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If you have a boat, I’m betting you have a can or two of this on board…

Direct from the company’s website…

WD-40 literally stands for Water Displacement, 40th formula. That’s the name straight out of the lab book used by the chemist who developed the product back in 1953. The chemist, Norm Larsen, was attempting to concoct a formula to prevent corrosion—a task which is done by displacing water. Norm’s persistence paid off when he perfected the formula on his 40th try.

Perhaps you purchased your can of WD-40 to use as a lubricant, or to prevent corrosion as described in the above text. If so, I think there are plenty of better options available. It does have its uses though. One of the things that we frequently find ourselves using it for is getting rid of the adhesive residue left behind after a piece of tape, or some other sticky substance, is removed. It works well for this, and in fact, we found ourselves doing this just yesterday! Here is a downloadable PDF from the manufacturer that lists a bunch of other suggested uses.


  1. I do keep WD-40 handy. I have noticed that the can is rusty, so I question how good it works.. 😉

  2. Listen to this CBC radio show featuring WD 40 as the first brand discussed.

  3. Back in the ’90s my ex and I returned from SXM to a wet snowy Toronto. Our car, a 97 Mazda, had been parked outside in a hotel parking lot for the week that we were away, After clearing the snow I turned the key and …nothing.

    Called CAA…he sprays spark plug wires with WD40 (I had fuel injection so no carb to spray). Car starts OK. 5 minutes total.

    I always carry a can in trunk.

  4. I cannot believe how similar boat life and farm / ranch life is! WD-40 is a god’s sent addition to any tool box! I use it for everything except tacos!

  5. There is an interesting set of lists on the .pdf file that you reference.

    I hope you have memorized the entries



  6. Mike,
    I’ve found T-9 to work better on my boat in most applications. Any experience with it? WD-40 will always have a place in my boat and heart

  7. Noting the flow chart, When the Duck Tape dries up and falls off, you can use WD-40 and a rag to wipe away the glue residue.

    Years ago I worked for a lighting and appliance store. They used WD-40 to remove the tape residue off of appliances. I was amazed, now I’ve paid it forward.

  8. Note there are a number of things you should NOT use WD40 for on board such as lubricating plastic blocks where it can destroy the plastic… for example Lewmar Synchro blocks we have with stainless shaft and plastic sheave… do not use WD40

    Also Garhauer plastic specifically mentions WD40 and CRC

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