person spraying WD-40

WD-40 to the Rescue for Every Problem Around the House

It’s not new. The blue and yellow can is about as familiar as anything I remember growing up. Banished to a shelf in the garage, I assumed WD-40 was an automotive thing. Boy, was I wrong! This stuff is amazing.

person spraying WD-40


My recommendation is to apply WD-40, let the product do its work then remove it. Some say that a build-up of WD-40 can cause its own sticky mess over time. So here’s the deal: Use it then remove it with soap and water on a rag or sponge when appropriate. (There are times, as when treating stainless steel or wood surfaces, that you will simply apply, then buff with a soft rag.)

What is it?

WD-40 is a petroleum-based product (so is Vaseline). WD-40 comes in a tiny 3-oz aerosol can, larger 8 oz. and 16-oz. cans, or by the gallon, which you can pour into your own spray bottle. While the aerosol propellant is flammable, the product is formulated with clean solvents and oils that have been treated to remove harmful chemical contaminants.

Widely available

WD-40 gets things unstuck and a lot more. I know. I go through it like it’s water.  But don’t worry. It is readily available at stores like Home Depot, Lowes, Target, Walmart, and Amazon. Now available also as WD-40 EZ Pods. Find WD40 sale and it’s cheap. 


Cans of WD-40 on a table

If it’s melted …

Have you ever opened the dryer to find a red crayon has ruined the entire load? The folks at Crayola offer this remedy for fresh heat-set crayon stains inside dryers and any other similar surface where something has melted:

1. Place the stained surface down on a pad of paper towels.

2. Spray with WD-40, let stand a few minutes, turn the fabric over and spray the other side.

3. Apply liquid dishwashing detergent and work into the stained area, replacing the toweling as it absorbs the stain.

4. Wash in hot water with laundry detergent and Clorox 2 or Biz for about 12 minutes (use “Heavy Soiled” setting if there is no minute timer on your machine) and rinse in warm water.

5. Be sure to clean the drum of your dryer to remove any remaining wax residue. Spray a soft cloth with WD-40, rinse with wet soapy rag, and then wipe the drum. Run a load of dry rags through a dry cycle.

If it’s sticky …

✅  WD-40 removes stickers and adhesives from glass, plastic, countertops, and containers.

✅  Removes chewing gum, tar, and Silly Putty from most surfaces. Spray, wait and wipe.

✅  Use WD-40 to clean the tracks in sliding windows to make them glide (spray on, then wipe off).

✅  Spray a little WD-40 to lubricate sticky drawers.

✅  Give a snow shovel a spray to combat sticky snow.

If it’s stuck …

✅  Zipper stuck? Loosen it by spraying a bit of WD-40 along the teeth.

✅  A quick shot of WD-40 will help untangle jewelry chains and unfreeze door hinges.

✅  Spray-on glass objects that are stuck together to separate them without breaking.

✅  Clean the stuck walking foot on your sewing machine.

✅  Use it to free stuck bolts, lug nuts and hose ends that won’t budge, to loosen tight Lego blocks, and to make those window shades roll smoothly.

✅  Make hangers glide over a clothes rod by spraying WD-40 onto a cloth and applying it to the rod.


If it’s grungy …

✅  Removes tar, doggie-doo, and scuff marks from shoes. WD-40 cleans filthy guitar strings. Removes the grime from the barbecue grill.

✅  Do you know that build-up on your favorite pair of scissors? Hit it with WD-40 to make them like new again.

✅  It removes grime and scum from fiberglass showers like a dream.

✅  WD-40 removes the gunk from a plastic dish drainer and the sink’s handheld spray nozzle, too. It cleans and protects brass and silver from tarnishing. 

If it’s squeaky

✅  If it squeaks, WD-40’s likely the solution.

✅ I t keeps wicker chairs, kids’ swings, rocking chairs, bedsprings, and noisy hinges from squeaking.

✅  It will quiet your trash compactor, too.

✅  Use it to silence that squeaky weather vane, car strut mounts, and windshield wipers.

If it’s pesky …

  WD-40 keeps flies off cows and pigeons off balconies (they hate the smell). Spray WD-40 around flower beds to gently send cats away.

✅  Spray WD-40 along the bottom of chain-link fences that surround gardens to repel rabbits and rodents and on wire tomato plant cages to keep insects away.

✅  WD-40 removes dead insects from a car’s front grill, radiator, and windshield.

If it’s scratched …

✅  WD-40 cleans, restores, and camouflages scratches on ceramic and marble floors.

✅  It gives wood that “just-waxed” sheen without making it slippery. Apply, buff but don’t rinse.

✅  It hides small scratches on woodwork.

If it’s stained …

✅  WD-40 cleans piano keys.

✅  Removes Kool-Aid and tomato stains from carpet and fabric (just make sure you remove every last bit of the WD-40 once that stain is gone, or it may attract a new spot).

✅ I t removes lipstick from anything, makes those oil stains on the concrete driveway disappear, and pulls hair dye out of your towels.

If it’s rusty …

✅  WD-40 will keep your fishing reels, lures, and flies rust- and gunk-free. Curiously, many fishermen report that spraying WD-40 on fishing lures actually attracts fish.

✅  WD-40 removes and prevents rust on anything made of metal.

✅  It removes and prevents rust from forming in washing machines, on showerheads, and garden tools.

✅  Do you know those rust stains on your tub and shower? Those terra cotta pots that oxidize? You know the routine: WD-40!




Updated and republished 6-1-23

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3 replies
  1. Gayle says:

    For years I have seen the suggestion that after you clean your toilet bowl, spray it with WD-40. I finally tried and it works! Your bowl will stay clean a few days longer!

  2. Pam says:

    It is magic for all these uses- just don’t use it in locks. It will gum them up. Use silicon spray instead.


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