Creative Tips and Uses for WD-40

HGTV Magazine asks, "What if your WD-40 could talk?" Well, it would slip you these helpful tips and tidbits.


HGTV Magazine share useful tips for this common household item.

Photo by: J Muckle/Studio D

J Muckle/Studio D

Related To:

I’m crazy-popular

Around 80% of U.S. households own a can of this handyman’s helper. Famed as a lubricant and a rust remover, it is most commonly used to silence squeaky hinges. The aerosol version is the best-known variety, but it also comes as a grab-and-go pen and in gallon containers.

I can do what?!

Consumers have reportedly found 2,000-plus uses for WD-40. Problems it’s fixed: hiding scratches on ceramic tile, removing gum from wallpaper, and cleaning toilet bowl lime stains. Oh, and it once helped firefighters in Denver, CO, dislodge a naked would-be burglar who was stuck in a vent.

Spray me sparingly on hinges

Noisy door? Avoid drenching the entire hinge with WD-40. Instead, pop up the hinge pin—don’t remove it entirely—clean off dust, and spritz lightly. Push the pin back in, open and close the door a few times, and wipe away any drips.

Shh—I’ll never reveal my mistakes

To ensure the WD-40 formula remained a trade secret, the company never patented it. Brand enthusiasts have tried to suss out its ingredients, claiming they’ve ID’d mineral oil and lots of water-repellent hydrocarbons, but the company has never confirmed the exact recipe.

Quit rushing me—I'm working here!

If you’re trying to loosen unbudgeable nuts, bolts, and screws, don’t expect instant results. You’ll need to wait about 15 minutes after applying WD-40 for it to do its thing. For only slightly stuck stuff, it’ll take three to five minutes.

A little history about this common household item:

  • WD-40 was concocted in 1953 by three California chemists who wanted to find a way to degrease ballistic missiles and keep them from rusting.
  • The name WD-40 stands for “water displacement, 40th formula.” There were 39 previous formulas that didn’t pan out.
  • WD-40 made its debut commercially in 1958, when it hit store shelves in San Diego, CA.

The experts: Ernie Bernarducci, Ph.D., vice president of research & development at WD-40 Company; Stephen Fanuka, host of DIY Network’s Million Dollar Contractor; Lou Manfredini, home expert at Ace Hardware; Ed Padilla, founder and director of the Association of Certified Handyman Professionals

Next Up

5 Tips for Fighting Household Odors

Get to the root of the problem with a little routine maintenance.

Cleaning Tips for Toilets and Paintbrushes

Expert answers some frequently asked cleaning questions.

Car-Cleaning Tips

12 ways to give your wheels a fresh start.

Top 20 Cleaning Tips From HGTV Stars

Plus, read on for their LOL cleaning confessions. HGTV stars, they're just like us!

5 Tips for Controlling Dust Mites

These bedbugs are a leading cause of allergies and asthma. Here's how to fight back.

Your Cell Phone is Covered in Germs! 5 Tips to Keep It Clean

Remove bacteria from your phone with these simple steps.

Back-to-School Stain Removal Tips: How to Get Out Glue, Glitter + More

That custom crayon artwork in the hallway doesn't have to be on permanent display.

10 Bad Habits Around the House That Cost You Money

HGTV Magazine explains why it pays — literally — to quit these around-the-house mistakes.

What You Should Know About Bleach

HGTV Magazine asked, if your bleach could talk what would it say? Well, it would spill these secrets for successful whitening, brightening, and sanitizing.

20 Cleaning Tips for Beds and Mattresses

Whether heaped with pillows or minimally spare, keep beds, mattresses and bedding in top shape with these easy-care tips.

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.