8 Handy Substitutes for WD-40 Around the House
No WD-40? No problem. These household items can be used as WD-40 alternatives in a pinch.
WD-40 has earned its reputation as a jack-of-all-trades. Its top-secret ingredients list blends lubricants, anti-corrosion agents, and penetrating, water-displacing, and soil-removing ingredients. Commonly used for squeaky door hinges and protection against rust, WD-40 lubricant is an incredibly versatile household product. Indoors and out, it has a myriad of uses, from loosening and lubricating sticky parts, protecting equipment, removing gunk, and cleaning and restoring the shine to some surfaces.
But what if there’s no iconic blue and yellow can on hand? We’ve rounded up some household items that can be used as a replacement for WD-40. Keep reading to learn about some creative WD-40 alternatives for use around the home.
1. Cooking oil
It’s hard to find a pantry without some type of cooking oil inside. Whether it’s olive, canola, or vegetable oil, its uses can extend past the kitchen as a cheap WD-40 alternative. The greasy texture of cooking oil makes it a great lubricant, and it’s a good multipurpose oil, too. A drop or two can take the squeak out of sticky door hinges, restore shine to stainless steel appliances, and remove stubborn labels. Plus, it’s edible, so it’s extra safe to use, especially in areas that children or pets can reach.
2. Cooking spray
When it comes to a WD-40 spray alternative, a non-stick cooking spray combines the safety of cooking oil with the easy application method of a spray. It can be easier and more convenient to coat surfaces with cooking spray rather than to try to do the same with cooking oil. Since these sprays have a greasy texture, they offer many of the same benefits of cooking oil. In a pinch, cooking spray can help lubricate parts, polish metal, loosen up sticky locks, and address a noisy garage door. Once again, since it’s edible, it’s another safer, non-toxic household alternative to WD-40.
A staple in many bathroom drawers and medicine cabinets, Vaseline is more commonly used to combat dry skin. But the same greasy, gloopy texture that helps it moisturize can also help it act as a last-minute replacement to WD-40. Vaseline has a thicker texture than cooking oil, so It can be used for jobs where thinner oils might be messy. For example, Vaseline can be used as a rust preventer on metal tools, to lubricate the threads of light bulbs, and also for use on sticky door hinges. Plus, there’s no worry about it dripping during application.
RELATED: 16 Vaseline Uses for Household Fixes
4. Mineral oil
Mineral oil has a variety of uses around the home, from a skin moisturizer to a wooden cutting board conditioner, depending on the product. Turns out it can do even more, taking on many of the same jobs as WD-40, like lubricating sticky parts, helping to remove residue and grime, and protecting metal tools from rust. For metal and wood tools, like garden shovels, mineral oil can protect both the metal and wood from damage. In fact, Wired suspects that a major ingredient in WD-40 might be mineral oil. Since food-safe and skin-safe options are available, mineral oil is another safe WD-40 substitute.
5. Plumber’s grease
Homes that have undergone a recent bathroom renovation may have some plumber’s grease lying around. Plumber’s grease is used by plumbers to lubricate parts such as faucets, valve stems, and other plumbing fixtures. It’s a go-to solution for squeaking faucets, and it’s suitable for other sticky and squeaky fixtures, as well. Many plumber’s grease products, like this highly rated option available at Amazon, are waterproof and won’t melt or separate in high temperatures, so they can replace WD-40 when these factors are a concern.
Beeswax is an all-natural alternative to WD-40. A thin coat of beeswax can help lubricate items around the home, like drawer rails, window sashes, and door and cabinet hinges. Its thicker texture can also replace WD-40 in protecting smaller tools or coating screws—all it takes is to rub the beeswax over the metal and buff away residue with a thick cloth.
7. Lithium grease
Lithium grease is a common type of multipurpose grease that can be found in some garages and home workshops. It’s commonly used in the automotive industry to lubricate various car parts, like for chassis lubrication, on door hinges, and on latches, hitches and couplings. Its non-corrosive, heat-resistant, and adheres well to metal, so it’s an excellent WD-40 alternative for jobs involving metal parts such as lubricating a garage door.
RELATED: The Best Lubricants for Door Hinges
8. Rust remover
Have some rust remover left over from another project? Considering rust is the culprit for some stuck door hinges and screws, a rust remover might be just the right restorative tool. It’s not as versatile as some options on this list—true to its name, its purpose is to remove rust. However, it can provide a fix where rust is the underlying reason for squeaks or stickiness. Plus, like WD-40, some rust removers can also prevent rust. A solution like this highly rated one from Rust-Oleum also has rust-inhibiting ingredients to keep metal tools and parts in tip-top shape.