I had to laugh when I opened my mail to read how one reader was able to get his glass shower doors so clean and sparkly that they looked like new. I had a can of his remedy sitting right there next to my computer. Hold on! That can of WD-40 was not there to be used as a computer screen cleaner. I’ve never tried it, do not intend to and hope you do not either. There is a much better way to do that.
It was on my desk because I had just used it to test the theory that WD-40 would waterproof my leather boots. Supposedly, WD-40 acts as a barrier so moisture can’t seep into your shoes and get your socks wet.
Dear Mary: We bought a home not long ago, and the glass shower doors were so badly stained I actually thought the glass had become etched. But I wasn’t ready to give up on them without a fight.
I took the doors off, thinking I could put more pressure on them if they were lying flat. Then I tried all the cleaners you’ve mentioned over the years, and then some. Still the spots remained. That’s when I remembered what I had used on my car when I found a few spots of tar on it. The answer was WD-40.
I took the doors outside, covered my picnic table and then laid a door on it. Next, I sprayed the door with the WD-40 with the open spray (“straw” setting off), let it set a few minutes then just wiped it off with a paper towel. A couple of spots required more application. When done, I put some Blue Dawn in a bucket, used a sponge to soap it down, then leaned it against a fence, putting a wood block under it to keep it off the ground. I sprayed it with the water hose and allowed it to dry. Then I repeated the process on the other door. They looked great!
The only problem encountered was when I went to retrieve them, I discovered a bird had found one before me, but that was a simple cleanup! — Randy
Dear Randy: Remarkable! And a what a great idea to use WD-40 to clean those doors.
Although we need to make it clear that had the glass become permanently etched, it is not likely that WD-40 could not have fixed the problem.
WD-40 is a great product. The blue and yellow can is about as familiar as anything. Banished to a shelf in the garage, most people assume WD-40 is only an automotive thing. Wrong! This stuff is amazing. And relatively cheap. Most of us already know to use WD-40 to fix squeaky door hinges. But there are quite possibly thousands more ways WD-40 can make our lives easier. Here are a few of my favorites!
REPEL SPIDERS, AND OTHER BUGS, TOO!
Just spray some WD-40 on windowsills and other places spiders can get in. Wipe away the excess and that’s it.
It will keep spiders and other creepy crawlies away.
CLEAN GREASY HANDS
When you’re done with a messy job that got your hands all greasy, painty or sooty, spray them with a little WD-40. Wipe with a paper towel and then follow with soap and water. So much better than getting the sink super dirty.
REMOVE PAINT FROM LEATHER
It happened to me once. I got paint on my jeans, didn’t realize it and while it was still wet, got into the car. Yep. Paint on the leather seat. A quick spray of WD-40 followed by a soft, clean rag took that paint away in a flash — and didn’t leave a trace. Took it out of my pants, too.
CLEAN UP CRAYON MARKS
Whether they’re on the walls of your home or your clothes dryer, WD-40 works like a dream to soften crayon marks, making them easy to remove. Always test first, especially if that wall happens to be wallpapered.
FREE STUCK DISHWARE
Do you ever get a small bowl or drinking glass hopelessly stuck inside one that is slightly larger? A quick spray of WD-40 just might be all you need to get them unstuck. Give it a try!
As for the boots? Yes! In my test, WD-40 did make my boots repel water and snow, so my feet stayed nice and dry.
This column has been updated from the original published in 2018. Mary invites you to visit her at EverydayCheapskate.com, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services.
This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book “Debt-Proof Living.”