Camera Cleaning: WD-40

It is a good tool to clean the surface of cameras… not the lens!



The product began from a search for a rust preventative solvent and de-
greaser to protect missile parts. WD-40 was created in 1953 by three
technicians at the San Diego Rocket Chemical Company. Its name comes
from the project that was to find a “water displacement” compound.
They were successful with the fortieth formulation, thus WD-40.

The Corvair Company bought it in bulk to protect their Atlas missile
parts. The workers were so pleased with the product, they began
smuggling (also known as “shrinkage” or “stealing”) it out to use at
home. The executives decided there might be a consumer market for it
and put it in aerosol cans. The rest, as they say, is history.

It is a carefully guarded recipe known only to four people. Only one
of them is the “brew master.” There are about 2.5 million gallons of
the stuff manufactured each year. It gets its distinctive smell from a
fragrance that is added to the brew. Ken East says there is nothing in
WD-40 that would hurt you.

Here are some of the uses of WD-40:

– Protects silver from tarnishing
– Cleans and lubricates guitar strings
– Gets oil spots off concrete driveways
– Gives floors that ‘just-waxed’ sheen without making it slippery
– Restores and cleans chalkboards
– Removes lipstick stains
– Loosens stubborn zippers
– Untangles jewelry chains
– Removes stains from stainless steel sinks
– Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill
– Keeps ceramic/terra cotta garden pots from oxidizing
– Removes tomato stains from clothing
– Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots
Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors
– Keeps scissors working smoothly
– Lubricates noisy door hinges on vehicles and doors in homes
– Gives a children’s play gym slide a shine for a super fast slide
– Lubricates gear shift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on
riding mowers
– Rids rocking chairs and swings of squeaky noises
– Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to
– Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close
– Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, as well
as vinyl bumpers
– Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles
– Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans
– Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons and bicycles for
easy handling
– Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running
– Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools
– Removes splattered grease on stove
– Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging
– Lubricates prosthetic limbs
– Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell)
– Removes all traces of duct tape
An engineer i know used to say, “You only need two things in your tool
box — duct tape and WD-40.   If it moves and it shouldn’t… tape
it.  If it doesn’t move and it should… WD-40.”


2 responses

  1. be careful using it on rubberised surfaces. it can make some expand or go tacky, or both. had it happen on a cine film camera eye cup. its great otherwise. i use it on a cotton bud to clean and lube up mechanical moving parts.

    1. Thanks for the reminder… yes, better only use it on leather and metal parts 🙂

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