If you have tools, from the best shears to screw extraction pliers, you will likely have heard of and used WD-40.
WD-40 is the trademarked name of a water-displacing spray and penetrating oil. Its active ingredient is non-volatile viscous oil that remains on any surface to which it is applied. It protects these surfaces from moisture and provides lubrication. It is fantastic for protecting tools, extricating jammed bolts and screws, removing dirt, preventing rust, loosening stiff locks and zippers, and displacing moisture.
The story of WD-40 began in 1953. The Rocket Chemical Company, located in San Diego and with a staff of just three members, worked to create rust-prevention degreasers and solvents for the aerospace industry. On the fortieth attempt, they succeeded with their water-displacing formula. The aerospace contractor Convair was the first to use WD-40 to protect the Atlas Missile from corrosion; employees were so impressed they took some of the product to use at home.
In time, the founder of the Rocket Chemical Company experimented with using WD-40 in aerosol cans, and in 1958 it was first made available commercially in San Diego. By 1960, the business had grown and WD-40 was shipped to the Gulf Coast to recondition damaged equipment and vehicles in the aftermath of Hurricane Carla.
US soldiers in Vietnam used WD-40 for use on their weapons. In 1973, the company, now renamed as WD-40, went public. By 1993, the product was found in eighty percent of American homes and businesses.
Did You Know…?
- The formula for WD-40 to this day remains a closely-guarded secret. Contrary to popular belief, it does not contain fish oil.
- Do you have kids? Have they left crayon marks all over the wrong stuff? Crayola’s Stain Removal Tips recommend using WD-40 to eliminate crayon marks and stains from an array of surfaces, including upholstery, clothing, carpet, walls, glass, plastic, clothes dryer interiors, concrete, and brick.
- If it doesn’t move and it should, try WD-40! It really is a miracle product, and it can quickly revamp even the stiffest of stuck tools and other household items.
Come back next week for more fun facts and cool uses for WD-40!