News

No, Canada Isn’t Banning WD-40

A bullet dodged by Tim Hortons door hinges everywhere.
Amazon/Andrew P. Collins

Anybody who does their own work on their car or home with any sort of regularity will likely have a can or two (or 10) of WD-40 lying around. The incredibly versatile, effective, and ubiquitous lubricant is an institution at this point, and its theoretical demise would surely come with many crossed arms and furrowed brows.

Case in point: many Twitter users were very upset when a rumor circulated late Thursday afternoon that WD-40 would be federally banned in Canada starting in 2024 in response to climate change. Just look at the maple syrup-fueled uproar:

Alberta-based news outlet Western Standard even ran a story declaring the product to be outlawed in the country come January. Thankfully for Canadian DIY aficionados from St. John’s to Vancouver, this alleged news is completely false.

In a statement from WD-40 itself: “It has recently come to our attention that false information is circulating online that WD-40® Brand products are being banned in Canada. This is not a true statement. Although there are currently regulatory changes taking place in Canada, we have been aware of these regulatory changes and have been preparing for them for some time.”

“All WD-40 Company products including WD-40® Multi-Use Product, WD-40 Specialist®, and 3-IN-ONE® brands will be compliant with the new regulations as of January 1, 2024. Our products will remain on Canadian store shelves and continue to solve problems in workshops, factories, and homes.”

Per the feds, new concentration limits and maximum emissions potentials for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) kick in on January 1 and apply to personal care products, automotive and household maintenance products such as WD-40, adhesives, adhesive removers, sealants, caulks, and “other miscellaneous products.”

In an email to The Drive, WD-40 Vice President of Stakeholder and Investor Engagement Wendy Kelley specified, “Any product classified as a lubricant, including WD-40 Multi-Use Product, manufactured, or imported into Canada after December 31, 2023, must have a VOC level of 25% or less.”

While WD-40 will stay in Canada, the product is indeed being reformulated.

“In fact, a similar regulatory rule was passed in California several years ago which prompted us to make a similar reformulation in the United States,” Kelley explained. “The reformulation does not change the ‘magic formula’—it is just as effective as it has been for 70 years. We are proud that our products are formulated with the cleanest ingredients making them safe for our end users and the environment.”

In any case, it’s not clear where from nor how exactly the Canadian WD-40 ban rumors originated, but if we can learn one thing from all of this, it’s that you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet.

Got a tip or question for the author? You can reach him here: chris.tsui@thedrive.com