If you ask anyone to tell you their favourite products for home maintenance, it is fairly safe to say that WD-40 will be high on the list. Whether you are a trained trade professional or the kind of person who struggles to work a screwdriver, anyone can recognise that handy blue and yellow tin with its little red nozzle.
The WD-40 Company’s website brags that ‘whenever there’s a job to be done - we have solutions’. This is an apt choice of words: the Rocket Chemical Company, as it was originally known, went through 39 different solutions before settling on the now world-famous recipe.
‘Water Displacement, 40th Formula’ or ‘WD-40’ was originally used by an aerospace contractor to protect its missiles from rust and corrosion. It wasn’t long before employees started sneaking it home in their lunch boxes; with clear potential as a consumer product, WD-40 finally hit the shelves in 1958.
WD-40 is now sold in 176 countries and territories worldwide. The sheer versatility of the product is staggering: over 2,000 uses have been discovered for WD-40, most of them by curious customers. You might have used WD-40 to fix a squeaking door hinge, but did you know that it can also be used for catching fish, saving people jammed in air vents and tackling tricky pythons?
Of course, where WD-40 truly shines is in the home. That’s why we’ve collected ten of the best ways that WD-40 can be used for everyday maintenance and repairs. Before we begin, it is important to note that WD-40 is flammable and can be hazardous if ingested. As such, you should not attempt to use the product in a non-ventilated area or in a property with pets or young children.
Image Credit: WD-40
Having to mow a lawn during wet or cold months of the year can be a big hassle. This is because long or wet grass can cling to a lawnmower’s blades, eventually causing it to clog up.
Spraying your blades with WD-40 will stop grass from being able to cling to it. Do this and you should be able to mow with ease at any time of year.
Nobody likes to see their nice clean floor ruined by careless scuff marks. You might have caused them with your shoes, or they could have appeared when you were last moving your furniture around.
Whatever their cause, scuff marks can be difficult to remove with standard floor cleaner. Luckily, WD-40 can be used to clean scuff marks off of any hard surfaced floor without damaging it. All you need to do is spray it on the scuff mark and then wipe everything up with a damp cloth.
This trick is not just for flooring: many homeowners use WD-40 to clean their countertops too! If you try this, just be sure to remove the WD-40 with a standard cleaner before you use the counter for food prep.
Do you have lime stains or any other kind of gunk stuck to your toilet bowl? If standard cleaners won’t remove them, WD-40 can! Simply spray it into the bowl, wait a few seconds and then clean the area with a toilet brush. The solvents inside the WD-40 will dissolve the gunk just enough for you to be able to remove it.
It is always a shame to see a reliable tool ruined by a shoddy wooden handle. You can keep yours from splintering by rubbing a generous amount of WD-40 into the wood; this will shield it from corrosive elements while also keeping it waterproof and smooth to the touch.
A fully constructed wasp nest can be a difficult thing to deal with, but it is possible to keep your property clear of them with a little help from the blue and yellow can.
Wasps tend to favour out-of-reach areas for their nests, such as roof eaves or behind window shutters. If you mist these areas with WD-40 at the start of spring, it will make it impossible for wasps to build there. Best of all, the solution is waterproof and can last for a full year.
As difficult as it can be to remove scuff marks from a hard floor, old and dried-on carpet stains are on another level entirely. Whatever your type of floor might be, WD-40 can help you get it clean in a flash.
Spray a moderate amount of WD-40 on your stain, then leave it for a minute or so. You can then wipe it up with normal carpet cleaner.
When cleaning out a fridge it is important to be as thorough as possible. Still, it seems that there are always a few stubborn marks that refuse to wash off. To deal with these stains, all you need to do is spray them with WD-40, wait a few minutes and then wipe it all off with a damp sponge.
An important thing to remember if you try this is that WD-40 is not safe to ingest. As such, you will need to remove anything that you still plan to consume from your fridge before you try this method. Once the stains are gone, you will also need to treat the area with standard cleaner before returning food to the fridge.
If you ask five gardeners what the best method is for keeping your vegetables free from hungry slugs or snails, you will most likely get five completely different answers. While there are dozens of homemade repellents and traps, WD-40 has the added advantage of being waterproof. As such, all it will take is a single spray around the outside of your plant pots to keep them safe even through wind and rain.
If you have an issue with creepy crawlies in your home, a spray of WD-40 could be all you need to send them packing.
Upon direct contact WD-40 will kill most common insects instantly, and you can also keep them away by spraying it on windowsills, doors and window frames and insect screens.
If you invest in beautiful leather furniture, you want it to last as long as possible. To increase the age of your piece, all you need is buff it using a fair amount of WD-40 and a soft cloth. The solution will penetrate, lubricate, protect and clean the leather, keeping it looking new for longer!
It is not just expensive leather furniture that can benefit from this treatment. WD-40 can also bring shine and colour back into old and faded plastic furniture.
Philip is always on the lookout for properties that inspire. He knows how frustrating home improvements and maintenance can be, which is why he covers everything from loft conversions to radiator repair! Phil’s main interest is in modern properties, with a particular soft spot for skyscrapers.