The Fascinating History and Uses of WD-40

The WD-40 Genesis
The WD-40 Genesis
WD-40, invented in 1953 by Norm Larsen, was initially meant for the aerospace industry. The name stands for 'Water Displacement, 40th formula,' signifying the number of attempts to perfect the solution.
Not Just a Lubricant
Not Just a Lubricant
Despite popular belief, WD-40 is primarily a solvent and rust dissolver, not just a lubricant. Its multi-use formula is designed to penetrate stuck parts, displace moisture, and protect metal from rust.
Secret Formula Mystery
Secret Formula Mystery
The exact formula of WD-40 is a trade secret, closely guarded and never patented. Patents expire, but trade secrets can remain proprietary indefinitely, as long as they're kept confidential.
Space Exploration Connection
Space Exploration Connection
WD-40 was first used by Convair to protect the outer skin of the Atlas Missile from rust and corrosion. This link to space exploration isn't widely known but marks its importance in history.
Versatility Beyond Machinery
Versatility Beyond Machinery
WD-40 has over 2,000 listed uses, from silencing squeaky hinges to removing sticky residues and even helping to get rid of stains on clothing. Its versatility is one of its most remarkable features.
A Clandestine Can on Shelves
A Clandestine Can on Shelves
The consumer version of WD-40 was put on shelves in 1958. Legend has it that employees snuck cans out of the factory to use at home, prompting the company to offer it to the public.
Environmental and Health Aspects
Environmental and Health Aspects
WD-40 complies with environmental regulations, but it's still petroleum-based and should be used with care. Prolonged exposure to its vapor can cause health issues, necessitating proper ventilation.
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What does WD-40 stand for?
Water Dissolution, 40th attempt
Water Displacement, 40th formula
Wetness Deterrent, 40 ingredients