I’m going to start a new Category – I’ll call it, “Never …”. I’m going to make this list of things that I have discovered – the hard way – are really not good to do. Yeah, everyone has such a list, but I want to formalize mine, sort of as a catharsis, but also just because other folks may benefit from it too. And since such a list can only grow over time – this is not something that dwells en mass in your brain waiting to be released – I’ll simply add a piece here and there over time.
This idea came to me recently as I was slowly waking from a night’s rest, and as I looked at the fan on the ceiling slowly and silently turning, turning, turning, … Eventually, my thoughts were, “Boy, I remember that there was a time when that fan wasn’t so quiet!” In fact, earlier this summer, that fan was so noisy that it would wake you in the middle of the night – this is not a good thing. So I did what I had been doing for the last few years – I went and got the can of WD-40 and sprayed the moving parts of the fan until it was quiet again. Fixed! Problem was that only worked for about two weeks, and the noise started again, and got worse - not good.
So, I did as I often do, and I went online to research this thing. And one of the first things I discovered is that WD-40 is not a lubricant! What? But isn’t that what its sold for? Isn’t that what it says right on the can? Well, yes, but my research was telling me something different.
It seems that WD-40, which stands for “Water Displacement, 40th trial formula”, was created for removing water and other compounds from rockets, thereby assuring a clean, slick exterior for takeoff. It was later marketed as a product that would remove and fight rust, as a penetrating oil, and because it actually forms a protective layer once its oily character is gone, as a metal protector. Apparently, its current manufacturer, Leatherman Corp, could not resist the temptation to reinforce the general public mis-conception that WD-40 was also a dandy, general purpose lubricant – as they so state on the can itself! But when pressed by expert questions, they retreat into a tiny corner by replying, “WD-40 is a satisfactory temporary, light lubricant”. Yeah, what comes to mind is a general, light, temporary use such as, having to slip your hand, temporarily into a very tight place, and quickly removing it – use your own imagination.
But whatever you do, don’t use WD-40 as a lubricant – if you do, you won’t be happy. And so, spot # 1 on my Never List goes to WD-40. I’ll add another item as soon as I’m throughly annoyed.