Take a peek into any garage and you will probably find a can of WD-40 inside. This household product is used as a lubricant, cleaner, and penetrating oil. This solution helps to resist corrosion of metal parts. Where did this fabulous product come from?
In 1953, Norm Larsen developed WD-40. He was employed by the Rocket Chemical Company at that time. He was working on a project to help reduce water within electrical circuitry. The product he developed was able to displace water and prevent corrosion.
The WD in the name does not stand for “war department”, as some people think. According to Larsen’s lab notes, the letters actually stand for water displacement. The number 40 was denoted by the number of attempts needed to master the product.
The reason the myth for the words “war department” possibly began is due to who used the product first, and for what reason. Convair was the first to use WD-40 on the Atlas missile. The product was use to protect the outside of the missile from corrosion.
It was not until 1958 that WD-40 became available to the public. It was first sold in San Diego for household use.
Later the Rocket Chemical Company changed the name to WD-40. At the time, this was the only product marketed by the company. For years, the label included on it the history of preserving the Atlas rocket. For years it was sold as “Rocket WD-40”.
Despite the high-tech use indicated on the label, folks were using the product for simpler tasks around the home. WD-40 can be used to stop squeaky hinges on doors and to loosen up rusty nuts and bolts. Spraying a little WD-40 can free up a door lock. Apply a little product on hand tools to prevent rust.
Cleaning tough dirt and grease can be easy with WD-40. The sticky residue from adhesive tape comes off easily with a little WD-40. If your car won’t start, use a bit of WD-40 on the inside of the distributor cap to clean and dry it. The water will be eliminated and the car will start. You can even clean up those rims on your car or truck with WD-40. Do be careful not to get any of the product on your brake pads or disc.
Motorcycle chains can be a great place to use WD-40, but manufacturers of these parts recommend to avoid this product on any seal-ring chains.
What is a good use for WD-40 around a computer. This product is terrific for cleaning a computer mouse. Also, it can be useful to help free up computer keys that are sticky. If a pop has spilled on the computer keyboard, do not fret, wipe it off with a cloth and some WD-40 and you are back in business.
Although the product will temporarily fix the problem of a stuck computer fan, this is not a good idea. Long term results will be harmful. As the product dries it will be more likely to attract dust. This will simply make the problem worse with time.
Even fish like WD-40. Some fishermen will keep a can of WD-40 in their tackle box. The scent of WD-40 is appealing to fish. When sprayed on the bait, some anglers will tell you the fish will flock to the scent.
So what is in this magic little can? A myth says that fish oil is the main ingredient. Safety sheets that are available state that half of the product is Stoddard solvent. This is more commonly known as dry cleaning solvent. Clearly the main ingredient is not fish oil.
Liquefied petroleum gas accounts for about ¼ of the product. Mineral oil and inert ingredients are also part of the formulation. It is unknown whether or not fish oil is an ingredient, but clearly it is not the main ingredient.
WD-40 is so versatile that it is a common product in most households today. If something is stuck, then fix it right up with WD-40. With the uses for cars, computers, and more, you will want to keep a can handy.