In Praise of WD-40

| 9/2/2014 10:08:00 AM

Tags: WD-40, Corrosion, Water Displacement, Household, Plumber, Mechanic, Jewelry, Zippers, Insects, Renee-Lucie Benoit,

Renee-Lucie BenoitWD-40 is common on a ranch or farm. Everyone has it. Everyone uses it. But does anyone really know what it is? I sure as heck didn’t so I did a little research. I found out that WD-40 was – or is – the trademark name of a spray developed in 1953 by a guy named Norm Larsen who was the founder of the Rocket Chemical Co. in San Diego, California. It was originally designed to repel water and prevent corrosion for nuclear missiles. But just like any magnificent discovery (penicillin comes to mind), it turned out to have more uses than the original intended purpose. Where did the name come from, you may ask? I bet you wouldn’t guess this: "Water Displacement – 40th Attempt.” This is science at work. Not Mad Men. But, hey, don’t you think it works? Dub-ya Dee Forty! Just rolls off the tongue like it was meant to be.

WD40 | courtesy

Photo: courtesy

I had always had used it for one thing: fixing squeaky hinges. Recently I was in a local tractor supply establishment looking for a product to help de-tangle the impossible tornadoes that had made their way into my horse’s manes and tails. The product that looked the best to me had a ridiculously high price tag on it so I hunted up a clerk for some advice. She told me her dad told her to use WD-40. Applied liberally.

So I went home and tried it. What a disaster! It was way too oily and it didn’t get a single tangle out. My hands just got saturated with chemical product. It was terrible, but it got me to thinking what people out there might be using WD-40 for other than its intended use. So I started looking into it and here is what I found.

WD40 | courtesy

9/4/2014 9:50:16 AM

Renee-Lucie, ha I had to laugh at some of the uses. I, unfortunately, have not been so creative. All of my uses has been to break loose rusted parts. It's a good way to coat my log chain and certain garden tools to keep from rusting as well. ***** Have a great Dub-ya Dee Forty day.

9/3/2014 9:59:49 AM

Renee, we specially enjoyed the history in the first paragraph! Thanks for sharing that. My husband uses WD-40 all the time. You know the saying, "WD-40 & duct tape" and you can fix most things!

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: August 4-5, 2018
Albany, OR

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!