Join Date: Apr 2002
Years Riding: 2
How you found us: the smell
The product began from a search for a rust preventative solvent and de-greaser 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:
1. Protects silver from tarnishing
2. Cleans and lubricates guitar strings
3. Gets oil spots off concrete driveways
4. Gives floors that 'just-waxed' sheen without making it slippery
5. Keeps flies off cows.
6. Restores and cleans chalkboards
7. Removes lipstick stains
8. Loosens stubborn zippers
9. Untangles jewelry chains
10. Removes stains from stainless steel sinks
11. Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill
12. Keeps ceramic/terra cotta garden pots from oxidizing
13. Removes tomato stains from clothing
14. Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots
15. Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors
16. Keeps scissors working smoothly
17. Lubricates noisy door hinges on vehicles and doors in homes
18. Gives a children's play gym slide a shine for a super fast slide
19. Lubricates gear shift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on riding mowers
20. Rids rocking chairs and swings of squeaky noises.
21. Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open
22. Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close
23. Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, as well as vinyl bumpers
24. Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles
25. Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans
26. Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons and bicycles for easy handling
27. Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly
28. Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools
29. Removes splattered grease on stove
30. Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging
31. Lubricates prosthetic limbs
32. Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell)
33. Removes all traces of duct tape
34. I have even heard of folks spraying it on their arms, hands, knees to relieve arthritis pain
35. One fellow claims spraying it on fishing lures attracts fish.
WD-40 has been designated the "official multi-purpose problem-solver of NASCAR," a ringing endorsement if there ever was one...Can WD-40 can solve the Jeff Gordon problem?
In celebration of their 50th year, the company conducted a contest to learn the favorite uses of it's 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.
Let me close with one final, wonderful use--the favorite use in the State of New York--WD-40 protects the Statue of Liberty from the elements.
No wonder they've had 50 successful years
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