The product began from a search for a rust preventative solvent and de-greaser to protect missile parts. WD-40 was created in 1953 by three technicians at the San Diego Rocket Chemical Company.  It's name comes from   the project that was to find a "water displacement" compound.  They were successful with the fortieth formulation, thus WD-40.


The Convair Company bought it in bulk to protect their Atlas missile parts. The workers were so pleased with the product, they began smuggling (also known as "shrinkage" or "stealing") it out to use at home.  The executives decided there might be a consumer market for it and put   it in aerosol cans.  The rest, as they say, is history.


It is a carefully guarded recipe known only to four people.  Only one of them is the "brew master." There are about 2.5 million gallons of the stuff manufactured each year. It gets its distinctive smell from a fragrance that is added to the brew. Ken East says there is nothing in WD-40 that would hurt you.



Here are some of the uses:


  Protects silver from tarnishing

  Cleans and lubricates guitar strings

  Gets oil spots off concrete driveways

  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 mowers

  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 bumpers

  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

  Spray on arms, hands, knees, etc, to relieve arthritis pain.

  One fellow claims spraying it on fishing lures attracts fish.

  Removes gum out of kids hair.

WD-40 has been designated the "official multi-purpose problem-solver of NASCAR," a ringing endorsement if there ever was one. I told my NASCAR loving sons about this and they said they couldn't imagine how WD-40 can solve the Jeff Gordon problem.


In celebration of their 50th year, the company conducted a contest to learn the favorite uses of it's customers and fan club members (yes, there is a WD-40 Fan Club).  They compiled the information to identify the favorite use in each of the 50 states.  Naturally I was curious about Georgia and Alabama and found the favorite use in both states was that it "penetrates stuck bolts, lug nuts, and hose ends." Florida's favorite use was "cleans and removes lovebugs from grills and bumpers." California's favorite use was penetrating the bolts on the Golden Gate Bridge.


Let me close with one final, wonderful use--the favorite use in the State of New York--WD-40 protects the Statue of Liberty from the elements.  No wonder they have had 50 successful years.



doesn't move and it should--use WD-40.  If it moves when it shouldn't, use Duct tape.