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5 Surprising & Unique Facts About WD-40

hand holding a can of WD-40

You’ve probably heard this saying, “You only need two things in life: WD-40 and duct tape. If something moves and it shouldn’t, use duct tape, and if it doesn’t move and it should, use WD-40.”

This iconic lubricant has been a part of many American households for over six decades (you probably have a can of WD-40 sitting in your garage right now.) Recent statistics showed that the WD-40 company’s revenue was about $580 million in 20211, which goes to show how popular this lubricant is.

Read on to learn five fascinating facts about WD-40.

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The 5 Incredible Facts About WD-40

1. Its Formula Is a Secret

While this multi-purpose lubricant is highly popular, only a few people actually know its formula. This product’s formulation is such a highly kept secret that the company has never filed for a patent.

On WD-40’s 65th anniversary, the company’s CEO Garry O. Ridge took it a notch higher by taking the product’s secret formula to a secure bank vault for extra security. So, any sources claiming that they know what goes into WD-40 are no doubt inaccurate.

Image By: Benedek Alpar, Shutterstock

2. It Took 40 Attempts for WD-40 to Work

Did you know that it took 40 tries for this multi-use lubricant to work? In 1953, a company called Rocket Chemical Industry and its three staff began formulating a line of degreasers and rust-prevention solvents to be used in the aerospace industry.

Working in a small laboratory in San Diego, California, it took the creators 40 attempts to get the WD-40 lubricant to work. It wasn’t in vain because this product is now the go-to lubricant for many people in America and worldwide.

3. WD-40 Was First Used on a Missile

WD-40 was initially created for use in the aerospace industry. When it was first formulated, Convair, an aerospace contractor, used this product to protect the Atlas Missile’s outer skin from rust and corrosion. It worked so well that several of Rocket Chemical Industry’s employees snuck some of it to use at home.

close up hand spraying WD-40
Image Credit: Yevhenii Orlov, Shutterstock

4. WD-40 First Appeared on Store Shelves in 1958

In the next few years after WD-40 was invented, Rocket Chemical Industry founder Norm Larsen tried putting this product in aerosol cans. He saw that people might find a use for this lubricant at home as some of the employees had done so. This led to WD-40 lubricant making its first-ever appearance on store shelves in 1958.

5. This Lubricant Doesn’t Contain Fish Oil

One of the biggest myths about WD-40 lubricant is that it contains fish oil. This probably came from consumers who claimed they caught a lot of fish after spraying their fish hooks and lures with this product.

Their theory was that WD-40 contains fish oil since it appears to attract a ton of fish. While this product’s formula is a secret, it certainly doesn’t contain fish oil and shouldn’t be used to attract fish.

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Final Thoughts

It’s undeniable that WD-40 has been and will remain one of the most popular household products. While this lubricant has multiple uses, it seems to be misused at some point. There are many myths about what this product can do; for example, the myth that WD-40 cures arthritis isn’t true.

But it has come to the rescue in some weird situations. For instance, a bus driver once used WD-40 to remove a python that had coiled itself around the undercarriage of his bus. WD-40 for the win!

Featured Image Credit: Safarov Nariman, Shutterstock


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