Tuesday Tip: The WD-40 Debate

I don’t know about you, but for us, there is nothing as pretty as the super-clean look of a factory motocross bike. When we get home from a day of riding we take our time to wash down the TWMX fleet of bikes to try and achieve that factory shine. With that in mind, the question becomes, what should I be using on the bike’s metal surfaces (pipe, frame, etc) to prevent rust and keep them looking new?

Surprisingly, this is a topic that can spark quite a bit of controversy. In fact, in our last Tuesday Tip that covered winter bike storage, we suggested spraying metal surfaces with WD-40 to protect them. After posting that tip we received a few emails from people claiming that WD-40 will corrode metal if left to sit. One email we received read:

I just read your winter tips and noticed that you stated WD-40 as a protectant. While it does great for removing rust and breaking free seized parts if let to sit it is a fairly strong corrosive and will do more damage than good.

To get to the bottom of this mystery, we went straight to the source: Peter Fougner, Director of Global Quality Assurance at WD-40. Here is his response:

“There are rumors circulating that WD-40 contained Chlorine. We have thoroughly tested WD-40 and this is a falsehood. This rumor may have led to this second conclusion that WD-40, if left on steel or aluminum, can lead to corrosion. WD-40 has corrosion inhibitors that prevent corrosion to metal surfaces. This has been true since it was first created by Rocket Chemical.”

So, that’s it, you are safe to keep using WD-40 as part of your cleaning routine. Considering that some of us have been doing this for years now, that is some good news.