My 75 year old mother is slowly but surely learning how to navigate her way around her laptop.  She has spent the past 4 years seriously dedicating herself to understanding the nuances and intricacies of the Internet.

In that time she has learned how to Google.  In that time she has not learned how to turn the computer on or off,  compose and send an email, type in an actual web address or find the backspace key.

Eat me

So with all her Internet saavy my mother recently forwarded me an email extoling the virtues of WD-40.  Otherwise known as Water Displacement 40 (meaning the 40th attempt to come up with the formulation)  She can’t compose a message but for some reason, my mother immediately understood the concept of “forwarding”.

The email lists 43 uses for WD-40 that you may not have known about.  For instance, it’s ability to take the sting away from bug bites.  Well not bug bites in general, but ant bites in particular.  ‘Cause you know … ant bites are a constant nuisance with most people.

Reading this email made me think there wasn’t anything WD-40 couldn’t do.  Need to perform an underwater vasectomy on a hermaphrodite?   Give WD-40 a try.     Need the Gulf of Mexico oil spill resolved?  Spray a little WD-40 in the air.  It’ll stop, clean up after and reverse all damage caused by the leak.  Previously dead fish will be swimming and smiling and all those involved will be shaking hands and inviting each other to square dances.

Speaking of fish, the email also says that WD-40 is quite a healthy concoction made mostly of fish oil.  It claims there’s nothing in WD-40 that could hurt you and it’s actually quite edible.  And that is the statement that made my suspicions peak and my “The Internet Is A Big Fat Liar” detector go off.

Let us observe the can of WD-40 shall we?

skull & crossbones. Which I'm sure everyone recognizes as the universal sign for Eat Me

Danger!! Hmm. Danger ... I can't remember, does that mean safe and innocuous or ... does it mean, say ... Danger?

This thing might explode. Well ... I do like antojitos which are a taste explosion, so I'm still kind of unsure as to whether this product is edible or not.

According to various (more reliable) Internet sources, WD-40 was never patented in order to keep their ingredient list a secret.  However due to pesky laws about people dieing and stuff, the label clearly states that whatever IS in this can could kill you, set you on fire or make you explode.

So now that I’m all riled up and lookin’ for a fight I’m about to take on this stupid email and whoever originated it in the first place.  I haven’t even got to trying out the first thing on the list of 43 things it can supposedly do and it’s proven itself to be a big false, fakey.  And dangerous.  Saying something isn’t harmful when clearly it is, is an irresponsible and obnoxious use of the Internet.  Bet ya didn’t know I could be so passionate.

So tomorrow … experiment number one.  Can WD-40 remove lipstick stains from a white tee shirt?  The email says it can so I’m pretty sure it’ll work.  I have to go now.  I’m awfully thirsty from all this riled upness.  Anyone have a can of WD-40 handy?  I’d love a big swig of that.


  1. Langela says:

    Before I could even comment, I had to google edible wd-40. All I found was a bunch of people saying it was NOT food safe. I found one site that said one of the product’s ingredients was edible, but what about the others? Nope. I guess if I get a hankerin’ for some wd-40 I will just have to take a swig of veg oil or a spray of Pam. Yum-E!

    I look forward to see what it is good for that I am not aware of.

  2. Holly says:

    Wow! I am constantly amazed by the amount of misinformation circulating via e-mail and how many forward the info and believe it.
    My Aunt forwarded something to me and when I replied with contradictory information she got vary angry with me and stated that I must be biased! I still think it’s funny that she would call me biased and believe an e-mail that was generated who knows where.

    • Karen says:

      The whole stupid Internet is filled with misinformation. It is my goal to call the Internets out on it. While snacking and having a good time.

  3. Susan V says:

    Wish I had known WD40 was a cure for ant bites! I was doing a bit of impulsive gardening the other day in my flip flops… when all of the sudden I felt about 30 pin pricks on my left foot.
    I looked down and my foot was crawling with ants! I started jumping around saying weird things like “ooch” and “aachh”.
    THe weird thing was how they bit me in unison.

    WD 40 may have saved my left foot from further pain and embarrassment.

    • Karen says:

      Hey Susan! I have a hunch that everything that is said in this email I’m testing is a lie. So don’t go spraying it on your feet yet! Oh! And eek by the way. Feet covered in ants! Eek!

      • Susan V says:

        HAhaha… Eek is right!
        Thanks for the warning. I figured it might not be completely safe since it’s not edible.

        Thanks for making me LVL (laugh very loudly) every time I visit your site. 😉 LOL seems to be getting old so I made up a new one. What can I say… you inspire me.

    • Phyllis says:

      Susan, that sounds like fire ants. They always bite in unison and there is always the whole ant hill of them on you when they do. If WD40 could eradicate a fire ant mound, then that would be really something.

  4. Sherry (BTLover2) says:

    Reading this = pissed myself. Bet WD-40 can’t clean that up. Can’t wait for the experimenting to begin!

    • Karen says:

      I’m guessing you’re right Sherry! Perhaps you could use a bottle of ketchup/catsup or a 14 karat gold bangle bracelet to clean it up. I’m sure I have an email here somewhere that claims those things.

  5. ginger says:

    I snoped it for you:


    Apparently some of the things on the list do work? Not all though 😉

    I love it when non-net-savy peeps discover the art of forwarding, it’s amazing how many form letters will hit your box. Good luck!!

    (you should send her to the local public library to learn more, they always have great community outreach courses for internet use)

  6. Shauna Wobeser says:

    It’s a recommendation for an arthritic knee believe it or not, but even my grandfather who spent all day in his workshop, everyday, said there was no way he would put it on his knee!! Even though he only made it to grade six in school, he was still able to read the symbols!! 😉

    • Karen says:

      Yes, the arthritic knee thing was in the email. Stupid email. I’m still hoping something from it will work. Say hi to Grandpa and tell him he’s a smart man.

  7. Langela says:

    Checked out snopes.com this a.m. This is my favorite place to go for this kind of email. It has a response from the actual manufacturer of wd-40 and their list leaves off some of those questionable uses and does not recommend them.

    Check it out.

  8. Melissa says:

    You. Are. Hysterical.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you m’am. Still working on the recipes. Will be posting the beet/goats cheese/pecan/pear salad with orange juice dressing soon.

  9. Stacey says:

    My go-to fact-check site for all things internet/email related is Snopes.com. Sure enough, they have that email and have debunked some things about it (even going so far as to contact the manufacturer): http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/household/wd-40.asp

    • Karen says:

      Yay Snopes! But forget the manufacturer … I’m gonna try to find the idiot who started this email. It is my mission. And with my self-diagnosed crazy in the head disease I don’t plan on stopping until I find him. And let’s face it … it’s a him.

  10. susie says:

    All elderly or aging relatives immediately understand the magic of the forward button. This is why I get so many forwarded emails of cute pictures of kittens, or Christian prayers accompanied by inspiring photographs of the sea, or what ever else I don’t want to see, forwarded from relative to relative. To me.

    As to WD-40, it did help me loosen some piano wheels that hadn’t turned in about 40 years so I could move it across the floor, but I would never think of eating it.

    • Karen says:

      Hah!! Yeah, I kind of expect WD-40 to be able to do what it’s supposed to do. You know, loosen nuts, stop squeaks etc. etc. I am NOT holding out hope for removing lipstick stains and taking spray paint off a car. We’ll see …

  11. Sparky says:

    I can tell you this…because it happened to me. My can of WD-40 exploded, unprovoked mind you, in my tool box one fine evening. KaBOOM! and what a freaking mess….ugh.

    • Karen says:

      Sparky! I know your comment shouldn’t have made me laugh. That it would be wrong and uncaring if I laughed. But I laughed. I couldn’t help myself. I laughed.

  12. You mean you don’t make WD-40 iced tea all summer long. Dang girl what is wrong with you? Okay all kidding aside fry that irresponsible turkey would you before some idiot teenager on the internet starts huffing or snorting it because it’s “safe”.

  13. Art says:

    (Note from karen: this comment was shortened in length to allow it to be posted. No changes to content were made other than shortening it)

    I worked in the specialty maintenance chemical industry for years and know that solvent based penetrants like WD-40 are almost always petroleum hydrocarbons. I have added comments to the original email below.

    Whatever trickster made this e-mail up is either ignorant or malicious. This is dangerously incorrect information. This product should not be inhaled, ingested or have prolonged contact with the skin. The advice to use it on a playground or kids chairs is particularly creepy. Anyone who puts it in a lake should be cited by the EPA!

    Here is the Material Safety Data Sheet for this product which shows “the basic ingredient” is NOT fish oil, but Aliphatic Hydrocarbon. Is it organic? Sure, but so are gasoline and paint thinner.

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