New news about an old friend


I ran across a very interesting tidbit of information recently, which is guaranteed to enrich your life if you have horses or kids. Did you know that if you spray WD-40 on horses’ manes it will untangle it like magic? And if a kid gets bubblegum stuck in his or her hair, good ol’ WD-40 will take it right out. Wow. You learn something every day. 

But this is not new news, it’s just new to me. WD-40 has been around a long time, since 1953 in fact, and it’s as much a part of every American household as duct tape. 

But once I learned about the hair thing, I did some research and found out that good ol’ WD-40 is even more amazing than we thought. It started out as a secret formula to displace water on rockets, specifically the Atlas Missile. Apparently, it took the inventors 40 tries to perfect this water displacement formula, so “Water Displacement-40th try” became WD-40.

Exactly what’s in it is a closely guarded secret, but our little household friend really took off after Hurricane Carla in 1961, when it was used to battle the effects of rain and flood on everything from vehicles to metal fences. During the Viet Nam war, it was sent to soldiers to keep their M16’s in good shape.

One of the weirdest uses for it is to spray on fishing lures. Apparently, some fishermen swear it’s the secret to landing the biggest fish. Of course this could just be a fish story, or a way to keep everyone from discovering their secret fishing hole.

Finally, at some point the company invited people to send in their most unusual uses for the stuff. This is when it got fun. 

Police claimed they used WD-40 to catch a naked burglar who was stuck in some duct work. Someone else said they used it to free a boa constrictor that was stuck in an engine. Someone, most likely a parent, said it took crayon off turtle shells. And someone else, most likely a gardener, sprayed it on tomato cages to keep insects away. 

Supposedly it also takes the sting out of fire ant bites, keeps mirrors and windows from fogging up, helps break in baseball mitts and keeps snow from sticking to shovels. It’s pretty much a best friend in a can.

If this sounds like an advertisement for the WD-40 company, it’s not. (It could be, in case they are interested…) It’s just that I found out something new about an old friend and thought other people might like to know too. If it helps, I also like B’laster, Duct tape and Gorilla Glue, and they don’t pay me for advertising either. 

But if you’re looking for a go-to thing for your toolbox, the perfect gift for a friend, or just need to get a boa constrictor out of an engine, (who hasn’t?) you know what to do. It’s the same thing people have been doing for years. Get out your old buddy with the little red straw. 

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