To highlight and celebrate the science behind WD-40’s Multi-Use Product, we’ve created a series of instructional, eye-opening and astonishing videos. Take a look and see how our secret formula stands up to scientific scrutiny, especially when pitted against competitor products.

Rust Protection

As we explained in our previous entry, tribology is the science behind interacting surfaces in relative motion. This includes the study of the principles of wear and corrosion. Most metals oxidise in air. They react with oxygen and form metal oxides. When a metal continues to oxidise, corrosion happens. The metal becomes weaker over time, and eventually all of it may become metal oxide.

Rusting is a specific example of corrosion, which occurs when iron or steel reacts with oxygen and water, creating hydrated iron(III) oxide. (This is the orange-brown substance you see on the surface of rusty objects.) Rust is more than just an eyesore. If left untreated it can ultimately damage whatever object it affects. Depending on the mechanism or structure the object supports, this can obviously have serious safety implications too.

WD-40 is world-famous for its water displacement properties, the benefits of which include rust protection. Thanks to its lower surface tension, WD-40 can push water droplets away completely. This leaves tools, components and surfaces free of moisture that would otherwise cause corrosion and rust.

This time we’ll be putting that claim to the test! We placed four identical metal nails into beakers of tap water; one untreated, two coated in competitors’ products, and one coated with WD-40. The result? Take a look at our time-lapse video to see the evidence for yourself.


As the evidence shows, WD-40 displaces water for longer than any other competitor product. Yet another fascinating experiment win for WD-40 and our secret formula. Now you can rest in the knowledge that WD-40 will keep your equipment safe from deterioration.

Remember, we conducted these experiments in safe laboratory conditions. Please don’t attempt to recreate them at home.

Watch the full set of  laboratory test videos in our Tribology playlist

You can see the full set of Tribiology Lab Test Videos on the Original WD-40 UK YouTube Channel

Find out more about our Multi-Use Product and Where to buy it. Want to learn more about rust? Read our blog on how to use a rust remover spray.