There’s something satisfying about discovering that a product you already own can turn its hand to a range of household tasks, particularly at the moment when we're all trying to save money.

At the GHI, we're always singing the praises of versatile cleaners like bicarbonate of soda and distilled white vinegar but, believe it or not, WD-40 also has many uses beyond what it was invented for.

The exact cocktail of ingredients in WD-40 is a closely guarded secret but it belongs to a family of oil-based products called ‘water displacement lubricants’. While it’s the best-known brand, there are other products that do a similar job, such as AC-90 or GT85.

Here are five handy uses for this particular spray lubricant that may surprise you.

1. Get rid of chewing gum

Discovering second-hand chewing gum stuck to the bottom of your shoes, on clothes or in carpet pile is never pleasant, but WD-40 can help get rid of it. Whatever the gum is stuck to, start by scraping away as much of it as possible with a blunt knife, and then spray the gummy area with the lubricant.

If you’re dealing with chewing gum on the sole of a shoe, you should now be able simply to wipe the loosened gum away or pick it off. A toothpick can help ease the gum out of the tread.

If you’re removing gum from fabric or from a carpet, leave the product to work for a few minutes after spraying lightly.

For carpets, use a blunt knife to ease the remaining gum out of the carpet pile then blot the affected area with paper towels to remove any excess spray. You may need to follow up with a specialist carpet cleaning product if the spray leaves a mark.

For fabrics, use a blunt knife to gently scrape away any residual gum – you may need to repeat the spraying and scraping process a few times. If this leaves a visible oily mark on the fabric, rub liquid detergent into the area before washing as usual.

As with any product you use on carpet or fabric, it's best to test for colourfastness on an inconspicuous area first.

2. Loosen stuck cups and glasses

From time to time, you may discover that stacked glasses or cups have become such firm friends in the kitchen cupboard that they cannot be prised apart. Don’t panic. Spray a little WD-40 around the rim of the glass or cup in which the other is stuck. Leave for a minute to allow the product to spread, then pull apart. You’ll need to wash both glasses or cups thoroughly afterwards to remove all traces of the spray before you serve drinks in them.

To avoid this happening again, leave your crockery and glassware to cool to room temperature after washing before stacking it in the cupboard.

3. Remove sticker marks

Banish the tacky, gluey residue that stickers leave behind by spraying the affected surface with WD-40, waiting for a minute or so, then simply wiping away with a soft cloth or paper towels.

4. Shine stainless steel

Over time, stainless steel surfaces, such as pedal bin lids, can develop streaky marks that are hard to shift. Spray a soft cloth with a little WD-40 and use this to buff the surface. Follow up with a quick polish with an unsprayed area of the cloth or shine with a fine microfibre cleaning cloth.

5. Tackle stubborn stains

Removing oily stains, such as tar, shoe polish, bike grease, crayon and lipstick, from clothes can be a nightmare. Place the stained area on an old, clean towel or a wad of paper towels then spray with WD-40.

Wait a few minutes then dab gently with a clean cloth or paper towels. As soon the stain starts to transfer to the cloth or paper towels, find a clean area to continue dabbing. Work from the outside of the stain inwards to avoid enlarging it. Rub liquid detergent into the stained area before washing as usual.

2023-02-07T15:48:06Z dg43tfdfdgfd