WD40 alternatives

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Written By Janine Clarke

I am Janine Clarke AKA Equipment Girl, a nerdy girl with an unhealthy knowledge about power tools and gardening! You can contact me here.

If you are looking for a substance which prevents rust, removes scuff marks, resolves stuck zippers and quickly removes bumper stickers, you might think you need a lot of products.

Amazingly, you can do all this with one product, with WD 40 being a hugely popular product for all these tasks and a whole lot more. WD 40 is commonly found in kitchens, tool boxes and garages, because it carries out a wide range of tasks.

The product has come a long way from its founding in the 1950s by the Rocket Chemical Company in San Diego. The famous WD 40 formula remains a trade secret.

The company has worked with many huge firms and sectors, including the aerospace industry, aiding the space race and considerable product development.

The products name stands for Water Displacement, 40th formula. Mind you, the product does a lot more than displace water, even if this is the key word people associate with the product.

The product range has evolved over the years, including corrosion inhibitors and other specialist versions, such as a non flammable lubricant.

If you thought WD 40 was solely about preventing rust or a great way to reduce friction, you are sadly mistaken! This is a spraying lubricant that is known and loved around the world.

Concerned about the chemicals in WD 40 spray?

Of course, there are people who worry about the use of WD 40, even if it is one of the leading lubricants in the world.

One reason some people look for an alternative to WD 40 is that this product releases volatile organic compounds into the air.

The product also sends carbon dioxide into the air, and if you would rather not do this, you need to find other solutions to prevent rust, collect dirt and stop squeaks from garage doors and hinges.

When WD 40 is in aerosol form, it is highly flammable. In low temperatures, WD 40 will not freeze but the product becomes gummy. This impacts its spraying capabilities and ability to act as a lubricant.

You should also avoid storing WD 40 in direct sunlight.

You can find products that have similar properties and which deliver similar results, but which are non toxic and less harmful.

What is WD 40 used for?

As you will see, this product has a wide range of uses, but in general, it is used for:

  • A lubricating solution
  • A penetrant solution
  • A rust prevention product
  • A substance which displaces moisture

Many products like WD 40 and many products do some of the jobs associated with this product.

If you know what task you need help with, you should be able to find a specialist product better suited to your needs. As you will see, there is a considerable range of alternatives to WD 40 to consider.

However, as a general product deemed a “jack of all tradesâ€, it is easy to see why this brand name has captured the imagination of so many consumers.

Knowing that you have one product that can be used in so many ways is a great comfort, which is why you’ll find a can of WD 40 in a considerable number of homes worldwide.

Then again, you might find a rival product, and these items are just as valuable for the home, garage shed or workplace.

Alternative oil products to consider

As you would expect from any market leader, similar products are attempting to unseat a famous brand. Bear in mind, all oils contain a certain viscosity, and are liable to contain an element of chemicals.

If this is an issue for you, or you are keen to avoid buying a highly flammable solution, be sure to check the instructions carefully before purchasing. Thankfully, there are non toxic solutions on offer.

There is no shortage of products that sound like WD 40 or have similar packaging. This is a good way of signifying the similarity in product usage, which means customers have a good idea of what the product offers.

Commercial lubricants are highly effective

3 In One

An excellent example of a WD 40 alternative is 3-In-One, a high-performance penetrant spray available in spray cans. This product is ideal for driving moisture out and loosening stuck or stiff bolts and nuts, which is a great help around the home.

Many homeowners associate these tasks with the market leader, so you’ll be comfortable adding this to your toolbox or storage room.


A product which appears similar in appearance to WD40 and just as effective as a commercial product is RP-90 from Action Can. This is a swift-acting solution, so if you need help in a hurry or your time is too valuable to waste, you will find this a brilliant option to consider.

Silicone spray works best on plastics, rubber, metal and wood. This suggests it is an effective multipurpose lubricant and another fantastic item to have at your disposal at your property.


There are many brands you should consider, but Jenolite has developed a positive reputation and is an option to consider if you are looking for something different from the market leaders.

Black Swan SG2 Silicone Grease

In addition to silicone spray, you can opt for a silicone grease, which is extremely useful for plumbing fixtures and fittings. Sometimes these elements are firmly fixed, and you need a robust helping hand to take care of them.

This is where a product such as Black Swan Silicone Grease makes a massive difference and saves you a lot of time and effort.

Plumber’s grease isn’t just for plumbers

This is the sort of silicone oil or plumber’s grease that professionals have in their toolbox or van, so it makes sense for homeowners to keep a tub of plumber’s grease lying around the home in case of emergencies.

Mineral oil lacks compressed chemical additives

While you have a lot of alternative products, in some uses, the alternatives fall short. As an example, mineral oil is a good option when you need a simple lubricant. However, as this oil lacks the key chemical additives you associate with WD40, it might not be able to do everything you hope it could.

In saying that, in some instance, this will be a more than viable solution.

You can opt for a petroleum jelly alternative to WD 40

If you are looking for a different product style with a myriad of uses, petroleum jelly is a brilliant option. Again, there is a clear market leader for petroleum products, but you have plenty of affordable and reliable petroleum jelly or petroleum oil brands to choose from.

Gun oil is a specialist solution

A specialist product to consider is gun oil. This most commonly associated with the maintenance of guns, but it is highly effective. Keeping this handy container will make your life a lot simpler should emergencies arise.

Extra virgin olive oil can be used in a pinch

If you haven’t got a penetrant oil can in the house but need a lubricating solution at short notice, you might be surprised at the range of household products people can use at short notice.

You’ll find that virgin oil is a great solution when you need help at short notice when it comes to no oil or extra virgin olive oil.

Collects less dirt

One strong benefit of extra virgin oil is that thanks to it being the purest strain of oil, it has a smaller molecule, which means it is less likely to collect dirt later on.

Olive oil with large molecule components collect dust, and of course, all these items are a bit sticky.

Stop squeaky door hinges

If you need a fix for sticky or squeaky door hinges, it works, but don’t apply it to sore muscles.

If you buy this product, you can use it for its intended purpose, helping you whip up a storm in the kitchen around meal times, but if you need something to lubricate items around the home, you have an option.

Vegetable oil is a viable alternative when you need a lubricant

Of course, you don’t need to go for the fanciest products; other alternatives of regular olive oil will do. You can even opt for all manner of cooking oils or vegetable oil if you need a lubricant in a hurry.

It is a great comfort knowing you have viable solutions around the home in any eventuality, so make sure you are flexible enough to deal with any issue or problem!

Vegetable oil when mixed with 10% acetone is a great way to loosen rusted bolts. Wipe this compound on the metal and bolts, and you’ll see the magic of oil and acetone achieve a great result!

How to use WD 40 or alternative products around the home

As you would expect, WD 40 is proud of its product range and its vast array of uses. Their website and social media pages provide an extensive list of ways to use this product.

Of course, the good thing about this list is that it is suitable for all penetrating oils and most lubricants, not just WD 40.

This might be the market leader, but it is far from the only option consumers have when looking for a handy solution that is useful in many ways.

Some of the leading home uses cited by the company website for use around the home include:

  • Ensuring guitar strings don’t succumb to rust
  • Ensuring sewing machines run smoothly
  • Loosening rusted bolts
  • Loosening stuck plumbing joints
  • Lubricating power tools, protecting them in the long term
  • Lubricating a door hinge or stopping door hinges from squeaking
  • Maintaining the condition of lawnmowers
  • Making sure piano keys don’t stick
  • Protecting metal and similar materials from corrosion
  • Removing glue residue which is on panelling
  • Removing kinks from gold chains
  • Removing paint which has been splashed on tile flooring
  • Removing rust from a saw or chainsaw
  • Unclogging and unsticking radiator valves with paint on them

As you can see, there is an abundance of ways you can use this product around the home, and it is highly adept at ensuring power tools and gardening equipment work effectively.

Lubricating and caring for your motorbike

If you have a motorbike, you know that penetrating oil is essential. This product helps you to clean the chain and carburettor of your motorbike. You can also clean your brakes and polish the chrome on your motorbike.

Lastly, but by no means least, you can lubricate your motorbike chains, which ensures your vehicle is in the best possible condition.

Caring for your bicycle is easier with mineral oil or related products

If you have a bicycle, you know the importance of maintaining it in good condition. It doesn’t take long for a bike to fall into disrepair, and this can place you, and your health at risk.

Thankfully, penetrating oil offers a number of benefits to cycling, including:

  • Cleaning and lubricating bike chains
  • Ensuring locks on the bike and bike racks are well lubricated
  • Ensuring saltwater oxidation doesn’t occur
  • Ensuring scratches on the bike don’t lead to rust
  • Preventing mud and dirt from sticking to the bike
  • Removing rust from the chain and prevent rust from collecting

If you care about your bike, or even your kids’ bikes, keeping oil handy beside where you store your bike makes sense.

Weird and wild ways to use penetrating oil

Most people know the most common ways to use this product, but the emergence of the internet has opened up a lot of crazy ideas and life hacks. Even WD 40 themselves have embraced these solutions, and the company shares the following uses on their website:

  • Caring for your garden tools and ensuring they remain free of rust
  • Cleaning metal such as brass and gold
  • Cleaning paint brushes
  • Lubricating tools
  • Lubricating your fishing line
  • Penetrating rusted items allowing easier removal
  • Polishing metal like brass and gold
  • Removing adhesives
  • Removing crayons from walls and carpets
  • Removing duct tape without leaving a mark
  • Removing gum from a variety of surfaces
  • Removing ink from fabrics
  • Removing sap and tarn from vehicles
  • Removing wax from vinyl
  • Shining stainless steel appliances

The best lubricant is the one you have handy

No matter the problem you face, having a viable solution close at hand is helpful. When you are looking for an effective lubricant, a spray or petroleum jelly is effective if it is close at hand.

Non toxic solutions are available

If you are looking for a non-toxic solution to wipe on metal and other materials susceptible to corrosion, you have options.

WD 40 will always be the market leader, but it is far from the only option.

Whether you use a commercially bought lubricant or mix a standard home product with one part water, you can produce a viable solution that makes your life easier.