What Is WD-40? Advantages, Disadvantages, Uses, & FAQ
WD-40 is a penetrating oil with a long history. It works well and has many uses around the house, but many people wonder what exactly it is. While the ingredients of WD-40 are a trade secret, we can tell you about the history, different varieties, advantages, and disadvantages of this product to help you understand it better.
A Quick Reference Guide
|When to Use WD-40||When Not to Use WD-40|
|Removing rusty bolts||Bike chains|
|Cleaning grease and grime||Plastic|
|Removing stickers and tape||Arthritis|
|Lubricating a car antenna||Smartphones|
How Does It Work?
The Rocket Chemical Company invented WD-40 in 1953 (the company later changed its name to WD-40 Company). It originally used WD-40 to protect the Atlas missile from rust and corrosion, particularly the outer wall and the thin balloon fuel tanks. After a short time, people discovered that it had many other uses, and the company began marketing it to the public
The WD in WD-40 stands for water displacement, and the 40 stands for it being the 40th — and successful — version of the formula. Water displacement is moving fluid from one place to another, which helps protect metals and other surfaces from moisture that can cause rust and corrosion. WD-40 is also a penetrating oil, so it can cut through grease and grime to help loosen bolts and clean surfaces, while the light lubrication can help stop squeaks.
What Are the Different Types of WD-40?
The original WD-40 was only available as an aerosol spray, and you can still purchase it that way today, but the WD-40 company has added several products to accompany it.
Where Is It Used?
The uses for WD-40 are nearly endless, which is why it is still so popular after more than 60 years.
Advantages of WD-40
The advantages of WD-40 are extensive. First, it creates a protective barrier over metal that keeps moisture from causing rust and corrosion. The ingredients also help dissolve grease, grime, and dirt, making it an effective cleaner. You can use it to produce a shiny surface and remove rust and other materials from bolts and other stuck components so you can remove them.
Disadvantages of WD-40
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is WD-40 a degreaser?
WD-40 is an industrial-strength cleaner and penetrating oil. While it works well for dissolving grease and is safer and gentler on surfaces than the harsh chemicals in many commercial brands, it is not technically a degreaser.
Is WD-40 a silicon spray?
While the WD-40 Company does currently offer a water-based silicone spray, the original formula is not a silicone spray.
Can WD-40 clean rims?
Yes. WD-409 is a safe and effective wheel cleaner that will help you get your rims shiny and the tires clean.
WD-40 is a powerful water displacer and penetrating oil, but its ingredients are a trade secret that WD-40 Company has kept for over 60 years. While its main purpose was to protect missiles, it has many great uses around the home. Many people use it to stop squeaky hinges, but it is also great for cleaning caked-on dirt and grime and loosening old, rusty bolts and other components so you can remove and repair them. Never use WD-40 on a bike chain or other item that requires lubrication, though, and avoid spraying it on plastic or your body.
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Featured Image Credit: Benedek Alpar, Shutterstock