24 Surprising Uses for WD-40

Nothing shut ups a squeaky wheel/hinge/knob like a squirt of WD-40, and for that reason alone, the blue and yellow can should always be kept on hand. Actually, scratch that, one can definitely isn't going to cut it. WD-40 has so many other amazing household uses — more than 2,000, according to this list — that it might make more sense to stock up. Here are some of our favorites ...

1. Make disposable razors last. Spray the blades with WD-40 to prevent them from rusting and they'll last a lot longer.

2. Remove chewing gum. A squirt of WD-40 makes it much easier to remove the sticky stuff from shoes, floors, desks, carpet and, yes, even hair.

3. Remove tomato stains. Whether it's a glob of ketchup, a splash of spaghetti sauce or a spilled Bloody Mary, no tomato stain is too much for WD-40.

4. Soften leather. Use WD-40 to clean leather furniture, as well as vintage belts, bags, and other accessories, leaving them soft and supple. A squirt will even help break in a new baseball glove or a stiff pair of leather shoes or boots.

5. Stop snow from sticking. WD-40 makes snow slide right off! Use it on exterior windows sills to prevent buildup from blocking natural light; coat your snow shovel and clear the sidewalk with ease; and spray it on your car's windshield to prevent frost and ice from forming.

6. Lube garden tools. Before you start digging, coat shovels, spades, hoes, and other tools in WD-40 and the soil will slide right off. WD-40 also removes and prevents against rust, and will loosen stiff weeding shears.

7. Shines seashells. WD-40 will add polish to all of your beach vacation souvenirs. It also makes mother of pearl gleam!

8. Untangle jewelry. A small squirt of WD-40 will help free stubborn knots and kinks in chain necklaces and bracelets, making them much easier to untangle.

9. Unstick a zipper. Stubborn, stiff and stuck zippers will smooth right out with a spritz of WD-40.

10. Make peg boards easy to adjust. Peg boards and their storage accessories are a great way to organize and display frequently used items in your kitchen, home office, craft room, and garage. They're designed with flexibility in mind, but sometimes the pegs aren't so easy to remove and rearrange — unless you coat them with WD-40 first.

11. Rehydrate brush bristles and prevent paint from sticking. Dried paint stuck between the bristles can make used brushes feel stiff even after they've been cleaned with soap and water. Massage a little WD-40 into the bristles to break down that left over gunk, give the brush a rinse, and once it's dry, coat the brush again to prevent paint from sticking in the future.

12. Separate stuck stacked glassware. When one glass gets stuck inside the other, don't risk a trip to the emergency room — squirt WD-40 in the space between the two before you attempt to pull or twist them apart.

13. Remove permanent marker from dry erase boards. It happens to the best of us -- but rub on a little WD-40 and it's like it never happened at all.

14. Lubricate vinyl records. This one is controversial among vinyl collectors, but some people swear by using WD-40 to clean their records. That's because WD-40 contains solvents that breakdown grease, leaving behind a thin layer of oil that smoothes over scratches that cause records to skip. We advise using a small amount at a time and keeping it a secret from your collector friends.

15. Waterproof chalk lines. Spray your kids' sidewalk chalk drawings and hopscotch squares before a storm, and the rain won't wash them away!

16. Remove a stuck ring. Trying to pry a tight ring off a swollen finger can only make both problems worse. Ease the friction, don't fight it — lube up your finger with WD-40 and gently wiggle the ring free.

17. Deter backyard and garden pests. Wasps and pigeons absolutely loathe the smell of WD-40, so spray it wherever they're inclined to nest. You can also use WD-40 to stop squirrels from raiding your bird feeder — just spray the pole so it's too slick to scamper up and laugh when they slide down instead.

18. Remove hair dye stains. The next time you buy a box of hair dye at the drug store, grab a can of WD-40 for cleaning up afterwards. It'll lift any hair dye discoloration from towels, and makes it easy to wipe up stains on tile floors, walls, and grout. You can even rub it on your skin to remove any staining along your hairline, ears or on your hands. Just wash up with soap and water afterwards.

19. Deal with dog doo. The only thing more disgusting than stepping in a fresh pile of dog poop is having to clean your shoe afterwards. WD-40 makes the task slightly less painful by working its magic in between the gaps of treaded soles, so you don't have to.

20. Remove adhesives. WD-40 will dissolve dried on glue and the sticky gunk that makes price tags, bumperstickers, and duct tape otherwise difficult to remove.

21. Get crafty. Prime canvas, wood, posterboard, and other materials with a layer of WD-40 before painting and the reaction between the two will result in a cool, textured surface.

22. Prevent car parts from freezing. Spray the door lock and windshield wiper spray nozzle with WD-40 to prevent them from freezing.

23. Winterproof shoes. Spray your sneakers and boots with WD-40 to make them impervious to water and snow.


Amelia McDonell-Parry

Amelia McDonell-Parry

I'm a freelance writer and reporter for outlets like Rolling Stone, the Village Voice, BUST, Nylon, Woolly, and the Appeal, a podcast host for Undisclosed, and once upon a time, I was the founding editor of The Frisky.