10 Surprising Uses For WD-40

There was once a wise man (or woman, the jury’s still out) who claimed “All of life’s problems can be solved with two things—duct tape and WD-40. If it moves and it shouldn’t, you need duct tape. And if it doesn’t move and it should, you need WD- 40.” Truer words have rarely been spoken. If you’ve got a squeaking door, a rusty lock, or a stuck part, a quick spray of WD-40 will put things right in no time. But there’s a lot more to this magic treatment that you’d expect- from softening leather to wiping away tea stains, cleaning toilet bowls to winterproofing shoes, it seems there’s no problem in life a quick squirt of WD-40 can’t solve. Next time you find yourself in need of a cheap solution to a niggling problem, grab a can and get to work.

1. Waterproofing Shoes

Tired of soggy feet but don’t want to invest in a one-use waterproofing spray? Then grab a can of multi-purpose WD-40 instead. One of the most surprising uses for WD-40’s is waterproofing winter footwear. Spay a thin mist all over the shoes before working it into the leather with a soft cloth. The end result will be an insulating barrier that water can’t penetrate. While we’re on the subject of shoes…. if yours have developed any unsightly stains, rub a little WD-40 into them with a clean rag. They’ll look box-fresh in no time.

2. Snow-Proofing Windows

This next one’s a must for anyone who lives in colder climes. Next time you hear snow showers are on their way, give your windows a good blast with some WD-40. It won’t do much to stop the cold creeping in, but it’ll at least do a great job of keeping the windows clear of snow.

3. Cleaning Toilets

You don’t need a shopping cart full of bleach to clean all those unsightly stains and limescale away from your toilet bowl. Spray a generous dose around the bowl, wait a few seconds for it to start working its magic, then give the bowl a light swipe with a toilet brush. The mix of solvents will dissolve any gunk clean away.

4. Unsticking Gum

How many of us have had to give ourselves a quick DIY hair cut after getting chewing gum stuck in our hair? Too many who’d care to admit it, no doubt. Likewise, there are not many parents who’ve not had to shear a patch of carpet after a teenager mistook their prize Persian rug for a trash can. If a piece of gum has ended up somewhere it shouldn’t, resist the temptation to get scissor-happy and grab a can of WD-40 instead. Start by scraping away as much of the gum as possible, then give the remaining gummy area a quick blast. Wait a second or so for the solvents to start working their magic before removing the rest.

5. Removing Sticker Marks

If you’ve ever tried to remove the sticky, gluey residue left behind by a sticker, you’ll know it can be a thankless task. Make life easier for yourself by giving it a quick squirt of WD-40. No matter how old or ingrained the residue, you’ll find it wipes away in less than a second with this super handy trick.

6. Tackling Stubborn Stains

Even all the elbow grease in the world isn’t enough to get rid of certain stains. If you’ve lipstick marks on your collar, shoe polish on your socks, or bike grease on your overalls, stop scrubbing and get spraying…. you’ll find it a whole lot more effective. Place the affected item on an old towel (or some paper towels, depending on its size), stain side up. Give the stain a few blasts with WD-40, count down from 3 minutes, then gently dab the sprayed area (working from the outside in) with paper towels or a cloth. You should find the stain starts to transfer to the cloth after a few seconds: continue to dab away, changing the cloth as often as needed. Once you’ve removed the stain, rub some liquid detergent into the area before washing.

7. Shining Steel

If your stainless-steel taps, oven tops, or trash can lids are showing the tell tales streaks of age, wipe away the traces with a spot of WD-40. Grab a soft cloth and spray it with a small amount of WD-40. Gently buff the affected areas before following with a quick polish with a clean cloth. Your surfaces will be as sparkly as new.

8. Loosening Stuck Cups

If you tend to stack cups and glasses to save space, you might occasionally find they end up becoming a little more intimately acquainted than you’d like. But never fear, their inseparable bond can quickly be bought to an end with a few judicious blasts of WD-40. Following the advice of Hunker, take the stack and spray a small amount of WD-40 around the rim of the bottom cup or glass. Leave for a minute, then gently pries apart. Remember to give them a very thorough clean afterward to remove any last traces of solvent.

9. Loosening Zippers

As Reader Digest notes, a little WD-40 is all you need to loosen up a stiff zip. Spay a fine mist along the length of the zip to ensure an even distribution. Leave for a few seconds then try the zip again- you should find it much more compliant. If you’re worried about the spray getting onto the fabric, spray a blob into a container lid before applying with a small artist’s brush.

10. Degreasing Hands

For mechanics and grease monkeys, this next one will change your life. If you find your hands blackened with oil after an engine change, spray them with a little WD-40. Rub your hands together to work the spray into the skin, then wipe with a paper towel. A quick clean with soap and water to finish will wash the grime clean away.

Photo By Eva K. – Eva K., CC BY-SA 2.5

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