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Porters, Handymen, and Doorman, or PHD's Blog
 
  Do YOU Use WD-40? Who Doesn't?  
 
by Glen Stoltz
 
 
Buy the "biography" of WD-40 at this link: WD-40

In 1969, the Rocket Chemical Company, in business since 1953, changed it’s name to the WD-40 Company. Why should you care about this small bit of useless information? Because the Rocket Chemical Company made the WD-40 product that we all know, love and couldn’t do without. Up until 1995 it continued to make only this one product as the WD-40 Company. Since then it has acquired other cleaning product brands.

Ever wonder about that stuff you use (if you’re a super who knows anything about ANYTHING) everyday? Where did it come from? How did it get to be so, well, GOOD?

The company, based then as now in San Diego California, was searching, circa 1953, for ways to make a product for the aerospace industry (another way that space exploration has touched all of us) that would de-grease and prevent rust. WD stands for Water Displacement, and 40 is the number of tries it took the chemist, Norm Larsen, to get it right. Mr. Larsen was looking to concoct a product that would prevent corrosion, done by “displacing water”.

For several years after its debut, it remained exclusively an industrial product, but as workers in the factory took some of it home with them for use on their own tools and equipment, the company decided it had a viable commercial product.

The product was peddled by salesmen from their cars in the beginning, and was first found in store shelves in 1958. It became a public company in 1973, and is now on the NASDAQ, ticker symbol WDFC.

WD-40 is very coy and secretive about what exactly goes into their flagship product (the following is from their website):

The Brewmaster Mixes Up Our Secret Ingredients
WD-40's secret ingredients are mixed up in a giant vat by Ken, our "brewmaster." Ken's job is to manage the mixing process. He tests each batch to be sure the product trusted by users for over 45 years is made to the same absolute standard of quality.

Once mixed, the WD-40 concentrate (we call it the "secret sauce") is then held in silos like these until shipped to one of the many aerosol packing facilities in the United States, and all over the world.

So, what's in the concentrate???
Only a handful of people in the entire world know the answer to that. In fact, even the number of people who know is secret!

Their MSDS (Material Data Safety Sheet) tells us that the hazardous ingredients are: Aliphatic Petroleum Distillates (45-50%), Petroleum Base Oil (15-25%), LVP Hydrocarbon Fluid (12-18%), and Carbon Dioxide (2-3%), with non-hazardous ingredients less than 10%. So I guess you shouldn’t drink it.

We’re also told, however, what this petroleum based product does NOT contain: no silicone, kerosene, water, wax, graphite, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), or any known cancer-causing agents.

But what do we really care? All I have to know is I really like it, it really works, and especially as a super, I really wouldn’t want to be forced to work without it.

The website, (at www.wd40.com of course), is full of interesting information. You can find new uses for their flagship product, join the WD-40 fan club, send a new use for WD-40, read the history of the company and find out more on the later products they have expanded into. You can also buy a biography of WD-40 ($7, paperback at Amazon).

 

 
     
   back to articles list  Buy the book at this link: WD-40