With all the handyman type stuff I've been doing (see the end of this blog post) and with Father's Day coming up, I decided to post some interesting facts about the one of the essentials in any handyman's arsenal - WD-40. I don't remember where I got what I'm posting, and therefore I don't know who the "I" is in the personal references in it. The list on snopes.com has some not on the list I received and some of mine aren't on theirs.
The product began from a search for a rust preventative solvent and degreaser to protect missile parts. WD-40 was created in 1953 by three technicians at the San Diego Rocket Chemical Company. It's name comes from the project that was to find a "water displacement" compound. They were successful with the fortieth formulation, thus WD-40.
The Corvair Company bought it in bulk to protect their Atlas missile parts. The workers were so pleased with the product, they began smuggling (also known as "shrinkage" or "stealing") it out to use at home. The executives decided there might be a consumer market for it and put it in aerosol cans. The rest, as they say, is history.
It is a carefully guarded recipe known only to four people. Only one of them is the "brew master." There are about 2.5 million gallons of the stuff manufactured each year. It gets it's distinctive smell from a fragrance that is added to the brew. Ken East says there is nothing in WD-40 that would hurt you.
Here are some of the uses:
Protects silver from tarnishing
Cleans and lubricates guitar strings
Gets oil spots off concrete driveways
Gives floors that 'just-waxed' sheen without making it slippery
Keeps flies off cows
Restores and cleans chalkboards
Removes lipstick stains
Loosens stubborn zippers
Untangles jewelry chains
Removes stains from stainless steel sinks
Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill
Keeps ceramic/terra cotta garden pots from oxidizing
Removes tomato stains from clothing (not sure I'd do this since it contains oil)
Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots
Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors
Keeps scissors working smoothly
Lubricates noisy door hinges on vehicles and doors in homes
Gives a children's play gym slide a shine for a super fast slide
Lubricates gear shift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on riding mowers
Rids rocking chairs and swings of squeaky noises
Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open
Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close
Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, as well as vinyl bumpers
Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles
Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans
Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons and bicycles for easy handling
Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly
Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools
Removes splattered grease on stove
Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging
Lubricates prosthetic limbs
Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell)
Removes all traces of duct tape
I have even heard of folks spraying it on their arms, hands, knees, etc., to relieve arthritis pain.
One fellow claims spraying it on fishing lures attracts fish.
WD-40 has been designated the "official multipurpose problem-solver of NASCAR," a ringing endorsement if there ever was one. I told my NASCAR loving sons about this and they said they couldn't imagine how WD-40 can solve the Jeff Gordon problem.
In 2003, in celebration of their 50th year, the company conducted a contest to learn the favorite uses of its customers and fan club members, (Yes, there is a WD-40 Fan Club).
They compiled the information to identify the favorite use in each of the 50 states. Naturally I was curious about Georgia and Alabama and found the favorite use in both states was that it "penetrates stuck bolts, lug nuts, and hose ends." Florida's favorite use was "cleans and removes lovebugs from grills and bumpers."
California's favorite use was penetrating the bolts on the Golden Gate Bridge. The favorite use in the State of New York... WD-40 protects the Statue of Liberty from the elements!
No wonder they have had over 50 successful years!
I (Rob) have not personally tried many of these, so I'm hoping some of you readers may give the rest of us your insights in some comments.
This past Saturday I embarked on a fun little project - building a flower box. I'll start off by giving a little history. When we moved into this subdivision 3 years ago this month, we were impressed by the fact that there were flower boxes atop some of the cement drain covers, including a pretty little box right in front of our house. In the past few months, that box has simply fallen apart. I decided to build a new one this past weekend. I bought the wood at "Home Despot" (my name for this great store), and I had them cut it for me to my dimensions since their saws are so much better and faster than mine. Below are several pictures of various stages of the project.
the cement drain cover after I removed the old box...
the finished box with five drain holes cut in the middle...
the box refilled with the dirt I'd removed from the old box and sifted...
Becka and I decided to drive around the neighborhood to see what others had planted in their boxes. We were surprised and a bit disappointed to find only 3 other such boxes in the entire subdivision! I guess as new members of the neighborhood, we saw things a little idealistically. Two of the boxes we found on our drive had either nothing or almost nothing planted in them! One had some nice petunias. We decided to plant in our box a perennial lantana called "Miss Huff" which will eventually fill much of the center of the box. I planted also a trailing petunia and around the edges of the box I've planted seeds of Johnny Jump-Ups, some historic pansies from Seed Savers Exchange, and towards the back some zinnias. Below is a picture of the two plants I bought. After the other stuff comes up and gets established, I'll try to remember to post an updated picture.
I found a nice picture online of what the lantana will look like when it's mature. I'm putting that picture below....
At the cathedral in Lubeck, Germany there is an inscription that reads, "Thus speaketh Christ our Lord to us - You call Me master and obey Me not; you call Me light and see Me not; you call Me the way and walk in Me not; you call Me life and live Me not; you call Me wise and follow Me not; you call Me fair and love Me not; you call Me rich and ask Me not; you call Me eternal and seek Me not. If I condemn thee, blame Me not." - Author unknown
You really need only two tools - WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use WD-40. If it moves and shouldn't, use duct tape.