Who spilled the wine on the carpet? 24 Clever Ways WD-40 Gets You Out of a Jam

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If you grew up with a handy adult around the house, chances are you’ve been familiar with WD-40 since you were a kid.

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The magical water-displacing, petroleum-based spray was created in the 1950s to keep parts of the Atlas missile from rusting. But these days, it’s a common household item with dozens of uses—some well-known and others not.

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WD-40 is traditionally used on squeaky hinges or to loosen a rusted screw or nut. But it actually has a lot of unexpected uses that aren’t listed on the can. According to the WD-40 website, a bus driver in Asia actually used WD-40 to remove a python that was coiled around the bus’s undercarriage. Now that’s some clever thinking.

WD-40 . 24 Clever Ways to Use

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You can use your trusty can of WD-40 for cleaning your home, pest control, and even keeping your clothes and car looking good. Here are just a few of the many WD-40 uses.

Around the House 1. Remove Carpet Stains

WD-40 can help loosen stubborn carpet stains before using regular carpet cleaner. Spray the stain all over and leave on for a few minutes so the liquid seeps in. Follow up with any regular carpet cleaner to get rid of the stain for good. Don’t skip the step of using the carpet cleaner. The WD-40 is helping to loosen the stain but it should not be left on the fabric. It can stain!

Depending on the type of stubborn stain, you may need to do this more than once to completely remove the mark. Try it on tea stains as well as coffee and wine, or even spaghetti sauce that dripped on the way to the dining table.

2. Clean Scuff Marks

Scratches on vinyl or tile floors can be difficult to remove with regular floor cleaner. Remove scratches by spraying them with WD-40 to loosen them, and then wipe off. Scratches should disappear as soon as they appeared.

3. Remove Lemon Stains from Porcelain

Your toilet can benefit from WD-40 if you have hard water that leaves lime stains in the toilet bowl. Spray the inside of your toilet with WD-40 and clean thoroughly with a toilet brush before flushing to remove residue.

Bonus! You can also use WD-40 on hard water harvesting around faucets.

4. Remove Baby Scribbles

If you are a parent, you feel happy to see that your lovely baby has drawn a beautiful picture for you. You know the pain of finding it on the wall instead of on a piece of paper.

WD-40 can remove crayon marks from walls without damaging the paint. Give it a quick spray and wipe, and you’ll see the scribbles come out too.

5. Remove Sticker Residue

If your kids are like me, they love stickers. My kids stick them everywhere, but one of their favorite places is on my kitchen cabinets. Giving them stickers gives me a few moments of peace, but I pay for it when it comes time to remove them.

WD-40 can remove any remaining sticky residue. Simply spray it on sticky patches and wait about a minute, then wipe off. The sticker residue should come off easily. This trick also works for bumper stickers on your car.

6. Remove Hair Dye Stains

You can save time and money by coloring your hair at home. But it’s a messy process and can leave stains on towels or clothing. Trying to remove stains this way can be difficult.

If you find yourself with a stained towel, loosen the dye by spraying WD-40 on the stain, rubbing it in, and then washing the towel in your machine on the hot cycle. The stain should disappear once the towel is wiped clean.

7. Prevent Snowfall on the Property

If the weather forecast predicts a big winter snowfall, grab a can of WD-40 and spray it on the windows of your home before the snow starts. The water-distributing properties will prevent snow from building up on the outside of your windows.

8. Keep the snow away from your shovel or snow thrower

People who live in cold climates know how painful it can be to shovel snow. Snow can be heavy and difficult to move, especially when it gets stuck in the slopes of your shovel or your snow thrower. A quick spray of WD-40 on the blade of your shovel or inside the slope of your snow thrower so you can clean your driveway or sidewalk faster and with less energy expenditure.

9. Remove oil spill from concrete

Although keeping your garage floor or driveway clean may not be your top priority, oil spills can look messy on an otherwise clean surface. Luckily, your handy can of WD-40 can help remove the stain quickly and easily.

Simply spray the oil stain with WD-40 and rinse thoroughly with your hose. Once dry, the oil stain should be completely gone.

10. Protect Wooden Tool Handles

Wood-fired tools can age and splinter without proper treatment. Rubbing them with WD-40 helps protect the wood from weather damage, making them last longer and protecting your hands from splatters.

11. Remove Grease From Your Hands

If you love working on your car, you know how hard it is to remove grease with your hands once you’re done. A quick spray of WD-40 helps loosen the grease so you can clean your hands more easily.

Personal Care 12. Remove Gum From Hair

Chewing gum is great for keeping your breath fresh, but once it gets into your hair, it’s game over. There are plenty of ways to remove gum (including just cutting your hair and starting all over again), but one of the best is a spray of WD-40. (Peanut butter will also work.)

Spray WD-40 directly onto the tangled section of hair with the gum, then comb through and rinse. The gum should come out fine; however, for super-stuck gum, you may need to do this a few times.

Pest Control 13. Keep Insects Away From Your Home

Do you have a bug problem? WD-40 can help keep them away. Grab your can and spray the solution wherever insects may be coming into your home, such as door or window frames.

14. Prevent Wasp Nests

You can also use WD-40 to prevent wasps and yellow jackets from nesting under your roof. Spray thoroughly under the eaves to prevent wasps and other flying insects from making their nests there.

15. Use as a Weed Killer

Traditional weed killers have a bad rap for being toxic and bad for the environment. WD-40 is a great option for killing annoying weeds like thistle, which can be difficult to root and come back year after year.

Spray the weed with WD-40 and wait until it dies. The weeds (roots and all) should be easy to pull up so it’s less likely to come back a few weeks (or days) later.

16. Keep Squirrels Away From Bird Feeders

You might not think of squirrels as a “pest”—at least until you put up a bird feeder that retains more squirrels than birds.

You can keep squirrels away from your bird feeder by spraying WD-40 on the feeder. This makes it slippery and means that any squirrels that attempt to gnaw on bird seed will fall immediately.

Clothing 17. Waterproofing Your Shoes

A mist of WD-40 can help keep shoes and boots from getting wet. Before going outside on a rainy or snowy day, spray the top and sides of your shoes and your toes will stay dry and toasty as you walk.

However, avoid spraying the soles of your shoes, as it can make them slippery and cause you to fall.

18. Remove Dog Poop

Stepped into dog hunting on your walk? WD-40 can help remove smelly dirt from under your shoes. Spray directly onto the poop area and use a brush (like an old toothbrush reserved for cleaning) to completely remove the feces. Make sure you wipe off the WD-40 completely with a dry paper towel so you don’t make your shoes slippery. (See number 17.)

It goes without saying, but make sure you don’t accidentally use your actual toothbrush…

19. Loosen a Zipper

Have you ever bought a new pair of shoes, only to find that the zipper is nearly impossible to unzip? I speak from experience when I say that WD-40 works well for loosening stuck zippers on shoes, and possibly jacket zippers as well as on backpacks, computer cases, and luggage.

Spray the zipper with WD-40 and zip up and down a few times to get the zipper moving. Once it’s loose, it should be easy to untie as you go on.

Automotive 20. Prevent freezing of locks

When the temperature drops, your car door lock can freeze and prevent you from unlocking your parked car. But if you continuously spray WD-40 into the lock, it will prevent moisture from getting inside and settling, so you can get into your car without any hassle.

21. Remove Dead Bugs From Your Grille

There is much to look forward to in the warmer months as the pools are open and there is more opportunity to spend time outside. But summer comes with bugs, and the dead bugs on your car’s grill can be difficult to remove. But if you have a can of WD-40 on hand, you can prevent the bugs from getting trapped in the first place.

Before heading out for a drive, spray your grill with WD-40. The lubricant will mean insects will come out of your grill instead of splattering and becoming trapped. A little preventative action can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run.

22. Lubricate Your Gas Cap

Your gas cap probably isn’t something you think about often… unless it turns out to be a problem. A quick spray of WD-40 several times a year can keep the gas cap from rusting and ensure you can easily open and close it when you refill your tank.

Just make sure you wipe off any residue, as WD-40 can damage your car’s clear coat.

23. Get Rid of Paint Stains

Paint spots on your car are no match for the power of WD-40. My daughter always opens her car door on the wall of our garage, so the edge of her door is painted white.

To remove paint rub stains from your car, spray the affected area with WD-40 and wipe it off. It’s that easy!

And then there’s Baseball 24. break in that new glove

The leather on a new baseball glove can be tough. To break it up, spray with WD-40, place a baseball in the palm of the glove, and fold the glove over the ball. Use a rubber band to tie it in place and leave it overnight. When you remove the rubber band and the ball, the glove will be soft and have a small ball-shaped pocket in the middle that is perfect for holding a fly ball.

Looking for other uses for products you have around your home? Check out The Penny Hoarder’s guide to alternative uses for peanut butter and aluminum foil.

Ohio-based Katherine Hills is a British writer and editor living and working in the US. She has a degree in communications from the University of Chester in the UK and writes about finance, cars, pet ownership and parenting.

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