Gadgets

10 Surprising Uses For WD-40

Everybody knows WD-40 is the go-to product for silencing squeaks, displacing moisture, preventing rust and loosening stuck parts. You probably have a can sitting in your garage right now. It has lots of uses, but it’s no panacea. In fact, there are a some jobs WD-40 will absolutely ruin.

Use WD-40 To:

1. Lube a shovel. Spray WD-40 on a shovel, spading fork, hoe or garden trowel. The soil slides right off — especially helpful when digging in clay.

2. Clean tile. The spray removes spilled mascara, nail polish, paint and scuff marks from tile floors, and also help you wipe away grime from the grout lines. Clean up with soapy water.

3. Scrub stains from stainless steel sinks.

4. Unstick gum. A squirt makes it easier to pull gum out of carpet and even hair. It’s better than cutting out the gum and leaving patchy carpet or a bad haircut.

5. Soften leather. Oil can help break in a stiff leather tool belt.

6. Free stuck LEGOs. Your kids will thank you.

7. Erase crayon. When crayon ends up on toys, flooring, furniture, painted walls, wallpaper, windows, doors, and television screens, spray on WD-40 and wipe it off.

8. Prevent flowerpots from sticking when stacked together.

9. Get rid of rust. Spray and rub away rust from circular saw and hacksaw blades. It can also clean blades of tar and other gunk.

10. Remove goo. Unstick gooey residue from price tags, duct tape, and stickers.

But Don’t Spray It On:

1. Door hinges. Sure, WD-40 will stop the squeaking, but it also attracts dust and dirt. Over time, you’ll end up with ugly black streaks on your hinges.

2. Bike chains. WD-40 can cause dirt and dust to stick to a chain. Use bike-specific lubricants, which typically contain Teflon.

3. Paintball guns. WD-40 can melt the seals in the guns.

4. Locks. The spray can prematurely wear down the internal mechanisms, especially in pin tumbler locks, door locks and padlocks. Go for graphite powder.

5. iPhones and iPads. WD-40 won’t repair the Home button on these devices. In fact, the spray can cause the plastic to break down on the cover. If some gets inside the electronics, it can damage plastic parts inside.

Images: rvettese, Martin Labar, and M Rey Alonso/Flickr