40 Weird and Wonderful Uses for WD-40

By Lifehacker UK on at

That can of WD-40 in the garden shed is brimming with possibilities: we all use WD-40 to loosen screws, nuts and bolts, and protect tools from moisture, but that's just for newbies. Those in the know use WD-40 in a myriad of weird and wonderful ways.

Fans of the "water displacing" spray have been discovering new tips and tricks for WD-40 for over 50 years; and some suggestions are truly astonishing. Did you know that WD-40 is an amazing cleaning and stain remover? Or that it is used by gardeners, or can be an incredible lure when fishing? WD-40 itself offers a list of other 2,000 suggested uses for WD-40, although it says you "should exercise common sense" so you follow these at your own risk.

"All of life's problems can be solved with two things: duct tape and WD-40" a wise, but sadly, unknown, man once said. So if you're feeling adventurous, here are 20 of the 40 weird and wonderful uses for WD-40. Check out Lifehacker UK for the remaining 20.

1.) Make a Spade Dig Faster

Spray a little WD-40 onto your garden spade before digging to make it slide easier into the ground.

2.) Quickly Remove Crayon From Walls

WD-40 makes a great cleaning product. If you have kids you'll love WD-40's ability to quickly remove crayon scrawl from walls, table surfaces and TV screen. Spray the WD-40 onto a sponge or flannel and wipe off the crayon.

3.) Remove Tea Stains From a Kitchen Counter

You can quickly scrub away tea stains from a kitchen counter by spraying WD-40 on a sponge and using it to wipe away tea stains.

4.) Shine the Leaves of Plastic Plants

If you have plastic plants in the office then you can make the leaves look shiny and healthy by spraying WD-40 on to them. Please check they are plastic first, and don't spray WD-40 onto real plants.

5.) Remove Blue Ink From Stained Jeans

We've all had a ballpoint pen leak in a pocket. Spray it on to the stain, wait a few minutes and then rinse the clothes.

6.) Clean Dog Dirt From Trainers

Yuck! Getting dog dirt on a brand new pair of trainers is a disaster, and cleaning trainers with dog muck on them isn't much fun. But the WD-40's "water displacement" function makes the dirt just slide off. Spray your trainers with WD-40 and give it a few minutes before starting to clean.

7.) Remove Adhesive Price Tags From CD/DVD Cases

If you have a plastic case, such as a CD or DVD with a price sticker stuck to it; WD-40 can be used to help remove it. Spray a little on, and wait, then rub off the sticker.

8.) Clean Off Chewing Gum

WD-40 is fantastic if you have chewing gum stuck to your shoes, or walked into your carpet, or even your hair. Spray a little WD-40 on the gum, wait a few moments, and then pull the gum off.

9.) Clean Your Hairbrush

WD-40 unclogs matted hair from hair brushes. Spray a little WD-40 onto the hairbrush, wait for it to sink into the hair and pull the hair free.

10.) Waterproof Your Shoes

You can spray WD-40 onto your shoes to waterproof them for the winter months.

11.) Free Stuck LEGO Blocks

If you have stuck LEGO blocks a little WD-40 can help you price them apart.

12.) Remove Toothpaste Stains

Toothpaste stains in the bathroom can be a pain to get rid of, but WD-40 shifts them quick spot.

13.) Clean a Clogged Inkjet Nozzle

This one is a bit controversial (and as a rule we don't suggest using WD-40 on electrical products because of the residue). But if you're careful a tiny blast of WD-40 can unstick a clogged inkjet. It's worth doing on a cheap, old printer that you might otherwise throw away (we'd be wary about using it on a brand new £400 inkjet.)

14.) Remove Candle-Wax or Glue from Carpet

If you have candle wax, or glue, on your carpet then you can remove it with WD-40. Spray a little WD-40 onto the wax and leave it to dry, and then rub it out with a sponge.

15.) Spray on Trees to Prevent Beavers From Chewing on Them

We don't have many beavers in the UK, but one of the more innovative uses is to protect trees from beavers. It can be used to repel many a small animal, so if you have other animals causing trouble with your trees try spraying WD-40 on the affected area.

16.) Clean Dead Insects From Your Car

During the mid summer you can get plenty of bugs and insects covered from your car window. Spraying WD-40 onto your car can help quickly remove the stuck bugs.

17.) The World's Best Fishing Lure

If you like fly-fishing then you could use WD-40 to polish your lures, which helps you when fishing. Here's the thing: this isn't recommended by WD-40 because they don't want to pollute rivers, so we don't recommend it. But it's good to know.

18.) Prevent Mildew Growth Outdoors

Spray a little WD-40 into a spot to prevent mildew growth in your garden. This is often used on outdoor fountains, which are prone to mildews.

19.) Stop Wasps From Nesting

Spraying WD-40 can repel a lot of insects and bugs, and because it's waterproof it tends to stick around. If you have trouble with wasps nesting under your roof, then spraying that area with WD-40 once a year can keep them away.

20.) Clean Bathroom Tiles

If you've got mascara, nail polish or paint on a bathroom tile you can use WD-40 to remove it.

Click here to see the remaining 20 uses for WD-40.

This article originally appeared on Lifehacker UK -- the expert guide to getting things done more efficiently, whether at home or at work.