Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What does WD-40® stand for?

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. Please see Our History for more information.

What does WD-40® Multi-Use Product contain?

While the ingredients in WD-40® Multi-Use Product are secret, we can tell you what it does NOT contain. WD-40® Multi-Use Product does not contain silicone, kerosene, water, graphite, or chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

What does WD-40® Multi-Use Product do?
WD-40® Multi-Use Product fulfills five basic functions:

  1. LUBRICATES: The product's lubricating ingredients are widely dispersed and tenaciously held to all moving parts.
  2. PENETRATES: WD-40® Multi-Use Product loosens rust-to-metal bonds and frees stuck, frozen or rusted metal parts.
  3. PROTECTS: The product protects metal surfaces with corrosion-resistant ingredients to shield against moisture and other corrosive elements.
  4. REMOVES: WD-40® Multi-Use Product gets under dirt, grime and grease. Use it to remove gunk from tools, equipment and vehicles. WD-40® Multi-Use Product in liquid form (e.g., gallon) also dissolves adhesives, allowing easy removal of excess bonding material.
  5. DISPLACES MOISTURE: Because it displaces moisture, WD-40® Multi-Use Product quickly dries out electrical systems to eliminate moisture-induced short circuits.

How long does WD-40® Multi-Use Product last after application?

While this may vary depending on the application, WD-40® Multi-Use Product remains effective even after it appears to dry. The corrosion and rust protection ingredients remain adhered to the surface. External conditions may, of course, require additional applications of the product for maximum protection.

What is the shelf life of WD-40® Multi-Use Product?

WD-40® is a product of persistent nature which is designed and manufactured to a high degree of specifications. The product should continue to perform as expected for an almost indefinite period of time. However, actual performance is affected by the longevity of mechanical items such as the valve assembly on aerosol cans. As such, the shelf life is considered to be 5 years from the date of production; however, product will often dispense and perform as expected for considerably longer. WD-40® should be stored between 4 degrees centigrade and 54 degrees centigrade, and always shaken before use.

Can the Aerosol be used upside down?


An aerosol is composed of a gaseous propellant and a liquid portion. An aerosol functions when the propellant forces the liquid out of the can. If there is no propellant, there is nothing to “activate” the aerosol.

When a WD-40® can is held upright, the propellant is at the top, and the liquid at the bottom of the can. The inner dip tube extends down into the fluid. There is also a small opening (a tap hole) at the very bottom of the valve. In the valve is a small ball bearing. When the can is in the upright position, the ball bearing blocks the path to the small hole in the valve. This way, the only exit is through the bottom of the dip tube, which lets out only the liquid product.

When the can is held upside down, the positions of the propellant and juice are reversed. But in this position, the ball bearing blocks the path to the bottom of the dip tube, and the opening at the bottom of the valve, in contact with the juice, is now open.

The worst position to hold a can of WD-40® is sideways. Here the ball bearing blocks neither hole, and you lose propellant and juice together. When all the propellant is gone, the aerosol will no longer function.

What is the propellant in WD-40® Multi-Use Product?

A propellant is the stuff that helps pump WD-40® Multi-Use Product out of the can. The propellant used is carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 is an inert gas which helps empty the can. Plus, the addition of CO2 reduced the number of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in the product, a step toward respecting and conserving the environment.

What surfaces or materials are OK to use WD-40® Multi-Use Product on?

WD-40® Multi-Use Product can be used on just about everything. It is safe to use on metal, rubber, wood and plastic. It can also be applied to painted metal surfaces without harming the paint. Polycarbonate and clear polystyrene plastic are among the few surfaces on which to avoid using a petroleum-based product like WD-40® Multi-Use Product.

What about using WD-40® Multi-Use Product on my sports equipment?

WD-40® Multi-Use Product is safe and effective to use on all types of sporting goods. It is a fantastic all-around maintenance product for bikes, as you can use it on frames to prevent them from rusting, to lubricate pivot points, to prevent mud from sticking and to displace moisture from bike components. Use WD-40® Multi-Use Product on watercraft to drive out moisture and to protect metal surfaces from corrosion.

How do I keep the red straws from getting lost?

Used for thousands of applications, WD-40® Multi-Use Product cans are now able to do something even more useful - hold onto that little red straw that was forever getting lost! The WD-40® Smart Straw® features a high-impact-resistant nozzle, 360-degree valve system and permanently attached straw, so WD-40® Multi-Use Product users will never lose the straw again®. Flipped down for a wide spray or flipped up for a pinpoint stream, the WD-40® Smart Straw® gives consumers a better way to spray!

For old cans of WD-40® Multi-Use Product, there is the NotchCap, designed to securely hold the straw in place when not in use. Simply snap the straw into the recessed slot on the top of the cap and it will stay there until removed. This is just another small step to keep WD-40® Multi-Use Product users smiling. Be sure to point the spray nozzle toward the dot on the top of the can to ensure that the can fully empties.

Where can I buy WD-40® Multi-Use Product?

WD-40® Multi-Use Product is available almost everywhere. It can be found in many countries in automotive, convenience, discount, drug, grocery, hardware, and home center stores. It's also available from leading distributors all over the world. If your store or distributor doesn't sell WD-40® Multi-Use Product, please ask them to add it.

What are the WD-40® MIL Specs?

WD-40® does not meet any military specifications at this time.

What is the difference between flammable and combustible? Is one safer than the other?

The difference between Flammable and Combustible has to do with the Flashpoint. Flashpoint is the lowest temperature at which a liquid can form an ignitable mixture in air near the surface of the liquid. Flammable liquids have a lower flashpoint, meaning they can ignite at a lower temperature than Combustible liquids. Trigger Pro® is combustible, so it requires a higher temperature to ignite, and is therefore safer than flammable liquids.

Are WD-40® aerosol products flammable?

WD-40® aerosol is considered flammable for other reasons beyond flashpoint. Aerosols must be tested for “flame extension” (how far a spray will carry a flame), and “flashback” (whether the spray carries the flame back toward the user). WD-40® does not have flashback, but can carry a flame forward, so it is categorized as flammable.

Does WD-40 Company offer sponsorship opportunities?

WD-40 Company does not have a formal sponsorship program at this time. We wish both new WD-40® brand fans and those who have been sponsored by WD-40 Company in the past best of luck in their endeavors.

WD-40 Company does support projects and programs that improve the quality of life in the communities we serve and where our employees live and work. To learn more, please visit the Community Involvement page on our website. If you have questions or if you would like to submit an official request for assistance based on the guidelines listed, please send an email to

Why can’t I empty all the product in my aerosol can?

Since product “evacuation” problems – where some of the product may be left inside the can but not able to be sprayed – are common throughout the aerosol industry, they can affect some of the products we produce. If you are having trouble with an aerosol can not spraying (failure to evacuate), please try this brief troubleshoot:

  1. Twist the nozzle 1/4 turn and try again. Turning the nozzle realigns the dip tube in the can.
  2. If turning does not work, please try another 1/4 turn. Continue to move it around a bit until liquid sprays out.

If this still does not work, here are some times to prevent this from happening going forward:

  • Hold your can in an upright position whenever possible
  • Take care when handling and transporting cans so as not to drop or aggressively shake

For more information about product evacuation issues and how you can get the entire contents out of the can, please watch our Failure to Evacuate video below or call our customer service at 888-324-7596. We are actively seeking solutions to ensure the products you purchase meet and exceed your expectations on a daily basis, so thank you for your patience.

How is WD-40® Multi-Use Product different from 3-IN-ONE® Oil?

WD-40® Multi-Use Product is the ultimate multi-purpose problem solver. WD-40® removes gunk, penetrates to loosen stuck parts, prevents rust and corrosion, and is a light lubricant. 3-IN-ONE®, with its special drip spout, enables you to apply product without any overspray or splatter. 3-IN-ONE® is ideal to use on tools, rollers, hinges, in-line skates, wheels... nearly everything that moves.

What is WD-40® Specialist®?

WD-40® Specialist® is a new line of best-in-class maintenance products specifically formulated to help you get specific tasks done with ease. The line includes: Carb/Throttle Body & Parts Cleaner, Industrial-Strength Cleaner & Degreaser, Stay and Spray Gel Lubricant, Rust Release Penetrant Spray, Water Resistant Silicone Lubricant, Protective White Lithium Grease, Long-Term Corrosion Inhibitor, Rust Remover Soak, Machine & Engine Degreaser, Dirt & Dust Resistant Dry Lube, Electrical Contact Cleaner Spray, Industrial-Strength Degreaser, Superior Performance True Multi-Purpose Grease, Heavy-Duty High Temperature Grease, Heavy-Duty Extreme Pressure Grease and Marine Grade Water Resistant Grease.

WD-40® Specialist® products have been proven effective by multiple independent lab tests and outperform the leading competitors in standard ASTM performance tests. Learn More

How is the WD-40® Specialist® line of products associated with WD-40 Company?

The WD-40® Specialist® product line is an extension of the WD-40® brand. WD-40 Company realizes that sometimes tough jobs require products designed for specific applications (i.e., high-performing specialty lubricants, penetrants, rust removers, etc.) and WD-40® Specialist® is formulated for maximum performance to help workers get specific tasks done with ease. The WD-40® Specialist® line of products outperforms the competition in key performance areas.

How is the WD-40® Specialist® line of products different from the original WD-40® Multi-Use Product?

WD-40® Multi-Use Product was invented in 1953 with five basic functions: It Lubricates, Penetrates, Protects, Removes, and Displaces Moisture. WD-40® Specialist® is a new line of specialty maintenance products designed to meet specific needs of professional users.

What is the difference between Spray Gel and Penetrant?

WD-40® Specialist® Spray & Stay Gel is a no-drip formula that provides long-lasting lubrication, while WD-40® Specialist® Rust Release Penetrant Spray is specifically formulated to blast through the toughest rust and free stuck parts.

What is WD-40 BIKE®?

WD-40 BIKE® is a high-performance line of bicycle care products developed via collaboration between WD-40® scientists, professional bike mechanics and independent bicycle retailers. The WD-40 BIKE® line was designed for maintenance-minded and discriminating cycling enthusiasts. The line features a product range including wet and dry chain lubricants, a heavy-duty degreaser, a foaming bike wash, and a frame protectant. Learn More

How is the WD-40 BIKE® line of products associated with WD-40 Company?

WD-40 BIKE® is made by WD-40 BIKE® Company, a subsidiary business unit of WD-40 Company focused exclusively on cycling-specific maintenance products. The WD-40® brand is definitely no stranger to bicycling as the original WD-40® Multi-Use Product has been a mainstay in the toolboxes of bike mechanics for decades. The new WD-40 BIKE® line blends our considerable experience with the demands of today’s bike technology to present a comprehensive high-performance maintenance package.

WD-40® Trigger Pro® Non-Aerosol FAQs

Product Performance

What makes WD-40® Trigger Pro® different than the other competitors on the market?

WD-40® Trigger Pro® has several unique and superior characteristics that differentiate it from competitors on the market. It has a non-leaking bottle/trigger system with two different spray patterns, plus the control to dispense a few drops at a time. The shaped can is sturdier than competitive plastic bottles that may break when dropped. It also carries the WD-40® brand—the most trusted brand name in the lubricant category.

Is a 20 oz non-aerosol more product than a 20 oz aerosol?

No, because WD-40® Trigger Pro® is a non-aerosol liquid. Aerosol products are a "net weight" measure that includes the propellant (3%).

Can you put a Smart Straw® on WD-40® Trigger Pro®?

No. WD-40® Trigger Pro® cannot be taken apart once assembled because of the Child Resistant Closure.

What happens if I pull the trigger when it is in the locked position?

No product will be able to evacuate. However, pressure may build in the can and may dispense once you rotate the nozzle to stream or spray.

Does Trigger Pro® spray upside down?

Yes, for a short amount of time.

Is the efficacy the same in WD-40® Trigger Pro® vs. WD-40® Multi-Use Product aerosol cans?

Yes, it is the same great WD-40® Multi-Use Product formula.


Why can't I refill Trigger Pro® when it is empty?

The product comes equipped with a Child Resistant Closure as required by law and therefore cannot be easily opened once sealed. Removing the trigger can strip the closure and cause the can to leak.

The nozzle doesn't seem to work like other spray nozzles. Why is it so difficult to turn?

The spray trigger system comes equipped with a Child Resistant Nozzle. In order to change between the spray patterns/settings, simply press down on the blue tab near the yellow tip on top of the trigger and turn nozzle to spray or steam.

Why do I care about child resistant closures and nozzles if I work in a factory?

Trigger Pro® may be sold in distributor retail locations, and therefore is required by law to have a child resistant closure on non-aerosol products like WD-40® .

Can I use WD-40® on my Arthritis?

WD-40 Company makes no medical claims for WD-40® product. We know no reason why WD-40® should be effective for arthritis/pain relief. WD-40® is formulated to be a light lubricant, penetrating oil, and water displacing corrosion preventative. It contains petroleum distillates and should be handled with the same precautions for this type of material. It does not contain DMSO. We have never recommended the use of WD-40® for medical purposes. Originally, WD-40® was created as a rust-prevention product for use in the aerospace industry, to protect the outer skin of the Atlas Missile from rust and corrosion. It is also not recommended because of the possibility of skin irritation in people with marginalized skin (i.e., eczema).

Disposal / Environment

Is Trigger Pro® a "green" version of WD-40® Multi-Use Product?

No. However, since many people believe non-aerosols are better for the environment than aerosols, they may describe WD-40® as "green." Rest assured that all WD-40® Multi-Use Product aerosol cans DO NOT contain CFCs, and have not contained them for over 30 years. WD-40® Multi-Use Product's steel cans, whether aerosol or new non-aerosol Trigger Pro®, have always been recyclable where steel is recycled.

Is there a difference with disposing aerosol products versus non-aerosol products?

Yes, in many areas empty aerosol cans have to be punctured before they can be disposed by a business or factory. WD-40® Trigger Pro® does not need to be punctured. It can simply be recycled or thrown away.

Is WD-40® Trigger Pro® better for the environment than WD-40® aerosol products?

No. It is not different than any of the other items in the WD-40® brand lineup. All WD-40® aerosol products DO NOT contain CFCs, and have not contained them for over 30 years. WD-40® Multi-Use Product's steel cans, whether aerosol or new non-aerosol Trigger Pro®, have always been recyclable where steel is recycled.

Click above for WD-40 Specialist Frequently asked questions