WD-40 Myths & Fun Facts | Facts About WD-40 Products | WD-40

WD-40 Myths & Fun Facts | Facts About WD-40 Products

Explore Myths, Legends & Fun Facts of the Blue & Yellow Can


Myth: Our secret formula isn't such a secret.

Fact: Sorry folks, the over 60-year-old formulation of WD-40® Multi-Use Product remains a secret today. Any information that you may encounter alleging the disclosure of the “secret sauce” is inaccurate.

One thing we must do is correct any misinformation that may be harmful to either our consumers or our good name. Specifically, the listing of incorrect and poorly defined ingredients and safety information.

Duct Tape & WD-40®: You often hear it said, “You only need two things in life: Duct Tape and WD-40. If it moves and shouldn’t, use Duct Tape, if it doesn’t move and should, use WD-40.” Surely there is a reason for that.


Myth: WD-40 Multi-Use Product is not really a lubricant.

Fact: While the “W-D” in WD-40 stands for Water Displacement, WD-40 Multi-Use Product is a unique, special blend of lubricants. The product’s formulation also contains anti-corrosion agents and ingredients for penetration, water displacement and soil removal.


Myth: WD-40 Multi-Use Product contains Stoddard Solvent.

Fact: Over the past few decades, the name Stoddard Solvent was synonymous with all mineral spirits. Today, the mineral spirits found in products like ours are more refined and processed (see hydrogenationhydrotreating and distillation techniques) providing mixtures with varying boiling points, cleaning ability, and chemical composition. 

The catchall phrase “Stoddard Solvent” is no longer adequate to tell the proper story. WD-40 Multi-Use Product does indeed have 50% mineral spirits, but they are refined and purified for specific characteristics needed to meet today’s performance, regulatory and safety requirements.


Myth: WD-40 Multi-Use Product should not be used on bike chains.

Fact: While WD-40 Multi-Use Product it is not a grease, it is formulated with strong lubricating oils and other ingredients, and is a terrific product to use for bike maintenance. It does not attract dirt or moisture to metal surfaces – just be sure to wipe off any excess WD-40 Multi-Use Product before riding.

For long-term lubrication and other specialized bicycle maintenance needs, check out WD-40 Specialist BIKE products. Developed specifically for cyclists and mechanics, this high-performance line of bicycle care products is sure to become a mainstay in the toolboxes of bike mechanics for decades.


Myth: Ken East is WD-40’s original founder.

Fact: While Ken East is often referred to as one of WD-40’s original founders, he used to say, “Heck, I ain’t that old.”  Ken was the facility manager at WD-40 Company’s San Diego headquarters and was affectionately known as “The Brewmaster.”  He mixed up batches of our secret sauce for over 15 years and was often heard to proudly proclaim, “I absolutely LOVE my job!” Ken happily retired in 2009.

As mentioned in our corporate and brand history, Norm Larsen, founder of Rocket Chemical Company, is considered the original founder of WD-40 Multi-Use Product . Read the real story behind WD-40Multi-Use Product .


Myth: WD-40 Multi-Use Product contains fish oil.

Fact: Consumers have told us over the years that they have caught some of the biggest fish ever after protecting their fish hooks and lures with WD-40 Multi-Use Product  . We believe this legend came from folks assuming that the product must contain fish oil since it appears to attract fish.  Sorry Charlie®, it just ain’t so.

WD-40 Company has taken steps to respect and conserve the environment, and encourages its users to do the same. While WD-40 Multi-Use Product can be used to help protect fishing equipment from rust and corrosion, WD-40 Company does not recommend using WD-40 Multi-Use Product to attract fish.


Myth: WD-40 Multi-Use Product cures arthritis.

Fact: This popular headline, appearing at least once a year in the tabloids, is completely FALSE. WD-40 Company does not recommend the use of WD-40 Multi-Use Product for medical purposes, and knows no reason why WD-40 Multi-Use Product would be effective for arthritis pain relief. WD-40 Multi-Use Product contains petroleum distillates and should be handled with the same precautions for any product containing this type of material. 


Myth: Typical consumers need to look beyond the label.

Fact: For the general consumer, the product label provides the key safety and usage information derived from our Safety Data Sheet and referred to for the general use of our product can be misleading. SDS information is for the workplace and not primarily intended for the general consumer. For the general consumer, the product label provides the key safety and usage information.


  • A bus driver in Asia used WD-40 Multi-Use Product to remove a python, which had coiled itself around the undercarriage of his bus.
  • Police officers used WD-40 Multi-Use Product to remove a naked burglar trapped in an air conditioning vent.
  • Crayola® Stain Removal Tips recommends using WD-40 Multi-Use Product to remove (regular) crayon marks from a variety of surfaces.
  • The WD-40 Book, featuring many user testimonials and the wacky humor of Jim & Tim, The Duct Tape GuysTM, was published in 1997.  The familiar blue and yellow can has been featured in other books ranging from The Big Damn Book of Sheer Manliness (General Publishing 1997) Polish Your Furniture With Pantyhose (Hyperion 1995) to WD-40 for the Soul: A Guide To Mending Everything
  • Leslie Nielsen portrayed agent Dick Steele (a.k.a., Agent WD-40) in the 1996 movie Spy Hard
  • As The Duct Tape Guys say, “You only need two tools in life, Duct Tape® and WD-40.  If it’s not stuck and it’s supposed to be, Duct Tape it.  If it’s stuck and it’s not supposed to be, WD-40 it.”

So, keep using your WD-40 Multi-Use Product. You can find a list of over 2,000 uses from our loyal users here. If you find a new use, please let us know. And, if you really need the secret formula, you can find it…...written on a single notepad……locked in a vault…...somewhere in California……if you can get in.

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