The Best WD-40 Substitutes

The Best WD-40 Substitute For Car Use

WD-40 is the holy grail of rust removers, degreasers, and lubricants. Every mechanic and DIY car repair enthusiast has a WD-40 on hand in their garage. It’s a very useful product that comes in handy in a variety of situations. What happens when you don’t have it on hand, are there substitutes for WD-40?

  • Petroleum Jelly
  • Petroleum-Free Jelly
  • Beeswax Bars
  • DIY Lubricant
  • Vegetable Oil & Acetone
  • Multi-Purpose Oil
  • Plumbers Grease
  • Dry Film Lubricant
  • Rust Removers
  • AC-90

WD-40 is a product with a wide range of applications. However, the alternatives to WD-40 are not like that. Each substitute has a specific use. We’ll explain how the alternatives can be used.

The Best WD-40 Substitutes

The Best WD-40 Substitutes


Petroleum Jelly

Commonly known as vaseline, petroleum jelly is a lubricant that can moisturize joints and metal parts. Originally made as a skin ointment to prevent skin infections.

However, petroleum jelly can be used on cars and households. Do you have a rusty part that you want to lubricate? Well, petroleum jelly can do the job.

It’s best to use it on car door hinges. If your car door is hard to open and squeaks when opened, you can use it to lubricate the hinge.

Petroleum jelly should not be used on car paint though. The petroleum can damage the paint, so it’s best to avoid using it on car paint.

Petroleum-Free Jelly

If you want to avoid petroleum-based products, you can try petroleum-free jelly. This is a product that was made for use on baby skin.

The good thing about it is you can use it on car paint without damaging the paint job. It’s a good way to stop rust from spreading.

You can treat minor rust spots on your car with petroleum-free jelly. Although this will not cure the rust spot, it will stop it from spreading.

And, it can be used on door hinges as well. Same as petroleum-based jelly.

Beeswax Bars

A really good alternative to WD-40 is beeswax bars. It has a wide range of applications, the same as WD-40.

In fact, beeswax is used in many car wax products. It helps the wax stick to the car paint, and most importantly, it lubricates the paint and forms a protective layer.

So, you can use it on your car without any worries about causing damage. I recommend using it on door hinges, and non-engine parts that need lubrication.

It’s good for treating rust spots too. You can stop the rust from spreading by gently applying beeswax.

DIY Lubricant

You can make any kind of lubricant at home. All you need is a type of oil and acetone. The oil acts as a lubricant and the acetone prevents it from staining the paint.

I don’t recommend using it on car paint. Acetone is a strong acid that can damage paint. More importantly, the oil will leave a stain that’s hard to get rid of.

DIY lubricant is good to use on car door hinges or non-engine squeaky parts.

Vegetable Oil & Acetone

Now, vegetable oil mixed with acetone is homemade WD-40. If you were wondering if there is a way to make WD-40 at home, this is the way to go.

By mixing vegetable oil with acetone in a 90:10 ratio. Again, this is a type of homemade lubricant. It’s best used on non-vital metal parts.

Don’t use this on the paint job, you will damage it.

Multi-Purpose Oil

Now, the absolute best substitute for WD-40 is a multi-purpose oil. It’s not a household item, so not many people have it on hand.

But if you often buy dedicated products for car cleaning and car maintenance, you may have multi-purpose oil in your garage.  If you run out of WD-40, you can replace it with multi-purpose oil for cars.

Multi-purpose oil is mostly used to clean grime off cars. It can lubricate moving parts and protects them from rust. It’s also a great way to remove rust from cars.

That’s why it’s such a good substitute for WD-40. It can do everything WD-40 does.

The best thing about multi-purpose oil is that it can be used on car paint. So, unlike the other substitutes, you can use it to remove grime and rust from car paint.

Plumber’s Grease

If you have a plumber’s grease on hand, you can use it as an alternative to WD-40. Plumbers use this dedicated grease to loosen up or lubricate O-rings.

A plumber’s grease is a great lubricant for metal parts. So, you can use it to lubricate door hinges or loosen up lug nuts that are hard to unscrew.

Don’t use the plumber’s grease on car paint. Although it won’t damage it, it will leave a stain. It may also cause streaking.

There’s no danger in using it on door hinges and for unscrewing rusty screws.

Dry Lube Spray

WD-40 is basically, dry lube. In fact, WD-40 has a specialized dry lube product. There are many brands that offer a dry lube spray.

In case you have any of these on hand, use the lube spray as you use WD-40. If your nearby hardware store doesn’t have any WD-40, consider using another dry lube spray.

You can use it on door hinges, moving parts, and car paint. The spray lubricates and removes grime.

Rust Removers

There are plenty of car rust remover products that you can find in stores and online. These can be used instead of using WD-40 for rust treating a car.

The rust remover can be used to help you with a rusty lug nut, treat car paint rust spreading, and fix squeaky door hinges.

You may also have a rust remover at home but not one dedicated for cars, one for household use. You can also this to substitute WD-40.

Don’t use it on car paint if you are not sure that it can’t be used on car paint. The product should have instructions on the bottle.


Some people prefer using AC-90 instead of using WD-40. AC-90 is a competitor to WD-40. It does everything WD-40 does.

It’s basically the same product but from a different brand. It’s not something car owners usually have in their garage. But if you don’t like WD-40, try using AC-90, it’s cheaper as well.

Related Questions And Other FAQs

Can You Use WD-40 As A Lubricant

WD-40 is used to lubricate some parts but it’s not mainly a lubricant. The lubrication helps to loosen up screws and treat rust. However, it’s not as effective at lubricating parts as dedicated lubricants are.

What Should You Not Use WD-40 On

WD-40 should not be used on motorcycle and bicycle chains. When it comes to cars, WD-40 should not be used on brakes and on dirty door hinges.

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