This summer I got my hands on a new cleaning product from WD-40 and I put it to the test in my daily life. For the last few months it followed me around from the workshop to the garage, to the house, and I even found some novel uses for it outdoors. The new WD-40 Specialist Industrial-Strength Cleaner & Degreaser is part of the WD-40 Specialist line that includes lubricants, greases & penetrants, in addition to the brand’s namesake WD-40 Multi-Use product. WD-40 Company provided us with a good supply to evaluate in this sponsored review.
WD-40 Cleaner Degreaser – The Product
WD-40 Specialist Industrial Strength Cleaner & Degreaser is a water-based product dispensed out of a manual pump spray bottle with nozzle settings for Off, Spray, and Stream. The pump mechanism feels sturdy. The durable design is necessary as the 24 oz. pump bottle I used is refillable and likely to be in service for a long time. The WD-40 Company provides a convenient hatch and a wide cap on the front of the bottle to make it easily refillable without the need for a funnel. This feature proved handy as I topped off the bottle numerous times from a more economical one-gallon refill jug.
WD-40 Specialist Industrial-Strength Cleaner & Degreaser is sold in 24 oz. refillable non-aerosol spray bottles, 32 oz. non-aerosol spray bottles, 1 gal. jugs, 5 gal. jugs with a dispensing spout, and in 55 gal. drums (in case you have A LOT of grease)!
Remember that iconic WD-40 can you grew up with? It has evolved:
According to WD-40 Company, this Industrial-Strength Cleaner & Degreaser is biodegradable. It contains water and non-hazardous ingredients which are not irritating to skin. Its cleaning and degreasing power comes from a bio-solvent made from coconut / palm kernel oil. The mildness of the ingredients qualifies the product to use the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Safer Choice designation which is granted for cleansers that “contain ingredients with more positive health and environmental characteristics than conventional cleaners”.
In use, the degreasing cleaner didn’t dry out and irritate my fingertips like most solvents and detergents do. And amid all the spraying, I found the cleaner to have a minimal odor, reminiscent of a very faint ammonia smell. Some other biodegradable degreasing cleaners I use have such a strong fragrance that I get a sore throat within minutes of spraying a lot of it during a cleanup job, so I appreciate the nearly scent-free experience of using the WD-40 Company cleaner.
WD-40 Cleaner Degreaser – Favorite Uses
The WD-40 Specialist Industrial-Strength Cleaner & Degreaser is NSF approved as safe to use in food processing areas as long as the surfaces are rinsed thoroughly with water after product application. So of course it’s fine for cleaning up a messy stovetop and the like, but I wanted to test it out more on rough stuff. Some of my standout WD-40 Specialist Industrial-Strength Cleaner & Degreaser uses include:
- Cleaning bar and chain oil spills and residue from my chain saws. I use biodegradable vegetable-based oil in my saws so performing this cleanup without protective gloves on doesn’t expose my skin to anything harmful.
- I use “grip gloves” for most of my chores. A quick spritz and wipe down of the palms restores a lot of the grip-enhancing tack to the rubber surfaces.
- When glazing windows, use to dissolve the film left on the glass from the oil in the glazing compound – even weeks later when the compound has set enough to prime and paint.
- Some sticker adhesives can be removed; soaking for a while before first can help.
- Cleaning up gas and oil gunk from my lawn mower deck, and similar spills on the chipper, pressure washer, etc. I can scrub everything down without worrying about damaging the painted surfaces or plastic and rubber parts on my tools or equipment.
- Light degreasing in the engine bay of my old truck. Light as in cleaning up oil drips and spray lube overspray. For any thick, sludgy oil deposits caked with road grime, a petroleum-based solvent cleaner will get you there faster. Consider the WD-40 Specialist Industrial-Strength Degreaser (aerosol)
- Similarly, this degreasing cleaner can lighten up various automotive leaks on a concrete driveway, but a more potent solvent will serve you better on these tough stains. Especially if they are old and dry.
Being a water-based cleaner, the WD-40 Industrial-Strength Cleaner & Degreaser wasn’t up to the task of dissolving dried glues, caulks, or roofing tar, you’ll still need to use a specialty cleaning product for these demanding cleanups. And accordingly, you’ll have to safeguard your skin, lungs, eyes, and nearby surfaces carefully too.
Shooting upward puts me in the line of fire of the settling overspray so I end up wearing a lot of whatever I’m spraying. While I always try to avoid being hit or breathing the mist, I have found that I prefer to be misted with a mild water-based cleaner rather than a nasty petrochemical poison, or even a conventional cleanser. Although WD-40 Specialist Industrial-Strength Cleaner & Degreaser has active ingredients that contain vegetable oils instead of chemical detergents, you should still wash your hands and any exposed skin with soap and water after using it.
WD-40 Specialist Industrial-Strength Cleaner & Degreaser Protectant Qualities
An additional benefit of WD-40 Specialist Industrial-Strength Cleaner & Degreaser is that it features corrosion inhibitors. A trace coating is left behind as the water in the cleaner dries to prevent flash rusting, which is rusting that occurs as freshly-cleaned ferrous metals dry. When I wash the steel and iron parts from my latest antique tool finds with detergent cleaners and rinse them, I have to diligently dry them with heat or fast-evaporating solvents to prevent flash rust. When cleaning up with the WD-40 Specialist Industrial-Strength Cleaner & Degreaser, I can just wipe the cleaner off the parts with a cloth and let them dry on their own. However, if I rinsed the metal parts with water I’d still see to the extra drying steps to be safe because I’m not sure how pervasive the rust inhibiting properties of the cleaner are.
The slight residue left behind is helpful in some cases, but of course as with any cleaner, you’ll want to rinse off anything you’re preparing to paint. And for the clearest results on glass or chrome that you don’t want water spots on, you can buff the surfaces clean with a towel during your final drying strokes.
WD-40 Cleaner Degreaser – The Bottom Line
Throughout the summer, I got a lot of use out of the WD-40 Specialist Industrial-Strength Cleaner & Degreaser in a wide variety of applications. Besides the fact that it was an effective cleaner and lacked any offensive fragrance, I especially appreciated the peace of mind afforded by the fact that it’s water-based and that the ingredients are biodegradable. Every time my hands or tools were wet with the cleaner, I knew I wouldn’t experience any sticky or irritating residues. The same goes for all the overspray that soaked the painted surfaces of my buildings and vehicles, not to mention any nearby plants.
The 24 oz. bottle is priced at about four and a half bucks at a major retailer, and the one gallon refill jug is about 11 bucks at a big box home improvement store. That’s about 19 cents per ounce and 9 cents per ounce respectively.
For more information on this degreasing cleaner and other products in WD-40’s specialty line, check them out at: