A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

46 Amazing Uses for WD-40

Updated: Feb. 27, 2024

WD-40 has far more uses than just on squeaky hinges. Find out the amazing ways this garage staple can make your life easier.

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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.

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Woman push her silver wedding rings in finger
Winzy Lee/Shutterstock

Get off that stuck ring

When pulling and tugging can’t get that ring off your finger, reach for the WD-40. One of the best WD-40 uses, a short burst will get the ring to slide right off. Remember to wash your hands after spraying them with WD-40. For more at-home remedies, try rubbing alcohol.

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Red cockroach on the wall at night.

Exterminate roaches and repel insects

Don’t let cockroaches, insects, or spiders get the upper hand in your home, try one of these WD-40 uses instead. 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.

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Pink Bubble Gum
karen roach/Shutterstock

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, as this is one of the lesser-known WD-40 uses. 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.

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Employee hand in rubber protective glove with sponge washing the black soot marks from furnace on tiles wall. Early spring general or regular cleanup. Commercial cleaning company. Service concept.

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.

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coffee stains on wooden background

Wipe away tea stains

To remove tea stains from countertops, spray a little WD-40 on a sponge or damp cloth and wipe the stain away.

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toilet bowl
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Clean toilet bowls

We bet you never thought of one of these WD-40 uses: 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.

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girl in winter boots walking on snowy road
In Green/Shutterstock

Winterproof boots and shoes

Here’s one of the great WD-40 uses you might not have thought of. 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.

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Tel-Aviv - August 27: Surface made of an assortment of USA car license plates, on a wall in Tel-Aviv, Israel on August 27, 2016.

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.

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Isolated broken window with snow (Pesaro, Italy)

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 with these genius WD-40 uses. Just spray WD-40 over the outside of your windows before the snow starts and the snow won’t stick.

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Tree wasp, or paper wasp very close up stripping wood from garden furniture to build a nest Latin name dolichovespula sylvestris or polistes gallicus taken in Italy
Ruth Swan/Shutterstock

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.

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dog golden retriever
Lumi Studio/Shutterstock

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! Don’t miss these clever hacks for cleaning every type of shoe in your closet.

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A shiny, polished hardwood floor for background or texture
Darryl Brooks/Shutterstock

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.

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putting glue on a piece of wood

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, because that’s where these WD-40 uses come in. 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.

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zipper on bag background.

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 container lid; then pick it up and apply it with an artist’s brush.

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Tuning a Spanish guitar.

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. It might seem like WD-40 is a fix-all after reading about all these uses, but there are still some times it’s better not to use it.

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garden tools
Deniss Grigorjevs /Shutterstock

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.

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The old leather glove of the baseball catcher and the ball

Break in a new baseball glove

Another one of the great WD-40 uses you haven’t thought of yet? 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.

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Amputee with legs crossed, detail

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.

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closeup white latex adhesive spilling on cutting mat
Nor Gal/Shutterstock

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. Here are the things your housecleaner knows about you.

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hands of car oil change
rattiya lamrod/Shutterstock

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.

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PASADENA, CA/USA - JANUARY 16, 2016: CARFAX decal on used automobile for sale. Carfax, Inc. is a service that supplies vehicle history reports.
Ken Wolter/Shutterstock

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.

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Various denomination generic garage sale stickers with a bright yellow five dollar label in the center.
BW Folsom/Shutterstock

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? We’re thankful this is one of the great WD-40 uses. 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.

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Close-up Of Person's Hand Cleaning Stain With Sponge On Carpet

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.

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Table top view on three tomatoes on white porcelain plate with red dots, cutting board with tomato cut to half next to it, chef knife also laying on the gray wood desk.
Lubo Ivanko/Shutterstock

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.

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Open fridge full of fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy food background, organic nutrition, health care, dieting concept

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.

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Closeup shot of female hand with beautiful manicured fingers wiping brown leather couch

Condition leather furniture

Another one of the little-known WD-40 uses you probably haven’t tried is to 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.

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shod feet of a child in the arms of a mother, a white dress, stained with shoes, raising children and loving them
Ruslan Sitarchuk/Shutterstock

Pretreat 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—yes, really! Who knew this was one of the WD-40 uses you could try. 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 pretreat other stubborn stains on clothing, such as lipstick, dirt, grease, and ink stains. Now, make sure you know about these other laundry tips.

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Curly cute little baby girl drawing with crayon color on the wall. Works of child

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.

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set of snowboard equipment boots, helmet, gloves and mask on a wooden floor
Dmytro Vietrov/Shutterstock

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.

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Mongkon Benjawan/Shutterstock

Protect your boat from corrosion

This is one of the better WD-40 uses you didn’t know. 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.

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Close up shot of Dead Barnacles on a Rock
Nicholas Toh/Shutterstock

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.

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fishing lure jig box high angle view
julie deshaies/Shutterstock

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.

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fishing pole
Nattapon Kongkaew/Shutterstock

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.

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Equipment for playing golf.
Tinny Photo/Shutterstock

 Clean and protect golf clubs

Who knew this was one of the WD-40 uses you could try? 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.

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Burgas, Bulgaria - 2.7.18: Black and white close up detail of an old automotive company emblem on a front grill of a car.

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.

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Spark plug. A set of spark plugs. Four spark plugs. Four spark plugs on a pink background.

 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.”

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an awesome wood truck bed
Christopher Cadle/Shutterstock

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.

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Blue scratched car with damaged paint in crash accident on the street or collision on parking lot in the city
Srdjan Randjelovic/Shutterstock

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. Be sure you’re not wasting money on your car with these maintenance tasks.

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The master repairs under the hood of the car

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. One of the WD-40 uses is that it displaces water and keeps moisture away from the plugs.

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oil drops on concrete

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.

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Anna Guy/Shutterstock

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.

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chair plastic background

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.

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Man cleaning snow with shovel in winter day.

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.

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Paws on the cat on the ground

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.

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Blessed flowers of milk thistle. Marie Scottish thistle, Mary Thistle, Marian Cardus. Milk thistle flower toned in fashionable color tone treatment

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. Next, don’t miss these extraordinary uses for household staples you already own.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest