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40th try makes magic

Posted by: Updated: April 5, 2010 - 9:47 AM

That sound advice, from a reader of this blog, is part of her favorite housewarming gift: WD-40 and duct tape.

WD-40 is the third leg of what I call the stool that households can stand on, the other two are duct tape and vinegar. 

The  WD-40 name stands for "Water Displacement 40th Attempt" and is testimony to the perserverance of chemist Norm Larsen, who after 39 tries hit the jackpot. Larsen, founder of the Rocket Chemical Company in San Diego, turned his 1953 invention over to, who else but, the rocket industry where it was was used to protect the outer skin of the Atlas missle

But impressed workers there sneaked it home for their own use, and it got loose in the public. Uses for WD-40 have soared since then. More than 2000 uses have been collected and are on display at the webstite  www.wd40.com , and in books such as "The WD-40 Book," by Jim and Tim the Duct Tape Guys. The formula, however, remains a secret, according to the WD-40 company.

I've collected a few uses:

Clean grease off kitchen exhaust hood.

Take the squeak out of door hinges.

Remove glue residue left behind when removing stickers, labels and contact paper.

Remove permanent marker from hard surfaces.

Remove crayon from lots of things: wallpaper, chalk boards, brick  and dryer drums (when crayons go through the wash).

Clean and lubricate garden cutting and digging tools, including  the snow shovel.

Keep ice fishing equipment from freezing.

Do you have a favorite WD-40 use, or, maybe, failiure? Or, perhaps, there's a fourth leg to the stool, something that no household should be without?



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