I had to laugh when I opened my mail to read how one reader was able to restore his shower doors to being so clean and sparkly they looked brand-new! I had a can of his remedy sitting right there next to my computer.
Hold on! It was NOT there to be used as a computer screen cleaner. (I’ve never tried it; I do not intend to; and I hope you do not either. There are much better ways to do that here: See my column “5 Fabulous Homemade Products That Use the Power of Rubbing Alcohol.”
The cleaner was on my desk because I had just used it 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 mentioned (in the column “Surprising Trick Removes Stubborn Hard Water Stains from Glass Shower Doors”) 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 WD-40 on open spray (the “straw” setting off), let it set for a few minutes and 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 and 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, a bird had found one door before me, but THAT was a simple cleanup!
Dear Randy: Remarkable! And what a great idea to use WD-40 to clean those doors (although, we need to make it clear that had the glass become etched, WD-40 would likely not have been able to fix the problem).
It’s 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 cheap.
Most of us already know to use WD-40 to loosen bolts and 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 it. 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 grease and yuck all over the sink.
-- 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. It took the paint out of my pants, too.
-- Clean up crayon marks. Whether they’re on the wall of your home or the inside wall of your clothes dryer, WD-40 works like a dream to soften crayon marks and make them easy to remove. Always test first, especially if that wall happens to be wallpapered.
-- Free stuck dishware. Ever get a small bowl or drinking glass stuck inside one that is slightly larger? A quick spray of WD-40 just might be all you need to get it unstuck. Give it a try!
Got other problems? Grab the WD-40 and visit www.everydaycheapskate.com/home-and-family/got-problem-grab-wd-40/.
Mary Hunt writes this column for Creators Syndicate. She is the founder of www.EverydayCheapskate.com, a lifestyle blog, and the author of “Debt-Proof Living. Submit comments or tips or address questions on her website. She will answer questions of general interest via this column, but letters cannot be answered individually.
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