Guilty Pleasures / WD-40

I adore WD-40. I love the smell, the colours and the logo, which I’m sure hasn’t changed from when I first started to use it in the 1970’s. And of course there is the damned usefulness of it. I use it on my push-bike, motorbike, for removing stains, chewing gum, sticky tape, spraying on anything rusty, electrical switch gear, taps or as a nice oily misting on salad. Even better is the website – it’s barking, like the internet was around in 1975 and people still bought Farah slacks from the back pages of the Daily Mail.

I love the pleasure of a new tin, the feeling of weight and expectation of a full on, fully pressurised spray. A while ago I got the real, undiluted trade version of it – just a tank of the stuff, no propellant just pure WD-40 and it was bliss. Nothing in the house dared squeak ever again – I could de-squeak a hinge at 20 feet whilst standing like a ninja assassin.

Unfortunately though, I haven’t yet found a direct use in our photography. Apart from, of course, taking loving portraits of it – like the image here. This image is destined for our stock library, usually a place for technically excellent, yet emotionally sterile images. This one is different though – looking at it I can see my first five-speed Raleigh ‘racer’ or my learner Suzuki GP100 all the way to my bigger, much more serious motorbikes and then a rusted adjustable spanner rescued from the bottom of my toolbox.

There’s a spaceship in the photo above. Aficionados of WD-40 will get the reference.


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