DO USE IT TO:
Loosen up…rusted tools, blades, and nuts and bolts; corroded aluminum; stuck zippers.
Remove…crayon marks; stuck-on gum and tar; sticker and tape residue; scuff marks on tile.
Add a nonstick coating to...metal snow-thrower chutes and snow-shovel blades; hoes and other digging tools used in sticky clay soil.
DON’T USE IT TO:
LUBE A LOCK. After WD-40’s solvents evaporate, the oils left behind can attract dust and become sticky as they oxidize, eventually gumming up a typical lock cylinder.
Instead: Locksmith Tom Lynch recommends a silicone-free, dry-film lubricant such as Poxylube CP-200 ($15 for a 4.5-oz. can; Taylor Security & Lock), which won’t leave an oily, dust-collecting residue. He suggests that before using it, you clean out the cylinder with a blast of electrical contact cleaner.
SILENCE A SQUEAKY HINGE. A hit of WD-40 may quiet a noisy hinge temporarily, but don’t be surprised when it starts complaining again.
Instead: Use a PTFE-enhanced silicone lubricant such as Super Lube Silicone Lubricating Grease with Syncolon ($12.45 for a 3-oz. tube; Home Depot), which banishes squeaks for much longer.
GREASE PLASTIC PARTS. Slippery plastics usually don’t need lubrication. If you want to spray them anyway, know that WD-40’s solvents can craze and crack polystyrenes (#6) and polycarbonates (#7).
Instead: If you can’t identify sensitive plastics by these recycling labels, use a plastic-safe silicone lubricant or a gel such as WD-40 Specialist Spray & Stay ($8.97 for a 10-oz. can; Home Depot).
Caution: The propellants in aerosol sprays are flammable. Use these sprays only in a well-ventilated area, and keep them away from flames, lighted cigarettes, and live electrical wires.
“WD-40, Vise-Grips, and some duct tape: Any man worth his salt can do half of the household chores with just those three things.”
—Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino