WD-40 Survival Guide

Written by Jonathan Dick

You may not have ever thought that WD-40 could be used for more than loosening up rusty parts or greasing up your bike chain. In fact WD-40 can be used for many purposes that might just lead to your survival. Here are 13 ways that you can re-purpose WD-40 to help you in any situation! Feel free to add your own ideas and experiences at the end of this article. Help spread the word to others by sharing this on your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Google+ pages.

Prevent Snow Build-Up 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. Just spray WD-40 over the outside of your windows before the snow starts and the snow won’t stick.

Attract and Catch Fish
Many salmon fisherman in the Pacific Northwest will spray their lures with WD-40 to mask the human scent. It also supposedly attracts the fish. However, be sure that use of the chemical is legal in your state before you fish with it.

Protect Against Critters
If you have squirrels taking over a birdfeeder, for example, simply spray a generous amount of WD-40 onto the feeder and the squirrels will slide right off. They won’t be able to grasp as well.

Exterminate Roaches and Insects
You can spray your windowsills, frames, screens and doors with WD-40 to repel bugs and insects from trying to get into your home. It also acts as a good bug spray that will kill them on the spot.

Spray a Shovel
Spray the blade of your shovel with WD-40 along with your spading fork, hoe or any other garden tool. The soil will slide right off. This is especially helpful if you are working with clay. This also works with snow shovels.

Get Rid of Rust
You’ll want to spray and rub away the WD-40. Keep this up until the rust is completely gone. This works great for old tools, saw blades and anything that has rush on it really.

Remove Gum
WD-40 is great for removing gum from hair or off of your car. It will keep the paint on your car while still removing the sticky gum particles. It’s also great for removing the sticky mess from your hair but be careful not to spray it in your eyes.

Winterize Your Boots and Shoes
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.

Keep Wooden 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.

Relieve Bee Stings
If you need fast relief for a bee, wasp or hornet sting, use WD-40! Just spray the bite or sting directly and it should relieve the pain in a matter of seconds.

Protect Against Corrosion
You can protect boat’s outer finishes or other items near the sea against salt water and corrosion. Use WD-40 after each use of your boat or on a regular basis to keep your items looking new and fresh.

Bring a Spark Plug Back to Life
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. WD-40 displaces water and keeps moisture away from the plugs.

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.

Your Ideas
What have you used WD-40 for? Comment below and tell us what you’ve used WD-40 for. We’d love to see what you’ve thought of.

Updated October 22, 2013


  1. kimberly wrote:

    I use it on my glass enclosed shower. It helps remove water spots, and then once the glass is clean it helps keep them from returning!

    September 13th, 2012 at 6:56 am
  2. jeannieC wrote:

    This is far too blurry to read! I have refreshed several times, and no improvement! Any suggestions? Thank you!

    September 13th, 2012 at 8:15 am
  3. timd wrote:

    This is from Snopes:

    1) Protects silver from tarnishing.
    2) Removes road tar and grime from cars.
    3) Cleans and lubricates guitar strings.
    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) It removes black scuff marks from the kitchen floor! Open some windows if you have a lot of marks.
    19) Bug guts will eat away the finish on your car. Removed quickly, with WD-40!
    20) Gives a children’s play gym slide a shine for a super fast slide.
    21) Lubricates gear shift on lawn mowers.
    22) Rids kids rocking chairs and swings of squeaky noises.
    23) Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open.
    24) Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close.
    25) Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, well as vinyl bumpers.
    26) Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles.
    27 ) Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans.
    28) Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons, and bicycles for easy handling.
    29) Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly.
    30) Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools.
    31) Removes splattered grease on stove.
    32) Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging.
    33) Lubricates prosthetic limbs.
    34) Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell).
    35) Removes all traces of duct tape.
    36) Folks even spray it on their arms, hands, and knees to relieve arthritis pain
    37) Florida’s favorite use ‘Cleans and removes love bugs from grills and bumpers.’
    38) Protects the Statue of Liberty from the elements.
    39) WD-40 attracts fish. Spray a LITTLE on live bait or lures and you will be catching the big one in no time.
    40) Ant bites. It takes the sting away immediately and stops the itch.
    41) WD-40 is great for removing crayon from walls. Spray on the mark and wipe with a clean rag.
    42) If you’ve washed and dried a tube of lipstick with a load of laundry, saturate the lipstick spots with WD-40 and Presto! Lipstick is gone!
    43) If you spray WD-40 on the distributor cap, it will displace the moisture and allow the car to start.

    Keep a can of WD-40 in your kitchen cabinet. It is good for oven burns or any other type of burn. It takes the burned feeling away and heals with NO scarring.

    September 13th, 2012 at 11:56 am
  4. The Ready Store wrote:

    jannieC, I’m sorry that it’s showing up blurry. What browser are you using? Maybe we can help.

    September 13th, 2012 at 2:33 pm
  5. jeannieC wrote:

    I use Firefox – no problem anywhere else – and never a problem on your page before! And yup – it’s still that way!!! Thank you for your reply! And many thanks to timd!!!

    September 14th, 2012 at 8:51 am
  6. Gil McDonald, Sr. wrote:

    WD40 has a tendency to congeal as time passes. I once used it to lubricate the moving parts of a semi-auto deer rifle then let the rifle set for a few months. The WD40 locked the action in place to the extent that a cartridge could not be loaded into the action by hand movement. It was necessary (with the rifle unloaded)to place the butt of the rifle on the floor and apply the heel of my shoe to the handle on the bolt so I could apply enough pressure to break the bolt loose from the glue like substance of WD40. I just wanted to mention this since most people think of this product as a lubricant for just about anything. I don’t consider it a suitable lubrican for use on firearms.

    September 16th, 2012 at 5:27 pm
  7. MountainMama wrote:

    Luv all the uses for this stuff…

    I would not use it on the floor to make it shine…my experience with getting a tiny bit on the floor is it was VERY slippery.

    September 18th, 2012 at 10:31 pm
  8. Brendan Patrick wrote:

    Since your talking about oil for machines, think about this.

    When your thinking survival, forget the iPhone or iPad. I love apple and though it dominates the information age, my iPad now has a cracked screen. I DROPPED IT. There are tons of busted iPhones on eBay as well. Look at a used or refurbished Panasonic Toughbook. Heck if your attacked by a bear, hopefully the critter will bite the F11 key and trigger your Survival EPIRB.

    This is no joke, slide in the network card with your AT&T sim and you have a unbreakable cell phone, communication device. We built one that floats, and still works, the battery never dies or looses memory NEVER. Hose off the key board of dirt dust and swiss miss mix. Best of all get the TOPO North America GPS and the bread crumb trail so you do not fall into some mine shaft. We sell em and they are called Black Hawk Toughbooks built in the USA only. http://www.PanasonicToughbooks.net. Just read about them and think about a communication tool that doubles as a Grizzly Frisby.

    September 19th, 2012 at 7:12 pm
  9. Tom Stanley wrote:

    Protects the underside of cars nad Quads from mud build up because it cannot stick.
    I hve used it on my car windows when my wiper moters died.

    I keep a large can in several places in the house one in the car and one in my tool box. When all else fails try WD-40!

    September 23rd, 2012 at 5:18 pm
  10. Michael Rodriguez wrote:

    WD-40 is also great at removing chewing gum from the paint on your car! That use has been around for decades.

    September 23rd, 2012 at 5:52 pm
  11. Brian lloyd wrote:

    Got stains in cloths that won’t wash out. Spray them with WD40. Let sit a couple minutes. Soak with dish washing liquid and wash as usual! It’s amazing!

    October 24th, 2013 at 5:37 am
  12. larry jones wrote:

    My grandmother used to spray it on her hip and knee and claimed that it helped lub them and relieved the pain.

    October 24th, 2013 at 6:43 am
  13. Northwoods Cheryl wrote:

    The primary ingredient in WD40 is fish oil, which is why it makes such a good fish bait on lures. Also why it gums up the “actions” in fire arms.

    October 24th, 2013 at 6:49 am
  14. Steve Eisenberg wrote:

    Consumers have told us over the years that they have caught some of the biggest fish ever after protecting their fish hooks and lures with WD-40. We believe this legend came from folks assuming that the product must contain fish oil since it appears to attract fish. Sorry Charlie®, it just ain’t so.

    WD-40 Company has taken steps to respect and conserve the environment, and encourages its users to do the same. While WD-40 can be used to help protect fishing equipment from rust and corrosion, WD-40 Company does not recommend using WD-40 to attract fish. (WD-40 website)

    October 24th, 2013 at 7:05 am
  15. Leigh Powell wrote:

    Does anyone know if its true that you can spray it on your satellite dish to keep the snow off?

    October 24th, 2013 at 8:23 am
  16. NanSan wrote:

    Lots of great uses! My only concern with this discussion is people placing WD40 in their kitchen cabinets. This is a flammable aerosol and preppers don’t want to make emergencies for themselves. Be safe as you prep!

    October 24th, 2013 at 9:12 am
  17. Regina wrote:

    Do not recommend the use of WD-40 on any antenna apparatus, including satellite dishes. It is a carbon compound and an insulator. Don’t do it.

    October 24th, 2013 at 10:17 am
  18. Capt wrote:

    I rub sum WD-40 on a rag and then I rub the rubber seal in the car doors. This prevents the doors from freezing shut during the winter.

    October 24th, 2013 at 12:25 pm
  19. Joc wrote:

    DO NOT use it on sewing machines. It gums them up just like the rifle mentioned.

    October 25th, 2013 at 12:22 am
  20. Jackalope wrote:

    Do not use WD for a protective barrier on metals as it attracts water(ie. spray on wet wires and dist cap)and then forms rust. That’s what happened to the rifle.

    October 25th, 2013 at 8:07 am
  21. Louisa Childd wrote:

    It works great to treat fire ant stings.
    Spray, wait 30 min and repeat. Done quickly enough and it will prevent blisters.

    October 25th, 2013 at 6:00 pm
  22. JT wrote:

    It is irresponsible to recommend any product that contains info in the MSDS related to adverse effects of skin contact for – well, skin contact. It is also irresponsible to recommend any product for insect control when it is not specifically labeled for such.

    October 30th, 2013 at 8:22 am
  23. JHORNE wrote:


    November 2nd, 2013 at 2:09 pm
  24. TLeDantec wrote:

    JT et al,
    In this day and age, it is a RESPONSIBLE and conscientious effort that drives individuals to share their discoveries with others in the hopes that it improves their life and expands their experiential skillset.
    Having said that, it is the RESPONSIBILITY of the RECEIVER of all new information to verify the accuracy/validity/veracity of the information upon which they decide to act.
    That’s what’s neat about this comment section, wherein one can read both PROs and CONs about a given subject.
    PLEASE don’t stop the FREE FLOW of information or attempt to stymy it with negative/critical/derogatory comments…
    However, please DO chime in with reasons why you hold the opinion that the particular subject can/can’t or should/shouldn’t be acted on — that helps to AUGMENT/INCREASE the shared pool of knowledge that this effort attempts to provide.
    Thanks; I LOVE reading any/all useful hints…although I have been told repeatedly by home repair specialists that WD-40 is NOT a lubricant, my GrandPere used it on/for absolutely everything [guns and sewing machines aside]!

    November 16th, 2013 at 5:49 am
  25. SlickWilly wrote:

    WD-40 is NOT a lubricant! It is a solvent that can displace water for a short time. Learned this when using it to stop squeeks in my door hinges around the house. Woked great for a while, but since it is not a long term lub it made things worse later! Use WD-40 to clean, wipe free then oil.

    November 25th, 2013 at 9:26 am
  26. Lucywrote wrote:

    Hear, hear!

    November 28th, 2013 at 8:10 am
  27. june wrote:

    great for removing stickers off jars or objects that you want stickers off

    March 4th, 2014 at 5:33 pm
  28. Kim Hammerum wrote:

    I Just use toilet cleaner for rust removal – Just let it soak for 30 minutes, rinse and apply oil.

    March 13th, 2014 at 4:52 pm
  29. Devo wrote:

    Leaves your stainless steel appliances streak-free!

    March 13th, 2014 at 7:00 pm
  30. BrokenVet wrote:


    March 13th, 2014 at 9:29 pm
  31. Mandy J. Northime wrote:

    MOM’S MOM’S MOM’S…….
    WD-40 removed CRAYOLA Crayon from painted walls like MAGIC!!!!
    When my son was about 3 years old, he decided to use a DARK Hunter Green CRAYOLA Crayon on our kitchen wall while I was in the shower one morning!!! I almost cried!! Our house was only 5 years old at the time and ALL of our walls were painted Flat White!!! I tried everything to get it off….nothing worked!!! I was told to get on the CRAYOLA website to find options for removing crayon from painted walls!! Honestly I tell every NEW mom I run into!!!!

    March 23rd, 2014 at 12:43 am
  32. Brian A. Huff wrote:

    WD-40 is a solvent not a lubricant!! Go to WD-40 website!! As with gasoline and kerosene do not put on skin!! Do not put on anything that you would not put solvents on!! WD -40 is flammable!! Only use WD-40 as they recommend!!

    April 15th, 2014 at 4:12 pm
  33. Bev wrote:

    Spray on key to loosen the lock

    September 7th, 2014 at 5:05 am
  34. Namerichie wrote:

    My central locking hasn’t worked for 5 years and garage guessed a new lock was needed for £85.
    A mate suggested a squirt of WD40 which i laughed at.

    Yep. Two squirts and all locks work properley for the first time in years.

    September 22nd, 2014 at 8:48 am
  35. Leslie Denning wrote:

    I’m the first-born daughter of the man who invented the stuff. I never met him, but he sure left a legacy.

    October 22nd, 2014 at 11:59 am
  36. Dave Rice wrote:

    WD-40 was invented to displace moisture from the USA’s first ICBM Missile. It was the 40 th try for the “water displacement 40″ compound. You can even use it on your missils!

    January 3rd, 2015 at 3:09 pm
  37. David Holliday wrote:

    I squirt a shot or two every once in awhile during the summer into an air compressor electric motor to keep dirtdobbers out. This will prevent them from shorting out the motor which I have experienced in the past. Big fire.

    January 26th, 2015 at 7:26 am
  38. Demascus wrote:

    WD-40 will lubricate your firearms and help clean them but only at first. Otherwise they will gum things up as reported. Use a silicon lube spray, or something called Dry Slide, I know you could get it at Sears years ago but do not know now. Same thing for your sewing machines. And of course you know the two things every tool kit needs or bug out bag, is a can of WD-40 (if it wont move and should) and a roll of Duct tape, (if it moves and should not) LOL

    April 1st, 2015 at 1:02 pm

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