How Do You Reverse the Effects of WD-40?

WD-40-Can-200ml-MUP_2013Ever since I first heard about WD-40, I considered it a cure-all. Squirt it on a squeaky hinge and the squeak goes away. Spray it onto an old bike and suddenly it rides like a new bike. Toss it into your salad and it’s twice as delicious. Got an eyelash in your eye? Put a few drops of WD-40 on your cornea and the eyelash will slide right out.

It was only recently discovered that sometimes WD-40 is TOO effective, and now I need to figure out a way to undo its effect.

I’ve owned my condo for 8 years, and a few months ago I noticed that my clothes closet door was squeaking. It had probably been squeaking for quite some time and I simply tuned it out, but one day I realized that a little WD-40 could fix the issue. So I sprayed some on, and the squeak went away.

The next morning, I discovered that my closet door would no longer stay open. My building must have a slight incline, because with all friction removed thanks to WD-40, it closes on its own.

This might not seem like a big deal, but it’s a small walk-in closet, and I don’t want to have to hold open the door while I’m figuring out which pair of boxers best fits my mood today (monkeys, turtles, beer mug, stripes, or solid?). Also, Walter likes to sneak into the closet and hide under the clothes, and the door has a funny way of closing on my face as I bend down to shoo him back into the bedroom (Biddy knows better to go in there. He is the smartest).

A few days ago I resolved to fix the problem. I tried four methods: One, I hammered wildly at the door hinge, hoping to bend it enough that the door would stay open. Didn’t work. Two, I superglued the hinges. Seriously. It still didn’t work! In rock-paper-scissors-WD40-superglue, WD-40 wins!! Three, I tried duct tape, all to no avail. Finally, I tried drinking. It fixed some problems, but not the door.

So I present this issue to you, dear readers: How do you reverse the effects of WD-40? What must I do to un-lubricate my closet door?

UPDATE: I tried everything to get rid of the WD-40 (including all suggestions below), and finally I decided it could not be done. Instead, I installed a magnetic door jam to make the door stay open when I want it open. It works wonderfully.

20 thoughts on “How Do You Reverse the Effects of WD-40?”

    • Thanks Carrie! I’ll try that. And Katy, alcohol sounds like a good solution too. Peach Schnapps, maybe?

      Trev–“Move” made me laugh out loud. As did the butler/maid solution. “Sir, can I do anything else? Make the bed? Do the laundry?” “No, just stand there and hold the closet door open.” “But sir, I went through 10 years of butler school!” “Just stand there and earn your twopence!”

  1. I can’t vouch for the previous baking soda suggestion, and you should definitely try that first because it’s a potentially easy solution, but I do have a few thoughts:
    1) Replace the hinges–a little more challenging, but potentially realistic.
    2) Hire a butler or maid to hold the door open for you (side benefit–he/she may also clean up after the cats)
    3) Remove the door. Only put it back on the hinges for Festivus. Although the one Festivus when you had the place packed nuts to butts and you left the closet open with the “use the closet as an extra bathroom” rule, that admittedly came in handy.
    4) Move.

  2. I vaguely remember reading somewhere that a solvent like alcohol (maybe denatured?) can be used to clean the WD-40 off, or if that fails you can probably pick up a specialized cleaner at an auto parts store. Or just use any of Trevor’s suggestions– they all sound legit. 🙂

  3. Hire Amy Adams to stand jauntily by the door, opening it as needed. She might even help you put on your loincloth as well (it depends on how well you tip)…

  4. I haven’t gone grocery shopping this week yet, so I don’t have the baking soda yet. But I’ll get some tomorrow and we’ll see how it goes. I tried Windex last night to no avail.

        • I tried it this morning, and I actually think it may have worked! I don’t know if hydrogen peroxide alone would have worked, as there was already plenty of baking soda left on the hinges.

          • Ahh sweet! I’m going to try a mixture of the both…Thanks for letting me know! My problem is the door won’t stay CLOSED…so everyone gets to see inside my bathroom closet if I don’t put the stopper in…not cool! lol

            • Ah, interesting. You have the opposite issue that I have. Hopefully the solution will work! Someone on Facebook also suggested slightly bending one of the nails that slides into the hinge, but I couldn’t get any of the nails to come out.

  5. I had a squeaky door. I used wd40 on the hinges. It has been over two years and the door will not stay open without a stop to keep it open. My house is NOT unlevel. How do I reverse some of the effects of wd-40?

  6. Same problem. Took the pins out and wiped them dry. No help. Then…pulled the pins one at a time and wrapped them with some metal, air conditioning duct tape. Looks like tin foil. Took a couple of try’s and settled on double thickness of tape on middle and lower pin. Success!! Door stays where I put it now.


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