Next to duct tape, WD-40 is the second best solution people look to when something isn’t working properly.
Squeaky door? Spray some WD-40 to make it sound as quiet as a husband who knows he’s in trouble. Stuck zipper? WD-40 will loosen it faster than a person loosens their pants after a trip to the buffet. Family problems? Heck, maybe WD-40 can fix those as well.
There are, however, more uses for the traditional red-and-blue spray than you think there may be.
How Does WD-40 Work?
WD-40 consists of a petroleum-based volatile solvent. When it evaporates, it leaves behind a lubricant which washes away the grime of whatever it was sprayed on. This gives it the characteristics of both a solvent and a lubricant. And wouldn’t you know it, WD-40, literally stands for Water Displacement, 40th formula, after chemist Norm Larsen’s 40th try attempting to create a corrosion preventative. (Learn more about WD-40 here.)
An article on instructables.com bit Mike Warren, aka mikeasaurus, shows some unusual uses of WD-40 and how it can serve as a lifehack for many day-to-day chores. Here are some of the more unconventional ways the spray can be utilized:
- Removing Stickers
Peeling off price tags is a pet peeve of almost anyone who has bought something in their life. When removing them, they either come out completely or leave an annoying residue which you then have to scrape off manually.
By spraying some WD-40 on the sticker and waiting about five minutes, this reminder of your consumerist lifestyle falls right off. You can also spray the product on a paper towel and set in on the sticker to keep the solution from dripping off to the side.
- Rubbing Crayon and Marker Prints Off Walls
If you have kids, you’ll know that they’re likely to spend more time drawing on walls than on paper. This leaves your house walls with knee-high abstract paintings.
If you aren’t the kind of parent who would nurture their child’s creativity, you can wipe off their art by spraying some WD-40 on a cloth and wiping it out. This works on surfaces like tile or walls with a glossy paint finish, but it doesn’t work on matte surfaces.
This might also wipe your kid’s memories of you being a supportive parent, but nobody ever said cleaning the house came without sacrifices.
- Cleaning Stainless Steel Sinks
Despite its namesake, stainless steel is absolutely NOT stain-impossible. It can track watermarks, fingerprints, and other blemishes which ruin its shiny appearance. Spraying WD-40 not only removes the existing stains, but it also adds a residue layer of oil which prevents the sink from getting new stains.
- Lubricating Vinyl Records
This function has a lot of controversy surrounding it as using a strong solvent-lubricant solution might damage a delicate plastic like vinyl. However, spraying WD-40 on a vinyl record and wiping it off removes the grease and keeps the vinyl smooth and working properly.
- De-rust Cast Iron
Perhaps our favorite is WD-40s ability to ‘de-rust’ cast iron. After spraying and letting it do it’s thing for five minutes, you can use 100-120 grit sandpaper or 00 steel wool, rubbing in small circles to remove the rusty build-up for a brand new look.
You can find other four other uses (as well as some useful tips where not to use WD-40) on Mike’s article at instructables.com.