People only just realising what WD-40 stands for

Thursday, 26/10/2023, 14:38 (GMT+7)

Hundreds have been left stunned after realizing what WD-40 stands for after 70 years

Nowadays, WD-40 is used in households up and down the country. It is used as a lubricant, rust preventive, penetrant, moisture displacer, 'fix' hinges, wheels, rollers, chains, gears, and more, around their homes.  However, many people were astounded by what WD-40 stands for after 70 years.

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It turns out that many have been using this household degreaser for decades without understanding the name. In fact, the true meaning behind the name WD-40 has left numerous people baffled. 

WD-40 has been a go-to product as a household degreaser for decades. However, its initial purpose was far from what it is commonly associated with today.

This newfound knowledge has sparked questions among Reddit users asking: "What does WD-40 actually stand for," and "What is WD-40 actually used for?"

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As per its creators, a team at the Rocket Chemical Company embarked on a mission to develop a range of rust-prevention solvents and degreasers for aerospace industry applications. 

Operating from a modest laboratory in San Diego, California, in 1953, they eventually concocted the product we now know as WD-40 on their 40th attempt.

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A statement on WD-40's website reads: "It took them 40 attempts to get their water displacing formula to work, but on the 40th attempt, they got it right in a big way. WD-40 Multi-Use Product was born. WD-40 stands for Water Displacement, 40th formula. That’s the name straight out of the lab book used by the chemist who developed the product."

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Convair, an American aircraft manufacturing company, made history by being the first commercial user of WD-40 Multi-Use Product. They employed it to protect the outer skin of the Atlas Missile from rust and corrosion. Its remarkable effectiveness led many employees to sneak cans of WD-40 out of the plant in their lunchboxes for personal use at home

Norm Larsen, the founder and president of Rocket Chemical Company, ventured into experimenting with the packaging of WD-40 by placing it in aerosol cans. He not only recognized its potential in a home environment but also to 'fix' problem spots around people's homes.

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Many people submitted their guesses, with some suggesting that WD-40 was an abbreviation for water displacement. Others were unaware of what '40' stood for, leaving it a mystery.

One person said: It lubricates (although not well) displaces water and prevents rust. 

A second wrote: Take off your distributor cap, spray the inside of the cap with WD-40, and wipe all the moisture out. Your contacts and the inside of your distributor will remain moisture-free.

A third commented: WD-40 in the blue can is a general-purpose lubricant with water-displacing capabilities. It is not a rust penetrant. In fact, WD makes a special product for rust. It's called WD-40 Specialist Rust Release Penetrant Spray. 

Another said: It's a quick cleaner and degreaser that leaves behind a thin oil residue, that you don't have to follow with something else. Unlike degreasers like soap and water. 

Someone else wrote: WD stands for water displacement, the 40 stands for the number of tries it took to make this product.

Another added: WD 40 = Water Displacement 40th Formula. What little lube it adds is a plus but not much. 

WD = water displacement. Someone added. 



Tags: WD-40