from Readers Digest
WD-40 has far more uses than just on squeaky hinges. Find out the amazing ways this garage staple can make your life easier.
1. Use WD-40 to protect a bird feeder
To keep squirrels from taking over a bird feeder, spray a generous amount of WD-40 on top of the feeder. The pesky squirrels will slide right off.
2. Separate stuck glassware
What can you do when you reach for a drinking glass and get two locked together, one stuck tightly inside the other? You don’t want to risk breaking one or both by trying to pull them apart. Stuck glasses will separate with ease if you squirt some WD-40 on them, wait a few seconds for it to work its way between the glasses, and then gently pull the glasses apart. Remember to wash the glasses thoroughly before you use them.
3. Get off that stuck ring
When pulling and tugging can’t get that ring off your finger, reach for the WD-40. A short burst of WD-40 will get the ring to slide right off. Remember to wash your hands after spraying them with WD-40.
4. Exterminate roaches and repel insects
Don’t let cockroaches, insects, or spiders get the upper hand in your home. • Keep a can of WD-40 handy, and when you see a roach, spray a small amount directly on it for an instant kill. • To keep insects and spiders out of your home, spray WD-40 on windowsills and frames, screens, and door frames. Be careful not to inhale the fumes when you spray and do not do this at all if you have babies or small children at home.
5. Remove chewing gum from hair
It’s one of an adult’s worst nightmares: chewing gum tangled in a child’s hair. You don’t have to panic or run for the scissors. Simply spray the gummed-up hair with WD-40, and the gum will comb out with ease. Make sure you are in a well-ventilated area when you spray and take care to avoid contact with the child’s eyes.
6. Remove tough scuff marks
Those tough black scuff marks on your kitchen floor won’t be so tough anymore if you spray them with WD-40. Use WD-40 to help remove tar and scuff marks on all your hard-surfaced floors. It won’t harm the surface, and you won’t have to scrub nearly as much. Remember to open the windows if you are cleaning a lot of marks.
7. Wipe away tea stains
To remove tea stains from counter tops, spray a little WD-40 on a sponge or damp cloth and wipe the stain away.
8. Clean toilet bowls
You don’t need a bald genie or a specialized product to clean ugly gunk and lime stains from your toilet bowl. Use WD-40 instead: Spray it into the bowl for a couple of seconds and swish with a nylon toilet brush. The solvents in the WD-40 will help dissolve the gunk and lime.
9. Winter-proof boots and shoes
Waterproof your winter boots and shoes by giving them a coat of WD-40. It’ll act as a barrier so water can’t penetrate the material. Also use WD-40 to remove ugly salt stains from boots and shoes during the winter months. Just spray WD-40 onto the stains and wipe with a clean rag. Your boots and shoes will look almost as good as new.
10. Clean and restore license plate
To help restore a license plate that is beginning to rust, spray it with WD-40 and wipe with a clean rag. This will remove light surface rust and will also help prevent more rust from forming. It’s an easy way to clean up lightly rusted plates and it won’t leave a greasy feel.
11. Prevent snow buildup on windows
Does the weather forecast predict a big winter snowstorm? You can’t stop the snow from falling, but you can prevent it from building up on your house’s windows. Just spray WD-40 over the outside of your windows before the snow starts and the snow won’t stick.
12. Keep wasps from building nests
Don’t let yellow jackets and other wasps ruin your spring and summer fun. Their favorite place to build nests is under eaves. So next spring mist some WD-40 under all the eaves of your house. It will block the wasps from building their nests there.
13. Remove doggie-doo
Uh-oh, now you’ve stepped in it! Few things in life are more unpleasant than cleaning doggie-doo from the bottom of a sneaker, but the task will be a lot easier if you have a can of WD-40 handy. Spray some on the affected sole and use an old toothbrush to clean the crevices. Rinse with cold water and the sneakers will be ready to hit the pavement again. Now, don’t forget to watch where you step!
14. Tone down polyurethane shine
A new coat of polyurethane can sometimes make a wood floor look a little too shiny. To tone down the shine and cut the glare, spray some WD-40 onto a soft cloth and wipe up the floor with it.
15. Remove strong glue
You didn’t wear protective gloves when using that super-strong glue and now some of it is super-stuck to your fingers! Don’t panic. Just reach for the WD-40, spray some directly on the sticky fingers, and rub your hands together until your fingers are no longer sticky. Use WD-40 to remove the glue from other unwanted surfaces as well.
16. Loosen zippers
Stubborn zippers on jackets, pants, backpacks, and sleeping bags will become compliant again after you spray them with WD-40. Just spray it on and pull the zipper up and down a few times to distribute the lubricant evenly over all the teeth. If you want to avoid getting the WD-40 on the fabric, spray it on a plastic lid; then pick it up and apply it with an artist’s brush.
17. Clean and lubricate guitar strings
To clean, lubricate, and prevent corrosion on guitar strings, apply a small amount of WD-40 after each playing. Spray the WD-40 on a rag and wipe the rag over the strings rather than spraying directly on the strings-you don’t want WD-40 to build up on the guitar neck or body.
18. Keep wooden tool handles splinter free
No tools can last forever, but you can prolong the life of your wood-handled tools by preventing splintering. To keep wooden handles from splintering, rub a generous amount of WD-40 into the wood. It will shield the wood from moisture and other corrosive elements and keep it smooth and splinter-free for the life of the tool.
19. Break in a new baseball glove
Use WD-40 instead of neat’s-foot oil to break in a new baseball glove. Spray the glove with WD-40, put a baseball in the palm, and fold it sideways. Take a rubber band or belt and tie it around the folded glove. The WD-40 will help soften the leather and help it form around the baseball. Keep the glove tied up overnight, and then wear it for a while so it will begin to fit the shape of your hand.
20. Relieve arthritis symptoms
For occasional joint pain or arthritis symptoms in the knees or other areas of the body, advocates swear by spraying WD-40 on the affected area and massaging it in, saying it provides temporary relief and makes movement easier. For severe, persistent pain, consult a health care professional.
21. Relieve bee sting pain
For fast relief of pain from a bee, wasp, or hornet sting, reach for the WD-40 can and spray it directly on the bite site. It will take the “ouch” right out.
22. Remove stuck prostheses
If you wear a prosthetic device, you know how difficult it can be to remove at times, especially when no one is around to help. Next time you get stuck with a stuck prosthesis, spray some WD-40 at the junction where it attaches. The chemical solvents and lubricants in WD-40 will help make it easier to remove.
23. Clean dried glue
Clean dried glue from virtually any hard surface with ease: Simply spray WD-40 onto the spot, wait at least 30 seconds, and wipe clean with a damp cloth.
24. Degrease your hands
When you’re done working on the car and your hands are greasy and blackened with grime, use WD-40 to help get them clean. Spray a small amount of WD-40 into your hands and rub them together for a few seconds, then wipe with a paper towel and wash with soap and water. The grease and grime will wash right off.
25. Remove decals
You don’t need a chisel or even a razor blade to remove old decals, bumper stickers, or cellophane tape. Just spray them with WD-40, wait about 30 seconds, and wipe them away.
26. Remove stickers from glass
What were the manufacturers thinking when they put that sticker on the glass? Don’t they know how hard it is to get off? When soap and water doesn’t work and you don’t want to ruin a fingernail or risk scratching delicate glass with a blade, try a little WD-40. Spray it on the sticker and glass, wait a few minutes, and then use a no-scratch spatula or acrylic scraper to scrape the sticker off. The solvents in WD-40 cause the adhesive to lose its stickiness.
27. Clean carpet stains
Don’t let ink or other stains ruin your fine carpet. Spray the stain with WD-40, wait a minute or two, and then use your regular carpet cleaner or gently cleanse with a sponge and warm, soapy water. Continue until the stain is completely gone.
28. Get tomato stains off clothes
That homegrown tomato looked so inviting you couldn’t resist. Now your shirt or blouse has a big, hard-to-remove tomato stain! To remove stains from fresh tomatoes or tomato sauce, spray some WD-40 directly on the spot, wait a couple of minutes, and wash as usual.
29. Clean your fridge
When soap and water can’t get rid of old bits of food stuck in and around your refrigerator, it’s time to reach for the WD-40. After clearing all foodstuffs from the areas to be treated, spray a small amount of WD-40 on each resistant spot. Then wipe them away with a rag or sponge. Make sure you wash off all the WD-40 before returning food to the fridge.
30. Condition leather furniture
Keep your favorite leather recliner and other leather furniture in tip-top shape by softening and preserving it with WD-40. Just spray it on and buff with a soft cloth. The combination of ingredients in WD-40 will clean, penetrate, lubricate, and protect the leather.
31. Pre-treat blood and other stains
Oh no! Your kid fell down and cut himself while playing, and there’s blood all over his brand-new shirt. After you tend to the wound, give some first aid to the shirt too. Pretreat the bloodstains with WD-40. Spray some directly on the stains, wait a couple of minutes, and then launder as usual. The WD-40 will help lift the stain so that it will come out easily in the wash. Try to get to the stain while it is still fresh, because once it sets, it will be harder to get rid of. Use WD-40 to pre-treat other stubborn stains on clothing, such as lipstick, dirt, grease, and ink stains.
32. Remove marker and crayon marks
Did the kids use your wall as if it was a big coloring book? Not to worry! Simply spray some WD-40 onto the marks and wipe with a clean rag. WD-40 will not damage the paint or most wallpaper (test fabric or other fancy wall coverings first). It will also remove marker and crayon marks from furniture and appliances.
33. Remove old wax from skis and snowboards
To remove old wax and dirt from skis and snowboards, spray the base sparingly with WD-40 before scraping with an acrylic scraper. Use a brass brush to further clean the base and remove any oxidized base material.
34. Protect your boat from corrosion
To protect your boat’s outer finish from salt water and corrosion, spray WD-40 on the stern immediately after each use. The short time it takes will save you from having to replace parts, and it will keep your boat looking like it did on the day you bought it for a long time to come.
35. Remove barnacles on boats
Removing barnacles from the bottom of a boat is a difficult and odious task but you can make it easier and less unpleasant with the help of some WD-40. Spray the area generously with WD-40, wait a few seconds, and then use a putty knife to scrape off the barnacles. Spray any remnants with WD-40 and scrape again. If necessary, use sandpaper to get rid of all of the remnants and corrosive glue still left by the barnacles.
36. Spray on fishing lures
Salmon fishermen in the Pacific Northwest spray their lures with WD-40 because it attracts fish and disguises the human odor that can scare them off and keep them from biting. You can increase the catch on your next fishing trip by bringing a can of WD-40 along with you and spraying it on your lures or live bait before you cast. But first check local regulations to make sure the use of chemical-laced lures and bait is legal in your state.
37. Untangle fishing lines
To loosen a tangled fishing line, spray it with WD-40 and use a pin to undo any small knots. Also use WD-40 to extend the life of curled (but not too old) fishing lines. Just take out the first 10 to 20 feet of line and spray it with WD-40 the night before each trip.
38. Clean and protect golf clubs
Whether you’re a duffer or a pro, you can protect and clean your clubs by spraying them with WD-40 after each use. Also use WD-40 to help loosen stuck-on spikes.
39. Remove burrs from horse
To remove burrs from a horse’s mane or tail without tearing its hair out (or having to cut any of its hair off!) just spray on some WD-40. You’ll be able to slide the burrs right out. This will work for dogs and cats, too.
40. Protect horses hooves
Winter horseback riding can be fun if you are warmly dressed but it can be downright painful to your horse if ice forms on the horseshoes. To keep ice from forming on horseshoes during cold winter rides, spray the bottom of the horse’s hooves with WD-40 before you set out.
41. Keep dead bugs off car grille
It’s bad enough that your car grille and hood have to get splattered with bugs every time you drive down the interstate, but do they have to be so darn tough to scrape off? The answer is no. Just spray some WD-40 on the grille and hood before going for a drive and most of the critters will slide right off. The few bugs that are left will be easy to wipe off later without damaging your car’s finish.
42. Remove stuck spark plugs
To save time replacing spark plugs, do it the NASCAR way. NASCAR mechanics spray WD-40 on stuck plugs so they can remove them quickly and easily. Perhaps that’s one reason why WD-40 has been designated as NASCAR’s “official multi-purpose problem-solver.”
43. Coat a truck bed
For easy removal of a truck-bed liner, spray the truck bed with WD-40 before you install the liner. When it comes time to remove it, the liner will slide right out.
44. Remove “paint rub” from another car
You return to your parked car to find that while you were gone, another vehicle got a bit too close for comfort. Luckily there’s no dent, but now your car has a blotch of “paint rub” from the other car on it. To remove paint-rub stains on your car and restore its original finish, spray the affected area with WD-40, wait a few seconds, and wipe with a clean rag.
45. Revive spark plugs
Can’t get your car to start on a rainy or humid day? To get your engine purring, just spray some WD-40 on the spark-plug wires before you try starting it up again. WD-40 displaces water and keeps moisture away from the plugs.
46. Clean oil spots from driveway
Did a leaky oil pan leave a big ugly spot in the middle of your concrete driveway? To get rid of an unsightly oil spot, just spray it with a generous amount of WD-40 and then hose it down with water.
47. Rejuvenate the barbecue grill
To make a worn old barbecue grill look like new again, spray it liberally with WD-40, wait a few seconds, and scrub with a wire brush. Remember to use WD-40 only on a grill that is not in use and has cooled off.
48. Renew faded plastic furniture
Bring color and shine back to faded plastic patio furniture. Simply spray WD-40 directly on the surface and wipe with a clean, dry cloth. You’ll be surprised at the results.
49. Keep shovel or chute snow free
Here is a simple tip to make shoveling snow quicker and less strenuous by keeping the snow from sticking to your shovel and weighing it down. Spray a thin layer of WD-40 on the shovel blade, and the snow will slide right off. If you have a snow thrower, spray WD-40 on the inside of the chute so snow won’t stick and clog the chute.
50. Remove cat’s paw marks
Your cat may seem like a member of the family most of the time, but that isn’t what you are thinking about when you have to clean a slew of paw marks off patio furniture or the hood of your car. To remove the paw marks, spray some WD-40 on them and wipe with a clean rag.
51. Kill thistle plants
Don’t let pesky prickly weeds like bull and Russian thistle ruin your yard or garden. Just spray some WD-40 on them and they’ll wither and die.