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21 Household Problems That Are Easy To Solve With WD-40

Four pictures of a person using WD-40 to clean a car.

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know that for the most part, I prefer natural and homemade alternatives when I have the option. But there are rare occasions when I’ll stick to my guns on a particular product, and one of those products is WD-40. Why do I feel so strongly about a spray lubricant, you might ask? Because it’s just so darn useful!

Uses for WD-40 - two views of a can of WD-40: front and back

What Is WD-40, And How Does It Work?

WD-40 actually stands for Water Displacement, 40th Formula. It was invented in 1953 by a chemist named Norm Larsen, who wanted to prevent corrosion by displacing moisture from surfaces prone to corroding. He made many attempts at his water displacement formula, and finally perfected it on his 40th try. Thus the name “WD-40” was born!

But despite its name, this product is capable of far more than just displacing water! According to the product website, it also lubricates parts, penetrates rust, protects surfaces, and removes dirt, grease, and grime, and it has saved my hide many times!

How I Used WD-40 To Solve A Sticky Hair Situation

The first time I used WD-40 to save the day was way back when my daughter Britta was just a toddler. She was going through a phase where she insisted on having Silly Putty in her hand at all times, and she must have fallen asleep that way one night, because the next morning I found a huge wad of Silly Putty fully embedded in her hair.

I was devastated by the idea hacking off her long, blonde hair to get the putty out, so I’m glad that someone recommended I try WD-40 first. I soaked the putty-matted hair with WD-40, worked it in with my fingers, and was eventually able to slide every bit of Silly Putty out — no emergency haircut required!

Is WD-40 Safe On Skin?

Because of its water displacing properties, WD-40 can cause skin dryness and irritation. What’s most important is keeping it away from your eyes and mouth — seek medical attention if either of these things happen to you.

So what can you use WD-40 for? Well, the WD-40 website features a list of 2,000 uses for this surprisingly versatile product, but I’ve decided to be a little bit more brief here. ;-) Below, you’ll find 21 useful ways to use WD-40 around the house!

21 Uses For WD-40 Around The House

Uses for WD-40 spraying it in a toilet bowl

1. Toilet Cleaner

Spray WD-40 on tough limescale stains and mineral deposits in your toilet, and let it sit for a few minutes. Scrub with a toilet brush or a pumice stone, and the stains will dissolve easily!

Related: The Only Recipe You Need To Keep Your Toilet Clean

Uses for WD-40 - with a box of crayons

2. Crayon Remover

Parents, raise your hand if you’ve ever faced a crayon-on-the-wall incident. (If your hand isn’t up, lucky you!) Waxy crayon markings can seem impossible to remove, but WD-40 makes it easy. Just spray a bit of WD-40 onto the crayon markings and wait a minute or two.

The lubricating action of the WD-40 will lift the wax from the paint, making it easy to wipe away with a cloth or a sponge.

Uses for WD-40 - spraying on gardening hand tools

3. Tool Treatment

If you own any household tools or gardening tools, WD-40 is a must! A spritz of WD-40 will lube up the hinges and springs in your snippers and pliers, and a thin layer will help keep rust from forming on saws, trowels, rakes, and other metal surfaces.

Related: 6 Unexpected Ways To Remove Rust With Things You Have At Home

Uses for WD-40 - spraying on label residue

4. Sticker Goo Eraser

There are a hundred and one ways to remove sticker residue from things, and WD-40 is one of them! Remove as much of the sticker as you can, then coat the remaining sticker residue in a layer of WD-40. Wait a few minutes to allow the liquid to penetrate into the adhesive, then use a sponge to wipe away the residue. Easy!

Related: This Is The One Cheap DIY You Need In A Sticky Situation

Uses for WD-40 - woman trying to get rings off her finger

5. Ring Remover

Use a spritz of WD-40 on your finger to help remove a stuck ring. Make sure to wash your hands afterwards!

Uses for WD-40 - with a cup of coffee

6. Countertop Stain Remover

Clean stubborn tea and coffee stains on your countertops with the help of WD-40 and a little elbow grease.

Uses for WD-40 - spraying on scissors

7. Scissor Saver

Use WD-40 on the blades of your scissors to keep them lubricated and working well. Spray the blades, then wipe them off with a clean, dry cloth.

spraying on car window

8. Repel Snow & Ice

A thin layer of WD-40 on your car windows during the winter can keep snow and ice from sticking to them overnight. Spray a small amount on to the window, and spread it over the window with a clean, dry cloth.

Related: 12 Brilliant Car Hacks That Help Make Winter Driving Painless

Uses for WD-40 - with a pack of gum

9. Gum Remover

Stepped in gum? Save your soles with WD-40. Soak the gum with WD-40, then wait for a minute or two, and the gum will peel away from your shoes easily.

10. Water Repellent

Use WD-40 as a Rain-X type coating on your glass shower doors. All you need is a thin layer, and the water will bead right off. You’ll avoid water stains, which means less cleaning in the future.

Uses for WD-40 - spraying on shoe

11. Shoe Saver

The same concept described above can be used to give your shoes a waterproof coating. Spray a bit of WD-40 onto a clean, dry cloth, and buff the outside of your shoes. This will also remove any salt stains you may have gotten during the winter!

Related: 13 Practical Shoe Hacks That Will Put You A Step Ahead

spraying on a backsplash

12. Scuff Eraser

Use a small amount of WD-40 on a cloth to buff away scuff marks on your floors. Make sure to clean the area thoroughly afterwards to prevent anyone from slipping and hurting themselves!

Uses for WD-40 - spraying on Legos

13. Unstick LEGOs

Sometimes LEGO bricks snap together so securely that it’s almost impossible to pull them apart again. But you can use a spritz of WD-40 to help make it easier! Just spray it into the crack between the pieces, let it soak in for a few seconds, then pull the bricks apart.

14. Remove Tomato Stains

Keep a can of WD-40 handy in your laundry room, where you can use it to help remove tomato-based stains on your clothing. Just spray some onto the stain, wait a few minutes, then wash as usual.

Uses for WD-40 - spraying on floor mats in car

15. Clean Carpets

You can use WD-40 in conjunction with your favorite carpet cleaner to help remove stubborn carpet stains (It works especially well on car mats!) Just spray it onto the stain first, then follow up with your carpet cleaner product as usual. The WD-40 helps to get between the stain and the carpet, making it easier for the carpet cleaner to wash everything away. Just a small spray will do the trick!

16. Water-Proof Your Outdoor Wear

Since it’s so effective at displacing water, you can use WD-40 to make your outdoor wear more water resistant. Spray it on boots, gloves, jackets, and other items, then let the item dry overnight. Once it is completely dry, your gear will repel more water!

Uses for WD-40 - spraying on pole of bird feeder

17. Protect Bird Feeders

Squirrels are notorious for co-opting bird feeders and selfishly stealing the bird seed. If your bird feeder is supported by some kind of post, you can use WD-40 to keep those little rascals at bay! Just spray it onto the pole or post, which will make it too slippery for squirrels to climb.

18. Make Hangers Glide Smoothly

If your hangers tend to get hung up on the rod in your closet, WD-40 can help! Just spray a bit of it onto the rod, and use a cloth to rub spread it over the whole surface. Now your hangers will glide smoothly and easily over the rod!

Uses for WD-40 - spraying on a stain on concrete

19. Remove Oil Spots

Use WD-40 to remove unsightly oil spots and splatters from your driveway. Spray it liberally onto the spot, wait a few minutes, then blot with a dry cloth to absorb the oil. Repeat as necessary until the stain disappears.

Related: This Strange Product Is the Best For Cleaning Stains From Concrete

20. Pest-Proof Your Trash

If cats, raccoons, or other local animals are rooting around in your trash, WD-40 can help keep them at bay! Spray it over the outside of your outdoor trash cans to make the surface slippery. The slick surface will keep most animals from climbing into your garbage.

Uses for WD-40 spraying on gardening hand tools

21. Clean Gardening Equipment

A spritz of WD-40 can help remove sap, grime, and other gunk from your gardening tools. You can also spray some onto the underside of your lawn mower to prevent grass clippings from building up there and clogging up your mower.

Related: Make Your Own Self-Cleaning And Self-Lubricating Garden Tool Holder

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

MORE IDEAS FROM

Bright Ideas

  • There are a lot of natural (baking soda, etc.) recipes for removing labels, but I haven’t been impressed with any of them, although I’d like to be. Solvents, like WD-40, are faster and more effective. Mineral spirits, preferably the odorless kind, which I happened to have on hand last time, worked well for me.

  • As a young single parent, I worked cleaning cars while going to college. Peanut Butter will get gum or other sticky substances out of hair, car upholstery, etc. I have used
    WD-40 to get blood out of car upholstery as well.

  • Not to be a party pooper, but WD40 is a petroleum based product, and as such, should not be applied anywhere that it is going to be washed down the drain and into the water supply.

  • NEVER use WD-40 in the toilet bowl! WD-40 is poisonous to our water supply and is dangerous to the city’s waste water treatment facilities.

    PLEASE REMOVE THIS SUGGESTION FROM YOUR LIST AND ALERT YOUR READERS.

  • Thank you for all the super useful tips!
    I have one question, when you use it to waterproof your outdoor mat, shoes gloves etc.. it doesn’t leave a stain? Or and indoor carpet too, It is easy to clean the w40?
    Thank you!
    I love your blog!

    • One thing it most likely will do if used on a doormat is cause someone to slip and fall when the WD40 gets on the soles of their footwear. And I sure don’t want anyone with WD40 on their gloves grabbing anything that I own, do you?

  • NEVER use WD 40 or any oil, grease, shortening, baking spray etc. around bird feeders. If the oil or even the oily residue from the product used gets on the birds wings, it can cause serious harm and even death to the birds. PLEASE REMOVE THIS SUGGESTION FROM YOUR LIST AND ALERT YOUR READERS.

  • We used WD-40 on the brick stained with rust from the air conditioner at my daughter’s rent house. She was getting it ready to sell and the unsightly stain really took away from the curb appeal. My husband had read that WD-40 would remove rust, so he tried it and it worked! You never would have known it had had rust on it!

    • If you can get some WD40 up inside the fitting it could work. As far a solutions, one hose I had would not come off no matter what I tried. Eventually I used a dremel tool to carefully cut the metal fitting into two halves without damaging the faucet inside it and was able to get it off. Got a replacement connector at the hardware store.

    • Spray a bit on the threads where it’s screwed onto the faucet, let it sit and penetrate a few minutes, then try a pair of water pump pliers to get it loose. If it starts to loosten, then still binds up, just give it another small spray of the WD40 and then work it back and forth with the pliers to get it off.

  • I keep a small can under both the kitchen sink & the bathroom sink. In the bathroom it’s easy to grab when the flat iron has caused a burn. Spray it on the burn and there is no blister, the pain goes away! In the kitchen it’s ready for any burn from the stove! Try it and you will be amazed!

  • I made a mistake and sprayed my squeaky door hinges with WD-40 and it got on the wall and made a greasy spot. How can I get it off my wall without taking off the paint?

    • Teresa, first try to a dusting of baking powder over the area and let it sit for an hour, then wipe it off. If that doesn’t do it, try a small amount of Dawn with a damp cloth. Hope this helps.

    • Hydrogen peroxide is the very best when it comes to blood! Just blot it onto the carpet carefully to remove the stain, and then blot with water to rinse :-)

  • It works great for removing sap from your hands. Spray some on, rub your hands in the sapped area, then wash your hands with soap and water.

    • Heat! Lay a paper towel over the wax, and then grab a hair dryer. Blow hot air onto the paper towel, it will melt the wax and the paper towel will absorb it. :-)

      • I recently knocked over one of my “wax melts”, you know the bulb underneath the container with the little was squares? What a MESS!! I took paper towels, placed a damp cloth over them, and started ironing up the wax onto the paper towels with my iron! Takes quite a few paper towels because you have to change frequently, but that is much cheaper than having to replace the carpet in a place I only rent, right?

  • Great tips! I’m with you about sponges…so many ways to keep them clean. When I boil water (like for jello or rice) I boil some extra to pour on the sponge. Microwave works too.
    I’ll never throw another mesh veggie bag without reusing it first!
    Also, I’ll be putting me raffia around my oil bottles as soon as I’m done cruising OGTBJ.
    Maybe you should start your own blog!

  • Spray a little WD40 on a cloth and wipe the rubber on your car doors- trunk (during winter) & your door won’t freeze up. Spray WD40 in car door locks (winter) they won’t freeze up :)

    • A silicone spray that dries after application will do the trick, and you won’t end up with stains on your clothes from accidentally bumping against it.

  • Traveling – I keep the tiniest size of WD40 in my toiletries case for CAR trips. Comes in so handy for those squeaky or sticking doors & windows in hotel rooms. (I haven’t tried taking it on a plane yet.) – I also keep a small door wedge in the outside pocket of my suitcase for when you’re wrestling to get through a hotel room door with all your stuff, and the door will not stay open even for a couple of minutes. Also a couple of wooden clothes pegs for when the curtains don’t want to meet in the middle – plus many other uses! And of course, zap ties for quick and easy locking of cases – provided you have access to a blade or scissors to get them off when the time comes!

  • Foolishly I let some Permanent Adhesive spray get on my kitchen counter. Formica and old. No amount of scrubbing helped so I sat a small glob of Dawn on the counter and with my finger spread it around. The gummy adhesive is now completely gone. I am betting the W-D Forty would do the same thing.

    Thanks for all your marvelous hints.

    • But after the WD40, you’re just going to have to clean the counter to get rid of its residue and odor with the Dawn anyway, as you sure don’t want to be eating that on food that is set on the counter, so why not just skip the WD40?

  • I had a food stain on my carpet which I had tried to remove with my Little Green Clean Machine and it wouldn’t budge. I sprayed a little WD40 on it left it for a few minutes then used warm soapy water to sponge it and the stain was gone. It was amazing.

  • My husband uses it to make plastic headlights that have turned opaque clear again. Spay it on the headlight, rub a minute or so and it clears right up. It’s not a permanent solution bit it does extend the life of the headlights.

    • And you can actually see again while driving in the dark.But polishing them out with rubbing compound and then keeping them well waxed will last a whole lot longer..

  • I didn’t know some of these other uses. WD40 is great for squeaky door hinges . Also if you have a door that sticks when it’s humid it helps to make it easier to open. I’ve done this a few times to our sunroom door.

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