
plastic. It inhibited rust.
I've also seen tile guys spray down their saws around the table, guide
and rollers prior to use. They claim it makes for easier cleaning of
built up tile muck at the end of the day.
I have been using WD40 to wipe down my hand tools after use and also
to wipe down the external casing of my power tools such as cordless
drill and orbital sander.
Is this a good or appropriate use?
Even if I am reasonably careful, will spraying and wiping down the
exterior of electric hand tools cause problems by getting into the
gears and motors? If so, what else would you recommend for cleaning
the exterior of power tools?
WD-40 is a great product - if used for it's intended purposes, which is
NOT long term lubrication.
-I left a rifle leaning against the porch step overnight and it rained
on it. Stripped it down and washed it good with WD-40, then oiled it.
Not a spot of rust.
-I use it as a starting fluid for small engines that haven't been
cranked since the previous year. Provides fuel & oil into dry
-I spray rusted nut/bolts before trying to unscrew them. A good
-I use it on a rag as a tar remover for my car. It removes the tar and
a little soapy water removes the WD-40.
So don't listen to those who say WD-40 is a bad product. They just
don't read labels.
WD-40 isn't a bad product - it is a misunderstood and misused product.
You used it to displace the water on a wet rifle and then you oiled the rifle -
Some folks would have stopped after spraying with WD-40 and then skipped the
oil treatment on the rifle - that's dumb.
II. HAZARDOUS INGREDIENTS
Chemical Name CAS Number % ACGIH/OSHA
Aliphatic Petroleum Distillates 8052-41-3 45-50 100 ppm PEL
Petroleum Base Oil 64742-65-0 30-35 5 mg/M3 TWA (mist)
LVP Hydrocarbon Fluid 64742-47-8 12-18 1200 mg/M3 TWA
Non-hazardous Ingredients < 10
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