The Untold Truth Of WD-40

Americans love secrets. McDonald's has a secret sauce, grandma has a secret recipe, and WD-40 has a secret formula. Grandma's recipe might leak out, but the WD company claims no one has come close to divulging its formula with any accuracy. For years, its hand-written secret formula has lived in a San Diego bank vault, a place where many know its location but few can visit. Written on a notepad in pencil, the formula has been moved a couple of times, most recently upon the company’s 65th anniversary in 2018 when it was handcuffed to CEO Garry Ridge and escorted by Brinks guards in an armored car to a Bank of America in Rancho Bernardo. They believe deeply in the power of WD-40, the seemingly do-it-all water displacer known for its yellow and blue can with the red top. Ridge said they know customers are believers too, confident in the product that’s the backbone of a company with some 2,000 unique uses submitted by the people who know it best. What most people don’t know is that the rust removal spray formula is not patented. If it were, the makers would have to disclose its ingredients, making it easier to copy. As of November 2021, WD-40 has generated revenue in the amount of $488 million.