WD-40 was invented by Iver Norman Lawson in 1953. It was made for use by American aircraft manufacturing company Convair to protect the outer skin of the Atlas missile from rust and corrosion. The handy solution was made available to consumers in 1958.

WD-40 Cans

Photo: wd40.com

WD-40 stands for “Water Displacement – 40th Attempt.” Essentially, the product performs five functions: displace moisture, clean, penetrate, lubricate and protect. The product is so versatile, someone wrote The WD-40 Book!

Here are 17 ways WD-40 can help around your home:

Common Uses for WD-40

Quiet Squeaky Hinges – A squeaky door hinge can become unnerving, especially over time as the squeak gets louder. Apply WD-40 to the offending hinge, rotate it back and forth, and the squeak should disappear.

Lubricate Sticky Drawers – Skip the laborious process of coating the mechanisms of hard-to-open drawers with dry soap; a couple sprays of WD-40 should do the trick.

Open Rusty Locks – If you’ve got a rusty key or a keyhole that won’t cooperate, apply some WD-40 and everything should work.

Prevent Rust – Spraying a little WD-40 on metal tools like saws, wrenches and pliers will keep them from rusting. It also protects silver from tarnishing, and keeps scissors and umbrellas working smoothly.

Clean Tools – In addition to protecting items from rust, WD-40 will clean just about anything in your tool box. Plus, it keeps working long after the solution seems to have dried.

Clean and Protect Sports Equipment – The seemingly magic solution can be used to remove dirt and decals from bicycles, and can also lubricate your chain and gears. You can use it as a protectant on your dirt bike to guard against excessive mud, and it can be used on watercraft to protect against corrosion and expel moisture. Lastly, it’s also great for cleaning golf clubs.

Extend the Life of Shower Heads – Shower heads have a tendency to break down over time. Applying a bit of WD-40 can extend their life span by years.

Uncommon Uses for WD-40

Remove Old Tape Residue – Removing old tape residue from hard surfaces can be a difficult project – not with WD-40. Spray a little on the affected area, wait a few minutes, wipe off, and voila!

Attract Dust To Air Conditioning Filter – Spray a light coating of WD-40 on your AC filter before installing, and your filter becomes exponentially more effective. We tested this on one of our filters. When it came time to replace the filter, it seemed to have much more dust trapped than usual.

Remove Stains From Clothes and Carpets – Do you have a pair of jeans with a pen ink stain? Spray a little WD-40 and it should come right out. It also works for lipstick and tomato stains. If you have a juice stain in carpet or fabric around the house, apply some WD-40. It should remove the stain safely and effectively.

Untangle Silver Jewelry – Untangling jewelry can be frustrating and time-consuming. Used in small amounts, WD-40 can help you untangle the mess in no time at all.

Remove Mildew From Refrigerator Gasket – Is the gasket on your refrigerator door not as pristine as you would like? Apply a bit of WD-40, let it sit for a few minutes, wipe off, and you’re done.

Clean Vehicle Grill and Bumper – Easily clean unwanted items from the exterior of your car like bug residue, tar and other grime by applying a bit of WD-40 and wiping the surface.

Remove Anything From a Glass Surface – Whether it is an old sticker or leftover tape, spraying a little WD-40 on the affected area will make removal easy to complete.

Clean and Lubricates Guitar Strings – The uses of this product are varied and wide ranging. Consider applying a little to your guitar strings to increase performance and life.

Remove Oil Spots From Driveways – If there are oil stains on your driveway that are making you crazy, spray a little WD-40 of the area, wait a few minutes, and then blot with a rag.

Free Stuck Zippers – Rather than discarding that coat or pair of boots with an uncooperative or stuck zipper, try using a little WD-40 on the affected area. Many times, it will smooth it right out.

Final Word

While WD-40 was invented to help protect a critical part of a missile, today it can be a great help around your house.

A few words of caution: WD-40 is generally considered a safe product. It is petroleum-based and  highly flammable. It can be harmful if swallowed and can aggravate respiratory issues if not used in a well-ventilated area. Be sure to read the directions on the back of the can.