A Greener WD-40?

WD-40 has been around for nearly 60 years. It’s incredibly useful stuff, but a little harsh on the planet. However, a product with the same applications that is a little more eco-friendly is now available.

In case you haven’t heard of it, WD-40 is basically a very popular spray on water disperser and lubricant. It can deal with squeaky hinges, stiff locks, clean off tar and gum, help loosen rusted bolts and generally protect metals. It’s so popular the brand name has become somewhat of a generic term in relation to these sorts of products. I haven’t been without a can in my tool kit for decades.

It’s not particularly environmentally friendly though. While the full formula is a trade secret, its major ingredient is a petroleum distillate based solvent. Aside from all the environmental issues of fossil fuels, this also makes it quite flammable.

While the use of WD-40 isn’t going to single- handedly destroy the planet as a can of the stuff last most folks a very long time; it would be nice if there was a greener and safer alternative.

.. and perhaps there is – TrickShot. I was tapped on the shoulder about its claimed environmental virtues earlier today and my first request to the company was concerning the formula. Unfortunately, “environmentally friendly” is a term bandied about a lot by companies – and often when it shouldn’t.

They were very quick to reply with their MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet). I expected to see a laundry list of chemicals I would then need to track down, but there were only 2 – soybean oil and nitrogen – the latter I assume to be the propellant.

Is there anything soybeans can’t do? While soy does have its issues, like hemp it’s a truly remarkable and incredibly versatile plant.

I did notice TrickShot had a VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) content of less than 50.0 g/L; how much less I don’t know. As some sort of benchmark, the US government caps the VOC content in paint at 250 grams per liter (g/l) for flat finishes; so considering how little of this product you would use compared to paint, even at 50g/L, that would be reasonably low.

According to the company, TrickShot is 100% biodegradable, non-toxic and non-flammable. I believe there is another soybean based product around, but like WD-40 it’s also flammable.

TrickShot isn’t as cheap as WD-40 at just under $22 including delivery for a can (cheaper in bulk); but if it’s as good as WD-40 and bearing in mind a little goes a long way; I think that’s a reasonable price. I hope to see it on Australian shelves soon.

If you’ve tried TrickShot, I’d be interested to read your thoughts on the product.


What’s In That Product?