WD40 is somewhat ubiquitous in modern households. Even so, sometimes you run out or are just looking for a substitute that does basically the same thing. Whether it is fixing a squeaky hinge or preventing rust, here are 6 alternatives to WD40.
While there is no perfect alternative to WD40, there are a few other lubricating options available. Petroleum jelly, plumber’s grease, squeezable oil or silicone-based products, and dry film lubricants can perform many of the same tasks. You can even make a DIY homemade lubricant out of cooking oils.
For most projects, a “penetrating oil” like this one found on Amazon is your best bet as a replacement for WD-40.
In this article, I’ll go through each option one by one and explain how each one can be used as a substitute for WD40. Each alternative has benefits and/or disadvantages. Number 5 is my favorite but feel free to experiment and choose the one that works best for you!
1. Petroleum Jelly
Petroleum jelly is most notorious for its medical moisturizing properties in helping dry, cracked skin. While it is primarily used in the medical sense, petroleum jelly has been found to have many other uses. This even includes lubrication properties, and when there’s a squeaking or stuck metal joint or chain, this product can really come in handy.
The biggest perk of using it as an alternative to the original WD40 is that it doesn’t drip or cause any major disruption to the surface that it is applied to. It can layer on thinly while still doing its job of acting as a lubricant.
Once again, a little truly does go a long way. This can be hard to forget when you are faced with a really annoying squeak from a door hinge or something similar. However, being mindful of how much product is being applied will be well worth the end result.
How to use it
Petroleum jelly, when applied correctly, can act as the perfect substitution to WD40.
- Cleaning the surface first before application helps in not making the matter any worse than it already is.
- Then, the petroleum jelly can be applied using a Q-tip to thinly and carefully layer the jelly exactly where it is needed.
- As with the other alternatives, always allow it to sit for a few minutes before wiping it away.
Pro Tip: It is important to wipe away the product after letting it sit so that no smells acquire from the product that is being used.
2. Homemade Lubricant- “WME40”?
In modern society, DIY products are super trendy. There is something really satisfying about making and using your own products. It gives people a sense of power overusing a commercial product.
Creating a homemade based product to use as an alternative for WD40 is also a great way to help when you’re in a pinch. It is also can be a cheaper way to get similar results if you are on a budget. Sometimes, canned products that are already prepared can be expensive. Homemade products also provide a little more of the product in terms of quantity.
How to make a DIY lubricant
When it comes to WD40, it can totally be replaced by some homemade lubricant products. The trick is to ensure that the ratios of the mixture are appropriate. Otherwise, the surface will suffer from over-lubrication. Additionally, depending on the type of DIY product being used, an excessive build-up of the product can produce an unpleasant smell.
Most homemade lubricant bases are made with some type of oil. Typically, this includes sunflower or olive oil. The oil is then mixed with water or acetone.
- If mixing with water, an 8oz container should be used with one part water to three parts of oil.
- If mixing with acetone, only 10 percent should be acetone, while 90 percent should be oil.
Important: In my experience, these ratios usually produce the right amount of product to water or acetone. However, feel free to adjust them according to your own experience. Your mileage will definitely vary based on what oil or liquid base that you use.
I recommend using a squeeze bottle instead of a spray one, for getting into delicate areas easier. Here is one on Amazon that will work nicely.
3. Plumber’s Grease
WD40 is a standard household product known for acting as a lubricant and cleaner for squeaking metal joints on doors, cupboards, etc. You already know this. But you may not have heard of plumber’s grease.
Plumber’s grease, like this really good brand on Amazon, is a common product used in the plumbing industry to lubricate various fixtures. While it is most commonly used in kitchens and bathrooms, it can be applied to things like door hinges. They are generally made up of silicone oil and silicone grease, which act as the lubricating aspect. These properties make it an excellent substitute for stopping an unwanted squeak.
Solving the cause of squeaks
Often, hinges and other metal joints on doors around the house will squeak because there is a heavy collection of dirt and debris between the joints. Much like WD40, the plumber’s grease provides a level of lubricant as well as cleaning an area of concern.
How to use it
To use plumber’s grease in a similar way to the traditional stuff or petroleum jelly:
- Use a rag and dust the area in question off to remove any loose debris. Another great option is to use canned air to blow out the debris from the joint.
- Then use another rag and apply a small amount of plumber’s grease to the surface. Remove any excess grease that might accumulate.
- Allow for it to sit for a few minutes. This allows it to penetrate as much of the joint as possible.
- Lightly wipe the surface again with a clean rag.
4. Squeezable Oil Products
Most WD40 products are in a can that is sprayed into the cracks and crevices of a metal joint, metal chain, or other metal-like objects. In doing so, it really gets into the tough-to-reach spots that can be causing a squeak. Additionally, these sprays act like canned air by using a thin straw and forced air to propel the product into the areas that are causing an issue.
While sprays have their advantages, others swear by oil-based products, like 3-In-One multi-purpose oil (Click the link to see on Amazon). My dad always had this stuff around his car business for various tasks so I was using this long before I ever heard about WD40.
While squeezing oil out isn’t as physically satisfying as spraying something down, it can be just as effective to stop annoying, noisy metal joints or metal chains. Squeezable oil products usually have a pointed nozzle where the product is dispensed from. It is super easy to simply squeeze the bottle with the nozzle pointed in the appropriate direction of application.
How to use it properly
The oil can get into hard-to-reach areas just like sprays, but the important thing to remember is that oils are generally a lot thicker. The phrase “a little goes a long way” is really critical because using too much of the product results in an unwanted mess. The thick oil can drip down onto other surfaces, and in some cases, it can ruin certain finishes like varnish.
If using this as an alternative, using very little at a time is the best way to get the most out of oil-based products. Moreover, placing a towel at the base of the work area allows for any drippage to be collected easily without any concerns about ruining a nice floor or other surfaces.
5. Silicone-Based Products
As you know, WD40 is a “water-displacement” product that uses hydrocarbons (a compound of hydrogen and carbon components of petroleum and natural gas) to prevent rusting and clean tight spaces where materials like metal have become stuck or jammed. When thinking about an alternative that can mimic its overall ability, silicone-based products are absolutely suitable.
Silicone-based products that are on the market currently come in a spray form dispenser, similar to that of canned air. The silicone is injected through the straw onto the material to aid in coating the various crevices. Additionally, silicone-based products are said to have water-resistant properties and rust resistance to act as a long-term form of maintenance.
When it comes to things like door hinges, bike parts, and even some car parts (providing it isn’t a serious component of the vehicle), using a silicone-based product can really come in handy when WD40 isn’t readily available.
Using a product like this can aid in the maintenance of these materials. While it isn’t meant to be a permanent solution, regular application can make these materials go a long way.
My recommended brand
I actually think this type of silicone-based “penetrating oil” product is far superior to WD-40. If you are looking for a permanent replacement that is, in my opinion, much better overall. Then I highly recommend trying Kano Kroil products.
This stuff is well-renowned among gurus but yet well-known to the general public. You have to try it to believe it. You can thank me later.
6. Dry Film Lubricants
If you want the least messy option possible, dry film lubricants might be for you.
Dry film lubricants are considered a little more reliable in maintaining the function of motion-controlled devices like chains or hinges. Dry film lubricants are basically a solid form spray that applies a type of resin to a surface.
Because it is a different type of lubricant that doesn’t use a liquid, it is considered more dependable. It doesn’t leak or seep out of like oils or liquid-based lubricant variants. Moreover, its durable substance can maintain things a lot easier than traditional types of machinery lubes. Dry film lubricants are most commonly used on items like snowplow blades to keep them functioning really well.
If you are looking for a handy or DIY option, I think petroleum jelly is a bit underrated when it comes to a lot of the lubrication chores around the house. While it can be messy, if used sparingly, it can provide lasting protection against both the elements and stop squeaks in their tracks for years. It’s also really cheap and something almost every household has lying around.
Of course, if you are looking to buy something to replace WD40, look no further than Kano Roil. The stuff is liquid gold.
Be sure to let me know which option you go with. I hope this article has been helpful. Thanks for reading!
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Hey, I’m Jim, and I’m the author of this website. I have been teaching people a wide variety of survivalism topics for over five years and have a lifetime of experience fishing, camping, general survivalism, and anything in nature. In fact, while growing up, I spent more time on the water than on land! I am also a best-selling author and have a degree in History, Anthropology, and Music. I hope you find value in the articles on this website. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or input!