WD40 and You

July 25, 2009

If you’re like me — you pretend to be handy, but you’re really kind of a klutz, and you look things up online before pretending to be able to fix them — you probably have a grab bag of tools kicking around. Really, though, you just need a few things.

Most basic home, garden and automotive repairs can be carried out with:

  • A pair of vise-grips
  • A multi-headed screwdriver
  • A hammer and assorted nails
  • A tube of super glue
  • Duct tape
  • WD40

Bear in mind that when I say “repair,” I mean “Put together in such a way that it will appear to be repaired until people have forgotten it was supposed to be fixed.” You know, like when you use toothpaste to reattach the broken piece of moulding in the bathroom. It’ll fall off next week, but by then you’ll have picked up some more super glue.

Anyway, John S. Barry, the inventor of Water Displacement Formula 40, or WD40, died this week. His name isn’t as well-known as his famous product, but I thought I’d share some great uses for the miracle spray. You’ve probably heard of these before … wash windows, fix distributors in cars, repel pigeons, cure arthritis. I was all set to craft a magical list of uses, by which I mean cut and paste some stuff. Then I saw this:

Snopes dissects WD40.

So it isn’t really fish oil after all. And it’s probably not going to protect you from fire ants. It’s still a useful product. If you don’t have a can of it, pick one up. It’ll come in handy the next time you have to remove duct tape from your skin. (Please don’t leave a comment explaining why you had duct tape on your skin. Yes, I mean you, “Chuck.”)



  1. Brilliant, especially use #7 – Keeping flies off of cows. I’ve been using the stuff for decades, but have never tried it in that capacity before.

  2. I’ve just heard a programme about the product on BBC radio 4 (UK) fabulous! But it didnt mention that the inventor had died unless I missed something.
    Anyway, I have written a little intro to WD40 which has been an ESSENTIAL item in the tool box of the Great British Jowett car (www.jowettnorthwest.co.uk) or go straight to the blog. http://adgregg.wordpress.com

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