This product began from a search for a rust preventative solvent and
de-greaser to protect missile parts. WD-40 was created in 1953 by three
technicians at the San Diego Rocket Chemical Company. It's name comes from
the project that was to find a "water displacement" compound. They were
successful with the fortieth formulation, thus WD-40.
The Corvair Company bought it in bulk to protect their Atlas missile parts.
The workers were so pleased with the product, they began smuggling (also
known as "shrinkage" or "stealing") it out to use at home. The executives
decided there might be a consumer market for it and put it in aerosol cans.
The rest, as they say, is history.
It is a carefully guarded recipe known only to four people. Only one of them
is the "brew master." There are about 2.5 million gallons of the stuff
manufactured each year. It gets it's distinctive smell from a fragrance that
is added to the brew. Ken East says there is nothing in
WD-40 that would hurt you.
Here are some of the uses:
Protects silver from tarnishing
Cleans and lubricates guitar strings
Gets oil spots off concrete driveways
Gives floors that 'just-waxed' sheen without making it slippery
Keeps flies off cows
Restores and cleans chalkboards
Removes lipstick stains
Loosens stubborn zippers
Untangles jewelry chains
Removes stains from stainless steel sinks
Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill
Keeps ceramic/terra cotta garden pots from oxidizing
Removes tomato stains from clothing
Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots
Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors
Keeps scissors working smoothly
Lubricates noisy door hinges on vehicles and doors in homes
Gives a children's play gym slide a shine for a super fast slide
Lubricates gear shift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on riding
Rids rocking chairs and swings of squeaky noises
Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open
Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close
Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, as well as vinyl
Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles
Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans
Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons and bicycles for easy
Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly
Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools
Removes splattered grease on stove
Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging
Lubricates prosthetic limbs
Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell)
Removes all traces of duct tape
I have even heard of folks spraying it on their arms, hands, knees to
relieve arthritis pain.
One fellow claims spraying it on fishing lures attracts fish.
In celebration of their 50th year, the company conducted a contest to learn
the favorite uses of it's customers and fan club members, (Yes, there is a
WD-40 Fan Club).
They compiled the information to identify the favorite use in each of the 50
states. Naturally I was curious about Georgia and Alabama and found the
favorite use in both states was that it "penetrates stuck bolts, lug nuts,
and hose ends." Florida's favorite use was "cleans and removes lovebugs
from grills and bumpers."
California's favorite use was penetrating the bolts on the Golden Gate
Let me close with one final, wonderful use--the favorite use in the State of
New York--WD-40 protects the Statue of Liberty from the elements.
No wonder they've had 50 successful years.
- posted 18 years ago